21 Feb 2013

2nd Wednesday at the SGI Coventry

I have always wanted to attend the 2nd Wednesday events organised by the Serious Games Institute,  Coventry University Technology Park, every month but could not because of one reason or the other. However, I  made sure that I was free for the event on the 13th of February 2013.

This time the focus was on the future of learning including new approaches to learning such as: MOOCs, technology enhanced learning, game based approaches and social interactive learning. Among the speakers were Prof Paul Frere (Open University),  Dr Alastair Cameron (ITS Learning), Dr Mark Gaved (Open University), Dr Ian Dunwell (SGI) and Kathleen Stokes (Nesta). However, I was specially interested on the presentation by Dr Kaska Porayska-Pomsta from the Institute of Education on The ECHOES project on games to help children with autism. The children can explore and improve social and communicative skills through interacting and collaborating with virtual characters (agents) and digital objects controlled by an AI and tracking devices. Apparently there are some fantastic results with some children showing development after using this game. The presentation did not disappoint and I was excited when I found out that they are working on an app for the iPad.

There were other really interesting and thought provoking presentations and discussions. It was really nice to meet up with Jay (who used to work in our department) and Prof Sara de Freitas. I am definitely looking forward to attending the next event.

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