Games in Schools Conference – 05-05-2009 – Council of Europe – Strasbourg Claus Berg, Chief Adviser, UNI-C, Denmark How Games mesh with Formal Education A View from Denmark UNI • C The Danish IT Centre for Education and Research
Public policy in education has been interested in the use of digital games in schools for a number of years, and regards it as part of the ICT strategy for schools as well as of media literacy for future citizens .
Recent developments particularly concern the design of games by the pupils themselves.
Digital games are particularly considered for use in the teaching of Danish and foreign languages . Sufficient autonomy is given to schools for them to decide on the use of games in the classroom. Teachers value electronic games for the increased pupil motivation they expect from them.
Most recent developments focus on ‘serious games’ , i.e. games designed to be used within the formal education system, in line with the curriculum and integrating the intervention of the teacher both in the designing of the game and in its use in the classroom.
Computer games, the curriculum and school autonomy
In Denmark, ICT skills , as well as media education , are not taught as separate subjects but have to be integrated into each subject of the curriculum. As ICT tools, computer games figure in the curriculum as possible pedagogical tools , for example for teaching Danish and English, especially to develop communication skills and also the critical sense of future citizens. In the case of the teaching of Danish, another focus is related to character-reading skills.
Central governmental policy on ICT and digital games in education
A group of experts , composed of representatives of the ministry, industrialists, university researchers and teachers, is looking at the obstacles and challenges faced by Danish education with a view to reaching a consensus on identifying and defining them. The implications of Web 2.0 for school education and for the IT skills of pupils are a central focus for this group. …