National Adviser for Emerging Technologies and Learning, Learning and Teaching Scotland
Derek’s work includes his published research into the impact on mental maths attainment of the Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training game for the Nintendo DS and many of his ideas and initiatives – such as using Guitar Hero, Nintendogs and Endless Ocean -have become popular in schools. Currently he is looking much closer into the design of computer games in terms of their learning paradigm so that the self-determination, self-assessment and self-improvement that appears to occur naturally in the computer games environment can be exploited and transferred into how schools present learning to learners. His grounded approach to any use of technology always makes him ask just what positive impact there is on learning and he is passionately convinced that appropriate and informed use of computer games can most certainly have that desired impact.
Derek Robertson’s career in education has seen him work as a primary school teacher, a staff tutor in a council education department, a lecturer on the B.ED(P) and PGDE(P) teacher preparation courses at the University of Dundee and now as National Adviser for Emerging Technologies and Learning at Learning and Teaching Scotland. In his current position he leads the team responsible for exploring and developing the effective uses of computer games to enhance teaching, learning and assessment approaches that underpin Scotland’s new curriculum: Curriculum for Excellence.
A major aspect of Derek’s work has been involved with exploring and articulating just how game-based learning can have a positive impact on children’s learning experiences and to this end he established Learning and Teaching Scotland’s Consolarium initiative, which was aimed at exploring how the challenging, demanding and culturally relevant and appealing world of the computer game could play a valid and worthwhile part in Scottish pupils’ educational experiences.