March 12th, 2007, 20:48 Posted By: wraggster
Teachers have traditionally not been keen on students bringing handhelds or games into the classroom, but a new initiative supported by Sony aims to change that. At a "PSP in Education National Launch" event held today at its '3Rooms' brand space in London, Sony Computer Entertainment UK's managing director, Ray Maguire, introduced a project organised by ConnectED that sees the PlayStation Portable being used in schools as a learning tool.
Maguire explained that Sony has been linked with education for some time--in 2003, there was a trial of using the PlayStation 2 and EyeToy as a communication method between students in different schools. However, the development of 'connected' devices such as the PSP, and the increase in the availability of wireless broadband, has really opened up the opportunities for a link with education, Maguire said. While he commented that Sony was not aiming to be a leader in the education space, he pointed out that there were lots of opportunities for content providers to make use of the portable, connected nature of the PSP as a way to provide data and programs.
Richard Owen, from Maplesden Noakes school, which trialled using PSPs in several different classes, said the experiment had been very positive. Owen said that teachers found that students benefited from being able to work at their own pace--for example, being able to rewind an audio file and listen again to ensure they didn't miss anything, or to view a video several times. Another trial is set to start shortly in Newcastle, involving 10 schools.
Continuing the 'PlayStation in education' theme, Relentless Software also used the event to demonstrate its latest iteration of the Buzz! quiz series--a version of the game designed specifically for schools. The questions are all designed to cover the Key Stage 2 elements of the National Curriculum, and Jeff Gamon, executive producer at Relentless, said that classroom trials of the game had proved extremely successful.
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