CTN at Westminster: Computer Games Technology represents our school at Parliament

On the 25th June 2014 the Schools of Computing, Telecommunications and Networks and Digital Media Technology were invited to Westminster as part of “Birmingham at Parliament” organised by one of our local MPs Gisela Stuart. This was a day to celebrate the achievements of Birmingham’s creative industries.

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The event took place in the Jubilee Room which was originally home to Parliament’s library and adjacent to the magnificent Great Hall.

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The day saw representation from a range of diverse companies which included the Birmingham Law Society, independent bakers (Devenishgirl Bakery), bars and restaurants  – bitters’n’ twisted venues (obviously one of the more popular ports of call for visitors during the day), the Custard Factory, Soshi Games, the Writers Guild, Virgin Media and the BBC.

Adil Ray, the star of Citizen Khan, and Tommy Nagra both gave passionate and compelling talks about the opportunities the BBC in the West Midlands had given them and what future plans were in store including the establishment of BBC academies in our region. Soshi Games, a company that we know well reaching back to the time when they were first embarking on the development of their music festival game, spoke about the establishment of their company in Birmingham.

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This was a great opportunity to meet and talk to such a varied audience. We were there with our School of Digital Media Technology to talk about our courses, collaborations with the creative industry, the BBC and our research. Video games are one of the fastest growing markets in the world. We are fortunate enough to have so many independent games studios near our Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment at Millennium Point. This gives our students a great opportunity to learn how the industry works, what they are doing and even have chance to work with them; Sync Interactive, Team Football and Mixed Reality Studios being a few of the destinations for our students.

Research is also a big component of work in computer games technology too. Over the last few years we have been collaborating with Birmingham Children’s Hospital and University of Birmingham on projects that are exploring how computer games could be used to help young people, who are living with conditions that may affect their long term health, understand them, the treatments used and how to better care for themselves. We were pleased that so many people at this event were so interested in our work, which has recently been published in the journal Serious Games (A Gamification Model to Encourage Positive Healthcare Behaviours in Young People with Long Term Conditions)

Our day at parliament was a great success with interest in our University from so many of our MPs and local organisations. It was great to see so many wonderful achievements being showcased and how our computer games technology course has rightly earned its place on a national stage.

Helping Computing Students To Gain A Valuable Sandwich Year Placement

Resource Types Available To Support Students For Sandwich Year Placements

Much of the academic research undertaken in the School of Computing, Telecommunications and Networks is practitioner based; that is, it is designed to improve the student learning experience and the quality of the education that we can provide. The Innovations in Computing Education (ICE) group leads the way in this field, covering areas are varied as student professionalism for employment, to helping staff to create engaging assignments and integrating the use of social media into the computing curriculum.

Continue reading Helping Computing Students To Gain A Valuable Sandwich Year Placement

When gaming can be good for you: Computer games to support adolescent healthcare

Video games can elicit different reactions in different people. Gamers relish the challenges and fun that it brings to them and how they can fulfil elements of their recreational, relaxation and social needs.

However there are also the concerns about how much time young people spend playing games. The increase in sedentary behaviour associated with their uses as well as the potential to increase antisocial and aggressive behaviours in teenagers.

Continue reading When gaming can be good for you: Computer games to support adolescent healthcare

Making Games at Birmingham City University

The BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology course is now into it’s fourth year and continues to go from strength to strength as a result of input from industry and the excellent work produced by our students.

Microsoft’s Imagine Cup

This year saw no let up in the activities that we were involved with. The year started with the first and second year students preparing for Microsoft’s International competition the Imagine Cup, an annual technology competition aimed at bringing together student innovators from all over the world. If successful winning teams would get to compete on a global stage in St. Petersburg in Russia and have the chance of winning up to $50,000.

Continue reading Making Games at Birmingham City University

Is £2 million enough?

Children
The government has announced £2 million of funding to train teachers to deliver the new computing curriculum in schools.

Under the new Computer Science initiative announced by Michael Gove, children from the age of 5 will be taught the basics of computer science. As Elizabeth Truss (education minister) said “We want a generation of children being taught how to write computer animations or design apps for smartphones – not be bored by lessons in how to fill in spreadsheets or learn word processing.

Continue reading Is £2 million enough?

BCU Offers Computing Courses That Support Top 10 Careers

Computing Careers Rank In Top 10 Jobs For 2013

BCU Offers Computing Courses That Support Top 10 CareersNew research, released by CareerCast.com, has revealed very promising news for graduates of the Computing disciplines taught at Birmingham City University.

Three of the top 10 best jobs relate closely to courses delivered at BCU at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Continue reading Computing Careers Rank In Top 10 Jobs For 2013

Exploring The Benefits Of Massive Open Online Courses Within Higher Education

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)As part of my continued professional development, I recently attended the Higher Education Academy (HEA) STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Conference for 2013. One of the hot topics for discussion was the growth of Massive Open Online Courses, known popularly as MOOCs. Continue reading Exploring The Benefits Of Massive Open Online Courses Within Higher Education