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Nintendo lends support to Handheld Learning Conference

Platform holder to demonstrate how its technology can work in the classroom

Nintendo is to support the annual Handheld Learning Conference for a third year it has confirmed, by running a Games for Learning workshop at the October event, held in London.

The conference will bring together a diverse group of thought leaders, including game designer David Braben and inventor Ray Kurzweil, who will join educational leaders from Ofsted, the MIT and London Schools.

Together they will discuss new ways to transform learning using technology already embedded in everyday lives, including mobile phones, mp3 players and social media platforms, as well as games consoles.

Children entering the schooling system today will almost certainly be facing non-keyboard based, gesture recognising, intelligent computing technologies by the time they leave full time education, said the conference's organisers.

"There couldn't be a better time to transform learning by pressing the reset switch on the Victorian past and looking at things in ways more suited to learners in the 21st century," added conference leader Graham Brown-Martin.

"We're delighted to once more be supporting this important conference that has become the de-facto meeting place for the convergence of education, entertainment and consumer electronics," commented David Yarnton, Nintendo UK's general manager.

"We have been consistently impressed and surprised at how leading educationalists have been adapting off the shelf videogames to engage their students in rich learning experiences."

Part of Nintendo's involvement in the event will be the support of a Games for Learning workshop, at which international education professionals will demonstrate how modern gaming technologies are currently being used in and out of the classroom.

It is an area in which Sony is also active in, with the launch of an education initiative for PSP and a distribution deal with ConnectED Services to bring its handheld to schools.

The Handheld Learning Conference will take place in Shoreditch, London between October 5-7. The event's first day is free to attend by the general public and anyone interested in how current technologies can be used for learning and teaching.


Kath Brice