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24 September 2018

‘Training through Gaming’: ETUI’s EduDays conference to showcase using video games as a training aid

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Next month’s conference organised by the ETUI’s Education Department will show trade union trainers how video games can be a useful educational tool in preparing trainees for the workplace of the future. The EduDays 2018 conference, which takes place in Vilnius from 17-19 October, will include presentations and hands-on demonstrations from experts in the emerging field of using games to develop social and cognitive skills.

Many universities already use video games to develop useful skills and competencies in their students, such as resourcefulness, communication and adaptability. Now the ETUI’s Education department is exploring their practical use in professional development for trade unionists. Practitioners of using games in education claim that these methods raise attainment and improve jobs prospects. Students who do well at video games also tend to be adaptable and resourceful, it is argued. The games that have already successfully been used in randomised trials with students include ‘Minecraft’ and ‘Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light’.

Matthew Barr, a leading researcher at Glasgow University, who will speak at the EduDays conference, has argued that, while the games themselves can play an important part in skills development, the social interaction between students facilitated by the games was also very significant. Barr plans to offer delegates in Vilnius a short introduction to ‘gamification’ and will describe how elements of games can be used in different contexts. He will also offer a demonstration of Xerte software, which allows users to create interactive learning objects, and use of an app (Forest), which helps users concentrate on a particular task while playing a game.   

Also speaking on the topic of games will be Carina Assuncão of the Glasgow University, who will show how gamification can be put into action by presenting her experiences of using games to improve student skills.  

The two and half day EduDays conference will also feature talks and presentations from the ETUI’s General Director, Philippe Pochet, on the ‘Four Megatrends and the Future of Work’, and the Nordic Education group on ‘Working Together for the Future’, as well as networking events. Besides the gaming theme there will also be an emphasis on the importance of ‘Foresight’ activities in spotting future trends affecting trade union, in order to help prepare for them. Tom Wambeke, from the ITC-ILO will speak about ‘Foresight Education vs Foresight Training’, and the ETUI’s own Foresight Unit will outline a number of possible scenarios for the trade union movement.

A key aim of the conference is also to evaluate the work programme of the ETUI EDU Department and to give input for the future programme. The first day of the event will be web-streamed live on the ETUI’s Facebook page.

Contact: ndevits@etui.org

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