Kids showcase their digital creativity: a simply great idea

“A three-day celebration of innovation and creativity in Australian contemporary education” is how The Satellite Games describes itself. Personally I’m going with “a bloody fantastic idea”.

The Satellite Games gives NSW schoolkids a chance to show what they can really do in the digital world. Hosted by Macquarie University, the Games gives kids from k-12 the chance to participate in one of three competitions.

Game Jam is my personal favourite, and my own programming group is entering three teams into it. The idea is that teams of 2-4 kids are given a theme at 9am and they have a day (or two if they are older) to produce a game. The kids have to work together as a team with minimal adult intervention. This absolutely plays to the modern education requirements of creativity and teamwork.

Then there’s Transmedia Storytelling in which kids, well… tell a story. Transmedia storytelling involves a narrative being told across multiple media using current digital technologies. “Unlike multimedia or cross-platform storytelling, this competition will involve students telling a single story that moves from different technologies or web tools.” I’d love to see the results of this one as I must admit I have some difficulty getting my old-fashioned head around it.

Finally in Robotics Showcase teams create a robotics showcase around the theme “GAME”. The team’s response may take the form of an interactive activity, a game for people to play a game between robots or perhaps incorporate a narrative sequence.

Altogether this is a great idea. I cannot applaud strongly enough kids being given a chance to demonstrate their technical and creative skills in new media. I also just love any opportunity for kids to work without adult supervision. In several senses The Satellite Games sound similar to the Robocup Junior experience and I just hope they successfully manage to capture the best elements of that experience.

The Satellite Games runs from October 31 to 2 November. Teams from outside the Sydney area can participate remotely. Full details are at: thesatellitegames.wordpress.com.

EDIT: and in news just to hand, The Satellite Games have been cancelled for this year ‘due to unforeseen circumstances’. Sigh.

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