DkIT’s Department of Visual & Human-Centred Computing embark on new EU-funded project

28 November 2019

The question of European citizenship is increasingly being discussed by people across the EU. We live in a time of alarming findings regarding global warming. Gender, and other inequalities, still persist in the EU. Finally, the arrival of migrants into the EU can drive divisive debates.

In this context, schools, both as a place for the transmission of knowledge and the learning of citizenship, appear to be the ideal place to make learners aware of the issues quoted above.

With this in mind, a consortium of five third level education partners and three non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from seven EU countries has decided to join forces to produce two innovative games that will raise awareness of these issues. The project’s goal is to create two games (one each for 1st-3rd year and TY-6th year) that can empower school pupils and their teachers by helping to raise their awareness of European citizenship, gender equality and environmental protection. Achieving this goal will help lead to a more inclusive and respectful European society. Once completed, the two games will be made available to secondary schools across Europe and the world free of charge.

This project will run for three years (from 1st September 2019 until 31st August 2022). The project will involve two ten-day long mobilities, one each in 2020 (in Antwerp) and 2021 (in Porto). During these two mobilities, students from DkIT and the other partner colleges will work together to design and develop the game ideas. The two mobilities will involve a total of 84 students, of which 24 are from DkIT’s BSc (Honours) in Computing in Games Development. The project partners met in Lille, France on the 17th-18th October, to start working on the project tasks.

Derek O’Reilly, from the Department of Visual & Human-Centred Computing in DkIT stated that “Travelling to a partner college’s city and taking part in this project serves our participating BSc (Honours) in Computing in Games Development students in four very good ways. Firstly, our students get the chance to travel and work in a multinational, multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environment. Working in an international setting and working with students from other backgrounds helps our students learn how to work and communicate in diverse teams. These skills, which are needed in the global workplace, can be difficult to teach in a normal classroom environment. Secondly, our students will get the opportunity to design and develop a prototype of a real-world game. For most of our students, this will be the first time that they will have been involved in making a game that will be published. Thirdly, in order to develop their game, our students will need to engage with, and learn from, the NGO experts who are responsible for the game content. As a result, our students will gain a better understanding of the issues relating to European citizenship, gender equality and environmental protection. Finally, by participating in this project, our students will get to see new places, meet new friends and be part of a wonderful experience”.

The five third level education partners involved in this project are: Dundalk Institute of Technology, Instituto Superior Politécnico Gaya, Portugal; Hochschule Nordhausen, Germany; Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen, Belgium and Uniwersytet Lodzki, Poland. The three NOGs are involved in this project are: Le Partenariat, France; Stedenband Haarlem-Mutare, The Netherlands and KuriOz, France.

The project is fully funded by the EU under the Erasmus+ programme, under the key action “Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices” and action type “Strategic Partnerships for school education”. The project number is 2019-1-FR01-KA201-062510.

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