Clouds, Comics and Gaming: Too cool for school?

The increasing use of the digital, cultural and unconventional in teaching will be explored at the next instalment of the University of Dundee’s Saturday Evening Lecture Series.

‘Clouds, Comics and Gaming: Too cool for school?’ takes place at the Dalhousie Building, Old Hawkhill, at 6pm on Saturday, 26th March. It will see Comic Laureate Dave Gibbons and Charles Cecil, MD of Revolution Software, join academics in forming a panel to consider the role comics and gaming play in the changing face of teaching and how digital spaces can inform and enrich the learning experience.

The panel features three members of the University’s staff – Derek Robertson, who has been heavily involved in projects featuring Minecraft in schools, and Phillip Vaughan and Dr Chris Murray, the leaders of the MDes and MLitt Comics and Graphic Novels programmes. The debate will be chaired by Amina Shah, of the Scottish Book Trust.

“New technologies are radically changing how we learn, where we learn, and what we need to learn,” said Dr Murray. “Opportunities and resources for learners are abundant and pervasive, and access to information is everywhere. How are educational institutions, learners, and society as a whole adapting to these transformations?

“Once comics and gaming were viewed as a waste of time but increasingly we are seeing them accepted as a way of making education accessible in a much broader way. Creative game-playing and comics can be important ways of teaching visual literacy. They can encourage pupils to consider narrative, character and development and teach many other skills.

“Using these forms in teaching can put children in the driver's seat, enabling them to potentially learn through teaching us, or their peers. More broadly, these are very powerful mediums that have largely been used for entertainment purposes and little used for others, like education.”

Derek Robertson added, “What we have been seeing with computer games is not only the heightened interest levels of young learners but also the learning behaviours that appear to naturally arise in these contexts.

“Pupils are working together to support and extend each other’s learning, they are using YouTube and wikis to consume and create user-generated content to develop learning in a collaborative fashion. Such behaviours are desired by educators, so what can we do to learn from this and bring that learning culture in schools?

“The panel for this event is drawn from different walks of life and brings together academics from the University’s School of Education and Social Work, School of Humanities and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, demonstrating the interdisciplinary approach we take to learning and teaching here.”

‘Clouds, Comics and Gaming: Too cool for school?’ takes place at the Dalhousie Building on Saturday, 26th March from 6-7.30pm. Free tickets for this event are available by visiting, emailing, calling 01382 385108 or from the University’s Tower Building Reception.

Please note that overflow theatres may be in use and the Main Lecture Theatre is filled on a first come, first seated basis.

For media enquiries contact:
Roddy Isles
Head of Corporate Communications
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
Tel: +44 (0)1382 384910
Mobile: 07800 581902