18/02/2014 07:48 GMT | Updated 20/04/2014 06:59 BST

Exploring the Use of Snooker Game in Education - Part One

Having seen pupils struggling to use different types of technology in the classroom, I was intrigued by what the Snooker gaming enables children to do.

But first, following the scrapping of the existing ICT curriculum to introduce new courses of study in computer science delivered into schools from September, 2014 and with the 'Year of Code' - thus, to help schools kick-start this new curriculum, here's a 4-part series, on exploring the use of Snooker game in education.

Snooker gaming in the classroom is a new addition to game-based learning - historically, it is a cue sport that is played on a frame like table with pockets in each of the four corners. In terms of digital game-based learning, learners can create their Snooker table and play Snooker. Essentialy, to use Snooker as a form of learning computer science - definition of OpenVirtualSTEM®.

If you have been following our Blogs in the past, you would have gathered how I came-up with the idea of Snooker, very unusual, but simple concept. After all, it's what the kids want, and essential towards identifying their learning experience and needs. When I get kids in schools to do 'hands-on' and exciting technical Snooker game challenges, they respond well.

And, in the past, when I discovered that kids wanted a design, that had similar features (as I understood at the time) with sprites bouncing up and down - I thought, hmm, perhaps Snooker! And it has worked, so today, I could take the project design to the next stage - which I am currently researching the concept at Oxford University.

Therefore, to encourage more girls opting for computer science as a future career, engage them early, teach them from first principles and ensure the device has problem-solving features. You don't really need to look far to understand, what kids want from their learning, and please make it simple - if you provide kids with a tedious and dull device, known as, bad design in software engineering terms, you will get bad results. However, that could be enhanced through modelling, for example, you could add new functionalities to make learning more fun, engaging and useful in terms of kids making the device relevant as a skill in the classroom.

Some of the content of this blog was previously published on my website in 2012.