Bafta games comp 17

BAFTA's Young Game Designers competition has opened. Anna Pedroza reports

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has opened its 2018 BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition for entries. The event aims to inspire the UK’s game creators of the future by giving young people the chance to design and make their own games.

Entrants can submit their work at until Wednesday April 25, and the host of prizes includes games, hardware, software licences, tours of games studios and 12 months support from industry professionals to develop their game ideas.

Seppo teachers

Sal McKeown taps into the power of creating games at the Education Show 
Putting gaming at the heart of teaching is the mission of a Finnish company called Seppo. Before moving into software development its chief executive, Riku Alkio, was a history teacher working with young people aged 16 to 19 in Helsinki where he discovered that young people would work harder and learn more when they were engaged in creating games.

I met Riku and his colleague Henrietta Lehtonen at the Education Show at Birmingham's NEC where they were presenting with Apple distinguished educator Lisa Whittaker from the Junior Boys' Division of Bolton School.

DocsPlus screenshot

John Galloway checks out a truly inclusive literacy tool for all – 'DocsPlus' from Crick Software

Sometimes a replacement for a well-known software title seems to be not much more than tweaking existing functions and changing the packaging.

Not so with Crick Software. Following on from the radical upgrade that gave us a new, improved primary toolkit, Clicker 7, the company has now replaced its product for secondary school students, WriteOnline, with an even more impressive DocsPlus.


Sal Mckeown discovers a new app designed to support troubled students

According to the Mental Health Foundation, the UK has the highest number of people self-harming in Europe — 10 per cent of young people, equivalent to around two in every secondary classroom. Maybe even more as many of them do not tell others.

Now doctors and psychologists, together with young adults and experts, have created a new free app — distrACT — to help young people who self-harm or feel suicidal.

Bett 2017 entrance

When popular BETT Show veterans start pulling out it's worth asking them why

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" sang Bob Dylan on his album Subterranean Homesick Blues. And you don't need to be a market analyst to take serious note of the withdrawal of longtime educational technology companies like Crick Software, Kudlian Software and Wordshark from the annual BETT Show behemoth in Docklands.

While it hardly constitutes a stampede from BETT 2018, the reasons behind it — massive costs and the increasing scarcity of their ideal potential customers, classroom teachers — are worrying indicators for a huge trade show that depends on a healthy education sector rather than one facing rounds of severe cuts.