Senior Lecturer in Education
School of Education and Social Work
University of Dundee
Derek Robertson’s career in education has seen him work as a primary school teacher, an ICT staff tutor in a council education department, a lecturer at the University of Dundee, as the National Adviser for Emerging Technologies and Learning with Scottish Government’s educational agencies and now back at the University of Dundee as a senior lecturer and Head of Undergraduate Studies at the School of Education and Social Work.
A major aspect of Derek’s work has been involved with exploring and articulating just how commercial off the shelf (COTS) computer game-based learning can impact on teaching and learning in our schools and in particular, how the use of such tools can help us reframe the power dynamic in formal learning relationships. This interest began due to a serendipitous moment when he watched two of his pupils play a Super Nintendo game in his classroom and his work in this area led to him being given the opportunity to further explore and share this area of interest when he took on the lead role with the then Scottish Government agency Learning and Teaching Scotland, through the Consolarium initiative. This initiative was aimed at exploring how the challenging, demanding and culturally relevant and appealing world of the computer game could play a valid and worthwhile part in the educational experiences of teachers and learners. His work has helped to effect change in the discourse around the purpose and place of computer games in education and the way in which the digital world of learners outside of school can be used to impact on learning in school.
His current interests revolve around what he sees as the established and at times uncritical culture, behaviours and attitudes that appear to accompany the use of digital tools and spaces in teaching and learning in our schools and at why the promise of its transformational change in education is one that is still to be fully realised. His interest in all manner of practical and innovative digital contexts in teaching and learning has also seen him develop a research interest in the use of ePortfolios in Teacher Education.