Prominent Social Democrat named head of Svenska Spel

Margareta Winberg, a former Social Democratic Deputy Prime Minister, has been named the new chair of Svenksa Spel, Sweden’s state-owned gaming operation.

Prominent Social Democrat named head of Svenska Spel

“With the change in leadership we want to clarify the direction of Svenska Spel’s work. With Margareta Winberg as chair, we can strengthen (the organization’s) concentration on social responsibility and public health,” said Minister of Finance Anders Borg in a statement.

The government said it wants to counteract gaming’s damaging effects. In December, a government gaming commission will present suggestions on how to make the gaming industry more socially responsible.

Winberg has a long career in Social Democratic politics, having served most recently as Sweden’s ambassador to Brazil from 2003 to 2007. She also held several positions in the government of Göran Persson, including Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Agriculture, and Minister for Equality.

Winberg was first elected to the Riksdag in 1981.


UK teacher challenges Swedes to Minecraft

An English high school has taken notice after teachers in Stockholm introduced compulsory Minecraft lessons for 13-year-old students, with one Englishman keen to pit his own students against those in Sweden.

UK teacher challenges Swedes to Minecraft

After The Local wrote about a Stockholm school and its compulsory Minecraft lessons, one Englishman has been particularly moved by the Minecraft must.

Andrew Richardson Medd, assistant head teacher at the new Thomas Ferens Academy in Hull, is keen to get a similar programme running for his own students.

“When I saw the article, I thought – this is what I’m looking for – a lot of our students were playing Minecraft already and I’ve been trying to find something for our project-based learning programme,” Medd told The Local.

With his own students at the Hull school already equipped with their own iPads, Medd believes that interactive work with the Swedish computer game could be the perfect platform for a summer project for his own 13-14-year-olds.

“Learning has changed. Pupils aren’t receivers any more, the boundaries are greyed. Learning has become more collaborative, and that’s what I like about the game,” he said.

“Students are digital natives; they learn through experimenting whereas adults learn by questioning.”

Minecraft has already proven to be extremely popular worldwide since its release in November 2011, with over 40 million registered players and 17.5 million games units sold.

The three dimensional game demands that players find creative solutions to construction problems. According to its website, the idea is as simple as “arranging blocks to build anything you can imagine.”

While Medd is yet to hear back from teachers in Stockholm about their project, he is keen to throw down the gauntlet if that’s what it takes to get noticed.

“My vision is that the two schools could come together in an online collaborative project. A competition would be fantastic – let’s take on the natives, so to speak,” he told The Local.

“I cant profess to be a techie myself, but the kids would be really up for the challenge.”

Oliver Gee

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