Another dot in the blogosphere?

Relearning to play?

Posted on: February 23, 2010

[image source, used under CC licence]

I loved reading this ProfHacker article, Playing to Learn. It succinctly provided insight into how we learn as children and adults and gave examples of game-play in a higher education context.

I do this myself with the game-based learning sessions I facilitate from time to time for preservice teachers. But I think I should bring in some gaming elements into the non-gaming weeks.

What troubles me is not the gaming approach but the prevailing attitude towards gaming. It seems to be viewed as frivilous or something that happens outside curriculum time or even a waste of time. Why is this the case when play is such a natural way of learning? We do not outgrow play. It is almost as if we need to relearn how to play.

One thing I tell participants of my courses or workshops is that you need not actually play games to use gaming strategies. Strategies like putting experiences, problems or assessment before content. Strategies like using a textbook not as the only reference but as one of many references to fill in clearly identified gaps of knowledge. Strategies like using authentic contexts for students to create and critique. It is almost as if we need to relearn how to teach.

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