This blog contains my personal musings on games, learning, computers, engagement, fun, playfulness, technology, and other stuff that takes my fancy.
playful thoughts on games and learning
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited up to Dundee to present at Game To Learn 2. It was a good day, and I saw some excellent presentations, notably by Daniel Livingstone, Michelle Hoyle and Greg Hodgeson, who is doing some very interesting things to support learners as game creators.
I presented a talk entitled ‘Is there really a place for fun and games in adult learning?’ and, because my slides each contain only two or three words at most, wanted to use this post to share the main ideas rather than simply linking to the slides. I will necessarily be summarising my main points here so I apologise in advance for the impending crass over-generalisations.
- By not trying to push game-based learning as a mainstream activity for adult education. There will always be great examples of enthusiastic individuals or fantastic projects, but these are not replicable on a large scale, and it isn’t even appropriate to try until we have a much more established evidence base. We need to build on – and systematically evaluate – these examples of good practice.
- We need to focus on learning from games, not learning with games, analysing what games do well – what makes them so powerful for learning, so compelling and enjoyable – and applying these techniques to adult education. This is not simply gamification, but about using game principles to transform how teaching and learning is carried out in our institutions.
Recordings for all the keynote presentations are available online (somehow they managed to capture my best ‘sucking a lemon’ face for the still and I’m too scared to actually view the presentation myself).