Learning through Play

Hi all - I apologize, I am a bit late on the last few assignments!  

I recently allowed my students to exchange an assignment for a gaming activity that reviewed and assess the same material as the written assignment.  One thing that I found that was significant was the number of students who previously were disengaged that became active during the live class and even offered to help other students.  I feel like when we allow play in the classroom, or as a part of learning, we are opening the door to education to an entirely different population of kids.  Students who were otherwise disinterested, and often would simply sit in live class inactive and unresponsive, now found a way to relate to the material and content in a way that was fun and inviting to them. 

One source I found extremely interesting was the TED Talk on the decline of play and rise of mental disorder.  The comparison of cultures and decades and how children have increasingly lost “play” time and how fear is running many children’s lives.  I think about my own childhood and how play quickly changed from self-directed to adult-led organizations and activities.  The contribution of lack of play to lack of internal locus of control, makes it easier to understand and correlate the decline of play with the rise of mental disorders and suicide rates among the young.  This decline in play and creativity is only going to create more generations of anxiety ridden people, who don’t feel like they van take back control of their lives - not a good place for an entire generation to be.

Learning through Play

Hi all - I apologize, I am a bit late on the last few assignments!  

I recently allowed my students to exchange an assignment for a gaming activity that reviewed and assess the same material as the written assignment.  One thing that I found that was significant was the number of students who previously were disengaged that became active during the live class and even offered to help other students.  I feel like when we allow play in the classroom, or as a part of learning, we are opening the door to education to an entirely different population of kids.  Students who were otherwise disinterested, and often would simply sit in live class inactive and unresponsive, now found a way to relate to the material and content in a way that was fun and inviting to them. 

One source I found extremely interesting was the TED Talk on the decline of play and rise of mental disorder.  The comparison of cultures and decades and how children have increasingly lost “play” time and how fear is running many children’s lives.  I think about my own childhood and how play quickly changed from self-directed to adult-led organizations and activities.  The contribution of lack of play to lack of internal locus of control, makes it easier to understand and correlate the decline of play with the rise of mental disorders and suicide rates among the young.  This decline in play and creativity is only going to create more generations of anxiety ridden people, who don’t feel like they van take back control of their lives - not a good place for an entire generation to be.

Save Mr. Frog & Ms. Cat: A Mini-Figs remix

While I have a great deal of respect for Scratch as a forum and a platform for visual programming and creation, I haven’t done that much myself in it as a creator. So I figured I would start with a remix during this week of remix and play in ED677 … Here it is: “Save Mr. Frog & Ms. Cat: A Mini-Figs Remix”

Can you save Ms. Cat from going in the water while allowing the Mr. Frog to make it to the pond? It’s kind of tricky! :)