I am attending and have presented at the FETC (Florida Educators Technology Conference) this week. It has been a great experience from start to finish. The keynote this morning was Katie Salen, the Executive Director of the Institute of Play that is focused on games and learning. This school sounds awesome. It is a 1:1 environment that engages the students by letting them design and play of connected, game-like learning experiences. These learning experiences are socially-situated, challenge-based and student centered.
This school has done and is relying on research for how youth learns best with the opportunities made available through today’s networked and digital media. From that research, they found that students “learn by doing.” They master skills as they teach their peers.
She showed several video clips of the students and teachers in the school. The students in the videos seemed to be very excited about learning and enjoyed what they were doing. It is exactly what you would want to see students doing in your very own classroom. I saw tons of light bulbs going off in student’s heads and squeals of excitement as they were learning. I thought to myself, “How is this accomplished?” How do you get every student that engaged and fired up about learning? One thing that Katie Salen said is we have to make learning irresistible.
For me it would need to be like leaving an Oreo cookie on the table with a glass of cold milk next to it. That would be pretty irresistible. How do you make learning that way in your classroom? How do you make it where the students just cannot wait to learn something new each day? How do you keep up that momentum once you get it started? I would love to hear some of your ideas for doing this.
For more information on the Institute of play visit: http://playmakers.instituteofplay.org/