ready to play

Playful cover of BITS magazine Spring 2017

Playful learning is all the rage amongst the ladies of my acquaintance. How playful can you be today?  this week?  Is it time for a wee sit down now? Yes. You deserve it. (1)

The upcoming (28th June, Edinburgh) elearning@ed confernce believes the play’s the thing.

The theme for this year is “Playful Learning” and the programme is looking great, including a whole bunch of playful breakouts and interactive sessions.

‘The conference has a fantastic line-up, including a number of talks and presentations from educators across the University who are incorporating playfulness into practice; from teaching with Dungeons and Dragons, digital game based learning in China, virtual reality in education, to playful approaches to learning to code.

Breakout sessions will also be happening throughout the day. We’ll have some of the tools and technologies from the UCreate Studio available for you play with and try out on the day, plus some of the great DIY Film School gear from LTW.  There’ll be Minecraft in Education, Gamifying Wikipedia, and an opportunity to try out some of the award winning 23 Things for Digital Knowledge.’

The ( July 12)  Playful Learning Conference in Manchester 2 weeks later does too.

‘Playful Learning is pitched at the intersection of learning and play for adults. Playful in approach and outlook, yet underpinned by robust research and working practices, we provided a space where teachers, researchers and students could play, learn and think together. A space to meet other playful people and be inspired by talks, workshops, activities and events. Based in the heart of Manchester, we also explore some of the city’s playful spaces with evening activities continuing the fun and conversations after the formal programme ends.’

My contribution to all this is to encourage playful and gaming aproaches to as much of our enagagement activity as we can. Partly because of all this good learning  theory. Partly because it makes it all much more fun to do. Partly because after 20 years of explaining this stuff it stops me from sticking my head in the oven.

The Playful learning Conference includes a presentation from the iSG teams on our playful approaches:

‘The University of Edinburgh’s(UoE) Information Services Group (ISG) has developed a Playful Engagement strategy, utilising playfulness to create interest, boost attendance, and encourage interaction with its services and activities. We target appropriate workplace learning opportunities which support our strategic priorities in developing digital skills, engaging with open educational practices, promoting diverse role models and using our collections in innovative way.’

If only you knew how much fun it is working in central IT at a university, you’d all be doing it.

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