Learning and Playing and Why Both Matter for Teachers


Learning and Playing and Why Both Matter for Teachers

Remember playing when you were younger? If you weren’t in class or doing homework, you were likely playing. So what is “playing?”

As I remember, playing meant doing what I was interested in. Playing was taking my bicycle apart, putting Legos together, and learning as many facts about cars as I could. I knew every car’s 0-60 acceleration time and horsepower, by reading every car magazine and online blog. I used to walk around explaining how the aerodynamics on a Saleen S7 creates so much downforce that in theory, it could drive upside down in a tunnel. Then I tested the theory with my hot wheels; seemed to work. My passion for cars fueled innovative ideas - I remember gluing magnets to my hot wheels, with the opposing forces on the front and rear end of the cars to help them avoid accidents.

Unfortunately, all of this was “playing,” and never made it onto my report card, transcript, or resume. I was pretty boring on paper. I eventually learned how the system worked, I learned how to get good grades, and my focus turned more to “learning.”

I was in a classroom a few weeks ago, and I asked an off-task third grader what she was interested in, and she looked at me dumbfounded. She didn’t understand the question. I asked again, and she reluctantly said,  “Bridges, I like bridges.” My jaw dropped. “Great! Let’s learn about bridges!” How come no one has asked her that before? Learning about bridges incorporates math, engineering, and architecture!

Why doesn't informal learning count for anything when it is called "playing?" Why can't we foster this blend of playing and learning? Should learning about bridges be kept only to "playing time?" Some of these questions would be answered if we were able to track and score the time spent in this hybrid learning/playing space.

In the 1950's, the FICO credit score was created to capture and score credit risk so that banks could make better lending decisions. The transition from check/cash to credit cards unlocked this unique opportunity.

The transition from print to digitization and the World Wide Web has unlocked another unique opportunity: The ability to provide and quantify online learning whether it is formal or informal. Everyone with an internet connection has access now to the world's biggest library --  the web -- and the ability to capture more learning than ever possible.

FICO scores help banks make better lending decisions. Similarly, but in a more positive way, measured and tracked online education would help universities and employers make better hiring or admission decisions, and see more than an individual's formal education. The problem has been how to track, quantify and measure all that learning. How can we productively merge playtime and learning time?

An app I developed called Stackup captures all online reading. It is not fixing the entire problem, as learning is everywhere, but with several billions of hours spent each month on the biggest library in existence (the web), it is a pretty good start. With the help of others, we might be able to put this new wave of education into motion.

There are other apps that help capture or quantify informal learning, like:

  • Mozilla Open Badges & Credly: Both are providing a platform for educators (of all kinds) to build and award learners (of all kinds) with a credential or badge to showcase their skills outside of formal education.
  • APS Badge Initiative: Aurora Public School’s pioneered digital badging so students can showcase 21st century skills acquired not only in traditional academic settings, but also in their communities and job experiences.

The problem we are all trying to address is that informal learning - sometimes called “play” - doesn’t count for anything, and it should. These apps can help.

About the Author
Author: Nick GarvinWebsite: http://stackup.net/
Nick Garvin is the founder of Stackup. Google has selected the Denver-based Stackup team as a high-growth potential startup. Stackup is also being considered for a Google Education Development partnership. Stackup is available free as a Chrome browser extension.

Like what we do?

The Latest EdTech News To Your Inbox

Follow us:

   

   

 

Latest EdTech News To Your Inbox

 

The EdTech Tweets

EdTechReview Conversation with Richard Dufour - A Focus on U.S. Education - ETR https://t.co/mKkvEt36x2 edtech edtechchat… https://t.co/KOEWR7LGsQ
Saturday, 18 November 2017 07:23
Saturday, 18 November 2017 03:58

Follow etr_in on Twitter

About ETR Community

EdTechReview (ETR) is a community of and for everyone involved in education technology to connect and collaborate both online and offline to discover, learn, utilize and share about the best ways technology can improve learning, teaching, and leading in the 21st century.

EdTechReview spreads awareness on education technology and its role in 21st century education through best research and practices of using technology in education, and by facilitating events, training, professional development, and consultation in its adoption and implementation.

 

-> Read More

Join The Community

Subscribe and Join the 55,000+ members who trust us...

Testimonials
I find every news, reviews very informative and interesting. This site is indeed a great site for both teachers and learners. Thanks to EdTech for creating such an enriching site on education. Hats off!!
- Regin Brown, Educationist and Blogger, United Kingdom


My group likes this site because it's so up-to-date and has tons of relevant articles.
- Angela Giuliano, Teacher, New Mexico


Your write ups and articles ignites the minds making them receptive to the whole new wealth of EdTech.
- Jagat Rana, Parent, India


EdTechReview has some great resources for teachers who need to get some ideas about technology in the classroom.
- Loretta Wideman,Teacher, East Africa


EdTechReview keeps educators up to date with trending tech savvy terms relative to the discipline.
- Dr. Ingrid Rizzolo,Education Professional, Curriculum and Instruction Designer, New York City Area

-> Read More

Go to Our Client List

Adobe Avaya Bettasia Bonio Campus Management CK12 CKS Evernote IBM Intel IQPC Kidzania McGraw Hill Moodle Moot USC Rossier CMR University The British School Canadian International School Pathways Ridge Valley

Subscribe to our Newsletters...