Playing to learn

Gaming is one of the trends in learning these days, which gains fans every day around the world. It makes sense, if we consider how accustomed humans are in such a process, the fact that everyone, no matter the age, location and culture has played something in our life time and taking into consideration the need to make learning more fun and interesting!

As an introduction, you may want to see this TED talk.

So,  here are some examples of organizations that have done awesome things around this topic:

1. The Institute of Play in NY, which is doing some breakthrough things in the USA and are also educating kids to create their games and learn through this process.

The Institute pioneers new models of learning and engagement. We are a not-for-profit design studio, founded in 2007 by a group of game designers in New York City. We are now home to an interdisciplinary team of designers, strategists and learning practitioners.

2. Athens Plaython Festival took place in Athens, in Autumn 2012 and attracted kids, parents and youth for days of playing and creating.

The city’s first ever street games festival brings to you a marathon of big games and workshops for every age! Athens Plaython launched in 2011 with a sold out event that hosted more than 1000 people. Meanwhile we received the second place award at TEDxAthens for Disruption in Learning. After a year in the works we run a big two day festival in 2012, with the help of about 40 rockstar volunteers and more than 1500 players. Now we can’t wait for next year!

3. Viktor Rydberg school in Stockholm, Sweden where all 13-year-old students must now take a mandatory course on Minecraft, where teens learn

‘They learn about city planning, environmental issues, getting things done, and even how to plan for the future,’ Viktor Rydberg teacher Monica Ekman told English-language newspaper The Local. ‘It’s not any different from arts or woodcraft,’ she added.”

I heard this first through Edudemic.

4. Hive Athens, which will run an event for 13-18 year olds in Athens in Spring 2013 in order to make more digitally literate youth. And many more cool projects. Necessary? Yes!

5. AIESEC is a 70 year old social global organization that aims to develop youth around the world, now in more than 150 countries. Games, role-playing, simulations, case studies, physical exercise trainings and many more have been in the content of students’ training for years.

6. Learning in Azeroth or the WoW Curriculum:

Once, he says, a group of his students figured out how to cheat another player out of gold coins. The kids were triumphant until Gillispie confronted them about their ethics. They agreed to return the money and write an apology—and they were delighted when the other player commended their honesty. “It was a moment for us to teach some morality in the virtual world,” he said

7. The Khan Academy may not use playing and games as such to teach, but it uses a lot of elements that are also used in games, such as badges, rewards, achievement of levels and an interactive relation with the system through recommending which lesson to watch next, offering feedback and many more

8. Codeacademy promises to teach us how to code, interactively for free. It is for all ages and as Khan Academy they also use a few elements found in gaming, too.

…and many more. If you come across something cool, let me know:)

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