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glennw@essdack.org
glennw98
glennwiebe.org
c4framework.com
Glenn Wiebe
Having Fun is a Good
Thing: Using Play as
a Learning Tool
“The world is filled
with enthusiastic,
energetic people.
Too bad they’re
usually under the
age of seven.”


Esa Saarinen
...
“One by one, we file past the
teacher. As each of us passed, she
asks:
Work? Check. 

Book? Check.
That is the last word u...
“For the entire period, we sit
silently with heads in books,
where our mouths are
conveniently positioned to be
incapable ...
“We are widgets
in the machine of
school.”
Games haven’t gotten
simpler
they’ve gotten more
complex
Why
Because the brain
demands it
“The brain developed to solve
problems relating to surviving
in an unstable, outdoor
environment and to do so in
near cons...
can I eat it?
can it
eat me?
can I have sex
with it?
we all
remember
this
neural networks
“If you wanted to create an
educational environment that
was directly opposed to what
the brain is good at doing . . .
“. . . you would
probably design
something like a
modern
classroom.”
John Medina

Brain Rules
characteristics of a highly
effective learning
environment
• students make choices
• students become experts
• solving problems is
required
• immediate feedback
• there’s always an answer
• failure is a good thing
• learning is collaborative
brain
research
effective
learning
environments
brain
research
effective
learning
environments
your classroom
characteristics of a highly
popular game
brain
research
effective
learning
environments
games
Huh?
increase literacy skills

improve problem
solving skills

simulate authentic
situations
encourage collaboration

engage students in
content

lead to sophisticated
research
what 

next?
find games1
align to
standards
1
2
find games
1
2
modify as
needed3
align to
standards
find games
use the game4
use the game
evaluate the
results
4
5
play more games
learn more 

about games
Don’t Bother Me, Mom --

I’m Learning!


Marc Prensky
The Game
Believes in You



Greg Toppo
Libraries Got Game

Brian May...
playplaylearn.com
mnu.edu
gvlibraries.org
socialstudiescentral.com
instituteofplay.org
Go online
#boardgamegeek
#boardgames
#gbl
@BoardgamesDaily
don’t be afraid to
make a pancake
brain
research
effective
learning
environments
your classroom
Erin’s classroom
“I don’t want to be a
professional student; I want
to be an amateur learner.”
Arthus
glennw@essdack.org
glennw98
glennwiebe.org
c4framework.com
Have more questions
Having Fun is a Good Thing: Using Play as a Learning Engine
Having Fun is a Good Thing: Using Play as a Learning Engine
Having Fun is a Good Thing: Using Play as a Learning Engine
Having Fun is a Good Thing: Using Play as a Learning Engine
Having Fun is a Good Thing: Using Play as a Learning Engine
Having Fun is a Good Thing: Using Play as a Learning Engine
Having Fun is a Good Thing: Using Play as a Learning Engine
Having Fun is a Good Thing: Using Play as a Learning Engine
Having Fun is a Good Thing: Using Play as a Learning Engine
Having Fun is a Good Thing: Using Play as a Learning Engine
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Having Fun is a Good Thing: Using Play as a Learning Engine

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Presentation at the July 31, 2015 MidAmerica Nazarene's Center for Games and Learning conference

Published in: Education
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Having Fun is a Good Thing: Using Play as a Learning Engine

  1. 1. glennw@essdack.org glennw98 glennwiebe.org c4framework.com Glenn Wiebe
  2. 2. Having Fun is a Good Thing: Using Play as a Learning Tool
  3. 3. “The world is filled with enthusiastic, energetic people. Too bad they’re usually under the age of seven.” 
 Esa Saarinen
 Finland
  4. 4. “One by one, we file past the teacher. As each of us passed, she asks: Work? Check. 
 Book? Check. That is the last word uttered for the next hour and a half.”
  5. 5. “For the entire period, we sit silently with heads in books, where our mouths are conveniently positioned to be incapable of asking questions.”
  6. 6. “We are widgets in the machine of school.”
  7. 7. Games haven’t gotten simpler
  8. 8. they’ve gotten more complex Why
  9. 9. Because the brain demands it
  10. 10. “The brain developed to solve problems relating to surviving in an unstable, outdoor environment and to do so in near constant motion.” John Medina
 Brain Rules
  11. 11. can I eat it?
  12. 12. can it eat me?
  13. 13. can I have sex with it?
  14. 14. we all remember this
  15. 15. neural networks
  16. 16. “If you wanted to create an educational environment that was directly opposed to what the brain is good at doing . . .
  17. 17. “. . . you would probably design something like a modern classroom.” John Medina
 Brain Rules
  18. 18. characteristics of a highly effective learning environment
  19. 19. • students make choices • students become experts • solving problems is required • immediate feedback
  20. 20. • there’s always an answer • failure is a good thing • learning is collaborative
  21. 21. brain research effective learning environments
  22. 22. brain research effective learning environments your classroom
  23. 23. characteristics of a highly popular game
  24. 24. brain research effective learning environments games
  25. 25. Huh?
  26. 26. increase literacy skills
 improve problem solving skills
 simulate authentic situations
  27. 27. encourage collaboration
 engage students in content
 lead to sophisticated research
  28. 28. what 
 next?
  29. 29. find games1
  30. 30. align to standards 1 2 find games
  31. 31. 1 2 modify as needed3 align to standards find games
  32. 32. use the game4
  33. 33. use the game evaluate the results 4 5
  34. 34. play more games
  35. 35. learn more 
 about games
  36. 36. Don’t Bother Me, Mom --
 I’m Learning! 
 Marc Prensky The Game Believes in You
 
 Greg Toppo Libraries Got Game
 Brian Mayer Christopher Harris
  37. 37. playplaylearn.com mnu.edu gvlibraries.org
  38. 38. socialstudiescentral.com
  39. 39. instituteofplay.org
  40. 40. Go online #boardgamegeek #boardgames #gbl @BoardgamesDaily
  41. 41. don’t be afraid to make a pancake
  42. 42. brain research effective learning environments your classroom
  43. 43. Erin’s classroom
  44. 44. “I don’t want to be a professional student; I want to be an amateur learner.” Arthus
  45. 45. glennw@essdack.org glennw98 glennwiebe.org c4framework.com Have more questions

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