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Page history last edited by Gail Matthews-DeNatale 4 years, 8 months ago

Play-Based Learning: Physical, Virtual and Educational  


Pages in this wiki:

Home, Play Theories, Designing for Play-Based Learning, Bib/Webography, Quotes


Wiki Authors


Gail Matthews-DeNatale, Ph.D.

Senior Associate Director

Center for Advancing Teaching & Learning Through Research
Northeastern University

Barbara Draude
Assistant Vice President for Academic and Instructional Technologies
Middle Tennessee State University


Workshop Description

Learner ScrabbleThe musician Elvis Costello noted that "talking about music is like dancing about architecture." Well, talking about play is also like dancing about architecture. In this workshop, participants will become involved in a physical experience of play and draw on that experience to explore the potential for play in virtual and educational environments. They will be encouraged to envision how, in a Web 2.0 world, play contributes to learning.


Central Questions:

  • What happens when we are at play? Why is it "fun"?
  • What do we learn through the experience of play?
  • How is one type of play different from another; and how do differing play experiences result in different types of learning?
  • How can we draw on physical play experiences to inform the creation of virtual play, and by extension to create opportunities for educational play?


Workshop Slides



Workshop Agenda


8:30-8:45 Introductions

8:45-9:00 Overview: Central Questions

9:00-9:30 Physical Play Exercise
9:30-10:00 Overview: Theories of Play


In play a child always behaves beyond his average age, above his daily behavior. In play it is as though he were a head taller than himself.

- Lev Vygotsky 

10:00-10:15 Break


10:15-10:45 Virtual Play Exercise

10:45-11:30 Educational Play Exercise

11:30-12:00 Wrap-up and Final Comments

It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.

- Leo Buscaglia 



Do not keep children to their studies by compulsion but by play.

- Plato











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