The Institute for Play promotes Play To Learn. A PlaySpace is an area where you can learn by exploring. While we encourage it in the early part of education (PlaySchools), we seem to drop it as a complement to the more traditional learning methods. Incorporating play into learning is not easy. First there is the issue of the mindset of teachers and parents about play itself. A second issue is the delicate balance between play to entertain and play to learn. I first came across the concept of playing to learn, when I read Seymour Papert’s
So a computer lab is like that too: it’s possible to get in trouble, mess up, attract peer pressure, make friends, make enemies. The interactions are complex, especially if you factor in broadband and so many relationships with remote others, via IM, elists and the rest of it.
Fortunately, this isn’t about monoculture. Computers have the potential to amplify the indigenous, to anchor the key memes, whatever these might be.
the computer lab itself is used in both modes: lots of free “play time” when you’re encouraged to explore your own favorite topics; other time when you’ve picked from a list, and now stick with it for awhile, learning the discipline (same as in sports, learning judo, kung fu, archery or whatever — takes practice, teachers, and a dutiful frame of mind).