Themes included constructionist vs. instructionist learning – “making games” vs. “playing games” to learn ( ), an approach that I was fortunate enough to explore in detail through a project I consulted for at USC's Information Sciences Institute: PedGames (run by and ). A little more on PedGames in my blog:
We also talked about having active, aware learners – rather than creating games that hide the learning process in a “stealthy” or covert way (which could put a negative slant on learning rather than empowering the learner to take ownership of the process). This is in contrast to a lot of theories that have been around for a few decades – possibly part of the backlash that occurred in response to the subpar “edutainment” games that were much more about overt learning than having fun. We’ve learned a lot since then!
Finally, there was some discussion on teaching as a form of learning – where students take charge of finding out what they don’t know, and share their new knowledge (or assumptions) with others. We’ve seen a dramatic rise in YouTube tutorials created by “non-professionals” – contributing to what I’ve referred to as “the age of the amateur” (in the most positive, original sense of the word: “a person who does something for the love of it”). This in conjunction with of a method of teaching shared by Salman Khan and others, including (where educators who don’t have “all the answers” go find them through research and then share them with their students), a form of collaborative (dare I say “crowdsourced”) form of education is taking hold.