According to Flow Theory, when people reflect on how it feels when their experience is most positive, they mention at least one, and often all, of the following:
1. We confront tasks we have a chance of completing;
2. We must be able to concentrate on what we are doing;
3. The task has clear goals;
4. The task provides immediate feedback;
5. One acts with deep, but effortless involvement, that removes from awareness the worries and frustrations of everyday life;
6. One exercises a sense of control over their actions;
7. Concern for the self disappears, yet, paradoxically the sense of self emerges stronger after the flow experience is over; and
8. The sense of duration of time is altered.
The combination of all these elements causes a sense of deep enjoyment that is so rewarding people feel that expending a great deal of energy is worthwhile simply to be able to feel it. Games it appears to me are wrapped around substantives – in that they describe the time, the place, the objects etc., It is the verbs that are used that create the game play. How different these are in game-play makes it all the more interesting that game designers manage to hold the players attention, when largely it could be skipped in favour of mastering the game routines. So I wonder, if players can essentially learn to skip the substantives – ignore the narrative – if they are not facing the same dilemma as teachers – in attempting to deter surface learning – but because they utlise ‘fun’ and ‘flow’ – I wonder how effective the Web2.0 toolkit is in creating Flow inside the current education paradigm. If the answer is yes — then we have some very valuable teachers amongst us. I don’t see a null hypothesis — but do we have these people in key leadership positions – and if not why?