TLV11, Good Game, Good Heavens.

Huge week at TLV Conference in Queensland which had such a wide variety of things and people, it renewed a waning interest in such things. Case studies of building drone aircraft, Stephen Heppell talking about the future of learning spaces, Gilly Salmon reviewing technology, Steve Collis with his animated presentation on learning design and Adrian Camm talking about learning using a cyberpunk narrative … something for everyone – a real 360 degree view of what’s possible, rather than anyone yelling about how teachers must change from a lofty hyperbole. Check out the #tlc11 hashtag if you want to have a look at some of the event.

But for us, the weekend brings more play – as Massively Minecraft is at it’s busiest on the weekend, with kids around the world showing up to build their community and welcome this week’s new players. As I mentioned in my presentation, we are not playing by the rules when it comes to game based learning – not least because we are passionate about the power of play to help parents see the amazing capabilities of their kids when they get busy with their creativity. This week’s Good Game Spawn Point aired this morning, and there are plenty of our players featured in the video. We expected about 10 people to show up to be honest, and we’re blown away when the number went past 100. Not only that parents didn’t drop off kids, but stayed to play and talk about games and design all morning.

Here’s the video off my iPhone. It’s kind of crappy, but I wanted to get the reaction of the family as they saw the game on TV. If this isn’t authentic learning, I don’t know what is.

Here’s a video Jo made to show some of the things that happen in the game.

I did manage to spend some time talking with Stephen Heppell about the value of family in kid’s learning, and though I didn’t puppy dog him, what he suggested was very useful – as was the feedback and ideas from everyone in the conference which wasn’t limited to games. In particular, I really liked The North School. It was a great example of connecting young kids to industry and univeristy, and a very clever way to transform the use of ICT, buy not having an ICT agenda as the driver, and they are keen to collaborate with other schools and experts to further give kids a diverse leaning experience.

All in all, I got this big sense that school cannot be about students and teachers, if they want to claim they are 21st Century. Writing it on the side of a bus isn’t the same. To me it doesn’t matter what sector or system you are in – if you see yourself only in that space, you are now competing with everyone outside it – and lots of those (us) are not playing by the rules.