Inspire Innovate 2010


  1. Games are a shared experience.
  2. Games build community  – they are played socially at school.
  3. Meaning is constructed as a group – individuals contribute to group understandings.
  4. Language is played with – used in different ways to make different meanings.
  5. Language becomes more visible through a game – it has shared context, shared understandings and shared meanings.
  6. The experience, and the consequent language, is like “playdough” – it can be added to, moulded, pulled apart, re-arranged, viewed, discussed, evaluated, improved; first as a group, then individually; first orally and then written.
  7. Immersion in the experience is child-centred, lots of time is spent on student initiated and led exploration of the game and/ or the game world. Students become part of the experience: In the game directly: Participating in the game – manipulating the characters and events – “living the game”: As a springboard for real life, authentic learning.
  8. Learning outcomes are planned in detail – shared explicitly with students to support meta-language and deep knowledge.
  9. Learning indicators are specific and focused: one scene or setting, one character or one object.





Endless Oceans – Tom Barrett



Cooking Mama LTS Consolarium

Nintendogs – LTS Consolarium

Samba De Amigo – LTS Consolarium


  • Authentic, real world tasks
  • Rich tasks
  • Cross-curricula
  • Creative – many ways to fulfill the assessment
  • On and off the computer
  • Expands across KLAs
  • Whole class input
  • Contract work



Dolphin Island HSIE, S&T

wiiSports Maths – Tom Barrett

Drawn to Life English – Writing

Brain Training & Maths Training – LTS Consolarium


  • More focused on one KLA area
  • Individual, pairs, trios, smaller groups


Peter Richardson has a site that features a collaborative list of wii games and associated Year levels and activity focus.




Start with learning outcomes

Identify a game to support intended outcomes

Mind map, backward map, Blooms/Multiple Intelligences matrix.

Real world, authentic tasks.

Shuffling along!


Standing in line for a coffee,

Tired, and feeling brain dead.

On a break from an all day workshop

Something  great happened instead!


“Thank you for wearing our T-shirts,”

the Pearson people say.

“Have an ipod with best wishes,

and we hope you have a good day!”


We couldn’t believe our extreme good luck

But this we have to say:

“Thanks so much to Pearson Ed

and their T-shirts we wore today!”


Back Chat or Start a Conversation


A fun aspect of the presentation was the backchannel chat that occurred alongside the streamed version of the session. I can’t remember the name of the application Will used, but he videoed the session live and the viewers watching live were able to chat along as they watched the session.

The comments and quips came quick and fast as people asked questions, requested more info, passed comment and shared insights. Very enjoyable, but really fast paced and a little scary for a newbie 😉

“We write to connect – to publish as a mid point – to converse and engage. There is no final copy – we can articulate our ideas to a certain extent – but we put it out there to be read and to be pushed.

We publish because we want to engage in the conversation.

World Map is the child’s classroom. “I ask my readers”

Connective writing – real audience and real purpose to engage with people – to expand efforts and knowledge.”

Will walks the walk – his sessions really encouraged you to push your own ideas, and the chat with others also pushed Will’s ideas along as well.

Image: ‘speech‘



Play is Vital



TED Talk: “Why play is vital – no matter your age” presented by Dr Stuart Brown from the National Institute for Play in New York.

Dr Brown’s research indicates that there is a strong correlation between success and playful activity. Play is an altered state, and it’s this state that allows us to explore the possible.

Play changes or overrides:

  •       Nature
  •       Behaviour
  •       Outcomes

Types of play as identified by Dr Brown:

Body play – spontaneous desire to escape gravity – playing for play’s sake – no purpose but the joy of play

Object play – play is practical and need curiosity and exploration with our hands to help solve problems

Social play – if you want to belong

Rough and tumble play – learning medium for all, be chaotic and develop emotional regulation

Spectator play

Ritual play

Imaginative play — Internal narrative story

Solo play

Our own play history is unique and personal, and can be a transforming force.

Importance of play to creative thinking leading from Mihaley Csikszentmihalyi’s idea of

FLOW = fully immersed in what they are doing

= energised focus

= full involvement

= success in the process


What has this to do with learning and learning using games?

It reaffirms the “permission to play” idea I was interested in exploring by adding to this idea in these ways:

  •       Play is a biological human need.
  •       Play releases the passion within us.
  •       Play enables humans to form trusting relationships.
  •       Play enables humans to safely explore, to be curious, to connect, and to learn.
  •       Play helps contextual memory of events, places, and people.
  •       Play empowers humans, and enriches life experiences.
  •       Play is a freedom and an opportunity.


Here is the talk – 26 minutes in total.


Image: ‘Play with the Earth‘