At a staff technology training session last week, I made the “tongue-cheek” comment that the participants were engaged in “play-based learning” as they continued to explore and experiment with the creation of a their websites. At the time, I was joking with the participants, encouraging them to be comfortable with tinkering with a new digital tool; but upon reflection, I’m thinking it might be a pretty solid model that we should be using more often for professional learning.
One of the wonderful aspects of my new position is that it gives me the opportunity to engage with teachers in self-directed professional development. Because of this, it allows for some of the key principles of play-based learning to be integrated into the workshops. Autonomy by the participants is one of these components, and John Seely Brown states that participants also need to become comfortable with tinkering and experimentation. To me, that sounds a PD model we should be doing more of, and not just letting our kindergarten students have all the fun!