Early this morning, I had the opportunity to join Katie Salen, Randall Fujimoto, Vanessa Camilleri, and Howard Rheingold in a livestreamed Google+ hangout to discuss what game design might contribute to the design of connected learning.

Katie Salen locates her work in the field of game design and serves as the Executive Director of a non-profit called the Institute of Play that is focused on games and learning. She is also Professor of Games and Digital Media at DePaul University. She has helped to launch two schools, Quest to Learn and Chicago Quest.

The discussion was centred around the principles underlying a learning model that uses the intrinsic qualities of game design and play to reimagine what learning might look like for youth.

Katie talked about the core principles of how games work that guided the design of a school system. These included:

    • create a need to know organising learning around solving complex problems set in engaging contexts
    • offer a space of possibility through the design of rules for learners to tinker, explore, hypothesise and test assumptions
    • build opportunities for authority and expertise to be shared and distributed, i.e. learning is reciprocal among learners, mentors and teachers
    • support multiple overlapping pathways towards mastery