Where Does Play Happen?
When we ask where does play happen? We are asking what environments are conducive to play. We as human beings shape our environment through our activities. We manufacture a synthetic reality in which we normalize into our everyday. At this junction in time, we are interacting with the physical world less and less. It is undeniable that we have relegated our existence to the computer and the iPhone screen. Since we devote most of our lives to the digital world, it does not seem preposterous to house the idea that play as an educational model could exist in the digital environment. One might even say that the digital environment is the new dwelling for human coexistence.
We should critically examine the environment in which we engage education. How might the adoption of the digital medium influence us to adopt a more playful pedagogy? For way too long we have relied on the banking model of education. Way too often educators, who think they are in control or know everything, teach students in the same way that they have been taught. A classroom that should have been an open environment to learn and test new ideas became a prison with the educator as the warden. Especially now Post 2020, where we adopted the online model of education. Those very educators think that because the web and the computers can deliver information very easily, they bombard their students with copious amounts of information, references, and so on in the hopes that the student will learn from that. That way of teaching might work with an A.I. but is that the right way of training humans? Students often get bored after two or three readings and it is a lot of work parsing through that much data. I believe that we should not be taught like robots as then that would only make us more susceptible to be replaced by the robots of the future.
I think education can exist in the digital. We just have not been educating in the right way. We should be playing more in the digital environment. It is undeniable that we have become technologically dependent as a species and that technological proficiency will be of utmost importance in the foreseeable future. I have to note that I am not talking about how well a student can use Microsoft Word to type an essay or go online and do research. What I am talking about is how well a student adapts and plays around in the digital environment and plays around with different software to produce the product or project they want. How creatively they can manipulate software and not become a slave to the tools they use.
The world is changing so fast with new technology and software coming out every week. Students need to adapt to these changes. Although, play can exist anywhere. It has become apparent that we need to be playing more in the digital environment. For the sake of simplicity,
We Should Be Playing Digitally.