Let's Bring "Play" into Education

“Play will be to the 21st century what work was to the last 300 years of industrial society—our dominant way of knowing, doing and creating value.” - Pat Kane, author of The Play Ethic

"Play" is something that I think is missing in education today.  Learning should be fun. Learning should be messy.  Learning should be exciting.  And learning should be imaginative.  We should be able to laugh and celebrate our mistakes and find joy in our accomplishments.  We should embrace the Lifelong Kindergarten mentalityusing "technologies, that in the spirit of the blocks and paint of kindergarten, expand the range of what people can design, create, and learn." - MIT Media Lab

Dan Pink tells us that there is no question that a playfully light attitude is characteristic of creative individuals [2].  And new research tells us that we need more creative individuals in the workplace.

Believe it or not, there is a distinct difference between work and play.  According to Pink, "Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do" [3].  Therefore, our job as educators should be to make work ... seem more like play.

Fortunately, we have a simple solution, right under our noses.  Google is about to bring "Play" into education.  Soon, Google will launch Google Play for Education which will use Google Play to enhance the quality and joy of teaching and learning:

"Google will soon expand its education offering to include Nexus tablets and Google Play for Education. Schools will enjoy the ease and portability of tablets together with highly engaging educational resources. And whether it's one classroom or one thousand, schools can easily manage tablets, and discover, purchase, and distribute content and apps with ease."

With Google Play for Education, teachers and students will be able to access their favorite music, movies, books, apps and more all in one place.  Moreover, management is a synch!  Forget about cables, file transfer and hassles. Teacher and student content will always sync across devices, automatically!  Finally, teachers and students will be able to access their content wherever they are on their Android device or on the web. 

If you want to be informed when the program launches later this year, complete this form.

Let's do our students a favor, and bring "Play" into education!

  1. Kane, P. (2004). The play ethic: a manifesto for a different way of living. London: Macmillan.
  2. Pink, D. (2005). A whole new mind: Moving from the information age to the conceptual age. New York, NY: Riverhead Books.
  3. Pink, D. (2009). Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us. New York, NY: Riverhead Books.