Revolutionary Learning New York Style

It’s hot hot hot! in New York, I am here for the Revolutionary Learning Conference, the first ever for Excelsior College’s Center for Games and Simulation Learning and it’s 90 degrees on the street. The Hotel Roosevelt is a classic art deco Manhattan hotel with creaky gold elevators and beautifully decorated ceilings . Yesterday we walked through a sizzling city centre punctuated by siren noises and mixed aromas (and parks and green spaces) to visit the Institute of Play. I was very impressed with the Quest2Learn School development (Initiated and developed by the Institute of Play) where all lessons are conducted in a playful and gameful learning way with a quest as part of the learning experience. The School still has to comply with all the tests and evaluation that every state school has to go through, but they have proved that this method of playful learning achieves better results and produces students with improved soft skills.

DMLL Team with Ian Livingstone New York August 2016

There are great crossovers with the Livingstone Academies that Ian Livingstone spoke about in his keynote. One of the hot topics I am interested in is Virtual Reality and it strikes me that as vacuum capture technologies improve, motion capture labs will close or change, perhaps demanding the new skills that need to be learned and may create the 65% of jobs that current thinking claims our generation Z will be doing, that we haven’t even thought of yet. Interesting stuff here which will inform my research into the post digital humanities and playful learning .

Revolutionary Learning Roosevelt Hotel New York August 2016

A lot of the chat at the conference is about bringing humanity into technology and as we pass the uncanny valley we may have to accept that in future we will end up with a simulated carer, which may free up our relatives to do the most important role of someone to talk to and hug. 
As I left the city I reflected on the virtual world versus the real world and realised that the face to face “meeting and greeting” we did at the conference will stay with me far longer than any digital communications. Digital interactions enhance and facilitate wider education and communication but the best ones are facilitated by humans.