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The Importance of Play

A blog post that uses Scratch as an example of the importance of play and creative expression in learning and cognitive development.

Futures of Learning is a collective blog dedicated to the topic of new media and learning. The members of the blog are part of a project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, that is conducting an international survey of research in the field. They are focusing on two areas. One is an international review of research on how people are adopting digital and networked media. The second area is a review of learning institutions that are incorporating new media in innovative ways.

From the introduction of the blog post about Scratch:

"In the previous posts, we reviewed innovative uses of digital media within community libraries and museums that are designed specifically to provide visitors and patrons access to digital archives, virtual tours, and vast collections of cultural heritage materials.  We also reviewed efforts to use digital media to involve visitors and patrons in the creation of new knowledge through the development of tagging activities, collaborative curating, and games for learning.  The following posts consider another set of activities going on at the edges of these institutions that suggest other efforts to transform informal learning experiences for library and museum participants.  As John Seely Brown (Hagel and Brown, 2005) famously asserts:  “to transform the core, start at the edge.” We’re interested in these edge projects because they offer another set of ideas about how community libraries and museums could function as part of 21st century distributed learning networks.  These efforts foster learning by providing opportunities for physical engagement with a range of objects and environments (from the material to the virtual).  In this post, we discuss the examples of (1) toy lending libraries and (2) the user-friendly authoring/designing environment called Scratch.  These efforts emphasize the importance of play and creative expression in learning and cognitive development."


Flavia Dyer

The blog is very interesting and useful!  Thanks, I think my students already have and will benefit even more  by using SCRATCH.