Discomfort in Play

Currently, I am working on my K-12 Online Keynote which has been a real stretch in my learning.  The title that I have (so far) is “Playing in Public”, and the basis of the idea is that we are seeing a shift of people learning and struggling (openly) online.

Now I have been struggling not only with the creation of the video, but also the idea of “play”, which is the theme of this conference.  The term “play” to me, has always been synonymous with fun.  But when I stepped back and thought about the times that I “played”, fun wasn’t always apparent but engagement was.  Playing basketball (which I loved) was often times frustrating, but part of that frustration was what put me in that state of “flow” that kept me always wanting to get better.   Thinking of video games, how many times have I actually thrown the controller down on the ground after losing, to only pick it back up, and jump right back in.  Play to me, is not always fun, but I am always interested and challenged in whatever it is that I am pursuing.  If it is too easy, you will lose interest.

To document this, I have been looking at some of the “open learning” and engagement that I have seen around the world, and we have also tried to implement this in our learning within our school division.  I do not think it would be fair to show how some people struggled openly, and not do it myself, so instead of simply standing in front of a camera, I am learning for the first time, how to do some video editing and trying to create a mini-documentary.  This has been a struggle, but with every success, I become more engaged in the process, and actually want to do more.  Sometimes I go back to the default “throwing the controller on the ground” feeling but I am loving it the more I go through the process.   If I am not okay with struggling in something, how could I ask others to do the same?

So here’s to a long week (I have may have procrastinated a wee bit) of work ahead but I am really excited about the end product, whatever it may be.  I am not sure if anyone will watch it in the end, but this is something that I have wanted to learn to do for a long time, and sometimes having that little push is all you need.

Below is the beginning of my work and maybe a sign of things to come :)  I would love any of your thoughts on “play” and learning; they would be greatly helpful going into this week!



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