The New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the imagination for a World of Constant Change


Understanding the New Context

  • The most significant new learning environments within games are guilds

    • Guilds are made up of 100+ people
    • There is a structure of leadership and responsibility a leadership structure with responsibility
    • Everyone participates to advance the greater good of the guild
    • The success of the guild lies in its ability to synchronize efforts to solve problems
    • The learning space is fluid, changing and dynamic
  • Solutions are not discovered but organically grown - the petri dish

external image pfa-petri-dish.jpg

  • All of the connected information are the nutrients for the petri dish

  • Exploration, play, experimentation cultivate the information

  • The guild allows them to discover what is important

  • Focus on what they want to learn

  • "If a game is good, you never play it the same way twice" (p. 111)

The Virtual Space of the Collective Indwelling

  • In a virtual game the players know the parameters of the game but they don't know exactly what will happen

  • There is more than one way to succeedexternal image multiple-paths-to-online-conversion.jpg

    • Having the right information is not enough to succeed
    • Experimentation is a more organic way of learning
  • Collective Indwelling

    • Belief that all the group members share an understanding of each other, their environment, and practices necessary to complete the task (p. 113)
    • "...resides in and provokes the imagination." (p. 113)
    • Performance is tied to the group
    • Both personal and collective

Shared Imagination

  • Ability to play may be most important skill of 21st century

    • Play involves a questing disposition
    • Questing disposition: "Questing is an activity that is central to most large-scale online games, and it presumes a number of things. Chief among them is that the world provides multiple resources and avenues for solving problems and that solutions are invented as much as they are implemented. The key to questing is not typical problem solving. It is innovation" (p. 114)
    • Innovation is pulling together resources and experimenting
  • Interaction "We look to gamers because they don't just embrace change, they demand it. Their world is in a state of constant flux, and it must continually be reinvented and reimagined through acts of collective imagination" (p.115)

    • Shared sense of imagination is the object of collective indwelling
    • Collective drives constant change

What Really Counts

  • The world of gaming shows how fun learning can be

  • Imagination can't be measured

AMD Gamer's Manifesto
AMD Gamer's Manifesto
Gamers routinely integrate new knowledge into their play

    • Able to learn from mistakes almost immediately
  • No finite answers

    • When there is a difficult problem that can't be solved they turn to the collective for help
    (Gamers are at the center of development)

Playing to Learn

  • Play is the central tool for inverting the traditional hierarchy of learning and knowing

  • Play fuses 2 elements of learning which are accelerated in a collective

    1. Information
    2. Experimentation, growth and evolution that emerge our of play
  • It is essential to use answers to find better questions

  • New form of culture

    • Knowledge is fluid and evolving
    • Personal is enhanced by the collective
    • Play of imagination

Final Thought

  • A perfect learning environment is when participants are constantly building, measuring and evaluating their performance, learning happens on a continuous basis, participants are motivated - this exists in the new generation of games


"Connecting play and imagination may be the single most importantstep in unleashing the new culture of learning"(Thomas & Brown, 2011, p. 118)