This year at ISTE 2018 in Chicago we designed the Playground experience as Serious Play in the City of Chicago.

As learners we want to experience play in our learning to remind us how much fun it is to discover and make. Our Creative Director, Kurt envisioned a playground capturing the sights and sounds go the city. With support from Apple and The Apple Distinguished Educator Program the playground came to life. iPads, Pencils and Beats Headphones enhanced the learning experience. A special thanks to Maxx Judd, Kelly Gillis and the entire Apple Team for you commitment to ADEs and the Playground.

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At the welcome center each participant was greeted by an Apple Distinguished Educator who gave an overview of the stations and offered a ticket to ride with stops at each play station. The concept was hop on and off at the Park, The City, The Museum and more to experience a sense of wonder and play. For each learner the hands on activities and learning opportunities made it is easy to see how simple it can be to bring these activities to the classroom.

At each of our play stations stops, Apple Distinguished Educators shared their stories and expertise with the learners. Our station stops were called The City that included activities like Rush Hour: Navigate your Uber Spher, The MeeBot Crew, and Grand Master Skoog. At the Park play was about  Urban Nature: Creating a Field Guide with Pages and Zen Garden: Creating Park Sounds with Music Memos plus Photo Walks and Sketch notes of Observational Drawings. Everyone was creating new content through shared learning. 

Other stations like The Ball Park, Sound City Studios, The Museum, The Library, Genius Square, The Arcade Hall,  Hotspots, The Murals, The Coffee Shop were stops along the ride and tickets were punched for the chance to win JPL Swag.  The Theatre and The Lab were stories from ADEs around the world who all use Apple Technology to enhance teaching and learning. 

Our numbers proved that play leads to engagement and investment in learning. Thank you to all 1,046 individuals attending during the 4 hour playground and staying between 18-24 minutes each on average. (Data provide by ISTE)

At the Joy of Professional Learning we love being Learning Planners crafting personalized events in collaboration with conference and schools leaders for teachers as learners first.