"Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won!" - Theodor Geisel (Dr Seuss)

Games based learning is a hot subject right now. Listening to James Paul Gee and Nichola Whitton speaking about video games has me thinking about the impact of games on education.

With 3D printers, we are able to address problems we have never solved before. In the medical and engineering professions, we are seeing real advances in understanding because of the affordances of additive manufacturing. Doctors can 3D print a heart or other organ to see exactly what they need to do to treat a disease. Engineers can get to the crux of the problem by 3D printing a structure or part of a machine to find new solutions.
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I recently wrote a blogpost entitled 'Maker Pedagogy' where I outlined some of the emerging educational benefits of learning through making. The rise in popularity of FabLabs (Fabrication laboratories) and Makerspaces has highlighted the positive aspects of learning through the process of designing, fixing, mending, problem solving, using tools, repurposing and creating new objects.
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Learning is changing, but are schools systems and testing methods keeping pace with these changes? Should they? In a recent BBC TV interview, the head of the examination and qualifications organisation OCR, Mark Dawe, argued that exams and other testing should change to accommodate the new ways of learning that are emerging.
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This is a continuation from my last blog post on the affordances of learning technology. In the last post, Access to Knowledge, I wrote about how technology has made access to content - and thus to knowledge - easier and open to all. Of course, the caveat is that access to content that is open requires users to be able to discern good from bad content. There are further caveats when we use technology to learn.

Learning is opening up like never before. Open learning was originally used to describe the opening up on education to previously disenfranchised individuals - those who had not followed the traditional pathways to education. In the 70s and 80s, many people suddenly had a chance to pursue a degree when the open universities were established. The British Open University for example, was nicknamed 'the university of the second chance'. As a concept, openness began to gain purchase.
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