What is “Frontiers in Playful Learning”?
Frontiers in Playful Learning is a three-day conference organized by scholars of games and playful learning at the University of Connecticut to support discussion and collaboration concerning interdisciplinary game- and play-based teaching, research, design, and outreach strategies. We hope to connect educators, researchers, and other stakeholders to explore the relationships between game- and play-based teaching and learning, contemporary learning sciences research, play-based problem solving, and the future of instructional game/play research and design.
Although all are welcome, we especially encourage the participation of scholars with multiple years’ experience in the realm of play-based teaching and research.
When is Frontiers in Playful Learning 2023?
Frontiers in Playful Learning 2023 will take place from WEDNESDAY, 31 MAY 2023 through FRIDAY, 2 JUNE 2023.
Where is Frontiers in Playful Learning 2023?
Frontiers in Playful Learning 2023 will be held at the University of Connecticut Storrs campus, with events split between the Information Technologies Engineering Building and the Wilbur Cross North Reading Room.
How much does it cost to register for Frontiers in Playful Learning 2023?
General Registration is TBD (Estimated ~$250 Per Attendee).
Student Registration is TBD.
What is the COVID policy for Frontiers in Playful Learning 2023?
The University of Connecticut adheres to CDC guidance and policy set forth by the State of Connecticut. Vaccination is REQUIRED for all UConn students, faculty, and staff. Signage throughout campus provides the broader community with relevant precautions and policies.
UConn monitors wastewater and conducts random sampling of students, faculty, and staff to track prevalence of COVID-19. Data concerning the university’s public health efforts and case numbers are available at: https://coviddashboard.uconn.edu/
For additional information about masking and other on-campus protocols, please visit our COVID-19 Protocols page.
There are already several conferences about play, games, and education. Why organize another?
Because games and play have expanded into and across so many domains over the last decade, there are now multiple avenues of connecting teachers, industry professionals, academics, gamers/fans, and others within the macro community of practice. This has been extremely helpful in terms of building different kinds of connections between stakeholders, but it has also diluted discourse explicitly centered on academic/scholarly facets of game- and play-based research and design.
It is our hope that by bringing together scholars, researchers, and educators as a subset of the broader community, Frontiers in Playful Learning will be able to offer a unified, forward-looking vision for scholarship-oriented game design and playful teaching/learning practices capable of informing/benefitting other community subsets and stakeholder groups.
Why is registration for Frontiers in Playful Learning 2023 limited?
There are three reasons for limiting registration to Frontiers in Playful Learning 2023:
- Planning around COVID-related space and ventilation restrictions;
- Maintaining a small-scale/personalized atmosphere to maximize one-on-one (vs. one-to-many) dialog between attendees;
- Leveraging emergent one-on-one conversations to develop scholarly goals and theories of practice to be shared with the broader games/play community via other events
Because of this attendance limit, REGISTRATION IS FIRST-COME-FIRST-SERVED. Please register as soon as possible to secure your spot.
What topics will be covered at Frontiers in Playful Learning 2023?
Frontiers in Playful Learning 2023 will consist of multiple events, some pre-organized and some emergent.
Mornings will open with traditional panel discussions and presentations from researchers, educators, and designers who belong to various academic institutions around the United States, Canada, and EU. Afternoons, by contrast, will feature ‘unconference’-style breakout sessions followed by open play in our Community Arcade, where board, card, video, roleplaying, VR, and other games will be available for general use (hosted in Wilbur Cross North Reading Room).
Generally speaking, topics will include:
- Contemporary game- and play-based instructional implementations and research/scholarship
- Future goals for the instructional/academic subset of the broader game/play community
- Design of game- and play-based materials for teaching and learning
- Problem solving and creativity in the context of games and play
- Accessibility and universality in design and research
- Connections between game/play-based scholarship and emerging career pathways
- Fostering research collaborations between academic institutions
- Strategies for improving equity (e.g., technology, funding, training / travel resources, scholarships)
- Platforming voices from across the game- and play-based research community
Does Frontiers in Playful Learning have a theme?
Because Frontiers in Playful Learning 2023 is meant to be a space for open-ended, emergent discussion about game- and play-based instruction and research, there is no specific theme. However, we have an unofficial standing goal to pursue THE PATH FORWARD for our subset of the games/play community, including:
- Energizing scholarly discourse about game- and play-based teaching and learning research goals, methodologies, and findings;
- Connecting members of the game- and play-based academic community who are using tabletop and digital games for instruction and/or designing tabletop and digital games to deliver intellectual, educational, and creative content; and
- Providing an open-ended, playful context for discussion about current scholarly work in game- and play-based teaching and learning (e.g., Virtual Reality, Alternate Reality, Table-top RPGs, Living Card Games, Massively Multiplayer Online gaming, narrative game design, instructional games, esports, etc.)
Is food included in the registration cost?
Yes! Frontiers in Playful Learning attendees will have ALL meals provided as part of their registration:
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks (Days 1 & 2)
- Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks (Day 3)
- Free drink ticket (one per evening, Days 1 & 2)
For those seeking alternative options, the university is within walking distance of multiple local restaurants and businesses in Downtown Storrs.
Visit our Meals page for specific location and menu information.
Can Frontiers in Playful Learning accommodate individual dietary needs/restrictions?
Absolutely! Simply indicate your specific dietary needs/restrictions during the registration process, and we will ensure there is always a great meal available for you alongside the standard food offerings.
Is lodging available for overnight stays?
Yes! The University of Connecticut Storrs campus is home to The Graduate Storrs hotel, which is a very brief walk (<5 minutes) from all conference venues (FREE bike rentals are available; inquire at the front desk). A block rate is available for all Frontiers in Playful Learning attendees (pending night-to-night fluctuations in pricing).
For more information or to book your room, visit our Travel Information page.
What is the parking situation for Frontiers in Playful Learning?
General Registration includes a parking pass for either UConn South Parking Garage OR The Graduate Hotel.
- Regular parking for individuals staying at The Graduate Storrs is approximately $9.50 per day (lot located directly adjacent to the hotel).
- Regular parking for individuals traveling into Storrs each day is available via the university’s North Garage or South Garage at a cost of $15 per day OR the public garage located in Downtown Storrs at a cost of $8 per day.
Is there airport access for Frontiers in Playful Learning?
Yes! The University of Connecticut Storrs campus is located roughly 35-minutes from Bradley International Airport (Windsor Locks, CT) and roughly 90-minutes from Logan International Airport (Boston, MA). Shuttle, bus, and ride-sharing services are available to bring travelers to/from the university.
Does Frontiers in Playful Learning have any sponsors?
Frontiers in Playful Learning is sponsored by the UConn Two Summers Educational Technology MA/SD Program.
Students in the UConn Two Summers Educational Technology MA/SD Program interact with a wide array of emerging technologies in a state-of-the-art, wireless bring-your-own-device (BYOD) facility featuring instructional games/simulations, virtual reality equipment, drones, robots, assistive technology resources, and video conferencing tools. Enrollees earn a Masters or Sixth Year degree by attending face-to-face courses for just one week during two consecutive summers, fulfilling other requirements through fully-online environments connected through a long-term, growth-oriented eportfolio.
The Two Summers Program creates opportunities for students to:
- Explore learning strategies focused on new digital literacies / critical discernment for the online world
- Participate in an online community that connects learners with knowledgeable colleagues and UConn faculty
- Compile a rich electronic portfolio of practical, course-based artifacts
Through an innovative instructional approach, students develop proficiency through:
- Experiencing a unique balance of online and on-campus learning
- Focusing on a combination of personal productivity and the application of emerging technologies to work spaces
- Cooperatively demonstrating technological knowledge, visionary leadership, and planning skills in their classroom environments
Learn more about UConn Two Summers via the UConn Educational Technology homepage.