DreamLab is the process and culture of development that we have designed to populate the curriculum within the PlayMaker school. It comprises a think tank of teachers and creatives devoted to making sure the schools professional development and curriculum creation capture the same vibrant, playful, and research-based practices within the GameDesk Institute.
Often teachers work solitarily, creating lesson plans on their own and using them repeatedly. The DreamLab process operates outside this model, offering a shared ideation space and process for best practices in 21st Century lesson planning and teaching techniques resulting in innovative play-making activities for students. The PlayMaker teachers and staff work with voices from academia, the entertainment industry, and the Maker Movement, to provide learning objectives and feedback to effectively build PlayMaker’s interactive and gaming curriculum experiences.
The DreamLab process produces rapid-fire app and game teaching tools and best practices, marrying both high-tech and low tech to easily and clearly communicate concepts and knowledge to teachers.
DreamLab Bootcamps: Taking the process nationwide
The #1 question we receive from other teachers and administrators is “how can I get this into my school and classroom.” In response, GameDesk now offers DreamLab BootCamp, a professional development program built to bring GameDesk‘s vibrant, playful, and academically rigorous learning platforms to schools across the U.S. Through DreamLab BootCamp, we bring the PlayMaker curriculum development model directly to educators, while partnering with them to create their own curriculum. The BootCamp sessions can consist of either in-house or remote training.
The program moves participants from ideation into hands-on experimentation and role-play, using a specific challenge or goal to create result-oriented solutions.
Some recent DreamLab sessions include:
GameChanger and AppBlaster: Collaborating with teachers to design concrete and packaged standards- aligned teaching activities around standalone 3rd party games or apps.
CyberSocrates: Turning declarative teaching methods into Socratic methods of facilitating games and technology.
Digital Infusion: Transforming traditional teaching practices into digitally-infused learning experiences.
LowtechNOtech: How to turn classrooms into PlayMaker experiences with limited bandwidth and low tech infrastructure.
Faster Than You Think: How to rapid-fire generate new high tech/low tech/no tech PlayMaker curriculum.
You Can Do It, We Promise!: Transforming teacher attitudes and habits of mind toward the potential of technology and games in the classroom.
Fun and Engaging, But What Are They Learning?: Formatively evaluating approaches around play and making activities, using research-driven pathways to assess knowledge.
DreamLab reinforces each session’s accomplishments by creating supportive materials for participants to bring back to their classrooms. These include Snapguides, lesson plans, teacher facilitation guides, student workbooks and assessment materials. GameDesk can also provide follow-up support and assessment to ensure that teachers are successfully implementing what they learned and developed.