By Melissa Peterson
Melissa Peterson is the organizer and moderator of #NASAGAchat, as well as a passionate advocate for games-based and STEM learning in her work as a games-based learning designer. Her company, GameCognito, is a small design firm for immersive learning experiences, working with small companies and non-profits to meet their training and education needs.
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A year ago, we started an experiment within NASAGA. We asked ourselves, “How can we extend the conference experience throughout the rest of the year?” And from this question, #NASAGAchat was born. Twice a month (give or take a few holidays), a group of us got together on Twitter and discussed topics related to games-based, simulation-based and action-based learning. The first of these was held in February of2013 and so we just celebrated the first anniversary of #NASAGachat!
This chat was, and is, open to all comers. It has sparked many lively discussions and even attracted a few new NASAGA members. Most recently, we have talked about games as systems of information, how to begin the design process, and the passion we all bring to this field.
The great thing about this chat, though, is not the conversation sparking topics, but the people who consistently take time out on Tuesday nights to come and discuss. As we all know, NASAGA is one of the best conferences to go to because it causes such deep conversations with like-minded peers. Each chat has been a lovely mix of new practitioners and experts, video game players and board game enthusiasts, students and professors, and trainers and educators. Each of us functions as a learner and a teacher, asking questions and adding our ideas to the process in a near free-for-all of discussion. At #NASAGAchat, the inmates are truly running the asylum.
We look forward to the next year of the chat, and hope that more NASAGA members will join us as we continue to discuss the theory and practice of experiential learning. As we did last year, we will continue to post transcripts of the chats for those who cannot join us live, and we encourage further discussion on Facebook, Twitter, or the website forums!
Transcripts for the last year of #NASAGAchat can be found here: http://storify.com/mwbtle#stories
Please join us on Twitter on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month, at 9 PM eastern time, or continue the discussion online with the transcripts! We are always looking for new topics and guest moderators, so please let us know if you have ideas, new work to talk about or would like to help out!