The next Playful Learning conference will take place in Manchester on 11-13th July, 2018.

Playful Learning is pitched at the intersection of learning and play for adults. Playful in approach and outlook, yet underpinned by robust research and working practices, we provided a space where teachers, researchers and students could play, learn and think together. A space to meet other playful people and be inspired by talks, workshops, activities and events. Based in the heart of Manchester, we also explore some of the city’s playful spaces with evening activities continuing the fun and conversations after the formal programme ends.

Playful learning was back for a second year in July 2017: slightly bigger, and just as playful and interesting. Whether you attended, followed through #playlearn17 or have just found us, you can explore this year’s conference through some of the stories, images and ongoing challenges – see Continuing the Play below.

Details of Playful Learning 2018 will appear here towards the end of Autumn 2017.

Who is Playful Learning for?

Higher and Further Education teachers, researchers, trainers and students;  library, museum and local government education officers; workplace trainers; educational designers; learning technologists; in fact anyone involved in adult learning who has an interest in engaging people through play.

“A really enjoyable conference, lots to take away, think about and work towards.”

“So inspiring. I feel ready to take a few risks outside my comfort zone”

Continuing the Play!

The conference took place over three days; a range of sessions and activities took place during the day, with further (optional) curated activities in the evening. We also teamed up with the GoGoGaza and VR teams to offer two fringe events this year, the day before the main conference.

Check the active twitter feed from the conference on #playlearn17 and follow @PlayLearnConf for ongoing news.

You can relive the three days of the conference through our official photo’s:

Playful Learning 2017

And through everyone’s tweets and images in these illustrated stories:

To continue the learning and playing over the year, our presenters are starting to add resources, challenges and thoughts to the programme overview: check back regularly for updates!

Photographs from the conference will be available here in early August.

A special issue of Research in Learning Technology is being curated around this year’s conference: contact us at playlearnconf at gmail dot com if you are interested in submitting an article.

A special Playful Learning issue of the International Journal of Games Based Learning was curated from last year’s conference papers, and is now available (Volume 7, Issue 3).

Call for Sessions

The call for sessions has now closed. The Call for 2018 will launch in late Autumn 2017.


Registration closed on Friday 23rd June, at midnight.

“Workshops and keynotes were equally great”

“This is the best conference I have attended in the UK (almost ever)”

– Actual quotes taken from PL feedback