I agree that it’s the word “play” that seems as if time is being wasted. It’s okay for kids to play – but not adults unless you are a geeky gamer which then is seen as a time waster. In fast paced education, teachers see play as a luxury they can’t afford with all the marking, assessing, planning, box ticking …
A couple of years ago, we delivered a session on web 2.0 tools. A requirement was that participants bring their laptops. During our session, we built in playtime so that tools could be explored and teachers could begin to see their applications for their classroom. Some of the best feedback came from that playtime because they didn’t have to find the time, it was given to them like a shiny gift.