Monday, June 23, 2014

Gaming Mobile Technology with Students: Theory & Practice

Digital Presentation Handout
Millersville Technology Integration Institute: Using Mobile Technology with Students
The following post is a presentation handout designed to accompany a presentation at Millersville University. It is not a fully fleshed out Blog post with new ideas and deep thoughts but rather a reference document organizing already posted or outside material.

I was asked to come to this year's Millersville Technology Integration Institute and talk about what I do in my classroom with games and learning. I have applied a mix of Gamification, Game Design, & Game Based Learning to my classroom over the years, and today I hope to share something useful for you.

The theme of the week is "Using Mobile Technology with Students", and I do not intend to ignore the theme. There are a lot of cool tools that you can use as a teacher with mobile devices to create gameful experiences for your classroom. Before we bust out the toolbox of awesomeness, though, let's focus on the foundation.


Some rights reserved by NOAA's National Ocean Service
Tools are cool, but a lot of what makes something successful in the classroom is what happens below the waterline. 

I've had so many teachers tell me in conversation that they've tried to use gamification but that it felt, "cheesy" or it didn't work in their classroom. Meanwhile, the teachers who are seriously successful don't appear, on the surface, to be doing anything spectacularly different. No wonder, I get comments like, "I can call my homework a quest and my grades a badge, but the kids aren't stupid." Amen to that.

Honestly, If you observed my classroom for a week, you might not even realize I'm using gamification. My students don't. I do use game based learning, and game design, both of which are overt, but the gamification is entirely covert. I have found that with secondary students, gamification is best used as a foundational principle and not an overt technique most of the time. With younger kids, you can often play it to the hilt, but you still need the foundation to make it something different. Here are some links expanding on the foundational concepts we'll discuss today. 

Foundational concepts for Classroom Gamification

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Designing Fun: New post on Gamestar Teacher Blog

Hello friends,

It has been awhile. I do have some new posts in the editing queue for this blog, but for my most recent post, go check out:

Designing Fun: There’s more to game design than programming

It is posted over at the Gamestar Mechanic Teacher Blog.

A big thanks to the folks at Eline Media for the opportunity to blog for them. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Infographic: Cognitive Flow & Game Design

Here's an infographic I made for my game design students and future blog posts because I didn't like any of the graphics currently available. I'm open to improvement suggestions.

I used

Edtech tweeps, if you're writing about Game-Based Learning, Gamification, or Game Design, and you want to use this in a post, permission granted. If you have ideas on how it could be better, comment below or hit me up on Twitter.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

STE[a]M, App Flows, and Common Sense.

A few months back, I did a series of posts titled, "Hey computer teachers, stop wasting students' time". There I laid out the the basic premise that computer class, if it is to have value, should cover Computer Science topics.

I wanted to follow those posts up with some really practical posts for computer teachers, particularly those of us from the BCIT certification, who tend to lack of hard-core Information Technology experience. It's easy, after all, to say we need to spend more time teaching students coding, programming, dynamic systems design & analysis, and end-user experience and less time teaching keyboarding, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, but how do we make that transition?

Today I'm going to introduce one tool that is relatively new, but growing quickly in popularity.

Common Sense Media App flows

Rather than attempt an lengthy explanation, here's the video from Common Sense Media.