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Showing posts from May, 2013

Awesome videos to inspire epic classrooms

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Okay, so I realize that everyone and their sister, at this point, has posted their own curated roundup of videos on Game Based Learning and Gamification in the classroom. I'm certainly not doing anything new here. Occasionally, though, I want to share with a colleague or fifty, during workshops or conferences, my cannon of inspirational videos of gaming goodness. It's just more simple to put them all in one place, so here they are.

Ultimately, these videos speak for themselves. I'll keep my commentary to a minimum. I will say that these videos actually started me down the path of actually taking games and game design seriously in my classroom. If I hadn't seen Chellman & Mcgonigal's TED talks one fateful day in 2011, I never would have attended break out sessions on games and gamification with Jeff Mummert at the first Tech.it.u or taken an online course called, "Simulations and Gaming Technologies for the Classroom". I certainly wouldn't be as p…

Is Twitter Keeping you down?

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Back on October 17 of 2011, I posted a bit of a guide for my tweeps and colleagues on building your PLN. In that guide, I shared Jeff Dunn's post from earlier in the month, The A-Z Dictionary of Educational Twitter Hashtags, that shared some general points about hash tags that I've applied myself and shared with most of my friends and colleagues over the years. Some of that information is no longer true. Mainly, I want to look at this quote from Dunn's post:
The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keyword or topic in a Tweet. Any Twitter user can categorize or follow topics with hashtags.Those hashtags (usually) mean something and are a great way to get a tweet to appear in search results or discussion monitoring. (Dunn 2011, emphasis mine) Hashtags & Top Tweets In order to follow a hashtag, users must complete a search, then save it (typically using a thrird party app, like Hootsuite). This used to provide users with a running timeline of everything anyone pos…

Games, Fun Failure, and the Learning Process

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Last week, Dr. mentioned on Twitter that this coming week's #GBLFriday topic would be, How Games Help Students Learn Failure. Failure is a topic I've been thinking a lot about lately and hitting on in previous posts. Alas, I have decided to to tackle this topic a bit here and put in my two cents worth...

Failure shouldn't be fatal
There are a lot of popular articles out there that say students should be failing regularly in school and activities (just Google "failure good for kids" or something similar), that point to various studies into the benefits of failure. My conservative crotchety old windbag friends love these articles. The driving idea is that children benefit from plenty of experiences with frustration, failure and defeat.
Without a doubt, this will motivate them to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" and try even harder the next time. It will give them grit and prepare them for the "Real World". Clearly, today&…

Scaffolding Portal 2 for Game Design Thinking.

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As mentioned in earlier posts, I've been using Gamestar Mechanic to facilitate technology fluency and systems based thinking in my Computer Information Technology class. Gamestar Mechanic is an online tool from my heroes over at the Institute of Play, that gamifies the process of game design, which is essentially game based learning (for more on those terms click here). Game design is just as it sounds. It's is the process of planning the components, goals, mechanics, environment, and rules of a game, as well as considerations, in many cases, of storyline and characters. Its the consideration of user interaction with your design. It is the process of responding to user feedback and creating iterations on your design. [Video] Game design can also include coding, programming, and digital art, but in this case, I'm simply focusing on game mechanics and user experience.

At the 2012 Tech.it.u, Jeff Mummert introduced me to Teach with Portals, an initiative of Steam for Sc…

Gaming the System & The Epic Quest for Professional Development

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This month, I am re-reading What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy, by James Paul Gee and Reality is Brokenby Jane McGonigal. As a result, I've been thinking a lot about the current state of affairs in my classroom and beyond. This post is a rambling mess of junk that's going through my mind. I'm wrestling with these ideas. I invite you to join me. I need feedback, comments, arguments, and ideas. Heck, I need help. I also think that we (the community of educators who see the value of real game based learning and gamification strategies in the classroom) need to band together and find a way to provide some hard core professional development for each other beyond the ubiquitous Minecraft & Warcraft articles we all trade on Twitter. 


Gee, McGonigal, and big ideas 
Seriously, If you haven't read What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy, by James Paul Gee and Reality is Brokenby Jane McGonigal, you should. Both of these books ar…