October 12, 2009 at 9:50 am | Posted in 21st Century, Collaboration, culture, Games-based learning, Global Collaboration, Literacy, Professional Development, Project-based Learning | Leave a comment
Tags: Collaboration, games, Global Collaboration, Professional Development, Project-based Learning, QuestAtlantis, Shift, virtualworlds
I’m new to virtual worlds. I’ve been curious about Second Life but never ventured in, even though there are many educator-based groups I could benefit from participating in. I recently listened to a Seedlings podcast featuring Bronwyn Stuckey, the teacher trainer for Quest Atlantis. QA is a virtual world for students where they can collaborate, learn and solve reality-based world problems together. (Thank you again Bob, Cheryl and Alice!) QA also incorporates literacy, mathematics and content area studies. I see it as a possible school of the future. I have just missed the European teacher training, but was accepted to participate in the US/Canada 4 week training- which means middle of the night sessions for 4 weeks.
I’ve completed the first training and have progressed enough on my own to allow my avatar to change from the all-white newbie outfit to my individually chosen clothes and physical characteristics. I know it sounds as if that’s been the highlight for me, but I have actually accomplished much more. For example I have learned to navigate and move my avatar, to understand my pod and how to reenter and continue my current mission. I have yet to engage with another participant socially but I know that will come with continued training sessions.
Most impressive is the QA framework and how easy the training is for someone on her first trek into a virtual world. We began with the basics where I had to travel from place to place to learn the back story of QA and also meet some of the main characters. I submitted my first Quest- choosing a writing task over science or mathematics tasks. It was the first poem I’ve written in many years and very poor I’m sure! I then learned the 7 Social Commitments that are the foundation of QA and am currently learning how to review a quest. Reviewing student quests is based on a balance of feedback in 4 areas: content focus + narrative quality + supportive comments + informative comments. Today when I logon I will complete my first quest review.
Quest Atlantis has all the qualities that relevant, engaging learning requires: an engaging, challenging and supportive environment, quality assessment and feedback, plus integrated content and life-skills at the core of all learning opportunities. One of my colleagues is willing to learn QA and we plan to implement it with her 5th grade students. Our after-school activities have started this semester, but I plan to hold a QA group for the second semester. I know I have just stepped onto the tip of the QA iceberg and am excited to continue and discover what I’ll learn as a teacher and an individual.
June 19, 2009 at 6:46 am | Posted in Blogging, Links, Professional Development, Scratch, SmartBoard | 1 Comment
Tags: BLC09, Blogging, games, Myst, PD, Scratch, SmartBoard, Spore, summer, UbD
Ok, so I haven’t posted in a long time. I have written notes and drafts for posts but have been so bogged down in the day-to-day whatever that I’ve felt zapped at the end of the day. As the sun rises, birds singing on the morning of the last day of classes on campus for students and staff, I’m looking forward to 2 weeks of summer work, 4 weeks of vacation, and then summer work in August. Not so much looking forward to the commute to school, but am looking forward to the time to reflect, plan and prep for next year to make it an even more successful and enjoyable year than this year.
I’m looking forward to:
At the risk of appearing a work-aholic, I do have plans for many hours with family, friends and the ocean. But one of my passions is my vocation and I look forward to slower-paced reflection and learning over the summer.
Time to breathe!
March 22, 2009 at 10:29 pm | Posted in Blogging, Conference, games, Games-based learning, Links, Podcasts, Presentations, Professional Development, Resources, Web2.0 | 4 Comments
Tags: Bit by Bit, blogs, Chris Chater, Ewan McIntosh, games, Guitar Hero, inspiration, Julie Lindsay, Kim Cofino, London ECIS IT conf09, Myst, Nintendogs, Podcasts, Seedlings, Silvia Tolisano
After Ewan McIntosh‘s keynote at the London ECIS IT conference I attended recently, I decided to attend all his workshops. His views on the use of technology make so much sense to me- we have these technological advancements in our world and why not harness their power to create better schools and communities? In my notes from one of his workshops I wrote a quote, “It’s not about technology, it’s about changing someone’s life a bit.” That really summed it up for me. It’s all about joining the conversation, contributing, engaging our students in meaningful learning experiences.
Here are a few inspiring examples from Ewan:
Most of what I’ve learned and applied regarding tech use in education are from these sources of inspiration:
Bit by Bit and Seedlings blog and podcasts:
After my first taste of digital audio recording and editing for publication, I found Bob Sprankle’s class blog and podcasts. I’ve been following Bob, Alice and Cheryl ever since.
Chris Chater- Elementary music teacher extraordinaire and very nice guy. We connected years ago and collaborate and have become friends over the years.
Kim Cofino, Siliva Tolisano and Julie Lindsay- Tech Educators who inspire me. I think they are super-human as they seem to have more hours in the day than the rest of us based on their capacity to share and organize collaborations.
Who inspires you?