1 06 2012

3DGameLab + NOAA = Planet Stewards

EdTech Insider

Chris Haskell and I like to joke that a lot of our ideas start out with a “Wouldn’t it be cool if…”  …if we offer a gaming camp to teens, if we use quests as pedagogy,  if we had a quest tracker tool to monitor progress on quests?  And thus the birth of 3D GameLab.

Then along comes the DML Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition.  Wouldn’t it be cool if NOAA would pair up with us to do quests in 3D GameLab?  If those quests led to the award of a badge?  If those badges represented NOAA career pathways (non-traditional) instead of content grouped around clusters (traditional)?  And wouldn’t it be cool if students could choose which badges to work on based on their own interest (personalized learning)?

All those “ifs” came true, and Planet Stewards is now in progress!  We feel so fortunate to be teamed up…

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JIBE/UNITY: how to make games/apps

20 02 2012

Free e-book posted this month on Scribd to teach your students how to make games/apps with Unity, multiplayer with Jibe; Android, and Apple with right licenses. Basic Unity is free, jibe is affordable


3D GameLab Needs Your Help!

16 01 2012

3D GameLab has entered the Digital Media + Learning Competition in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)* . DML posted the grant application on their website. Comments are now open. The grant reviewers will be reading these.

Dr. Lisa Dawley from Boise State University says that “These grant funds will provide us important development resources to continue programming in 3D GameLab, and create a badge infrastructure by which schools and teachers can provide alternative forms of certification in different skills and content areas.”

Go to http://www.dmlcompetition.net/Competition/4/badges-projects.php?id=3146

And here is a Limited Special Badge for you if you post a comment that will help 3DGameLab. Just post the link to the DML page in the comment section here so that I can see that you posted there. Cheers and Thanks on behalf of 3D GameLab

EducEdge 2011 in review

1 01 2012

Many Thanks to all of you! Wow! 1200 viewing and 178 twitter followers! Awesome! I also want to thank my 5 subscribers! You guys rock. This year promises to be full of exciting news. I’ll make sure to share as much as I can find and can’t wait to hear from you all! Enjoy the report, Cheers


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

R.I.P. LEGO Universe

17 11 2011

“Hello Adventurer, today we are very sad to announce that LEGO® Universe will be closing on January 31, 2012. This was a very difficult decision to make, but unfortunately LEGO Universe has not been able to attract the number of members needed to keep the game open. …” (in my mail box on Nov 8).

RandomHoodoo Eclipse was my latest creation but she did not fly further than the Avant Gardens. I’ll be sorry not to go on adventures with her anymore.

I am also thinking about the innovative educators who were introducing LEGO U in their school.

At the beginning of 2011, Knowclue (Marianne Malstrom) introduce LU as an afterschool program. (Browse here the program’s wiki: http://savingtheuniverse.wikispaces.com/)

In May 8, 2011, Knowclue updated her RezEd colleagues on the status of the project:  “Saving the Universe” was a HUGE success in our after school program.  The kids begged us not to end, and so we extended the class an additional 4 weeks.  We just completed a machinima to promote the class to their classmates for our summer program:


Check out the session at VWBPE where a LU game designer joined to discuss the potential of using LU in the classroom. Thanks to Fleet for helping me get that documented.  http://savingtheuniverse.wikispaces.com/VWBPE and view the 10 minute video:

I will be writing up my overall observations over the next couple of weeks, but in a nutshell I have to say that LU surpassed my expectations.  I will definitely will continue using it with kids.  2Thumbs up!”

On June 23, Forbes reported some great news from LU:  bit.ly/jfDq5k and I even received a LU membership renewal notice on Nov 5.

Augmenting Human Intellect, D. C. Engelhart, 1962

5 10 2011

This reading reflection post was generated by my participation to the Virtual Worlds New Media Faculty-Staff seminar Fall 2011.

Boosting mankind’s capability for coping with complex, urgent problems” Dough Engelbart

This week we are reflecting and discussing Engelbart’s 1962 SRI Summary Report, titled “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework.” The report is a 90 page reading, therefore, as I sat down with at my desk with an old fashion pencil#2 at the ready… I decided to start by watching the 100 minute video demo that Engelhart hosted on December 9, 1968. Watch the Mother of all Demo during which Engelhart demonstrates the use of a personal computer’s affordances (type, copy, paste, graphic files, hyperlink, programming languages, etc). Watching him type and go through different computer’s functions made my fingers hitch for typing myself…and trying to capture and re-live his excitement of using such an amazing technology in the comfort of my home.

The report: By “augmenting human intellect”, Engelbart means “increasing the capability of a man to approach a complex problem situation, to gain comprehension to suit his particular needs, and to derive solutions to problems.” The report covers the first phase of a program aimed at developing means to augment the human intellect, including presenting the conceptual framework (section II), the important factors of the system, their relationships, types of change, and research goals and methodology. Section III provides a context to the reader and section IV lists research recommendations that would focus on 1) “giving the human the minute-by-minute services of a digital computer equipped with a computer-driven cathode-ray-tube display [isn’t it fun to read from a eye-from-the-future and remember about those less-than-flat monitors?] and, (2) developing the new methods of thinking and working that allow the human to capitalize upon the computer’s help” […] specifically speaking about getting humans better at computer programming. Engelbart proceeds with describing an “augmented architect” at work. The architect is working on his PC and is described designing a building with the help of the computer, his “clerk”. Said computer reacts to data provided by the architect and adapts the building design accordingly. Not only Engelbart imagines the architect using a 3D program to create the building, use and call up resources from the program catalog, he also envisions the architect able to modify the view on his screen and see his 3d model from an overhead view or select a specific part of the structure to fine-tune the functionality of the entire construction site.

Engelbart postulates that our intellects are already augmented such as by language artifacts and methodology. A hierarchy of process capabilities rest on the “basic human capabilities and the functional capabilities of the artifacts, which are organized into ever more sophisticated capabilities” (5a2c). Engelbart states that “the automation of the symbol manipulation associated with the minute-by-minute mental processes offers a logical next step in the evolution of our intellectual capability” (5a2e).

I still have to think about that one. I am not sure I agree, but I have yet to develop a coherent defense.

J. Choi provides a very interesting summary setting Engelbert in the context of V. Bush, N. Wiener and J. C. R. Licklider’s works.

Can real-life jobs give you a ‘level’ like in a videogame?

30 09 2011

The title of this post is a quote of Philip Rosedale on his Aug 11 twitter regarding his Coffee&Power site: http://blog.coffeeandpower.com/

I am particularly tuned to this concept having recently completed the 3DGameLab seminar this summer …and for a few months now, whispering in the ear of teachers and principals the wild idea (yes, sarcasm can get us so far) to bring gaming techniques back in the learning process (present in preschool-K-1, so why are they forgotten after those first years of schooling?). I have been mainly left with the impression that I impersonate a giant buzzing bug they are trying to swap away from their head.

So i find it extremely exciting to see how the leveling up so common in mmorpg is implemented on workplace sites: react to ones resume, projects, thumbs up/down, etc. Enters ” On Becoming a Level 42 Entrepreneur”: http://blog.coffeeandpower.com/2011/08/11/level-42-entrepreneur/

Imagine LinkedIn and EpicWin coming together, with Facebook and other social platforms informing C&P with complementary data. C&B would not replace a final interview during which it remains your responsibility to tease out level of loyalty and quality/quantity of work that the candidate is providing. However, i suspect that C&B platform provides noobs entering the marketplace with a more visible place for referral from teachers, trainers, mentors, colleagues, etc. For example, collaboration is a skill valued in business, but rarely visible in traditional resumes.

If you read more about Rosedale’s latest projects, you’ll notice the gaming trend in LoveMachine and Worklist as well. This Atlantic article provides a well-rounded explanation of the softwares philosophy and how they attempt to re-educate workplace dynamics: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/10/meet-the-new-boss/8637/. To grossly summarize, LoveMachine is a performance system provided by the customers that managers can use to gauge long-term contribution (Would n’t it be nice to have this in the faculty performance system, including for the tenured?). Worklist “is a project-management tool for tasks that are hard, if not all but impossible, to plan in advance.” Breaking the goal intro multiple tasks and allowing for errors/explorations as growth processes are game affordances. When I blogged on Aug 8 about the 7 ways to reward the brain, I listed what the games tend to to promote engagement:

  1. Experience bars measuring progress: access to your growth stage> control, power.
  2. Short and long term aims: breaking the goal into multiple tasks.
  3. Reward efforts: mistakes are incomplete learning processes. Don’t stop the learning process by punishing mistakes. Implement a reward schedule.
  4. Rapid and frequent feedback: to link action to consequences.
  5. Element of uncertainty: neurological gold mine > excitement
  6. Windows of enhanced memory: memory and confidence
  7. Other people: We are social animals afterall. Peer collaboration leading sophisticated player behaviors.

What are YOU adapting over to a mmorpg format? Tell me here in comments and I give you this Blood Elf badge.