Archive for January, 2007

CUE Conference Correspondents

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

CUE | Computer-Using Educators : Conference Correspondents. I’m on a CUE communication committee conference call right now and want to make a first effort to share an exciting new outreach effort that CUE is making for its member-bloggers:

Are you a blogger, vlogger or podcaster? Bring your tools to Palm Springs and join our growing ranks of conference correspondents.

We ask potential correspondents to complete the form below to have CUE’ post your blog URL on our Conference Correspondents page. Be sure to tag your posts with ‘cue2007’ ‘cue07’ and ‘cue’ to allow us to properly aggregate the posts.

Feel free place the badges below on your blog and podcast homepages to promote the CUE 2007 Conference.

California edubloggers, visit to submit your information to be a conference correspondent. I’ve signed up and I’ve put the badge in my sidebar. :)

How Computer Games Help Children Learn: An Interview with David Williamson Shafffer (Part One)

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

How Computer Games Help Children Learn: An Interview with David Williamson Shafffer (Part One) (Via Confessions of an Aca/Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins.) This is part 1 of Henry Jenkins interviewing David Williamson Schaffer – both are leaders in the field of video games and learning.

I have a ton I want to link to and write about (thus more drafts in Mars Edit), but I absolutely had to link to this as soon as I saw it. It’s another busy week (and I’m trying not to procrastinate on my dissertation by keeping up this blog), so there will be more later…

UPDATE: Of course, I maintain that reading my feeds in the morning is a good mental warm up. :)

CUE 2007 Conference Volunteer Sign – Up!

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

CUE | Computer-Using Educators : 2007 Conference Volunteer Sign – Up! I’m on a CUE conference planning committee call right now, and it turns out they still need volunteers… and they are still providing complementary registration for anyone who volunteers to work for six hours! People asked me about this on Saturday, so I’m passing it on here.

OC CUE Tech Festival Follow Up

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

Congratulations to the Orange County CUE board; the Technology Festival on Saturday was a great success, and bigger than last year from the looks of it.

I was honored to be involved as the keynote speaker, and I was thrilled that my wife Eva was presenting two sessions as well. The highlight for me, though, was visiting the winners of the 2007 student technology showcase. I wish I had time tonight to write about each of the student presentations I saw, each of the breakout sessions I popped into, and all of the great conversations I had (which are always the best part of a face-to-face conference)… not to mention a fun after-event with the Discovery Educator Network at a nearby First Class Pizza. For now though, I want to share two quick things.

First, I’m proud to say that Eva is now serving on the OC CUE board, as are my visionary colleagues Jenith Mishne, Lainie McGann, and Christine Olmstead. I see great things ahead for OC CUE.

Second, the organizers asked all the presenters to send their materials to the webmaster by tomorrow so that handouts and links can be posted to the OC CUE website. I’ve prepared a page with all of the links I mentioned during my keynote at and figured I’d share it hear as well. You can get the gist of what I was talking about from the links, but there is also supposed to be a podcast of the event (and as many sessions as possible), so I will link to that if and when it becomes available.

Meanwhile I’m off to bed, ’cause I’m getting up at 5am again to head back to Palm Springs.

eSchool News online – Gaming advances as a learning tool

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

eSchool News online – Gaming advances as a learning tool. eSchool News reports on the use of video games in education. This article covers the use of Restaurant Empire in a business class, some of Prensky‘s theories, and Muzzy Lane’s Making-History.

Innovation and Gaming: Keys to the future

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Innovation and Gaming: Keys to the future (Via Moving at the Speed of Creativity.) Wes posted a characteristically thorough discussion of David Williamson Shaffer’s ideas concerning games and learning. The post includes a handful of links to more resources, including a video of Shaffer speaking on the subject.

See also Wes’ comment on my last post about Shaffer. He’s got a point.

Second Person: Scholarly Book on Role Playing Games

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Second Person for Sale (Via Grand Text Auto.) It looks like I need to pick up this book before it’s too late to use it in my lit review… actually, it probably already is, but I’m going to buy it anyway… done.

From the MIT Press description of Second Person:

Games and other playable forms, from interactive fictions to improvisational theater, involve role playing and story–something played and something told. In Second Person, game designers, authors, artists, and scholars examine the different ways in which these two elements work together in tabletop role-playing games (RPGs), computer games, board games, card games, electronic literature, political simulations, locative media, massively multiplayer games, and other forms that invite and structure play.

Second Person–so called because in these games and playable media it is “you” who plays the roles, “you” for whom the story is being told–first considers tabletop games ranging from Dungeons & Dragons and other RPGs with an explicit social component to Kim Newman’s Choose Your Own Adventure-style novel Life’s Lottery and its more traditional author-reader interaction. Contributors then examine computer-based playable structures that are designed for solo interaction–for the singular “you”–including the mainstream hit Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and the genre-defining independent production Façade. Finally, contributors look at the intersection of the social spaces of play and the real world, considering, among other topics, the virtual communities of such Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) as World of Warcraft and the political uses of digital gaming and role-playing techniques (as in The Howard Dean for Iowa Game, the first U.S. presidential campaign game).

In engaging essays that range in tone from the informal to the technical, these writers offer a variety of approaches for the examination of an emerging field that includes works as diverse as George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards series and the classic Infocom game Planetfall.

OC CUE Tech Fair This Saturday!

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

OC CUE Tech Fair. I should’ve posted about this a long time ago, but it is not too late to register. The Orange County local affiliate of Computer Using Educators (CUE) is hosting their Technology Fair this Saturday, January 20th, 2007 from 8:15am – 3:00pm at Newport Coast Elementary. There will be “more than 25 presentations, an exhibit hall with the latest product information, the Orange County Student Technology Showcase, a drawing for great door prizes, and so much more… ”

And to boot, I’ll be the keynote speaker! I presented at the event last year, but this is my first time presenting the keynote and I’m excited about it. The keynote begins at 9am, so I hope that many of you in the Orange County area will be able to make it. I’ll be presenting a new version of the Two-Way Teaching talk.

Other presenters include my wife Eva, Jenith Mishne and Lainie McGann from Newport-Mesa, Ted Lai and Robert Craven from the Orange County Department of Education, Janet English of KOCE, Cheryl Lee and Sandy Brenner from Apple, Hall Davidson and Jannita Demian from Discovery Education, and many more local favorites. We all hope to see you there. :)

The Blog of Clark Aldrich (and Henry Jenkins)

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

The Blog of Clark Aldrich. Clark Aldrich, of the Learning Circuits Blog (and author of Simulations and the Future of Learning and Learning by Doing), is blogging on his own now. He’s offering a definition and discussion of one “simword” a day (or more), and from the number of “a” words he’s already posted, it looks like he’ll be keeping it up for a while. :)

I should also mention that when I first discovered Henry Jenkins’ blog, I couldn’t seem to subscribe via RSS. Happily, it works now. Put simply, Jenkins is “the Director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and the Peter de Florez Professor of Humanities” and he writes a great deal about games and learning as well.

Gaming Is Not a Babysitting Tool

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

Making History Day #1 and CBS Tomorrow (Via Dave McDivitt.) Dave McDivitt posts about his first day using Making History with new students. This may be my favorite quote about games in the classroom… ever:

The teachable moments are countless….but at the end of the day I am tired. (gaming is not a babysitting tool) I have answered 1000 questions today. That really can’t be much of an stretch. I have run around the lab helping the lost. I have engaged in teaching to a level that is not normal on an “old school” day.

It seems CBS is paying his classroom a visit tomorrow, too. Hopefully we’ll hear more about that.

UPDATE: Making History Day #2 and CBS in my room. (Via Dave McDivitt.) “CBS filmed two of my classes during game play and then did some interviews with students.” Dave will let us know when the story will air.

Print Media Links from yesterday (Via Dave McDivitt.)