Archive for May, 2007

Link: Parent’s Guide to Windows Vista

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Parent’s Guide to Windows Vista (Via Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson.) I’m usually not one for locking down a computer to limit what students can do with it… and I’m still not in this case, but with so little “Vista in Education” news out there, this caught my eye and I’m passing it on. Also, this somewhat relevant to the Internet Awareness and Safety workshops I lead for parents from time to time. In any case, I remember being so excited about Windows XP back when I was implementing it in schools (especially as we integrated it with OS X in our Active Directory infrastructure), but I don’t sense much excitement about Vista in schools at all right now. Is anyone experiencing anything different?

Link: Dr. Alice Robison on Video Games as a Learning Tool – Classroom 2.0

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Dr. Alice Robison on Video Games as a Learning Tool – Classroom 2.0 Tim Holt posted a notification about this interview on his Classroom 2.0 page. I haven’t listened to it yet, but since I want to find my way back to it – and since I want to share it with you, I’m passing it along here. :)

Link: Google Gears

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Google Gears (Via pedersondesigns.) It seems Google is beginning to offer an offline version of their online applications. John Pederson says simply, “game over” – presumably in reference to the competition between Google and Microsoft. In any case, this bodes well for the future of applications like Google Docs and Spreadsheets (in addition to Reader). However, I wonder if the need to install a database on the local machine will keep this from being used in many schools? As long as we can keep our connections up, the pure web-based versions of the applications may be better solutions.

Social Change (LONG)

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Back on April 16th I posted a “one page” overview of social change (with respect to video games in a constructivist learning environment). I’ve now fleshed out that one page to about 10 pages (double spaced) for my dissertation literature review. I’m relatively happy with it except that I found no better way to organize it than by author. There just wasn’t enough overlap in what they each had to say… either that or my brain was just too tired to see it this time through. In any case, here is a link to the document and to the updated reference list:

Social Change LONG – 39.5 KB doc

References – 131 KB doc

If you are interested, please take a look and leave me a comment with your reactions or feedback.

Incidentally, this marks the completion of the core sections of chapter two, my literature review. I have a few more sections planned, but they are sort of ancillary. The remaining sections are on current uses for video games in education (this is based on my recent presentations and I’m not sure how much scholarly source material I’ll be able to include), video game design (conversely I have far too much information for this and will try to keep it short and focused), and organizational change (which is even more removed from the core focus of the dissertation, but which will be required if this is to be implemented in real schools). Hopefully each of these will be a relatively short section like the one I’ve posted today. If so, I should be done within a week.

Then there’s chapters 1 and 3… and tying it all together into a formal proposal. :)

Role of The Teacher (LONG)

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Back on April 13th I posted a “one-page” overview of the role of the teacher (with respect to video games in education). Over the weekend I finished fleshing out that portion of my literature review with quotes and citations. I seem to be getting better at outlining down to the level where I need to only compose a paragraph or two from my notes. As a result I think this section both holds together well and provides several bite-sized stand alone passages (which might later re-appear as blog posts). It think it also holds together better than some of the longer sections I wrote earlier. In any case, here is a link for the word doc (and for the references).

21st Century Skills LONG – 58 KB doc

References – 138 KB doc

Double spaced this section is about 16 pages. If you decide to read it (or skim it) I’d love to hear back from you in the comments. :)

Changes (for the worse) at

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

I’m a big fan of online surveys and have taught many teachers and administrators to use specifically. They’ve rolled out a major overhaul of their interface… and I don’t think I like it. I was excited at first of course, but it is VERY SLOW – and for no trade off in cool new features that I can see. And, I had to redo some things I’ve done before. Bummer… so far.

Link: Room Locations for NECC Events Now Published

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Room Locations for NECC Events Now Published (Via National Educational Computing Conference.) I’ve been subscribed to the NECC blog, and they’ve just announced the room locations for events… and the online planner. This annual event is starting to feel like it’s right around the corner… and it’s only about three weeks away.

Incidentally, here are the two sessions I’m leading:

Wiki While You Work: Best Practices for Educational Wikis
[Poster: Traditional]
Mark Wagner, Educational Technology and Life Corporation
Wednesday, 6/27/2007, 12:00pm-2:00pm; GWCC Level 5, Galleria
Learn how wikis can be used as powerful collaboration tools for individual and group student projects, teacher and class Web pages, professional development, and much more.

With Power Comes Responsibility: Online Awareness, Ethics, and Safety
[Session: Lecture]
Mark Wagner, Educational Technology and Life Corporation
Wednesday, 6/27/2007, 10:30am-11:30am; GWCC B217
Blogs, MySpace, and more… Learn about the technologies, the benefits, the concerns, and proactive strategies for helping your students use these tools ethically and safely.

See some of you there soon…

PS: Look how many people are attending the edubloggercon the day before NECC! :)

Link: cyberbullying

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

cyberbullying (Via apophenia.) And here’s a sample of what danah boyd covers at her blog, apophenia. Here, in a discussion of cyberbullying, she takes the reasonable tack that “emphasizing ‘cyber’ the term clouds what’s really going on.” She also notes that cyberbullying is getting so much attention not because the bullying is new or worse than before… rather “bullying over the internet is not just a technological advance of bullying, but an advance that makes the attacks visible to adults.” She goes on in some detail, concluding that bullying is not going away and ending with the following questions:

What are the tactics that we can teach kids to handle bullying? How can we help them process what’s going on? How can we help them strategize how to handle the bullies rather than run away? What would happen if we put our energies into helping those who are attacked lessen the impact of the blows?

Link: serious game

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

serious game (Via The Blog of Clark Aldrich.) Here’s a sampling of what Clark Aldrich is up to with the simwords posts at his blog. He offers a unique definition of the serious game complete with a visual diagram.

21st Century Skills (LONG)

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Back on April 12th I posted a “one page” overview of 21st Century Skills (with respect to video games in education). This week I finally fleshed out that section of my literature review. Though it is a bit long at 18 pages, it is one of the better organized sections I’ve written because the framework provided by the enGauge 21st Century Skills served as a fairly specific outline for me to follow.

For the time being, I don’t think I’ll be taking the time to break this up into individual posts, but I’ll share the entire word doc incase anyone is interested in reading it – or incase someone is searching on this topic in the future. Of course, if you check it out, I’d love to hear any feedback you might have. Also, I’ve once again updated the reference list.

21st Century Skills LONG – 55 KB doc

References – 138 KB doc