Archive for December, 2005

TIME.com: Persons of the Year — Dec. 26, 2005 — Page 1

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

TIME.com: Persons of the Year — Dec. 26, 2005 — Page 1

FURLing this a day late… I was gonna blog about it, but this’ll have to do for now. Speaking of technology and life, Bill and Melinda Gates are named Time’s persons of the year alongside Bono. Their generation has certainly come of age… and it’s inspiring.

The Open Classroom: 2005 reflections

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

The Open Classroom: 2005 reflections

The Refective Teacher reflects on her story! It’s a great synopsis of an ed blogging awakening. :)

tomsphd: Everday Empowerment?

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

tomsphd: Everday Empowerment?

Tom’s posting again and this gives a good sense of what his work with video game players in Venezuela was all about.

‘Fun’ Video Simulations Helping Train Emergency Workers – Firehouse.com Terrorism & Front Lines

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

‘Fun’ Video Simulations Helping Train Emergency Workers – Firehouse.com Terrorism & Front Lines

The first serious game site I’m come across in a few days (weeks?)… this is about serious games for disaster preparedness.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of serious games?

Monday, December 19th, 2005

I received this question via email a few days ago. It prompted an interesting response from me… a brief summary of my thoughts on the subject actually… so I thought I’d share it here, too.

In short, I think the impact of serious games, or rather the potential impact, is to provide a powerful medium for education and for affecting positive social change. The advantages are many. For starters, games are engaging and motivating, and appeal to students (particularly young students) in a medium they are comfortable with (see Marc Prensky’s work, particularly his writings on Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants for more on this). Also, and this is what I am most interested in, games can provide a context for learning, opportunities for inquiry, and a framework for collaboration… all elements that are important in an educational environment, particularly in the constructivist philosophy (here, I hope, is where my research – and my blog, might come in handy). Finally, games – particularly those with many simulation elements – can be used to teach content that is typically very difficult to teach in the classroom, including non-linear content such as cyclical or systems content (see Clark Aldrich’s work for more on these content types), and what some call 21st century skills of digital age literacies, inventive thinking (particularly risk taking), effective communication, and high productivity (see http://www.ncrel.org/engauge/skills/skills.htm for an explanation of what I mean by these skills).

As for the disadvantages, there are several obvious ones… in terms of current commercial games, we have a ways to go to deal with the violence and gender equity issues. Too, most current games can be very sedentary activities. From an educational technology standpoint, most games will place considerable demands on schools’ student-to-computer ratios, hardware specs, and infrastructure (connectivity and bandwidth). Development of the games, and an economic model, may be the biggest hurdles involved.

I hope this might help others who are newly interested in the subject. I’m also hoping some of you who know quite a bit more will share your thoughts on this summary. For instance… what’d I leave out?

-Mark

8e6 | Internet Filtering Technologies Company – Hardware, Software

Monday, December 19th, 2005

8e6 | Internet Filtering Technologies Company – Hardware, Software

An interesting looking company that provides internet filtering solutions… recommended by “Robert” who commented on my blog, Educational Technology and Life.

NECC Update: Context, Inquiry, and Collaboration: Video Games as Constructivist Learning Environments [Concurrent]

Sunday, December 18th, 2005

I now know when I’ll be presenting at NECC in July.

Accepted Proposals
The following proposals have been accepted to the NECC 2006 program. Click on title to review or edit. Click as indicated for other processes.

Context, Inquiry, and Collaboration: Video Games as Constructivist Learning Environments [Concurrent] (13997210)
• Scheduled: Friday, 7/7/2006  10:00am– 11:00am
• Participation Agreement Form has been confirmed.

With my exposure to event planning at the OCDE this year, I have a new perspective on this: I am amazed at how organized and streamlined (and ahead of time) their process is!

-Mark

Literacy, the deaf, and blogs (via Jerz’s Literacy Weblog)

Saturday, December 17th, 2005

Literacy, the deaf, and blogs (via Jerz’s Literacy Weblog)

This is a dig on educational games, but it advocates blogs as an assistive technology for the deaf.

COMM 3344-1 :: Games for the web :: Students

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

COMM 3344-1 :: Games for the web :: Students

This is a great find! Thanks to Tobold’s MMORPG blog, which said “At the Trinity University of San Antonio you can take a course on “Games for the Web: Ethnography of Massively Multiplayer On-line Games”. This includes writing a paper on your experiences in World of Warcraft. You can find the results of the students homework here. Seems I visited the wrong kind of university. Can I get some academic credit for my blog?”

and Life: The Concept

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

It’s late and I won’t write much… but I am feeling a need for a personal blog… as I work through personal issues… and as I approach some time off. So, I wanted to see if I could get andlife.blogspot.com as my URL. The title comes from the concept of “and Life” posts at my Educational Technology and Life blog.

This way I can separate truly personal things from the more professional content… though I will continue to include occassional “and Life” posts in the other blog to provide perspective, to establish my voice, and to share my personality as a blogger. :)

Anyway… success!

Of course, this blog may go the way of the Mark’s Mail concept. :)

Update 02/10/06: After five posts at the andlife.blogspot.com address, the “and Life” blog was imported into the new “Educational Technology and Life” at edtechlife.com.