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June 9th, 2010

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Edupunk is just a tag … bootstrapping is a life philosophy

Edupunk – this word seems to have been first uttered or posted by Jim Groom in May 2008.

Edupunk is really the DIY movement in teaching. Rather than relying on whatever learning management system their school subscribes to and e-paks from the publisher, edupunk educators go out to the blogosphere, the metaverse or into a MMORPG to find what will engage their students. It is an attitude about teaching that involves creativity, whimsy, Web 2.0 and a very limited budget (if you get a budget at all). So you DIY, you bootstrap, you use your strong and weak ties over the Internet to learn what others educators are doing. And most times you come up with something for your students that is engaging, challenging and creative.

It’s about the passion for educating and learning – doesn’t matter what it’s called edupunk, DIY, Web 2.0, bootstrapping or bricolage. You do it heart and soul and it shows.

Edupunk is just a word that seems to work for educators who have been DIYing it, bootstrapping and pushing education and learning to the bleeding edge.

Tour and Discussion of MMOs & Education

August 10th, 2018

Saturday August 11 at 1 pm MT

The ISTE Games & Sims Network is hosting an immersive event & discussion of learning in a multiuser virtual environment (MUVE). Join us for a blended reality session featuring a live stream from the World of Warcraft (WoW) as we explore educational opportunities in a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG).  You can participate 3 ways. We have a YouTube live stream, a Discord channel for voice discussion, and the immersive event in WoW. For more information or to RSVP go to this google doc.

Online Last Week

August 4th, 2018

What are we reading and watching?

The U.S. Department of Education just came out Monday with their Open Textbooks Pilot Program –  Call for Proposals from the Federal Register

Ed Surge’s speculative article of VR and cadavers. In May, EduPunxers participated in a discussion on the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus on using VR not to replace cadavers but as a study aid to supplement training in the cadaver lab.

We are participating in the Virginia Society for Technology (VSTE) in Education’s summer book club facilitated by Vassili Giannoutsos and here’s some of the videos the book club is watching.

Short segment of the Consumers Electronic Show: – you can stop at 11:25 (or you can watch the whole clip from the beginning)

Article by HTC:

Virtual Reality Engineer Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty by WIRED

VSTE’s third and final synchronous book club meeting will be on on August 13th at 8 pm ET on VSTE Island in Second Life.


Tech Trek on Friday

July 22nd, 2018

We’re doing a Tech Trek for professional development at eLCC’s July 27th meeting.

Our first ever Tech Trek from 10 am – 1130 am MT will start in Zoom.

cloud phone
If you want to join get into the Zoom BaseCamp between 10 am – 10:20 am.
Promptly at 10:30 we’ll start our Tech Trek.
We see how the pacing goes….and jump to or through as many platforms as we can.

We start in Zoom, go to Google Hangout on Air Live, Discord,
then go to a FlipGrid grid, a Kahoot Quiz and end up on Periscope.

Before the trek, please update your Chrome browser

Suggested Equipment:
1) Webcam
2) Having a second screen will make sure you can stay in touch with Basecamp and participate in events
3) A mobile device would be nice to use with Flipgrid, Kahoot and Periscope

Please invite your staff, faculty and instructor for the PD portion
Event Brite RSVP

Online Last Week

July 22nd, 2018

This is compilation of our reports from the AD Update and the Virtual Connected Educator from this last week.

Online Events This Week

VR Voice’s Reality and Games and Entertainment Extravaganza ’18
Free Online Conference July 23-26, 2018
Look for us in the back channel!

eLearning Consortium of Colorado
Virtual Friday 27 from 10 am until 1 pm US MT
This session will be a VOIP and video scavenger hunt – be ready to jump platforms.
Zoom, Discord,  FlipGrid, Padlet, Kahoot, Periscope (iOS and Android only) and more.

What are we reading?

Well,  the Virginia Society of Technology in Education (VSTE) Virtual Network is reading
The Fourth Transformation: How Augmented Reality & Artificial Intelligence Will Change Everything by Robert Scoble  and Shel Israel

And Demystifying the Virtual Reality Landscape

And watching

The Future of News: Virtual Reality

For all the Trekkies out there – Data and Geordi playing Sherlock Holmes on the Holodeck

We’re taking a look at

Augmented Reality (AR) report

And Career Technical Education (CTE)

CTE for the win! Since we are talking AR and VR for #CTE have seen Lowe’s Innovation Labs – Holoroom Test Drive? They even mention the words “enterprise solution” and vid  

Holoroom Test Drive by Lowe’s Innovation Labs from Lowe’s Innovation Labs on Vimeo.

And we saw this interesting job posting….will we be seeing more of these?

Program Specialist, Esports



Online Last Week

July 15th, 2018

This is compilation of our reports from the AD Update and the Virtual Connected Educator from this last week

Slow Tweetchat Now to July 29

Join in at anytime! For our Summer Book Club,we are reading  Learning Transported which is Jaime Donally’s book on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Mary Townsend will be facilitating the ISTE Games & Sims’ slow tweetchat. We’ll be using the hashtag #istebook. Even if you’re not reading the book,  there will be some interesting discussions on VR and AR happening on twitter using the hashtag #istebook.

Help Wanted

Two of our colleagues are looking for help with their research.

Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and Technology

Kathryn is interested in interviewing teachers who have a culturally responsive pedagogy and also use technology in their classrooms. Is this you? Would you consider being interviewed by phone and/or spreading the word? If so here is the link to the interest form:

Instructional Design and Technology

Nur is surveying students in graduate program in Instructional Design and Technology. The survey will take 15 minutes. Survey link:

ISTE Conference

We would like your comments and suggestions on ISTE Games & Sims Events.

Post conference survey  Also if you are interested in helping us organize the conference please let us know on that form or email Kae Novak

The Games & Sims Network organized the Ready Player One Playground and we were lucky enough to have the VR Podcast Crew @thevrpodcast  working the Games & Sims demo tables.

Here’s the pictures of both Ready Player 101 demos and the presentation area. None of these pics are staged so you can get a feel of what it was like. We had so many people we started 30 minutes early because people were ready for it. We’ve started to get conference pictures up on Fliickr, go ahead and take a look. Feel free to join and put yours up too.

Ethics & Games Monthly

On Sunday, Sherry Jones did the ISTE Games & Sims monthly Ethics & Games webinar on

“Applying Philosophy and Ethics of Confucius to Examine the Game Detention”.
Here’s the urls for the Detention Recording and the Detention Slides

Detention (2016) is a horror game developed by Red Candle Games, and is set in 1960s Taiwan. The game story is based on real historical events. Detention received Steam greenlight in 2016, and became one of the most influential indie games in 2017 for its ability to enhance the horror genre with history, for the purpose of retelling the real horrors that happened to the Taiwanese people during the 1960s era. The indie title has received the following awards from various award organization (listed on Red Candle Games website):

Awards & Recognition that Detention Won

“Famitsu Gold Award” No.1527, Famitsu, Japan, 2018
“Journey Award” IndieCade, USA, 2017
“Best Design” Taipei Game Show, Taiwan, 2017
“Best Narration” IndiePlay, China, 2017
“Best Narration Nominee” BIG Festival, Brazil, 2017
“Best Game Award Nominee” IndiePlay, China, 2016
“Best Audio Nominee” IndiePlay, China, 2016.

News, Information and Resources

Interested in learning more about VR/AR and donating to charity?

Humble Bundle is bundling ebooks from Springer on augmented reality and virtual reality

In case you missed it……

VEJ summer edition came out the first day of the conference. This digital journal is edited by our friends Bob and Rosie Vojtek. It is hot off the presses (virtually speaking of course) and the Games & Sims Network and IB is well represented in it.

We are reading the Virtual Education Journal (VEJ). VEJ summer edition just came out. This digital journal is edited by educators Bob and Rosie Vojtek..

Games & Sims member authors include….

What IF….Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Could Close the Achievement Gap by Rosie Vojtek

The Games & Sims Network Volunteer of the Year by Trish Cloud

Misinformation, Disinformation and Maskirovka: Information and Technology Literacy in the Age of Fake News Keynote by  Kae Novak  Slides

Games and Making by Kristina Thoennes

Meta Manifesto by Cynthia Calongne, Chris Luchs and Kae Novak

Video recording available on YouTube.

Learning Moral Philosophy and Ethics Through The Study of Video Games By Sherry Jones


Reflecting on LitRPG as a Social Design Experiment Tool

March 13th, 2018

Reflecting on LitRPG as a  Social Design Experiment Tool  

My idea for a social design experiment tool comes during a two week period where I  found myself influenced by several factors. I had to politely intervene when a faculty member was conflating the term hybridity with hybrid learning, based on a blog post (Stossel, 2012).  I also had started to read and try to cognitively process Engeström’s (1987) book on cultural historical activity theory.  Lastly, I attended a games convention and subjected a group of my friends who are educators to my thoughts on all of this. The reflection below is combination of all of these factors.

Social Design Experiment Tool

I was intrigued with the discussion of Ave’s text as syncretic autobiography and its utilization as a tool that was “critical autobiography and testimonio” (Gutiérrez 2008. p. 149). I also appreciate the further discussion of Ave’s text as a “sociopolitical narrative shared orally and witnessed in an intimate and respectful learning community” (Gutiérrez 2008. p. 149).  The text has a discussion of all the activities and tools utilized in the Third Space. While there was not a detailed discussion of teatro del oprimido, I did search for more information on it both through an Internet search and academic database search.  It did seem with the teatro del oprimido experience that the students are given roles but their roles are limited to that one event.  I think there might be a possibility of also using a role-playing game for students to express their experiences using sociocritical literacy in a Third Space (Gutiérrez, Baquedano-López, & Tejeda, 1999).  In the four articles, that we read, the games seemed limited to physical games and board games. While computer games were mentioned in Gutiérrez & Vossoughi (2010) it does not seem that online role-playing games were being explored.  As an instructional designer, I could not help but consider that another social design experiment tool that could be added to the toolkit is the use of a role-playing game framework for a continuing storyline. I would suggest a tabletop or pen-and-paper role-playing game where players describe their character’s action through speech. Role-playing games are inherently co-creations of a gamemaster and the players.  In this storyline or campaign, a student could create their own character that could be based on critical autobiography and testimonio and play through a storyline initially created by a teacher or an instructional designer. The role of the gamemaster or the game moderator could be played by a student, volunteer, teaching assistant or teacher. Once students became familiar with game moderation, the role of the gamemaster and the creation of a storyline could be taken over by a student or students.  In role-playing through a storyline, students would be able to imagine and speculate on future possibilities even as described by Gutiérrez (2008) with the language and grammar of a Third Space. The use of multiplayer video games as third place or a community space was explored by Steinkuehler and Williams (2006).

thecardTurn of the Card Concept Slidedeck

Additional Components

There are two additional technology enhanced components that could be added to the toolkit. Audio recording and also video livestreaming could allow these Third Spaces to have a sustained modality beyond text.  Audio recording or podcasting of role-playing games has become more popular.  An example of popular podcast of a continuing storyline is the Adventure Zone. The Adventure Zone is not educational, but a podcast like this could be tool for a Third Space which could include hybrid language practices (Gutiérrez, Baquedano-López, & Tejeda, 1999). There is additionally a literary genre that is gaining popularity as text and audio which is called LITrpg (Miller, 2016) or Role Playing Game literature.  A recorded session of role-playing could be recorded and then, using a voice to text application or close captions on a YouTube Channel set to private, a transcript of the session could be downloaded. Students could reflect on their characters, their interactions with others, and their decisions in the storyline.


Engeström, Y. (1987). Learning by expanding: An activity-theoretical approach to developmental research. Helsinki, Finland: Orienta-Konsultit Oy. Retrieved from

Gutiérrez, K., Baquedano-López, P., & Tejeda, C. (1999). Rethinking diversity: Hybridity and hybrid language practices in the third space. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 6, 286–303.

Gutiérrez, K.D. (2008). Developing a sociocritical literacy in the third space. Reading Research Quarterly. 43, 2, 148-164.

Gutiérrez, K. D., & Vossoughi, S. (2010). Lifting off the ground to return anew: Mediated praxis, transformative learning, and social design experiments. Journal Of Teacher Education, 61(1/2), 100-117. doi:10.1177/0022487109347877

Jurow, A. S., Tracy, R., Hotchkiss, J. S., & Kirshner, B. (2012). Designing for the future: How the learning sciences can inform the trajectories of preservice teachers. Journal Of Teacher Education, 63(2), 147-160. doi:10.1177/0022487111428454

Miller, P. (2016, May 28). Designing for the future: How the learning sciences can inform the trajectories of preservice teachers. The Verge. Retrieved from

Steinkuehler, C. & Williams, D. (2006). Where everybody knows your (screen) name: Online games as “third places.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication,, 11(4), 885–909. doi:10.1111/j.1083-6101.2006.00300.x

Stommel, J.  (2012, March, 10). Hybridity, pt 2 : What is hybrid pedagogy?  Hybrid Pedagogy. Retrieved from


Ender4Edu subreddit

May 3rd, 2017

For the Metagame Book club, we will be using a subreddit for discussion. It’s called Ender4Edu

We don’t want to create a spoiler for anyone who hasn’t read the book but what starts happening on page 92 in Chapter 9 has some possible similarities to reddit. We’ll wait until we get there to discuss it more.

reddit ender pic

Ender’s Game and Education

April 28th, 2017

For the month of May, we are reading, dissecting and discussing  Ender’s Game (Book 1) with the Metagame Book Club. We had this strange idea of mapping it back to educational theory.  Is it more Kolb’ s Experiential Learning Cycle and where does Montessori show up in there?

We’ll do Google Hangouts on it each Wednesday in May 9 pm ET/7 pm MT.

Ender game pic 1

Games and 3D Simulations: Dystopian Fears to Utopian Visions

August 10th, 2015

Please Join the Games & Sims Network for a livestream of the closing keynote of our summer book club.

Dr. Cynthia Calongne, Colorado Technical University professor, game designer and researcher will be presenting Games and 3D Simulations: Dystopian Fears to Utopian Visions.

In the book club, we’ve discussed virtual reality, gamification and the quantified self, games as assessment and what school would look like if it was in virtual world. We’ve played Ingress guided in hangouts by Michael Flood and also Cynthia Clark, the Fauxasis created by Matthew Winner (real name) for the Level Up Book Club and even a group of dystopian games curated by Jon Spike.

Dr. Calongne’s presentation will complete the Metagame Book Club discussion on a rather optimistic note of how the future might look if we use games and 3D simulations in education.

Dystopia to Utopia

2013 Edublog Award

November 28th, 2013

It’s that time of the year again everyone. It’s time for the nominations for the 10th Annual Edublog Awards. Below are Abacus’ nominations. Feel free to share your own.

  • Best twitter hashtag – #gamemooc