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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.

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

COLTT Conference

August 5th, 2013

EduPunxers are excitedly heading to Boulder Colorado for 2 Days for
Colorado Learning and Teaching with Technology Conference
being held at the University of Colorado – Boulder

Here is the conference schedule.


We have two game based learning and MOOC sessions on Wednesday:

Dissecting a Game: Game Mechanics in a Multiplayer Game

Immerse yourself in the mechanics that games leverage to engage, assess, and reward players. This discussion of game mechanics and game elements will include achievement, behavioral momentum, blissful productivity, reward schedules, epic meaning, and many more. This presentation provides participants an overview of the various tools game designers use to create engaging, compelling content that champions hard fun and real-time assessment. Examples will be drawn from the World of Warcraft in Business pilot project.


Game On! Lessons Learning from a Games Based Learning MOOC

What happens when you take the concept and spirit of a gaming guild and build four successive MOOCs? You get plenty of questions, skepticism, and even resistance to a different way of learning. Come discuss how the Games MOOC was informed by gaming guilds, the modding culture, MMORPGs, and a fierce determination not to default to behaviorist instruction. This is a lessons learned session when it comes to MOOC design and instruction.



Summer MOOCs

July 10th, 2013

3 Immersive and Game Based Learning MOOCs happening now!


Invitation from Sherry Jones, rgMOOC creator to lurk, participate and learn in the


rgMOOC is a Rhetoric and Game-Based MOOC that is co-created by Sherry Jones and Kate Guthrie Caruso, and will be released on May 28, 2013 – August 1, 2013. This free and open course is constructed based on the gMOOC theory that is co-founded by Sherry Jones and Jack Park. Twitter @rgMOOC!

Anne Frank MOOC

For more information and to sign up go here – MOOC-Anne Frank Flyer

Islands of Enlightenment introduction

Games MOOC

Part II of the Summer Games MOOC is our Immersive Learning and Virtual Worlds

The Games MOOC is an open course for all educators. The model for participation is based on social network knowledge construction. Learners will be able to be active in the course in several ways from lurking (reading the discussions), to being engaged in game-play to actively creating content in the course with the MOOC designer and Advisory Group. We do understand that a participant’s level of activity may vary based on the individual’s interest in the weekly topics or other time commitments.

So feel free to lurk!  As one of our MOOC Advisory Board member says, “Lurk and Learn!”

Summer Games MOOC

July 8th, 2013

This is your invitation to dance, play, sharpen your social media skills and build your games based learning and immersive learning PLN (Personal Learning Network) with the Games Based Learning MOOC.

Part II starts on Monday July 8, 2013 at 1pm MT!

Part II of the Colorado Community College System’s Games Based Learning MOOC starts tomorrow! We will begin with a 30 minute live introduction over Google Hangout at noon MT. To watch this, go to the Games MOOC YouTube channel – type in “Games MOOC Summer Part II Intro.” This will be recorded and posted in the Games MOOC so you can watch it later.

Part II of the Summer Games MOOC is our Immersive Learning and Virtual Worlds Tour. We’ll be having you take a look at two different types of immersive learning MOOCs or open courses, the rgMOOC with Sherry Jones

The Games MOOC will also be touring Second Life, OpenSim, Minecraft and World of Warcraft.

To join in go just click here – Games MOOC


The Marshmallow Challenge and Games

June 30th, 2013

Modified Marshmallow Challenge for the ISTE Leadership Symposium, we used a modified version of the Marshmallow Challenge.

Using it to explain game elements and fun, flow and fiero really came from a Game Based Learning Design Session that Sherry Jones and I did at our inhouse conference this year.  One of our very earnest instructors stated she wanted to use game based learning and gamification but it was difficult to think in those terms. So I pulled up the Marshmalllow challenge ( we had done the challenge the year before) and started to look at what they called a design challenge was actually a game.

Here’s the link to the website and the TED Talk

For the Epic Leadership Symposium, we cut down the time tremendously. We managed to do it in 18minutes and 30 seconds ( Chris was timing).  For our inhouse conference and at our state eLearning Consortium of Colorado (eLCC) conference  we have done it for 100 people and made it into a discussion about learning styles that lasted an hour. We have also made it a breakout session for 30 people and focus the discussion afterwards on how to do group projects in your classroom.