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Bricoleur and Bricolage

June 6th, 2013

What is a bricoleur?

The straight translation from French puts it as a handyman but it is so much more. In popular culture, we have seen the bricoleur.  Everyone know McGyver, he didn’t need James Bond’s technology to save the world, he used whatever he had on hand.

Today a bricoleur uses whatever technology and material they need to build the solution to a problem. We see them in the Maker Movement, Civic Hackathons and with gamers who are part of a participatory and modder culture. Our currents bricoleurs are really makers, hackers and gamers.

What is bricolage?

Seymour Papert uses the term bricolage to describe a way of learning that involves playing, failing and trying again. John Seely Brown also used the term bricolage  fifteen years ago to  describe how people use the Internet for learning, playing and working.

VEJ Awards – Voting Open

June 1st, 2013

Virtual Education Journal Awards!


Voting is up and ready for the Virtual Educational Journal Reader’s Choice Awards.
You can vote at until Wednesday June 5th at midnight PT.

Here is a list of EduPunxer who have been nominated as individuals or a part of an organization!

Category 1: What is your favorite educational sim/site in Second Life?

Front Range Estate Manager: Kae Novak/Kavon Zenovka
Builder: Vasili Giannoutsos/Bluebarker Lowtide

Category 5: Person who taught, inspired or helped you most in virtual worlds/games
Kae/Que – Kae Novak/SL Kavon Zenovka

Category 6: What Your Favorite Educational Event in 2012 in a virtual environment/game

Games MOOC
Instructors: Kae Novak and Kate Hagerty  Advisory Board Members: Chris Luchs

Virtual Worlds and Games UnSymposium
Kae Novak , Chris Luchs, Tanya Martin, Joseph Doan, Jerry Buchko and Vasili Giannoutsos.

Category 7: Where do you go for information about what is happening in virtual worlds?

#gamemooc Games MOOC tweetchat

Category 11: What is your favorite museum or educational build in a virtual environment?

Front Range Estate Manager: Kae Novak/Kavon Zenovka
Builder: Vasili Giannoutsos/Bluebarker Lowtide

Category 12: What is your favorite place to “hang” in a virtual world with your friends?

Inevitable Betrayal Guild – World of World

Category 15: The best educational conference/workshop/professional learning activity in a virtual world

Weekend Webinars/Inevitable Instructors – All of the Inevitable Betrayal Guild!

Category 16: Favorite Machinima

Inevitable Instructors Playlist

Question 19: Favorite Educational Gaming Guild

Inevitable Betrayal

Category 20 Favorite VEJ Article

Game On Interview with Kavon Zenovka – Kae Novak

To vote for the 2013 VEJ Reader’s Choice Awards please go here.



Games Design – Old School

May 24th, 2013

Just sharing what we just finished up yesterday at our in-house
Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference

To warm-up educators, we had a opening sessions on Makers, Hackers and Gamers, explaining that they are more dangerous than zombies. Makers, Hackers and Gamers 

Then after concurrent session on games, badges and hackathons, the closing day we did a 3 hour game camp. But no technology past scissors and glue.

The winner was a card/board game that has you competing using math functions.While not depicted on the video, she did jump out of her seat, put her hands over her head and yell when she won.  And yes everyone in that room – knows the term for that is Fiero!  And that’s how you bring Fiero to Assessments!


BYOT – Game On! Panel

May 17th, 2013

BYOT – Game On! Panel


Have you ever watched the intensity of someone playing a video game? The level of concentration, focus and enjoyment is astounding. These educators wanted to bring that same deep concentration (flow), feeling of accomplishment (fiero) and fun to learning happening in their classrooms. When they approached administration, they found there were constraints and barriers. These challenges presented the educators with an opportunity for hard fun. Using the standard gamer attitudes and problem solving approaches, they found innovative solutions through creative BYOT to bring games into the classroom. Participants in this session will learn what games were brought in and the strategies used to incorporate the games through BYOT. So for the three educators presenting on this panel – It really is BYOT -Game On!


Summer Games MOOC

April 5th, 2013

Summer Games MOOC

EduPunxers are now starting to focus on the design of the Summer 2013 Games MOOC. Come join us!

It’s a connectivism MOOC, so no …’s not suppose to look like a replica of Coursera. It was designed using the connectivism learning theory, gaming guild culture and informed by the Gamer Disposition.

The Summer Games MOOC is divided into two parts. Each part  is designed to be a standalone MOOC, so  you can sign up for one part or both.

Part I will focus on exploring collaboration, cross-functional teams and multi-player game based learning. We will take a close look at the features of multi-players games by going into MMORPGs (Massively Online Role-Playing Games) and also livestreaming from them. We will be exploring and even experiencing what makes these games so engaging. We will invite you in to play with us in MMORPGs and mobile MMOs.

Part II is a tour of online and immersive environments for game based learning. There will be an emphasis on you building your game based learning PLN (Personal Learning Network). We will visit multiple virtual learning environments, virtual worlds, sandbox games and MMORPGs. In Part II, we will also be collaborating with the rgMOOC, or “Rhetoric and Composition: The Persuasive Power of Video Games as Paratexts being offered by Sherry Jones and Kate Guthrie Caruso

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.


Games Events This Week

February 20th, 2013

Thursday February 21 at 7 pm MT will be the seventh installment of the G.A.M.E. “It Takes A Guild – A Guild of Educators” webinar series. We will be interviewing Tanya Martin, Chris Luchs, Kae Novak and Vasili Giannoutous on livestreaming game play, Machinima and the 2013 Machinima Fest at the ISTE Annual Conference in San Antonio.

Mists of Panderia

As educators who game, they continually use Machinima and livestream of gameplay as tutorials to help transform tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge. They also use Machinima to demonstrate the learning they see happening in games and virtual worlds. Oh, and did we mention?…… they also like to create.
You can access the webinar at the Games MOOC YouTube Channel

Saturday, February 23 at 11 am MT
WoW and your Financial Portfolio
Inevitable Instructor Webinar
Fun look at in-game finances and the economy in World of Warcraft
You can access the webinar at the Games MOOC YouTube Channel

Sunday, February 24 at 630 pm MT
Virtual Pioneer Augusta von Nassau (Gardengirl), will share her experience role playing at the 1920s Berlin Project. Augusta is a high school history teacher who has found that role playing has been a source of enrichment and professional development that has benefited both herself and her students. Please come to the VP building and enjoy this presentation.

Monday, February 25 at 6 PM MT
VSTE (Virgina Society for Technology in Education) Tour – Dae Miami takes us on a tour of Unity 3D, an Open Source computer modeling and game engine.
Be sure to join the VSTE Group in Second Life. Find the big red apple in the Community Center and add your contact information if you want us to know who you are and find interesting ways to collaborate on “real life” projects with you.  Use the notice board in the Community Center to tell us how we are doing or offer help or suggestions.

Game Issue of VEJ

January 7th, 2013

The winter issue of the Virtual Education Journal will be all about Games!

Virtual Education Journal
Deadline is January 15th and they are looking for educators to tell their stories.

This is from the Editor – Rosie Vjotek

GOT GAME? LET’S PLAY! The Winter 2013 issue of VEJ is coming out soon and we want to hear about your favorite games for fun, the joy of learning, and your how you are using games in education to actively engage students of all ages learning.

Please submit your stories about the work you are doing in second life or any virtual world/online game. We want to get the word out that ISTE SIGVE is exploring new and exciting methods of teaching and learning. We are specifically looking for stories in this issue about techniques and strategies you are using in second life and other virtual environments for your own professional learning and for helping your students learn. But, even more important for this article, we want to hear about the games you are using for your own pleasure, learning, and teaching (e.g., WoW, Club Penguin, Quest Atlantis).
We look forward to having you share your stories and pictures with the rest of us in the Winter issue of VEJ! Thank you for your help!

SUBMISSION DEADLINE is January 15, 2013.
To submit or ask questions and be sure to put VEJ in the subject line.

EduBlog 2012 Nominations

November 24th, 2012


G.A.M.E. members giving a Thanksgiving Tour of World of Warcraft over Google Hangout

Best individual blog

Grid Jumper’s Blog
Collaborative 3D Environments for Teaching and Learning

Best ed tech / resource sharing blog

Grid Jumper’s Blog
Collaborative 3D Environments for Teaching and Learning

Best teacher blog

Cat Flippen
ctrl + alt+teach

Most influential blog post

It’s About Time and Space
Grid Jumper’s Blog

Best individual tweeter


Best twitter hashtag


Best free web tool

Google Hangout

Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast

It Takes A Guild – A Guild of Educators Videos

Best open PD / unconference / webinar series

It Takes A Guild – A Guild of Educators Videos

Best educational use of a social network

G.A.M.E. Gamers Advancing Meaningful Education

Gamers Advancing Meaningful Education (G.A.M.E) is an online community of global educators who game. At its core is an online synchronous gaming community. This intellectually curious network of educators develop curriculum, offer online open courses, webinars and F2F presentations on the opportunities and deeper learning that takes place in games.

The Cognitive Dissonance Educator guild in World of Warcraft is the “home base” where this group regularly plays online. This community is involved in WoW in School, EduMachinima Fest, Virtual Worlds and Games UnSymposium, Games MOOC, Virutal Worlds and MMORPG Tour Guild – Inevitable Betrayal and open courses on P2PU. To see more about the guild and its members – please watch “It Takes a Guild – A Guild of Educators.”

Best mobile app

WoW Armory

The first reason is at the ISTE conference in San Diego, I was able to send messages to my guildees in Cog Dis when I was back stage at the ISTE opening ceremony. Why was I backstage? Well …the Guild Leader, Peggy Sheehy was co-hosting the opening ceremony! I was able to give the other educators in our guild a blow by blow of the event.

The second reason is because during Sandy it allowed the members of our educators guild to communicate with each other.

Here’s my write-up on the mobile app –

Lifetime achievement

Marianne Malmstrom aka KnowClue KIDD
Interview with Marianne Malmstrom (YouTube Video)

Educause 2012 Report

November 17th, 2012

This is entirely from the prospective of an EduPunx…so a bootstrapper looking at conference with people who have budgets.

The New York Times has dubbed this the “Year of the MOOC” and that was readily apparent at the Educause. MOOCs were continually discussed.

Massively Online Open Courses are currently divided into two categories which an emerging third and are described at The Many Manifestations of the MOOC

xMOOC is the term being used for the MOOCs that are coming out of the Ivy Leagues, Udacity (Stanford professor who has raised $21 million in venture capital), edX (MIT and Harvard $60 million non-profit), and Coursera, which recently raised $16 million in venture capital.

cMOOC is a MOOC that uses connectivism as its pedagogy. These MOOC started in the Canadian universities and have traditionally received little funding and instructors have normally taught these because they wanted to experiment with this new pedagogy that at its core is about how to learn in the digital age. Participants normally range from a few hundred to a few thousand.

There is a discussion of a possible third type that is “special interest” or a community rather than a course. Clay Shirky said the interesting thing about a MOOC is O for open. Shirky books on “Cognitve Surplus” and “Here Comes Everybody” really tie well into this theme. People are trading in their TV time and Internet surfing time to learn as entertainment and as recreation.

What MOOCs may mean for Online Learning
Coursera, Udacity and edX have public examples of their online courses. They may not be exemplary or constructivist courses, but they have established a public standard.
Coursera uses 10 minute videos of instructor lecture for each week. Each video has two screens. One screen is the slide with pictures and text. The other screen is the instructor giving the lecture. This alternates depending on the lecture and it looks like they are using Adobe Presenter or similar software to produce the final videos.

Takeway: It is the instructor’s content and not publisher video or publisher PowerPoint. Students in MOOCs identify with the instructor even though this is the only interaction they have with them.Coursera uses AI graded multiple choice quizzes. The instructor creates the test as an original. Currently all subjects offered within the three institutions are topics where there is a definite right and wrong answer to the question asked to allow for the AI grading.

Takeaway: Students cannot Google the answers nor can they look up keywords in the index to find the correct answer. The assessments are based on materials provided in the weekly lectures and assigned academic articles for reading.

Coursera does assignments that are peer graded. Students are assigned a fellow student’s written assignment to grade. Mixed results as there have been reports of plagiarism. Coursera is following up on peer grading and believes that students can be trained to grade similarly to instructors.
Takeaway: This should be watched to see what develops.

Overall Takeways from MOOCs:
• MOOCs had everyone talking about online learning and its future.
• Ivy Leagues schools are doing xMOOCs as marketing tool and prestige
• xMOOCs use an easy to replicate online instructional design model

What MOOCs haven’t figured out about Online Learning?
• MOOCs can garner massive participation but completion is usually 10% or less
• While they may have shown the online courses can be designed and delivered massively they do not retain students.

MOOC misconceptions of the closing keynote and others
Edward L. Ayers made the statement that “MOOCs aren’t collaborative.” He went then on to suggest that MOOCs don’t have interaction among students. So when talking to people about MOOCs, they may only know of the extremely large and AI graded MOOCs from Stanford, edX( MIT and Harvard) and Coursera. An example of a MOOC that is considered a cMOOC or a connectivist MOOC is Digital Storytelling – DS 106. This MOOC has been running iterations over the past two years. It is extremely collaborative and each semester has been used by 2 – 8 university courses.

MOOCs actually have huge potential for collaboration. However it is the one part that xMOOCs have not utilized; instead xMOOCS have focused on more of a sage on the stage model of delivery.

Mobile and BYOD
BYOD or Bring Your Own Device is a movement away from computer commons, iPad initiatives and other programs that has the institution providing computing devices for students. The overall consensus at the mobile sessions and the BYOD unconference was skip user device management and just move forward to BYOD.

The suggestion for institutions was to invest in infrastructure such as standalone USB and normal plug recharge stations and teaching correct IT hygiene for students. From the teaching and learning sessions, there was a tendency to encourage mobile devices rather than laptops. It was discussed that students hide behind laptops and often students behind them pay more attention to their neighbor’s screen then the material being presented.

Badges as demonstration of mastery rather than gamification were brought up in many sessions. The three programs referred to were:
Mozilla Foundation Open Badge Project
The Open Badge project is a system that allows the learner to signup and receive a badge earner account. Organizations that issue and display badges then put their information into the Open Badge project.
Mac Arthur Foundation Badges for Life Long Learning
Series of badge initiatives and research on the use of badges being developed by MacArthur Foundation.
Purdue Passport
This is a Badge system that Purdue University just adopted this semester. It is still a work in progress but faculty can issue badge that show in the student’s ePortfolio known as Passport.

Takeway: This discussion came up in several sessions. A combination of MOOCs and credentialing through badges may change how students approach higher education. This was also food for thought when it came to considering a move to competency based assessment.

The Games and Learning constituency group was well attended for an 8 am session. The constituency group leaders are Chris Stubbs, Director of the Educational Gaming Commons at Penn State and A.J. Shelton, Director of Emerging Technology at Monclair State University. Discussion surrounded three topics using games in the classroom, gamifying the course for motivation and behavior modification and the development of ARGs (Alternate Reality Games).
Takeaway: Interest in games.

“Just Hire a Coder.”
This expression was repeatedly and nonchalantly said in sessions. Anytime integration into the LMS gradebook was mentioned, someone said “just hire a coder.” This was seen at Educause as standard operating procedure to hire an independent contractor for a specific need and that initiatives no longer see this as a constraint.

Game Based Learning MOOC

October 25th, 2012

Links and Resources from Games Based Learning MOOC from eLCC
Game Based Learning MOOC

twitter @ proximalzone
flickr Game Based Learning MOOC group

Virtual Worlds and Games UnSymposium
November 2 – 3, 2012