Monday, December 1, 2008

How to evaluate our students’ Globaloria projects and participation?

Amazingly, our students are well into the creation of their games. Many of you have been thinking hard about how to evaluate our students’ work, their games and presentations.

As we encouraged you in the summer Globaloria Academy, we hope that you have actually shared the evaluation forms and process with your students. If not, now would be a great time to review the evaluation forms and process with students and talk about their questions. It is important to let them understand how their participation, each and every day, in class and on the class wiki, their team work as well as their final games and their presentations will be evaluated.

The Globaloria community has collaborated on an Evaluation Tool Kit. It is located on the Educator's Wiki.

Please share with us how you change it to fit better with your students’ level, style, and accomplishments:

For example, if you are at the middle school level you may need to customize or simplify the descriptions for the performance categories. At the high school level, you may want to add an area of focus that you integrated into your class throughout the semester.

Remember, good evaluation is a critical part of the learning process and can be an extremely powerful and positive experience for your students.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blogging Globalora Educators

We are so excited about Year 2 here at Globaloria. Our educators have really committed to blogging about their progress and experiences as part of the Globaloria WV program. This increased activity and reflection has really enhanced our community and connected peer educators throughout the state.

Here is a list of our educators' blogs. I have included a link to their profile on their school wiki, a link to their blog where you can read all about their classroom, and a link to the RSS feed that would allow you to subscribe to their blog if you want.

Take a minute to check them out, subscribe to them, and learn about the program, and be sure to leave comments!


Randy Cantrell

Blog: http://randycan77.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://randycan77.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Heidi Fitzpatrick

Blog: http://heidiglobaloriapage.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://heidiglobaloriapage.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Megan McGee

Blog:http://meganmcgee1701.blogspot.com

RSS:http://meganmcgee1701.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default


Bill Dorsey

Blog: http://capitalhsta.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://capitalhsta.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default


Angela Cruikshank

Blog: http://cruikshank-globaloria.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://cruikshank-globaloria.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Lisa Dolan

Blog: http://ldolan.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://ldolan.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Vicky Neal

Blog: http://vnealart.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://vnealart.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Bobbi Scofield

Blog: http://my2amthoughts.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://my2amthoughts.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Les Mullins

Blog: http://lmullens.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://lmullens.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Abbie Franks

Blog: http://zippyspage.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://zippyspage.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Jim Allder

Blog: http://jimallder.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://jimallder.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Richard Cowley

Blog: http://cowleycomments.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://cowleycomments.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Natalie Ellis

Blog: http://natalieellis.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://natalieellis.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Patrick Smith

Blog: http://patrickstronsmith.blogspot.com

RSS: http://patrickstronsmith.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Lori Tate

Blog: http://missloriglobaloriaclass.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://missloriglobaloriaclass.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Carl Carpenter

Blog: http://carpsglobaloria.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://carpsglobaloria.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Denise Stalnaker

Blog: http://helpdeniseteach.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://helpdeniseteach.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Ingrida Barker

Blog: http://ingridasblog.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://ingridasblog.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default


Jeremy Reed

Blog: http://www.sweetjessereed.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://sweetjessereed.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Sara Garrett

Blog: http://www.blogbymrsg.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://blogbymrsg.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Tonji Bowen

Blog: http://glifeckat.blogspot.com/

RSS: http://glifeckat.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Check out this Great Video

This video should make you feel really good about being a part of the Globaloria Program here in West Virginia.  A passionate teacher makes a presentation about how education might look in the Google Age.

 



If you can't see the video, go here.
http://www.viddler.com/explore/geoffd/videos/50/

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Finding Time to Reflect

With the Globaloria Learning and Teaching Progress Reports due at the end of the month, I thought it would be a good time to revisit a question from the Educator's Forum.


Group Forum/Worry about finding time to document and do rather intensive record keeping requirements.

Ingrida left a great idea on the forum.  Take a few minutes a day to get your thoughts down in a little note to yourself. Capture what happened during the class period, what went great, what were your challenges.  These types of quick reflections are exactly what needs to go into your progress report.  It would also be good to capture some specifics about your students.  Johnny asked this question, Mary reviewed this game,  Timmy is becomming a leader in his group by providing support for his team.

A few notes a day will go a long way when when pulling together your reflections.

Do you have any ideas?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Maitreyi's Globaloria Blog

Most of you have met Maitreyi Doshi. She is our Special Projects Coordinator for the Globaloria program here in West Virginia. Maitreyi is a gifted young lady who is going to bring a lot of energy and talent to our WV Team.  She has already conducted two training sessions related to graphic design and using images in Flash.  She has also really taken on the roll of collecting needed information from our schools.  All that paperwork that has to be done.

I am happy to announce that Maiytreyi has started a blog!  Check out her first post here.

My First Month at Globaloria

Welcome to our community and the MyGLIfe Network Maitreyi!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Talk:Group Forum/How do I combat competing school interests / activities? - WVwiki

At the Globaloria Academy in Charleston last month we had a great session that provided all educators to ask questions. We then attempted to have a group discussion around these great questions. However, time was not on our side and we had to limit some of the great discussion that we taking place. I am goign to try to continue that discussion here on my blog. The first question I will mention is about competing against school interests. I posted a response on the Educator's Wiki in the Educator's Forum and I am going to share it here on the blog as well for those of you who didn't go back and check it out. 

The first paragraph is notes from our discussion, the second is my response after the workshop. If you have any ideas, post them in the comments.


Crittenton team: You can offer incentives for the students to participate. We had an incentive every 3 months for those who continued participating. You can also offer different times than during activities and work around their times. You can also offer more than one time a day for the class so they can pick between the 2 times. You also can get the schedules of the students before you decide on your class times. Loretta: We encountered this in Year 1. We doubled up days in weeks when they were there. Having laptops that students could take home helped too.

Being Proactive

I think there is a lot to be said about being proactive. If you can plan ahead, get the word out early, and really empower the students to continuing to work even if conflicts present themselves, you can go a long way in reducing the impact of other school activities. If missing once or twice due to an alternative event doesn't slowdown progress in game development, because students know what they need to be working on as soon as they get back, then I think the program can still flourish. I have been reading a lot about being proactive and having an "abundance" attitude, sometimes it is hard, but is really powerful when you can think this way.--Lee 09:47, 21 August 2008 (EDT)
Talk:Group Forum/How do I combat competing school interests / activities? - WVwiki

Friday, July 25, 2008

Flash Skills: Use it or Lose It

It is really important that you go back into your Flash files and work on your games as much as you can. You know as educators, when you are trying to learn new skills that you may not have a lot of experience in, you need to just put in some real time "hacking" around. Just becoming familiar with the Flash user experience is important.

Here is a little flash movie I just made for you to check out. It is nothing more the buttons on layers over a screencap. You all know how to do that. You can make a lot of creative things just with this basic technique. Try it... hand draw a game interface and scan it or take a digital picture. Paste the image in Flash and lay buttons over each area explaining the interface. Remember to put your buttons on different layers.








(note: flash object may not appear in your email, go to the blog page to see it.)

Scroll your mouse over the different areas of the picture and learn what that area is called.

I hope that you are using it... your flash skill... so you don't lose it.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mrs. Ellis' Globaloria Blog Site



Natalie Ellis

Since the Globaloria training last week, I have been taking a few minutes each day and reviewing the information for Flash that we received in the class.
Mrs. Ellis' Globaloria Blog Site

This is great!  Natalie is finding a few minutes to work on the skills she learned in the workshop and she is blogging!  Way to go Natalie.  I hope that everyone will try to follow your example.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Flash Animation in a Game

Here is a great example of a frame by frame animation that one of our educators put together this week in our workshop. This animation was part of a great game that allows the learner to consider the important balance needed in life between protecting our environment and having the energy our world needs to maintain our needs and healthy lifestyles.









Flash File is Here.

The technique is to actually change the assets (in this case the wheels, truck bed, and coal) in scene on defined keyframes. This allows the game developer to create the illusion of animation.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Globaloria Workshop: Prototypes and Flash

In day two of the Globaloria workshop everyone did a great job prototyping their games. As educators were divided into four groups and given only about an hour, they all came up with some great ideas. The teams, Team Green, Team Go, Team Odd Man Out, and Team EnviroBalance, all pulled together a paper prototype and presented it to everyone. Each of the games really started to take shape and all were based on great educational or social change issues.

Later in the afternoon everyone got to really take a look at Flash and how to draw their prototypes in Flash. It was cool how everyone educator in the class stepped up and was drawing a section of their game. This is Team Greens Game flash file based on their game pitch.






Today, day three, the educators will continue to build their game design concepts and will be presenting their final ideas, in Flash, to the entire group. It should be exciting.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Barry Joseph on Gaming in Education

We are sitting in Barry Joseph's session on Games for Social Change. He started the session by asking us to interrupt him. He is providing a history of serious games and games for change. Mention's Senator Clinton's legislation regarding the indecency of games. He has stepped through and is now talking about SecondLife. Mention's program from MacAuthor Foundation.

Mentions Games For Change conference. MacAuthor announces a Game school in New York City. Scratch. - helps with game design.

Video clip of Principal who likes Global Kids.

Jan 2008 - interest in program continues.

Study said the making a game was useful for learning. A single game could teach a complex issue.

June 2008 - Library gaming... Librains guide to gaming.

AMD Foundation announces games initiative. "Changing the Game". Shows a video clip.

Gaming langauge has become acceptable over the past six years.

The question for us is.... Are we ready?

Rezed.org - best practices for education.

---

The Session continues....

UPDATED

Continued Live Blogging from Barry Joseph Session...

http://holymeatballs.org/
Barry is providing a quick overview of a list of games and we will decide what we want to play. We decided to play Free Rice. The game helps you with language and the rice you win will be donated to those in need. Heidi scored 560.

Idit discusses how we might be able to better show the community gain at large.

Next Game: Consumer Consequences... really not a game at all, but students experience it as a game. The main goal is to be aware of the concept. Just get the idea across. You have to make decisions in your own time and own space and that is often where issues come from.

Next Game: September 12... it is not really a game.... talked about issues around the game.

The session went into a great group activity that I will go into in another post soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Globaloria Academy Final Plans

The WorldWideWorkshop Foundation has been working hard these last two weeks creating the first of two Globaloria Academy Workshops to be held in West Virginia this summer. Finalizing agendas, talking with speakers, getting the logistics in place.... everything needed to support a learning experience. It is also so great to be working with our partners at WVCPD on this, they are always so helpful!

This first workshop is all about putting our educators in the "learner" role. We will be providing some overview of the network, some context on the program, and then we are going to jump into learning about conceiving, designing, and building a game that provides value for anyone who plays it. The three day workshop will engage our educators in becoming part of the virtual social network that we call MyGLife and help them become participants in the network. As part of that participation they will begin to shape their ideas and start the process necessary to bring them to life, that is, create a playable game.

It is our goal to really model how the Globaloria program can be implemented in the classroom and provide the educators with a context for collaboration and game creation through technologies that mirror 21st century work models and skills. I am particularly excited to observe last years educators begin to build on their existing skills and experiences and take their games to a new level. Of course, that does come with the concern that they might go to work for EA Sports! For those of you coming next.... see you there!

Monday, July 7, 2008

NECC Presentation on the Web




Photo courtesy of engadkins

Unfortunately, I have been unable to listen to the complete presentation of Idit's presentation at NECC last week. I participated in the SecondLife live streaming session, but it kept cutting out in and out due to my internet access. I am beginning to think that it was a local problem, because others watched it in it's entirety. However, here are some related links on the web that you may want to check out.

Idit Caperton's Closing Keynote NECC 2008 Archive here.

Idit's NECC page where you can discuss the presentation with Idit here.

Wesley Fryer's reactions.
http://www.speedofcreativity.org/2008/07/02/the-transformational-power-of-social-media-technology-in-learning-inspiring-stories-from-the-classroom-and-beyond-idit-caperton/

Jamieson Kane's post.

http://jamiesonkane.wordpress.com/2008/07/03/the-transformational-power-of-social-media/

Joe Brennan's note.

http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/digital_storytelling/2008/07/03/necc-%E2%80%9908-day-3/

And CoolCatTeacher Vicky Davis's live blog stream.

http://www.coveritlive.com/index2.php?option=com_altcaster&task=viewaltcast&altcast_code=84f19c7432&height=550&width=470

If you run across any other posts, leave them in the comments.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

NECC Presentation on Globaloria Live in SecondLife






Idit Caperton's closing keynote will be streamed live to SecondLife.

Wednesday, July 2, 12:45-2 PM SLT

Watch NECC’s closing keynote address by Idit Caperton live on ISTE Island! Mixed reality audio and video streams.
Location: ISTE Island Auditorium http://slurl.com/secondlife/ISTE%20Island/212/47/25

Here is the information from the NECC website. If you happen to attend my name is Mack McGee in SecondLife. I am wearing a blue shirt.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Globaloria Year Two





As Rebecca leads the data analysis of Year 1, Globaloria is headed into our Year 2 pilot. We are so excited to be entering into this second year with our existing schools that have returned with us and with our new schools that we will be meeting in Bridgeport at our first summer workshop. We have focused recent efforts on implementing curriculum improvements, enhancing our support activities, and as always looking for additional resources out on the web that will support the game design and development process for both our educators and our students. (Let me know if you know of any great resources!)

A key focus for Year 2 will be Game Design. We are really excited about having our students dig deep into the creative aspect of their game and explore their area of focus. We think this will happen through more in-depth game design documentation and more detailed graphic planning and better game idea presentations. We would love to see our students really explore their ideas, create scene ideas including backgrounds, assets, and character development before the develop their games.


Another area that we feel will really be exciting in Year 2 is the increased activity in the social networking space. We hope that we can encourage more participants (educators and students) to blog, post/edit in the wiki, and make connections across the network. We feel this will really enhance the quality of support throughout the MyGLife.org network. It would be great to see additional activities emerge from the network itself, ones that we haven't even thought of.

There are many, many more ideas that we are implementing and really focusing on throughout this up-coming year. We are really excited about all of them and I will work to share them here with you.


See you soon!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Game Presesntation: Behing the Scenes

Check out this great, behind the scenes look from the students of Randolph Technical Center. It shows some of the day when they packed up and went to Charleston to present that game they have been working on this spring and it sure looks like they are having fun! All to a great soundtrack.



Of course it is also important to point out that one of the students created the video completely on his own. Great Job!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Games For Change: Globaloria is a Model

David Kirkpatrick from Fortune Magazine published today a piece following a conference last week in NYC called “Games for Change.”

Globaloria is mentioned a bit at the end of this piece!

http://money.cnn.com/2008/06/06/technology/games_change.fortune/?postversion=2008060606


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Transparency in Learning

One of the concepts that we champion here at Globaloria is the power of "transparency" in the learning process. By leveraging a social network to support a learning process it is possible to get a lot of support and make connections to peers, educators, and experts that have similar interests and goals.

Within Globaloria we support this by leveraging the easy-to-edit wiki platform, blogs, and a collaboration tool, making it possible to post, share, comment, and engage around the game design process. This has been really helpful with learners when they are designing their game and when they are learning the necessary Flash skills required to build a game.

It is important to note, however, that to leverage this power of "transparency" and support of the social network, you must engage in posting your files, sharing your ideas, and commenting on others work. So, if you are a current member of the Globaloria community, post your work, start a blog, or comment on someone else's page.

You will be amazed at how fast you start to learn how to improve your game!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Flash Tip: How to create a Score Counter

Student Asks:

I need to know how to get a score counter to go up when my rabbit collects a carrot.



Developer Response:

Setup a variable outside of any function so that all scripts can access it.

var scoreAmt:Number;

Create a dynamic text field in the stage and give it a name(score).

http://smartwebby.com/Flash/text_basics.asp

Add to or subtract from scoreAmt.

scoreAmt += 5; //adds 5
scoreAmt -=5; //subtracts 5

Set the text to the variable.

score = scoreAmt;

Note:There are two ways to set a value to a text field. The tutorial shows the old way of using the var in the Properties box. The new way is to name the text field through the Instance box. In that case you will set it's contents like this. You only need to use one method.

score.text = scoreAmt.


Can any one add to this?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Note about the evaluation tools.

Note: A guest post by Denise Stalnaker.

I just wanted to let everyone know that the evaluation tools are very effective. My students were given the forms in advance when preparing for presentations and were told that they would be evaluated by someone other than me. Some groups did well and some did not but they all agreed that they were judged fairly and agreed with the scores.

One of my students said that, “We work better by the seat of our pants.” However, very quickly another student spoke up and said, “No that is what we did. That doesn’t mean it is better.” The group proceeded to discuss their presentation and agreed they were not prepared and it was reflected in their performance. They have to give another presentation in May and are already thinking and planning the presentation.

If Shannon and Lee have another online Training Session on the presentation tools try to take part. You will get advice on how to prepare your students which is very helpful.


Lee's Addition: The latest Evaluation tool can be found here on the Educator's Wiki.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A TASTE OF A FEW GLOBALORIA EXPERIENCES

Here are a few links to games that you can review. As you will see, these are works in progress. What you need to do, is to imagine the PROCESS of making these games and all the different kinds of learning that are involved.

1. A world-history game called - Zeitgeist

Being produced by “the Five Experimental Ninjas” (the group name of high school students from a Globaloria-WV Program at RTC that meets daily) – this is very creative in terms of art, storyline, and music. It also shows some more advanced flash game coding:

http://www.myglife.org/usa/wv/mctcwiki/images/4/4c/TheFiveExperimentalNinjasEgypt1.swf




2. The Adventure West Virginia game

Being produced collaboratively by 10 students at MCTC (Marshal Community Technical College) this game is coming also along really well. It’s sort of a tourism game – helping users to learn about West Virginia history, resources and culture. The final game presentation is next week, but this link below shows many skills acquired already -- their game proposal, schedule, paper prototyping video, characters, interface and an initial pass at a snowboarding mini game:

http://www.myglife.org/usa/wv/mctcwiki/index.php/Adventure_West_Virginia

3. At Man HS, a rural WV school in a very small town, the Globaloria Program is implemented a few times per week as an Afterschool Program with 5 students. Please see (a yet-to-be-named) oral health game, “where you fend off sweets with a toothbrush and toothpaste”:

http://www.myglife.org/usa/wv/hsta-manwiki/images/7/71/Ggame.swf

Note: Here’s the student idea that inspired this game:

http://www.myglife.org/usa/wv/hsta-manwiki/index.php/Dream_Game_Idea

4. At Capital HS, in Charleston WV, Globaloria is implemented a few times per week as an Afterschool Program. Please see “Falling Food, a game about healthy eating habits,” that is being developed by 2 ninth-grade girls. See the game description, character work and a very preliminary version of the game here. Click inside the game window at the very bottom of the page and use your arrow keys to move their character “Bob”:

http://www.myglife.org/usa/wv/hsta-capitalwiki/index.php/User:Itsmelexi

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Great Game Presentations

We sat in on some great game presentations today in Huntington WV! I will have to blog about it more later, but I was so proud of our students and educators! Great job! You really pushed Globaloria to a new level of game development.





The RTC students made the drive from Randolph County and presented a game about time travel. They had a really creative game interface, multiple levels, authentic music, and interactive game play. Each student talked about all the work they put into the game.






The MCTC students showed two functional games on snowboarding and rafting. The whole team shared their roles, including programming, graphic arts, research, and program management. It was great.

I will share more soon. I promise.

Monday, April 14, 2008

FInal Game Presentations

It is really amazing that we are heading into final game presentations for this spring! We have a couple of communities presenting their final games this week and soon all of our groups will be wrapping up. As you start to work on these final presentations, we wanted to point out that there are a few specific topics within the curriculum that can help.





For your Game Presentation:
(note: my links are to Capital's Wiki, but they are on all wikis)

This first one is kind of obvious. Check out the Presentation topic in the Game Design section. This section walks you through the presentation process and helps you think about what you need to do before your presentation and after. It also provides a quick video with presentation tips.

The second topic you should review is Game Concept Project. It reminds you of what content or topics would be good in your presentation. If you can answer these questions it will go along way to being prepared.

For your Playable Game:

If you are presenting a playable game then you need to review the Playable Game topic. This will focus you on the key components of the game and provide tips on how you should present it.

We are really excited about the opportunity to see these final games. Good Luck!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Game Design Challenges

Note: This is another Guest Post from Denise Stalnaker.

Everyone out there—I am interested in hearing from you. What has been the biggest challenge doing game design at your school? What has been the greatest reward?

My challenge has been determining what to use for test grades and how to score assignments as a test grade. My reward has been being able to see what my students were able to achieve and produce. From graphics to music to movement to game concept, I have been impressed with what the students have created.

This is my reward—Game Design II Game—
http://www.myglife.org/usa/wv/mctcwiki/index.php/The_Five_Experimental_Ninjas
or
http://www.myglife.org/usa/wv/mctcwiki/images/1/18/Zeit_Geist_total_tb2.swf

Let us learn from each other’s challenges and share in the joy of the rewards.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Value of Wiki Collaboration

Bob Coffield, a West Virginia blogger and lawyer, has a great post today about the value of wiki collaboration. I see this value proposition on a daily basis.  

Look at the required process for sharing documents via email. 



The only real benefit that using word processing is ease of formatting.  You can run into some formatting issues when using wiki's as your primary editing tool. One thing I've learned is that quick table editing in WikiMedia can cause troubles down the road if you want to transfer the information to Excel to allow for calculations.   However, I still feel it is worth using a wiki for sharing any information. 

What about you? Do you send a draft of a document around via email? Do you have 4 or more versions of it on your computer wondering if you need to keep them all?  Have you ever got a large document that someone else has edited and you have no idea what they have changed? These are all reasons to use wikis.   I know that online collaborative documents are getting popular and for good reason, Google Docs and Zoho are really getting popular and I use them both in addition to using wikis.  They offer a little more control over the document that you are creating then a wiki, such as who can edit it.

Bob is a lawyer in Charleston and deals with the healthcare industry. I wonder how many hospitals have a wiki?

Of course in Globaloria, everything is on the wiki, so everything is already in a great collaborative format.   I would love to see more of us put more of our information in wiki pages, making it easy to share and easy to collaborate.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Score, Timer, and Collision: Flash Code Examples

This was Bill's question...

Does anyone have actionscript coding for a game timer (countdown), score keeper (hittest), and drawing walls that stop character movement that work in FLASH MX2004? My kids had started their game on that platform and those are the last 3 major issues to make a fully functional game.

[[Bill]] 15:59, 1 April 2008 (EDT)


I was wondering if anyone out there could point us to some good code examples? These are very common game elements so am thinking it would be great collect several examples around each concept. I posted here first, now I will go and search around the web. I'll let you know if I find anything.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Teaching Game Design

I am so excited... Denise Stalnaker has shared another post with me and I am sharing it with you....

There are some days that I feel like I don’t know anything and other days when I feel that I might just be getting ahead. This feeling was one of the main obstacles that I had to face when I started teaching business technology classes. When I had taught other classes I knew the content or at least 80-90percent of it. However, I am lucky if I know 20-30% of the features of the software that I teach. At first I felt stressed about it but now I have learned to let the students do the leading. If they know more than me I put them to work helping other students, teaching me or doing special projects. There are days when it still bothers me that I don’t know certain information but generally that feeling goes away once I see the work of the students.

I also try to talk to students about technology advances. At least 5 years ago a few of my students told me I needed to get Flash. My principal allowed me to purchase a copy and I tried to use it. I was lost so about two weeks later two of my students in web page design were ahead so I gave it to them to learn. Approximately 20 minutes later they were showing me how to do the basics.

As I teach game design there are days when I cannot help the students but I have learned that figuring things out together or assigning another student to help work just as well. I really hope this is 21st Century learning because I know I am learning “tons” and hopefully preventing Alzheimer’s in the process.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Using Google Reader

This is a guest post by one of our educators: Denise Stalnaker

At one of the training sessions Lee taught us how to set up and use Google Reader and since then it has been very helpful to me. My students are working with MCTC so I wanted to monitor what they were doing on those pages as well as the RTC pages. Then my students also joined Kasson Middle School pages. The Reader was one way I can easily see when changes are made and by whom. I can then click and see the changes quickly. I have other sites that I also want to monitor. Try it.



Google Reader Screen

Game Movement Trouble

UpDate: We have already identified the issue here. It is great to see the community support address the issues quickly. It was a cut and paste issue.

I received this email today and I looking for some of you who have already worked through this process to help out....
Some of the students are having problems with the coding in Animation I, Elementary Programming. For example, (Cradox) cannot get the code from the game, Game Movement [the basics] - Part 1 to work properly. The game will execute on the website, but the code does not seem to work for them. [One student] will be putting a copy of his game with errors on his wiki page under the heading Animation 1. Could someone take a look at it and see what may be the problem?

Some of the other students have tried various segments in the Elementary Programming, but have the same problems. They were wondering if it could possibly be because they are using a different version of Flash.
I am posting the issue here on my blog so that anyone who might have already run into this issue can offer some support. Maybe you have already worked through the tutorial or you use a different version of Flash. Or maybe you can just offer a word of encouragement.

So if you are within a hyperlink of this problem.... lend a hand?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Free Images to Use in Your Games










I found this great resource in my RSS Reader yesterday. It was a suggestion from Shannon about where to find great, free pictures that you can use in your game.

I heard that you were looking for some good free clip art sources and I have a few suggestions. Good luck with your game! --[[User:Shannon|Shannon]] 19:23, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
* Wikimedia Commons (over 1 million images, animations, audio, video): http://commons.wikimedia.org
* Flickr (over 7 million CC-BY and 5 million CC-SA photos) : t
* openclipart : (over 10,000 tagged clipart images) http://www.openclipart.org


Check it out!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Things in Process Here at Globaloria

There are a lot of great things going on in Globaloria right now. I thought I would take a moment and share some of them. The students are really working hard on their games. Check the wikis and you will find a lot of new digital artifacts and game components. It is really getting cool to watch the complex games pieces come together.

In Crittenton all the students are creating their own design and they are going to pull together pieces of that for their own game. At Clay County High School, now one of our most active groups on the wiki, each student is creating their own game. And at MCTC, the students are really finalizing their group project and will be providing a live demo in April.

Our Internship Program has been underway for about four weeks now and we are seeing a lot of great things. They have created tutorials based on requests from the educators and they are each blogging. Check it out here, here, and here. The Interns are also starting to provide guidance to some of our students through their wiki. Students helping students.

And our educators have been very busy as well. They have been guiding students. Kasson Middle School lead educator Chad has been conducting daily presentations to his group, all the educators are preparing and submitting their reports, and they will be participating in an online mini-workshop very soon.

Finally, our recruiting efforts are in mid-stream. We have reached out to schools through our presentation and asked them to complete this application. It is really neat that we are getting referrals from our existing schools (Thanks guys!).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Calendar for Educators




We have created a public calendar on the WV Educators wiki to share important dates and events within the community. Please go and check it out. If you have any feedback or additional important dates, leave a note on the Discussion Tab.

It is exciting to see so much happening in the Globaloria Community and in our West Virginia schools.

Thanks!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Clay High School Interfaces

There is a new group of students this Spring at Clay High School. They have been working through the Globaloria tutorials and have started to post some great work on their wiki.






This is an example of an interface created by one of the students. For those of you who may not be aware, the Play Station Portable (PSP) is a mobile, handheld device that has an awesome screen resolution and internet connectivity. This shows some great talent in recreating the PSP in Flash. Great Job!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

How to Publish a Flash File

If any of you are just starting to use Flash and are wondering how to publish your Flash file, here is a video (screencast) that will walk you through the process. It is really not that hard of a skill, but if you have never done it before, you may wonder why there are two files, (fla and swf) and why Publish is different then Save.

Well, watch this video, then go to the Text tutorial and work through it. It gives a quick explanation. Good Luck!

P.S. I need to learn how to embed a Flash file into my blog. That way you can watch it here. Anyone out there know how to do this?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Globaloria Presentation at CPD Professional Development Showcase

Shannon and I presented two (the same presentation) sessions yesterday at the CPD Professional Development Showcase. We felt the sessions went well considering that the conference center had NO internet access. The second challenge was that we didn't even have a projector for the first half of the first session. But the attendees were great and Shannon did a great job getting us through that initial hurdle.

Our session was designed to introduce potential new schools to the Globaloria program. We presented the vision, the implementation framework, the larger family of social networks, and finally how they (or you) could join. We showed some videos and some screencaps that we had grabbed as backups to actually surfing the wikis, (just in case the internet was down). Here are the slides.



We also handed out an application to everyone who attended so that, if interested, they could provide us with some information about their school. We had one school return the application at the end of the session and another school schedule a time for us to come and visit with their educators. It was really great. The application is posted here if you are interested.

Toward the end of the presentation we discussed how important it is that we get great educators who are passionate in teaching in new and innovative ways. If you aren't already a Globaloria partner and this sounds perfect for you and your school, fill out the application and maybe you could be the next partner in the Globaloria Community.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Collaboration and Communication on the Rise

It is really great to see the collaboration and communication with the Globaloria program in the rise. More and more we are seeing students express themselves through the wiki, educators using the platform to provide feedback, and we have a group of new technology wizards starting to blog (links very soon).

MCTC has posted some great paper prototype videos. You should really go and check them out.



Snowboarding Game Prototype

Great job everybody!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Great Podcast about Globaloria




Idit Caperton, Director of the WorldWideWorkshop, participated in this podcast. It is a fairly quick listen around ten minutes long. Check it out.

(WORLD) The MediaSnackers podcast focusses on individuals, organizations or companies who are simply impressing us and which are crying out for more discussion.

Idit Caperton is the founder of MaMaMedia and creator of the Globaloria Program which empowers and connects aspiring young web developers worldwide (amongst other things).

Friday, February 15, 2008

Social Networking and Gaming

Wow, a week got by me and I didn't get a lot posted.

Here is an article about how the popularity of social networks and the popularity of games are starting to combine. It is interesting because many of these games are similar to the ones that our students are creating in Globaloria. There is a large market for friends getting together online through Facebook or MySpace and playing cards or scrabble.

Just imagine Globaloria getting to the place where we are coming together online and playing collaborative games. We really aren't that far away. We have some great games.

Update: Here is another story from the gaming industry. It looks like there is a lot of investment going into these games.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Workshop Follow-up

video

I wanted to take some time to pull together a post-workshop post for the blog. I think we had a good workshop and I really saw some progress in some of our teachers. It is always exciting to see a group "dig in' and really start to understand the process and the technologies. I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for making it a great learning experience.

The workshop focused on some key things for the group of existing educators including the Globaloria platform, using the wiki, collaborating virtually within the community, and a lot of time learning Flash.

Each school was able to go into their wiki and make edits and updates, some worked through their semester schedule, while others began to re-organize their wikis to improve the overall platform.

During the second day of the workshop, we had a great discussion about some of the issues that we face in the schools, like Getting Started, Recruiting Students, Grading Student Work, and transferring Globaloria skills and techniques into other curriculum areas or classes. Everyone participated in the discussion and a lot great ideas surfaced.

The final afternoon was one big Flash workshop. The educators produced a complete Flash movie before they left that evening and presented it during dinner. We were really able to see a lot of great ideas emerge and great learning happen.

Go here and check out what they produced. The video above is one that Bill did during the workshop. It isn't the final version, but pretty great anyway.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Live Workshop Post

This is a live post from the workshop. I want everyone to see how easy it is to blog. You should go to the MyGLife site.

In-Progress Workshop Update



We have one day under our belt and we have had some really good discussions and presentations. Denise and Patrick gave provided some great insight by giving us a demonstration of their students games and we watched some video of their classroom.



The evening was also highlighted by a visit by the First Lady Gayle Manchin, who attend the presentation and spoke with us about her support for the program.


While we did have some presentations, there was also some time for hands on. The new educators started to learn Flash and get a feel for how the program can allow you to create games. There will be a lot more of that today. This afternoon we are spending the entire afternoon working in Flash.

If any participants are reading this blog. Leave a comment, tell me your view of the workshop.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Preparing for the Workshop

We are in the Capital City preparing for the Globaloria Educators Workshop that starts this afternoon and runs through tomorrow. We are very excited to get everyone together and have some fun and learn. There are several things scheduled that will make this workshop worth the effort of attending.

1) We are going to give our experienced teachers an opportunity to share their stories.

2) We are going to have a very special guest this afternoon to talk about our program.

3) You are going to have a lot of time to work on your wiki and in Flash.

4) You are going to be able to talk to everyone else about how they are doing things.


This is just the short list, we are all really excited to see you again (or to meet you if you are new). Be safe traveling to Charleston and we will see you this afternoon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Governor's Press Release: Globaloria Preparing Students for Digital World




Jan. 29, 2008

GLOBALORIA EDUCATION PROGRAM
PREPARING WV STUDENTS FOR DIGITAL WORLD

Contact: Lara Ramsburg, 304-558-2000

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Students across the Mountain State are learning how to become active citizens in today’s increasingly connected and digital world through Globaloria, an innovative educational program that launched last summer with funding from the State of West Virginia and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. Today, Verizon West Virginia also demonstrated its support and vision with a grant to continue expanding the program in 2008.

The Globaloria program, established in 2006 by the World Wide Workshop Foundation, uses the latest World Wide Web and social media technology to empower young people to learn how to create interactive games and simulations, collaborate online and solve problems together. Its activities help students sharpen their communication and critical-thinking skills for leadership online and offline, bringing them closer to the participatory and collaborative nature of work in the 21st century.

In July 2007, the Office of Governor Joe Manchin invited the World Wide Workshop Foundation to partner with the State of West Virginia and Benedum Foundation to launch Globaloria. Since then, 14 educators and 65 students from six schools across the state have been learning Internet media technology and game-development skills.

West Virginia First Lady Gayle Manchin said, “I am so pleased and appreciative of Verizon joining this collaboration. Everyone on this team- Benedum, Verizon, World Wide Workshop -- brings great expertise and commitment to the table, and I am so grateful on behalf of the state of West Virginia. I am so proud to see all that is already happening through the Globaloria project in West Virginia in its short time of operations. It is 21st-Century-Skills being exemplified, and as we can all see in the field when we visit, the students are excited and engaged.”

Dr. Idit Caperton, president and founder of the World Wide Workshop Foundation, said Globaloria and its virtual learning platforms challenge students more than typical curriculum.

“Through project-based teamwork and a great deal of self-learning in a virtual space, students with no prior experience in computer programming or using Web 2.0 tools, become wiki producers and digital designers of web-based software applications for social change and educational purposes,” Caperton said. “These valuable skills prepare young people to become leaders in the digital and global marketplace .”

Globaloria’s emphasis on technology and education matches closely with Verizon’s goal to support the use of technology to improve literacy and K-12 education. Verizon West Virginia’s grant will help to further expand the program in 2008, said B. Keith Fulton, president of Verizon West Virginia.

“Globaloria gives West Virginia students a unique opportunity to develop critical 21st-century job skills,” Fulton said. “Verizon looks forward to working with our partners to expand this engaging, online learning environment for our state.”

Jim Denova, vice president of the Benedum Foundation, said, “The Benedum Foundation is very pleased to have invested in this first-year demonstration of Globaloria in West Virginia. We are always looking for innovation in education, and Globaloria is proving to be an effective instructional tool that has broad application to a number of educational settings, whether they are high schools, colleges, or community-based after-school programs.”

Program officials are currently accepting applications for more educators and students in WV high schools, community colleges and universities to join this spring, with plans to double the size of the program by end of 2008. The Globaloria program works best when implemented as a daily activity at school or a college, Caperton said. It also provides opportunities for alumni internships and employment via the Internet.

Dr. Lee Kraus, Globaloria-WV Program Manager, said, “Our participating students and educators become skilled users of the latest technology; they learn to be active contributors, collaborators, designers and programmers of the Internet. Simultaneously, they develop life and professional skills needed to be productive and globally aware – prepared to take on leadership roles in the innovation economy and the fast-changing, digital world we live in.”

For more information about the program, contact info@worldwideworkshop.org.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Kasson Middle School an Exemplar in Education



I went to make a quick pitch for Globaloria at the Barbour County Board of Education tonight and learned a lot about what a wonderful pick we have in our new partner school, Kasson Middle School. Following a series of presentations including an increase in Special Education scores of the past few years, school of excellence at Math Field Day, and finally having over a 95% attendance rate for the past three years, you can see that there is something special at Kasson. The Principal and new Globaloria Educator Michelle Barb led the presentation and was quick to point to her teachers for the credit.

This makes me feel really good about entering a new project like MyGLife with a great school. The picture above is of the presentation of the State Exemplar school, which they have received for the third year in a row. Way to go Kasson!

A few Project Links for Globaloria

I wanted to take a second to post some valuable project links. From time to time, I will try and post links that might be useful or just might be interesting to be put in a list.




Globaloria West Virginia homepage: http://myglife.org/usa/wv – A clickable map that highlights and links to the current pilot sites.

Globaloria WV blog: http://globaloria-wv.blogspot.com – The globaloria blog. I try to spark conversations, provide help with technical issues and share interesting ideas that will inspire, and help program participants. Be sure to read this post -- an interview with Dr. Idit Caperton who has provided the vision of the program.

MyGLife RTC wiki: http://www.myglife.org/usa/wv/rtcwvwiki/index.php/Main_Page - See a real group of program users in action! This is the virtual space where the Randolph Technical Center pilot group (Denise’s class) work on their games and share ideas.

WV Educators’ Wiki: http://www.myglife.org/usa/wvwiki/index.php/Main_Page - This is kind of like a virtual teachers’ lounge, where all the educators and stakeholders in the program share ideas and information.

These are all good links to check out if you are new to Globaloria. I'll post more links soon.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Games for NASA: Teaching Complex Skills






For any of you game designers wondering who is using games, check this out. NASA is looking for anyone who can build an online game.

DEVELOPMENT OF A NASA-BASED MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER ONLINE LEARNING GAME

NASA Learning Technologies Request for Information: Development of a NASA-based Massively Multiplayer Online Learning Game Introduction The NASA Learning Technologies (LT) Project Office supports projects that deliver NASA relevant content through innovative applications of technologies to enhance education in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Research and development in each of the STEM areas are at the core of the LT mission. LT seeks to enhance formal and informal education in STEM fields with the goal of increasing the number of students in those fields of study. The LT is currently evaluating the development of a NASA-based massively multiplayer online educational game (MMO). Background Persistent immersive synthetic environments in the form of massive multiplayer online gaming and social virtual worlds, initially popularized as gaming and social settings, are now finding growing interest as education and training venues. There is increasing recognition that these synthetic environments can serve as powerful "hands-on" tools for teaching a range of complex subjects, including STEM-based instruction. Virtual worlds with scientifically accurate simulations could permit learners to tinker with chemical reactions in living cells, practice operating and repairing expensive equipment, and experience microgravity making it easier to grasp complex concepts and quickly transfer this understanding to practical problems. MMOs help players develop and exercise a skill set closely matching the thinking, planning, learning, and technical skills increasingly in demand by employers today. These skills include strategic thinking, interpretative analysis, problem solving, plan formulation and execution, team-building and collaboration, and adaptation to rapid change. The power of games as educational tools is rapidly gaining recognition.
This is interesting stuff. Notice that it specific talks about how games can provide "hands-on" tools for teaching complex subjects.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Interview with Dr. Randy Jones of MCTC

I was sent this conversation with Dr. Jones of Marshall Community and Technical College via email and he agreed to extend it a little with me and allow me to share it on this blog. The conversation is about his impressions of the first semester with the Globaloria game development curriculum. Dr. Jones team-taught the course this past semester, here is the wiki.


What do you feel you've learned about 21st Century teaching?

o Faculty role is more of facilitator verses disseminator of information.

o Much of the learning takes place on-line through an interactive process.


What benefits are you seeing in your students?

o Students are more interested in learning if they have more control over the learning process.

o Student interaction among their peers also allows for more learning to take place.

o Students within broad boundaries are able to move at their own pace. The final learning objective bar is a minimum. The maximums are limited only by the student.

What is fun?

o From a personal perspective, I get a great deal of satisfaction from learning new things, developing new programs, and pushing the envelope on technology.

What is challenging?

o Note above: learning new things, developing new programs, and pushing the envelope on technology.


What more do you need, by way of support from Globaloria, to help you do your best work?

o A complement, everyone has been quick to respond to any issues related to the program.

o A complement, everyone has been focused on the student's future marketability. I appreciate a willingness to support our Internship requirement for our students.

o A comment, at some point a PR campaign that would highlight the program and our college which is somewhat hidden in the shadows of the University.

o A comment, our college has been very supportive of the partnership we are establishing. All basic adobe software has been made available through MCTC. Additional tutorial software has been purchased to support this program. Additional screen-capture and presentation software is also being purchased to support remote training. If we needed additional resources that could not be supplied by existing means, it would be nice to know we could apply to an alternate source for consideration.


How might you plan to approach anything differently in the New Year?

o Each cycle of courses to be taught in the future will be over a full semester (15 weeks).

o Dual-credit remote link to a high school program.

o Implementation of pre-requisite courses in future cycles might be suggested. A key component in the initial courses is a basic knowledge of the flash interface. Programming concepts would also be beneficial.

Additional Comments: We are planning on offering the cycle of classes in the Summer of 08. It would be a good thing if we could work with the University, offer graduate credit for the courses, and encourage future teachers to sign up for the classes. This would give them the background they need to teach the courses and would also meet their continuing education requirements.

You can check out more from Dr. Jones and his co-teacher Patrick Smith on YouTube.


YouTube Interviews Dr. Caperton

Here is a great interview from Munich last week. Dr. Caperton attended the DLD Conference that address all things Digital, Life, Design (DLD). The interview is a great overview of the Globaloria program and provides some insights as to how Dr. Caperton views the implementation of the program.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

RTC Final Game Page

So I am out on the road today, but I wanted to make quick link to the final game page. It is a single page on the RTC wiki that has all of the final games. I was just there with the class and they were still trying to squeeze in the last animations, audios, and graphics.

If you are looking for great game examples, check these out.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

RTC Presentations Make the News














The local media provided coverage of the RTC presentations.

Finding students who enjoy attending a class may be a rarity. The exception is students who signed up for Game Design, taught by Denise Stalnaker at the Randolph Technical Center, who say they looked forward to their class almost every day.
Go and read the full article here. The article also appeared on the front page of the daily paper on January 16th.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Instructor Tutorials: A How to Movie on Flash

Yesterday I highlighted a tutorial developed by a Globaloria student. Today, I wanted to point out that you can also get a lot of Flash resources from the Instructors. Here is a video tutorial on how to create a button in Flash. It was built by Patrick Smith at MCTC and posted on his wiki page.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Education of the Students, For the Students, By The Students

The title might be a little hookey, but it kind of captures the idea of what we are going for here. Yeager33 at MCTC actually "jumped into" Action Script 3 for flash. He worked through the approach and decided to create his own tutorial and share it on the wiki.

This is the first one.

Displaying a Block

  • 1. Open a new Flashfile(ActionScript 3.0)
  • 2. Create a rectangle and convert it to a movieclip
   Using the Rectangle tool create a new rectangle,Use selection tool and group the rectangle together
Right click the rectangle and select Convert to Symbol..
In the Convert to Symbol dialog box Enter Block in the Name: textfield
Select the radio button for Movie Clip
Click the Advanced button
Under Linkage select the Export for ActionScript checkbox
(this will also check the Export in first frame button Leave it checked)
Click Ok
ActionScript Class warning message box will pop up Select Ok

After converting to symbol make sure your stage is clear

  • 3. ActionScript Code

Select frame 1 right click and select Actions from drop down menu or press F9 to open Actions window In the Actions window type

  import flash.display.*;
import flash.events.Event;

This basically lets flash know that we will be working with display objects and events so it can load the code to handle these things.

  • Next we want to define a variable to represent our display object in this case the block we created
  var myBlock:DisplayObject= new Block()
  • At this point we have a variable(myBlock) representing our display object


We can now use ActionScript to alter the display object properties of our variable Let us set the starting point for myBlock before we draw it to the screen

 myBlock.x=300
myBlock.y=200
  • Now we create myBlock on screen
this.addChild(myBlock)
  • Publish preview and you should now have a block sitting on screen at the (X,Y) position that you specified.

This may not seem like much right now, however we now have the ability to change properties of our object with ActionScript code

Go check out his page for the others.

A Globaloria First From Man WV

I have to share this, because it is so cool and it happened yesterday and I wanted to blog about it then, and I got so busy today....... anyway... check this out.




Aleigha who is participating in Man WV, loaded a digital image and has started to build a game around this interface. As far as I know, and I would love for someone to point it out if I am wrong, this is our first instance of using existing digital photography for the game interface.

Way to go... I hope that others begin to explore this option for game interfaces as well.