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? - best practices for education.


The Session continues....


Continued Live Blogging from Barry Joseph Session...
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.

Jamieson Kane's post.

Joe Brennan's note.

And CoolCatTeacher Vicky Davis's live blog stream.

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

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 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!