Friday, October 30, 2009

As October ends, the real fun is starting to begin

Educators and students throughout the Globaloria West Virginia have made great progress in the month of October and are entering the stage of Globaloria where the real fun begins!!

Educator and student blog posts are getting more and more reflective. Many students have learned how to embed music, links, photos and other multi-media in to their blog posts. Some are starting to focus their blog posts on their game topics, the challenges and fun of learning Flash, and the research that goes in to choosing a game topic, finding information about the issues surrounding that topic, and playing professionally-made educational games to find examples of game mechanics that facilitate both fun game play and learning. Also, students are beginning to take advantage of the Globaloria learning community and are visiting the wikis and blogs of students from other schools, leaving comments, and learning from each other.

School wikis are getting better as well. Educator and student learning logs are being written more consistently, more social profiles and avatars are being created, and paper proto-types and videos of student's presentatios are being uploaded.

Almost all of the educators in Globaloria have lead their classes through the mini-game project this month and students are expressng their excitement about learning Flash, dividing in to teams, and getting started on their social issue or educational game projects. Students are developing their game ideas, which range from games with civics topics (like the Bill of Rights, how the courts operate, and the election process) to games on responding to natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, and national health epidemics like obesity and swine flu.

While the month of October was a time of tremendous growth and accomplishment for Globaloria educators and students, the World Wide Workshop team had a productive month as well. David Lowenstein visited 9 Globaloria schools this month (5 of them with World Wide Workshop team member Rachel Rosenfeldt and 4 of them with Our Courts Exec. Director Abby Taylor).

The World Wide Workshop also convened a Globaloria Leadership Colloquium this month at the Governor's mansion to honor superintendents and principals who are supporting Globaloria educators in their schools and counties throughout the state. The luncheon, hosted by WV's First Lady Gayle Manchin, featured remarks by Globaloria WV Advisory co-chairs Dr. Idit Caperton and the First Lady, and also by Advisory Board members Dr. Steve Paine (State Superintendent of Schools), and B. Keith Fulton (Verizon WV President).

In addition, the World Wide Workshop President and Founder Dr. Idit Caperton and WV State Director David Lowenstein represented Globaloria at the National Academies of Science meeting in DC this month in which education, science, and government leaders gathered to discuss recommendations for equipping students with STEM skills through game-based learning.

As October winds down, our clocks fall back an hour but our Globaloria community is springing ahead!

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