Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Google to Support Community-Wide Civic Engagement Game Design Projects in San Jose

Google now supports the Globaloria social learning network in San Jose/Silicon Valley -- a new initiative that teaches youth game design and programming to cultivate a broad array of STEM knowledge and digital skills among youth, community-wide civic engagement and regional innovation, and also help ease Silicon Valley's talent crunch. Read the full press release. This press release was featured in:

Hooray! Kicking off the Educators Blog's new look with this wonderful news!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Time Marches On...

Reposted from my Globaloria Blog:

This fall, actually going back to this past summer, I have found myself to be more busy with less down time than almost anytime I can remember.  I have allowed myself to have multiple layers of responsibility including my primary job as Director of Instrumental Music at GEHS(Marching Band instruction, design, implementation), responsibilities with Globaloria (Mentor, Lead Educator), responsibilities with my personal marching band show design company (Lead Designer), and of course responsibilities with my home and family. 
Due to these many overlapping responsibilities, I often find myself at a deficit when it comes to time to complete everything - thus my relatively vacant blog as of recent.  However, I am reminded that no matter what, no matter how much any one of us has going on, time marches on. 

Time does not care how busy we are.  Time ruthlessly moves forward with or without us. 

It is up to us as individuals to make the choices of what is most important.  What will be our priority as we swim through the ever flowing river that is time.  Again, time does not care what we choose to make important to us.  But those around us do.  Those who are most affected by the choices we make will remember the impact we had as time forgets. 

Ultimately, what we leave behind is that impact, that inspiration on those around us.  No matter what responsibility(ies) I may be concerned with at a certain time, I will try to do my best to make a positive impact on my students, my friends, and most importantly my family.   I will not fight time for the right to make that impact.  I will let it flow (because it is going to anyway), and I will do what I can in the time available  to achieve my goals and outcomes. 

How does time impact your decisions?  How do you prioritize your responsibilities?  Comment and let me know!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How is blogging important?

Blogging allows students to not only express their thoughts, but also to organize them. It gives students an authentic audience who can respond (and my be critical). The process lets them enter to social network as a technical communicator.

blogg use

Blogging is an important tool for classrooms. It enables research, a sharing of ideas, and a means to "connect" with various audiences.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Globaloria Community - What is your role?

In any community, each citizen has some sort of role, and hopefully some sense of responsibility. This is in fact one of the basic ideas behind the focus on Civics as pertains to Globaloria. As our classes and our students work to create civics based games, we have the larger goal that they (as well as the end users of the games) will learn to think about their role in the community, the state, the country, and the world.

However, we can also scale back and consider the Globaloria community a place where roles are important. We are all working independently in our individual schools and teams trying to create our games. In some cases, we are even in competition with one another as we enter the contests for Civics and STEM games. But when it comes down to it, the community as a whole only truly thrives when we (Students, Teachers, Mentors, Interns, World Wide Workshop Staff, Administrators, Researchers, etc.) step into our role and not only do our best to complete our piece of the pie, but also share our successes with those who can benefit from them.

Students - Have you found a skill that you are comfortable with (i.e. Art or Coding in Flash)? If so, how are you using that skill to help those in your Globaloria Community?

Teachers - What are we doing to not only help our students, but to make sure that as we gain knowledge, it is shared with those around us?

The tools for these interactions are readily available to us with our blogs and the wikis.

In order for our community as a whole to grow and move to "the next level", we must be willing to learn from each other and stand on the shoulders of the giants who have had success in various areas. Borrow good code, and try to understand it. Then share it with others. Ask for help in areas where you need it, then don't be shy about sharing your strengths with those who may benefit from your assistance.

It is our civic responsibility to the Globaloria community to find our roles and maximize our strengths within those roles. What can you do to achieve this?

Within the next week, try to reflect on your role and examples of sharing strengths in the community. Write a blog post of your own in which you discuss your reflections.

Till next time.....

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Science Projects and Globaloria Games: Solving Problems

Last October, President Obama held a science fair in the oval office, to recognize the importance of thinking about solutions.

The president said:

"If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you're a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too."

We are looking forward to seeing achievements that come from Globaloria students in West Virginia, Austin and Brooklyn.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Learning step by step

Globaloria is a social media based platform where kids learn about social issues. Sixth grade students in East Austin are making games. Here is what one student expressed:

In Globaloria Im proud of being able to make a also proud of I have learned about how you need a code for any action you want in the game you are making.

Globaloria has tools that help kids learn to create games in Flash.

In addition, students are thinking about issues in their community that they want to address. Here is one student's step-by-step learning process:

A social issue that i would like to explore in my game is bulling

3 questions people generally have about this topic:

* Question 1:why do people do that to people?
* Question 2:Is people try to stop it?
* Question 3: does it make the bully-er feel better when they bully people?

The support for learning about social issues AND building a game exploring solutions to those problems AND being able to share ideas- this all comes together in Globaloria.