Student WordPress Documentation of Designs

The other day I was talking with an educator interested in using with their fourth grade game design introduction. Fully supporting this, and knowing their students used WordPress in order to document their studies, I put together a quick tutorial walking students through embedding their games on their blogs. If you have suggestions for improving this tutorial be sure to comment!

I always appreciate when a company makes embedding easy and FlowLab does a great jobs of this.


You can see the embed code at the bottom.

You can see the embed code at the bottom.

As you can see, the game above was built at a square. I copied the code directly from FlowLab’s embed code. as pictured. After copying the code, head on over to your WordPress site.

Create a new post!

Create a new post!

First off, after logging into your WordPress blog, create a new post.

Your new post should appear as below. Make sure to title the post first so that you can find it easily if you have to interrupt the posts due to the bell ringing or some other interruption!

New Post Edit Screen

Tabs for visual editing versus text editing.Once you have your new post look for the tabs in the upper right corner. On says visual and the other says text. Click on the text tab. You cannot paste embed code in the visual editor. If you are learning how to use HTML you can really refine the look and feel of your posts using the text tab.

Note that this tab does not have the same what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) tools as the visual editing tab. If you are uncomfortable editing in HTML you can go back to the visual editor after pasting the embed code. The game will not appear normally in the visual editor, be sure to preview your post several times!
Picture of the text editing tools
Image of the embed code in the text editor.Paste the embed code from FlowLab as shown to the right. You can further edit the embed code to center the game on your post, change the width and height, and increase the frame. Play around with these settings in text editing and visual editing. Experiment!

If you enjoyed embedding your game into your blog, try experimenting with other embeddable objects – like YouTube Videos!


Twitter Hashtags

Teacher’s Wallet

Hey educators! We know about donor’s choose and other funding organizations that have helped teachers with supplies, technologies, and projects. Lisa Dawley recently posted about the Gates Foundation and Digital Promise teaming up with DonorsChoose to create Teacher Wallets. This pilot program provides 300 K-8 teachers nationwide with up to $6,000 per teacher to purchase digital courseware in core content areas. Sounds awesome?!?

Check out Dr. Dawley’s post for more info!

AERA – American Education Research Association

sanfrancisco3Tomorrow I fly down to San Francisco for AERA. This is my first year down there and I plant o get a feel for session types in the hopes of presenting a poster session (paper) next year and perhaps a paper (with a discussant) the following year. Already I am getting networked into the conference and organizational structure which comes as both a surprise and an exciting turn of events.

Currently I am a member of Division C but hopefully this conference will either cement that choice or help me make new choices regarding affiliations. The divisions themselves are not all that exciting though. The special interest groups (SIGs) have the real sway for me personally in this organization. There are over 150 SIGs and several speak directly to me. The divisions lack the specificity and interest. In fact if I found myself heavily involved with anything, it would be within a SIG. (Watch me eat those words in a year).

Two SIG’s caught my eye:


Technology, Instruction, Cognition and Learning (SIG #119)
Purpose: TICL focuses on theoretical foundations, fundamental research and technical advances at the intersection of four disciplines: Technology, Instruction, Cognition & Learning (TICL). TICL also publishes TICL, an interdisciplinary international journal, which publishes many of the presentations at annual TICL sessions.


Queer Studies (SIG #60)
Purpose: To foster empirical, interpretive, and critical educational research relating to lesbian and gay issues, and to network individuals and organizations conducting or supporting such research.


I think my focus will remain on the technology SIG. After reading emails from the Queer Studies SIG I will probably drop them next year and add a new tech SIG. TICL’s journal really excites me for the potential to publish some of my research and work in game-enhanced learning.

Any imaginary friends out there going to be at AERA? I know Elliot Soloway is going to be there but beyond..?

Language Arts Idea!

20120820-194626.jpg Sometimes ideas percolate slowly. Today I was struggling with what I will do during the first week if I am teaching a writing assignment. The whole, “What did you do this summer,” assignment has paled a little. Just this hour I hit upon a new idea – have student comb through their summer photos (mobile photos too) and try to interpret them as if they were someone from the 18th century. Fun idea?!

Orientation Meeting for Ed.D at PSU – and a seriously meta post…

Education Building at PSU

My new home - the education building at Portland State University.

Getting my undergraduate degree took me five years. Five years of flailing about trying to find myself and more or less missing the mark. In the process I had the chance to explore fields of study denied to me during my K12 years like geology, modern physics, poetry, eastern religions, and coffee slinging. I believe the last one was actually what paid for the rest along with providing respite care by watching a boy with autism (or more precisely – following him on long nature hikes), working in a book store, and even infusing my skin with the scent of fried foods for a total of fourteen miserable hours.

My master’s degree only took two years. Instead of slaving away at multiple minimum wage jobs I parleyed my earlier degree into a string of freelance and staff positions with educational and community service organizations as a sign language interpreter. Truly a riveting experience. Combined with the full amount of loans the federal government would give me, a grant that mortgaged my soul to education twice over, living with my parents (who still love me at the end of this), and driving two to three hours a day to get to work and school (lots of books on tape) I somehow walked across a stage last June to get a hood which looks nothing like the hoodie I had hoped for and a degree that actually had to be mailed to me later.

Now I am heading into a strange new round of education: the doctorate. Actually my future degree has a special name which in some circles mean I am not nerdy enough: Education Doctorate or Ed.D for short. The nay-sayers can go eat nerd juice though – I am seriously going to geek out at Portland State University. The head of my program seemed to really like my vague dissertation idea and with my extreme tech-geek-chic my past fellow grad-student friend, Kae Novak, thinks I am like a sexy foreign exchange student. Kae plans to become a doctoral student as well so I won’t lose her or Chris Luchs through degree snobbery. They both have vague ideas relating to doctoral programs and further geeking out. They may actually go the nerd route which means they may have the right to shun me via the PhD vs EdD snobbery treaty of 1995.

Why am I sharing all this? Before the ISTE Conference in San Diego wipes all ability to think logically about my educational future I wanted to put down my thoughts on the doctoral learning curve. I am sure after May 10th (orientation) my perspective will change. Right now I am super-excited and hoping to meet some geek-tastic education gurus and wanna-be gurus.

Educators I hang out with in person tend to have less interest in the minutiae of education politics, future directions and shifts in pedagogy, and game-based or quest-based learning frameworks. I can get the word “constructivism” out edge-wise as long as I avoid saying things like context driven literacy gains and asking how their exam provides useable formative data. Hopefully the educators I meet as part of the 2012 cohort will respond in the same way my interviewers for the program did. I half wonder if they met their obligation to interview me as we were easily drawn into tangents.

*Note to self – always go into an interview prepared with the other party’s research interests and pedagogy.*

Also I have high hopes that I can network with some of these folks and develop relationships with area schools. Nationally and internationally I am stepping into the political side of educational technology (baby-steps granted). Locally I have made little progress. Through this doctoral program and the people I continue to meet locally I want to plow new fields of connections and educational political capital. Hopefully I can sow the seeds of education loan payback through all that.

So while I dream big and imagine paying off student loans before I expire of old age I thought I would share an image of the building I will be spending the next several years haunting and my new commute.

On the side of educational tools – try using the 3D Google Earth route planner in a lesson – students love this and if you add stops with interesting information bytes and links to mini presentations you might wow a colleague or two.

View Bicycling to PDX for Ed. Building in a larger map

Pop this open in a new tab (especially useful with Google Chrome) to explore my notes on this route.