Emerging Leader Award is Popular at my School…

A screenshot of the article.The emerging leader award is popular at my school. They decided to feature the award in the school of ed’s blog. While the interview was fun and strange emails I am getting scare me just a titch!

Despite my embarrassment regarding the attention I am excited about the opportunity to go to Washington DC. If I can leverage this visit towards grants for my research in games for education and general leverage for curriculum design I will be happy. There is also a secondary set of interests. I have joined Portland State University’s School of Ed’s Curriculum and Instruction’s LGBTQ Advocacy Task Force. We are looking for ways to support teacher candidates, students and others in the schools who identify somewhere along the LGBT (and QIA) spectrum. Personally this is very satisfying work and I hope to hear other’s perspectives in DC and throughout the year.



Google Apps Qualified Trainer!


One of my favorite tools for collaboration resides in the massive online giant called Google. Tonight I finally finished taking (and passing) the six exams required to call oneself a “Google Apps for Education Qualified Trainer.”

Even if you have no plans to use a certification of this sort – if your school uses Google Apps for Education taking these exams really forces you to think about and explore the power of these tools. As I took the exams this time I thought of new ways to engage students with immediate feedback using forms, quick ways to simplify my QR codes using a function in spreadsheets, and interesting collaborative research projects using docs and presentations. Definitely worth the time though the $90 might be a bit steep when you can just force yourself to review the modules on your own. (I tend to do better at reviewing the modules after I have paid for the exams for some reason).

The next step is to achieve certified trainer status. To this end I am working hard to provide training and support to educators out in the field and coming up with the other required items for this status.

Featured Member at Edutopia – ME?!

Edutopia is featuring me for the 6th-8th grade teacher’s group.

Alan Lipton sent my the following message:

Hi Rurik –

I’m happy to inform you that Edutopia selected you as a Featured Member this week. We appreciate your recent participation in our discussions and wanted to introduce you to a wider selection of the community. If you haven’t already done so, check yourself out athttp://www.edutopia.org/grade-level-6-8.

Thank you from all of us at Edutopia, and we look forward to more of your input in the weeks and months to come.


Alan K. Lipton
Editorial Consultant


I was having a rough week with trying to convince my students they should not give up on themselves and this really made my day. (Spring helped a few of my students realize that their grades are not high enough to earn credits and they need to retake a class – not fun for anyone). Thank you EduTopia!

Edutopia also throws a great party during ISTE. This week they sent me the banner to post here on the website. At first I was not sure I wanted to flamboyantly announce my attendance at this party but then….why wouldn’t I? While I will probably not join the singing it will make a great break from squishing new ideas into my post-school-year brain.


Edtech Karaoke at ISTE 2012


Things are going really well! I was recently elected member-at-large with the Special Interest Group: Mobile Learning (SIGML) of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

Check out the nice letter here:

Hi  Rurik,


I am pleased  to inform you that you have been selected as the new Member at Large Officer for the  Mobile Learning SIG (SIGML)!  Congratulations!  Your term of service will begin at ISTE 2012 this summer (please note you are not required to attend the conference).  


Colleen Kimball will be in contact with you in the next couple of weeks about an orientation for newly elected and appointed SIG officers.  The orientation will include information on the SIG program, resources that are available, and ISTE activities and opportunities; I hope you will be able to attend.


Please feel free to contact myself or SIGML Chair Elliot (who is copied on this e-mail) if you have any questions before the orientation.


Will you please send me a quick email response back to confirm that you would like to accept this SIG leadership position?  If you could please let me know by  Friday, April 20th I would greatly appreciate it.    Please note that by accepting the position you are acknowledging that you have read and agree to the SIG Volunteer Agreement (attached).


Please let me know if you have any questions. Congratulations again!


Sarah Chatzkel

Member Communities Manager

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)


I look forward to serving the education technology community in this new role at the international level and my students locally. This election means I have the opportunity to share with students and teachers all over the world which can only benefit my students’ global perspective. Hopefully this leads to greater opportunities for implementing mobile technology in the classroom!

Looking forward to seeing everyone at ISTE 2012 in San Diego.

An Award!

This year at VWBPE I was involved in several poster sessions; World of Teachcraft, Center for EduPunx, and the Virtual World’s UnSymposium. Besides my direct involvement with these posters I also helped with the design for a couple others. Building and putting up these displays was a bit last minute but I always find building them an entertaining experience.

World of Teachcraft was especially entertaining to build. We created an ogre teaching a goblin in a classroom. The large bookshelf contains many different links to educational articles and websites related to using commercial games as educational tools. Hopefully the display provides information to educators interested in joining us for our next World of Teachcraft course.

Center for EduPunx promotes the think tank I work with. The theme for the presentation came to us after struggling to find clarity in our design. Kae and I started off thinking we could build  a mortuary but found ourselves fight prims, exhaustion, and limited resource. Finally we ended up purchasing a few items then talked with our other collaborator and ended up with a beautiful surgery.

The final area, the Virtual World’s UnSymposium, held last year in October, took a few hours and several incarnations. This next year we hope to add Machinima to our program and so we incorporated several animations in a Tesla inspired display. The content was simple. The design clear and understandably steampunk. I had no idea it would garner the attention and fame that would eventually lead to our display to winning the award for best in theme. This award validates so much of our work and gives me, Kae Novak, and the other brilliant minds behind the UnSymposium the validation and recognition we could only imagine.

With an award in the bag, a successfully run conference (VWBPE) and a year of future highlights things are looking exciting!