Bye Bye AERA, Hello Games for Change!

  Thank you Chicago & AERA. It has been indescribable. Looking forward to DC next year! Hopefully the weather will hold out just a titch longer & I can extend my stay next year to include Smithsonian days. Unfortunately I barely viewed Chicago’s wonders beyond a comic book store, a few queer bars, & the park with the giant metal bean. 

Currently I am warming myself in a Chinatown cafe before boarding my bus back to New York City. Games for Change begins on the morrow & I know I am ill prepared. Hopefully the bus ride provides sufficient time to process the wonderful research I was exposed to over the last week. Special thanks to Dr. De La Vega, Vanessa Folds, GLSEN researchers Emily Greytak & Joe Kosciw, Dr. Meyer, Jake McWilliams, Dr. Stevens, James GambrellCatherine Kemeny Gambrell, and all the others that I can’t seem to hold in my head. You made this a great event.

My Vlogging broke down and I have yet to edit today’s video (yesterday did not happen) but feel free to check out my vlogs listed below:

Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNxw7WAV0HqB6F6ExiXlSIgn5OwtRrPG6

Day One: https://youtu.be/rMhnao46nDU

Day Two: https://youtu.be/lY9EHfYFieo

Day Three: https://youtu.be/ZZY19Emi5MA

 

Also – photos…

       

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Guest Appearances!

This is going to go down as my favorite week for blog connections. While my own blog (this spot here in case you are confused) enjoys unprecedented neglect, one friend, Amanda, decided to include me in her xoJane Post and I am guest blogging for the International Society for Technology in Education. A confluence of my identities, something I am striving towards, seems imminent!

Nevermind, it has occurred:

One of my professors/mentors/colleagues included a brief mention of me in her recently released book. Check out Olivia Murray’s tome entitled Queer Inclusion in Teacher Education: Bridging Theory, Research, and Practice. Click the link to help support my V/Blog delusions as well. If you buy it for me as a gift I promise to go vegetarian for a week.

I have to thank Amanda for re-locating these praise worthy images of me as well:
Image of the author looking goofy with a green plastic halo, plastic star glasses, and a rainbow feather scarf.

This is my serious look.

I swear I am dancing but it looks like I am lifting a leg to go potty, dog style.

It looks like I am in need of a fire hydrant.

 

In better news, my totally serious vlog post for ISTE is complemented with a marginally useful 460 word ISTE EXPERIENCE REVOLUTION!!! Alright, maybe more along the lines of, “Ideas for educators interested in games for learning.” Check out below for an excerpt and video!

I am excited about games in education. Games offer a learning environment that privileges creativity, problem solving and collaboration. It is true that some educational games act like worksheets in terms of repetition and compliance. Despite this less-than-engaging genre, games — especially those designed by students — offer a unique space for constructivist education. This year in my research I explored unique applications of game principles in gaming and non-gaming contexts. ISTE will play a big part in my future direction.
Using 3DGameLab, a platform represented in the exhibit hall at ISTE 2014, I taught faculty, teacher candidates and students. While not as intensely exciting an experience as Marianne Malmstrom’s teaching with Minecraft or the use of World of Warcraft in schools through the visionary efforts of Peggy Sheehy — both presenters at the conference this year — this let me experiment and discover how deeply I appreciate the potential of games in education. I also realized that gamification was not enough to feed my passion for games in schools……   (READ MORE)

ORATE Conference!

I don’t know how this happened but I almost forgot I am presenting at the Oregon Association for Teacher Educators (ORATE) conference! This is something I should be looking forward to but I think I was a little overwhelmed with thinking about the Mexico City trip which I have withdrawn from.

I am actually looking forward to this conference as it is located at the college where I studied for my undergraduate degree. Western Oregon University! Home of the wolves. I think. It will be slightly eerie visiting the campus as I had professors who have since passed on or left the campus. The change in make-up with be interesting to experience.

Dr. Doris McEwen - Keynote for Orate.

Dr. Doris McEwen – Keynote for Orate.

Looking forward to the panel presentation and having a great time with fellow teacher educators from Oregon! Although…the keynote is a mystery to me. Clearly my distraction has cost me valuable pre-conference research time!

Hopefully she is as engaging as an upcoming lecture I am attending by Dr. Jacqueline Temple, a recent retiree from Portland State University who I had as an instructor last year. She probably won’t be as exciting as the social comedian W. Kamau Bell who I am going to see in March. Then again the academic language often forbids the raw persuasive power of a bit of comedy.

Ah…I am thankful once again for diversity in discourse styles….

Presenting at ISTE 2014

iste2014badgeHurrah! Presenting at ISTE 2014!

 

Once again I have the opportunity to present at ISTE this year. Last year was San Antonio and this year is Atlanta Georgia….a bit sweltering after 2012 in San Diego but I have a blast irregardless.

This year I am working with a colleague at Portland State University on faculty technological professional development. We are using the ISTE NETS*T as our guide and 3DGameLab as our portal. At the conference come by our poster session and we’ll let you know how it goes. Right now we are in the midst of promoting NETS*T IV amongst the university faculty!

While there I also hope to spend some quality time with the Young Educators Network, the games for learning people, and several SIGs. I am especially excited to reconnect with SIGML! I feel completely out of touch this year and desperately want to reconnect with folks. Doctoral work seems to magically sneak my time whenever I am not looking.

Riding with Rosa Parks to ISTE

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Today on my way into ISTE I sat with a seat dedicated to Rosa Parks. It has set my thought towards issues of equity this morning. When I return to Portland in the morning I will need to work on two papers concerned with these issues. One relates to digital tools and the other to broader implications. The question I am going to focus on today is: how can I build games for learning that address social, cultural, and ability inequities?

To lighten the mood, my selfie yesterday:

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ISTE – Monday Morning

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Morning!

Today I am heading off to ISTE. Actually I have been here for the last few days. Today is the first full official conference day. The events of the weekend got me to reflecting a bit. Reflecting on games in education.

During the Saturday activities we were rehashing old topics and I was feeling fearful that I was not going to experience the inspiration I have felt at prior ISTE conferences. Then I got a call/email from someone I’ve worked with regarding Google Apps for Education asking for some help with Google Voice. Sherry Bosch wanted to make sure the system worked for the Epic Leadership program Monday morning. Since I was attending she wanted to keep thing quiet and not reveal why she needed this to work. Nothing like a mystery, right?

Since I know the facilitator, Peggy Sheehy, and had already completed the online quests (amazing!), I already had a strong sense of what the Google Voice was for. Still…I decided my best course of action was to beard Peggy in her lair (hotel) and offer to help. At the end of a couple hours getting components of one massively fun Alternative Reality Game (ARG), which was the backbone of the Epic Leadership experience, I was inspired!

It is amazing the kind of work and collaboration a small group of enthusiastic professionals can do when they put their minds to it. Peggy is a maestro of orchestrating games for learning. Kae Novak was instrumental in pumping up the crowd and organizing. The bricoleurs drove excitement and facilitation to levels I would not have dreamt up.

So I am back to inspired – just in time for my presentation this morning.

PS: My Jane Mcgonigal video mash-up will come soon. Probably after the conference.