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.

Off to ISTE!

ISTE 2013 San Antonio June 23-26

I am off to ISTE! I absolutely love this conference. This year I hope to tak advantage of the conference to launch a few projects.

The first project relates to this blog; I want to get some guest game-players in here. Hopefully I can get my first QuestGuest to play on Friday but my main goal is to recruit a few people for future shows using Google Hangouts.

Last week I tried starting a book review vlog series and ran into a problem of time and organization. It is quite easy to discuss chapters from a book but editing things together takes a larger chunk of time which I lack. One of my goals is to ask more experienced vloggers how they handle their workflow and get shows posted regularly.

Finally the last project, and perhaps most important, getting my dissertation topic off the ground. My dissertation relates to games for learning in some way but the details have remained fluid. Back when I thought I might end up in a classroom again I thought I could do a case study. Now I am thinking about the potential for an empirical study of WoW in Schools across the classrooms adopting this curriculum in some form. Hopefully I get a chance to talk with folks more intimate with the curriculum and get their ideas.