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.


Meeting My Heroes

Meeting my edugeek heroes this week. Yesterday I spent two hours listening to Chris Dede’s panel of Edtech superpowers talk about Augmented Reality. Today I shook hands with Henry Jenkins and Craig Watkins while listening to James Paul Gee deride propensities for ignoring evidence in favor of assumptions.

If I collapse it is not due to lack of happiness and hero worship.




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..?

AACTE 2013

Screen Shot 2013-03-03 at 2.07.40 PMFilled with Deans, administrators, and power brokers in teacher education AACTE should have been intimidating. Luckily I was armed with a cohort of able professors should things get out of hand.

Actually I had a great time. There was a limited number of sessions but networking ruled over paper presentations and workshops anyways. I also met a couple other doctoral students. One has just as much interest in educational technology as I which was nice considering the atmosphere. In fact there were quite a few sessions in this area. Much of what was shared in these sessions appeared dated coming from my ISTE and cutting edge (someone said  bleeding before) perspective on technology but it was exciting to see who attended these sessions.

Looking forward to further developing some relationships and we’ll see what the future holds.

Intel Teach Summit 2013

Dr. Bright Dr. RigelmanJust returned from the Intel Teach Summit 2013. I have to say that Intel really knows how to treat people as if they were treasures. They provided us with great room, excellent dining on the second night, and wonderful opportunities to network. Pictured at the right you can see myself and Dr. Bright on our way to the summit. Due to a mechanical problem we were delayed getting out of Dallas. We took advantage of the lull to charge our devices and solve world problems.

Upon arriving in Orlando we were introduced to the first of our fellow summit attendees and went out to dinner together. We also collected Dr. Rigelman, another member of the Portland State team, and embarked on a semi-successful food venture.

The next morning we had a chance to meet the other attendees as well as open a present from Intel (the fleece I am wearing in the second picture where Dr. Rigelman and I are attempting our rendition of Hollywood Squares). During the course of the morning hours we met two exceptional women who work for the Oregon Virtual School District providing professional development to in-service teachers across the state. I also met a fellow technology and mobile enthusiast from Iowa – long geeky edutech conversations ensues and will hopefully continue.

Whether or not the Intel product we came to learn more about (Elements course) will work for Portland State remains to be seen but I have to say that Intel provides one of the best hosting experiences I have enjoyed in my career so far. (Okay Google and Apple – your turn? – oh wait – they already own me through my iDevices and Google Apps for Education).