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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Regulating –>MOOCs<-- as a Headline?!

Holy rusted educational punditry Batman! Did I just put MOOC and regulation in the same sentence. Twice!? Zoinks!

Alright, moving past the batman references that I am too young to truly appreciate – no I didn’t do it. Or at least I was not the first. I refuse to link the original article on principle. Perhaps we need to stop using the acronym as a word but isn’t open one of MOOCs middle names? Somehow I feel we might mess with MOOCs identity even more if we start messing around with the second letter.

Aren’t we already stretching the M? I mean, how massive do we need to go to use massive as a term? I joined one “MOOC” with 20 participants. I think it fit the last three letters but OOC sounds like something an Orc Grunt says in World of Warcraft.

Actually I think this helps. If we regulate MOOCs they become MOCs. Long live the MOC! “What a great MOC!” Saves me a whole character when I tweet this out too!

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Game MOOC on Hold

Original image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/7613182@N04/5755440381/ – I decided to do something a little more entertaining instead of my normal swirling oil paint effect. The Game MOOC game with so many bricks and layers and each layer easily isolated itself from the rest of the MOOC that I thought this was appropriate. One of my favorite things about this MOOC in comparison to others was that once you dove into a community of practice you could almost ignore the mainstream discussion in favor of sharing ideas with content specific co-educators.

The Game MOOC is closing up shop for a couple weeks right now. As with past MOOCs lead by Kae Novak and other trustees of the Center4EduPunx I feel that there will continue to be conversations amongst those who really enjoyed the learning so do not feel you need to pause (in game or in learning) until things resume. Keep the conversations going! I know the little micro-GameMOOC group I have been spending time with will continue to share ideas for the next several weeks. Our conversations may move more onto the Edmodo Games group just to have a central area to share from but they will be ongoing!

Machinima Anyone?

If you have an interest in Machinima and the applications for education check out this course from P2PU.org.

Gridjumper runs this course along with the usual suspects from the virtual world’s end of things. One of the major culminating projects includes ISTE’s SIGVE hosting EduMachinima Fest during the San Diego conference on Tuesday evening. Check it out! This looks to be an exciting event and a great professional development opportunity.

Course Description:

This 4 week course gives participants a weekly tour on 1 topic covered at VWBPE 2012 or the Virtual Worlds Unsymposium

Course starts with virtual world field trips to educational sims in Second Life. Week 2 introduces Machinima and its educational uses. Week 3 is an adventure in the MMORPG World of Warcraft with an educators’ guild. Week 4 wraps up the tours on the Bleeding Edge with emerging tech and education that includes virtual, blended and augmented realities.

Artificial Intelligence

October 10th (the day before my birthday) through December 16th Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig host a massive online open course (MOOC) on Artificial Intelligence. Using Standford’s introductory course on Artificial Intelligence, they will facilitate a free course open to anyone on the ideas behind programming that reasons based on its environment.

Having participated in several MOOCs over the course of the last few years I have to say I am especially excited about this one. This primer on artificial intelligence will definitely help me develop immersive educational environments for my students.

Check out the course and several other’s offered by Stanford’s engineering school by following this link. Registration closes early in September.

Learning and Knowledge Analytics ’11

As part of the MOOC – Learning and Knowledge Analytics ’11 (LAK11) I re-watched Barry Schwartz: Using Our Practical Wisdom. While data teams and knowledge analytics and everything else we are doing help inform our decisions about teaching and learning opportunities I have to agree with Mr. Schwartz regarding the importance of developing practical wisdom. Despite our interest in creating rules and structure we also need to be flexible enough to meet the needs of people, not data.

I especially liked his metaphor of rules as notes on a jazz musician’s page. The musician starts there but knows when to bend the rules, improvise, and does these in view of the right goals. Unfortunately the will to do this as a society may be lacking right now due to recent events. The flexibility this provides also leaves people the opportunity to take advantage of in a negative way as well as the positive.

Check the link if you have time.