EDTECH 531 Blowing up the grade book



In this video Chris Haskell argues with stunning results a revolutionary way of teaching and learning. As the title suggests it’s to get rid of the grade book and make learning a game.

I thought it was interesting how the argument of having homework assignments assume that each student has the same home environment.  I never thought that homework assignments were unequal but it really is.

The idea that homework doesn’t have due dates is interesting and the fact that “triage” is mentioned makes sense to all educators.  Giving students choice is a great way to instantly let students feel like they’re in control.  “The winning condition being in reach” is great because this way will help students progress to the next step and be successful.

The change of the metrics of schools is a bold goal but necessary.  I like how he said, “education has changed more in 10 years than in the last 100 years” because with the technology boost the world has changed and schools should too.  How to make those changes in a worldwide learning setting or even the US will be slower because of all the regulations and laws and perceptions.  How will parents feel that their kids are playing games at school?  The change will require a paradigm shift that learning is the goal rather than passing.  I believe the students will embrace this change quicker than the faculty or parents.

One concern with this system is procrastination, if students have no due dates then how many “late nighters” will be experienced when the time to be done comes?  The ways the quests progress with levels is a step towards fixing this, maybe there’s a way to have the quests leave after a certain amount of time and that experience can’t be earned afterwards.  I think procrastination for the students’ triage will be key in the success of this learning schema.

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EDTECH 597-Lesson Plan for gaming app

Identification of objectives and assessment

The standards for this mobile game align with the Seminary and Institutes of Religion Teaching and Learning Emphasis-Master Key Scripture Passages and Basic Doctrines

The goal for this game is to assist students in identifying basic doctrines and scripture mastery references and to help them memorize key scripture passages.

-Assessments for the game.
This game will be a review tool for the students.  The assessment will come as they are tested in class with a matching test and also a fill in the blank memorization portion.

Identification of audience
High School release time seminary students already familiar with the 9 basic doctrines and 25 scripture mastery references for the Book of Mormon

Materials and media
(resources, sprites, visuals and audio)
This game is designed as a review activity for student to do on their own to be followed up with an assessment quiz testing their understanding of the doctrines and being able to easily identify them.  Each student will need an iPhone in order to download the free app from the app store.   The visuals are provided with the app and will work as basic background images or button images.  The audio is designed to be played on a loop as the students play the game.  The song has been written and composed by me (Matt Hoge) and has no copyright restrictions. 

Game Content and Mechanics
The game genre for this game is a puzzle video game.  As students will match the basic doctrines with the scripture mastery passages they will use cognitive learning skills to remember where they match and will also require the ability to memorize.  Their is only  one level for matching and one level for memorizing.  Feedback is given as students make a match.  Scores will be determined by the fastest time. (see lesson below)

Lesson plan
Invite a few students to try to test their knowledge of the basic doctrines and scripture mastery passages by having them try to match them on the board.
2. After they have had some time to practice, assist students in downloading the free app to give them practice. Note-not all students will will have an iPhone, for schools with iPads the app will still work.
3. After students have had time to download the app the will then be put into groups and timed to see who can match the doctrines and scriptures on their apps the fastest.
4. Students will then take the game home and practice to be tested next class.

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Mine Craft-The Big picture

Recently I had the opportunity to go into a number of Mine Craft world created and monitored by Lucas Gillispie.  Up to this point I had found Mine Craft entertaining and full of educational possibilities.  Lucas showed me a world that was incredible!  Students were actively engaged in creating their worlds, some had leadership roles in the world, others were aspiring to become higher ranked, and all of them were completely invested. As with any virtual environment there are some technical requirements and considerations with using Mine Craft.  Some of the schools has classroom computers and servers provided for the students to use, other students had access at home.  The students were using the school computers to create worlds and explanations for learning activities.  In the classroom setting, students were watched over and encouraged by their instructors.  In the virtual world, the instructor and helpers would observe the conduct and happenings in the worlds.  It was interesting to think of the impact the environments had the schools they served. At first glance it may seem like a nice program or a fun club but the schools that have implemented Mine Craft as a learning tool have had huge success.  One example is the art world created by art students  The “epic” sized creations and creativity was amazing!  Students also implemented math skills and geometry to design and engineer their projects.  The response to each of these situations of using Mine Craft in schools was positive.  As a Seminary Teacher I don’t see very much feasibility of using Mine Craft in my apartment but I can see the impact and progress they make in learning.  As virtual worlds become more available I can see more integration in the classrooms.  The big picture take away most meaningful to me and the people in my educational community I believe is the success that Mine Craft and virtual tools can bring if properly used as learning tools.  The accessibility and entertainment of Mine Craft make it have so many possibilities for education.  I would like to see some more school integration in my community of tools like Mine Craft because students have a desire to “play” these games and if carefully tailored video gaming can go from a waste of time to an effective educational experience.

Categories: -2.2 Audiovisual Technologies, -2.3 Computer-Based Technologies, -3.1 Media Utilization, -4.3 Delivery System Management | Tags: | Leave a comment

Second Life

What is Second Life? The title describes really well what it is, it is a virtual world that reflects our own where one can create an avatar to live a second life.  To state succinctly, it’s a game that virtually mimics the real world.  The overall usability of Second Life is very easy and accessible.  It’s free to use (although items may be purchased) and anyone with minimum cpu requirements and internet can log on and play.  There are a lot of possibilities for SL in the future and in my future.  Even though it mimics our world, the limitations are taken away and the freedom of imagination is unleashed. From an educator’s standpoint SL can be very useful in creating learning situations. I’m not sure how much I will actually get into SL as a hobby or game, but I see it more as a tool for learning.  As I discover more about SL I may find myself living more virtually than in reality


Categories: -3.1 Media Utilization | Tags: | Leave a comment

Edtech 531-Exploring the Big Island

Exploring the Big Island Voice thread discussion

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EDTECH 531-My Alt, My Avatar

Consider the implications of Dr. Bailenson research and thought on the education of YOUR students. What takeaways do you have about the impactVirtual worlds on the future of education, as described in the video.

I found this video very interesting because of how the study shows the connection between behavior in real life and in virtual worlds through avatars.  The conclusion I came to is that there is some real value in giving my students certain virtual situations to help them to learn.  I think there is a big connection between behavior and learning, and there seems to be a reflection of real life behavior in virtual worlds.  If exercising your avatar more by moving yourself more, loses virtual and physical weight, then putting teaching scenarios or role playing into the virtual world can help educate my students to respond to those situations in real life.

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Week 7-Reflect and Perfect

This is the week to put it all together and polish the project.  I think we have a great foundation and we have worked hard on putting the project together.  With the feedback we  receive we will be able to make the project sound.  One part of this week that is important and helpful to learning is giving feedback to others.  I found that many things that they have missed we have too.  It’s an effective process for learning.  Even though the PBL process is coming to and end, we have been asked to consider these important questions:

  • Who will you involve in the process?
    Since I teamed up with another classmate we will work together to provide feedback on a project.  I was able to find another student that was willing to review our project and gave some excellent feedback.
  • What will your process look like?
    We used a rubric provided and discussed through a forum.  I also gave my opinion based on the rubric of how to improve the project.
  • Is it just a one-time assessment?
    In this case it is for us.  I’m sure the project will continue to be improved and assessed but for the purposes of this class it will be a solitary one.
Categories: -5.1 Problem Analysis, -5.4 Long-Range Planning, Reflections | Tags: | Leave a comment

Week 6-Managing Your Project

This week we focused on the role of the teacher as a manager or guide in the project development process.  We looked at important and essential strategies to help make sure the teacher isn’t the whole show but rather a director.  One of the most important ways to help “check” your facilitating is to think in the terms of the student.  I think of it as the “I” or “me” syndrome that students often have.  What does this have to do with me?  What do I get to do?  Thinking this way helps me stay in the management role rather than the “sage on the stage”.   Some questions we were asked to reflect on help also with achieving a teacher/guide role.  The questions and my responses are below:

  • Will my role in the teaching/learning process change? I think depending on the activity I will have to be open to my role changing frequently.  There will be some teacher presentation moments as I help students understand the tools we will be using.  I will also become a team member/observer as I let students create their virtual maps.  Flexibility and availability is the key to success in PBL.
  • What are the skills of effective facilitation? The skills of effective facilitation have been outlined as:
    -Student centeredness
    -Understanding the role of the student
    -Managing activities
  • Will the students develop the competencies and skills needed to be successful?  I think some students will have an easier time at this than others obviously but overall I think they will be successful.
  • What changes will you need to make in order to become an effective facilitator in your PBL unit?  I think one major change is understanding when to facilitate and when to collaborate.  Getting the right balance is the key to success.
Categories: -4.1 Project Management, -4.3 Delivery System Management, Reflections | Tags: | Leave a comment

Week 5-Planning and Preparing

This week we focused on planning and preparing our project by focusing on the tasks and activties of the project.  We also looked at estimating time and preparing resources. We were given 2 options to post in our learning logs, I decided to go with option 2 and post about an article by Jamie Mckenzie titled, Scaffolding in PBL. I thought this article was so great I’ve inserted it here:

I think scaffolding is key to effective PBL.  I have often wondered how to “let my students loose” without making the activity purposeless and unfruitful  On the other hand there’s the challenge of being to restrictive.  I strongly agree with McKenzie when she explains, “We should have learned by now that exploration by students progresses most effectively when those students have been well equipped, well prepared and well guided along the path.” (McKenize, 1999).  There has to be some guidance in order for effective learning to take place.  I think the analogy of the guardrail of a mountain highway fits well with the whole concept of scaffolding in PBL, it doesn’t road block the learning process but guides it safely and effectively.

I have pondered this issue in our project already.  Using Google maps and other Edtech tools will require some major guidance and I have worried about being too constricting in the creative process.   One thing we have done is narrowed down the tools to the most effective and simple to use.  We haven’t put a limit on the tools and have encouraged in our project the opportunity to use other tools.  I think scaffolding in PBL is worthwhile and its principles should be considered in other teaching activities as well.

Categories: -1.3 Instructional Strategies, -3.2 Diffusion of Innovations, -4.1 Project Management, -4.3 Delivery System Management, Reflections | Tags: | Leave a comment

Week 4-Plan the assessment

Week 4 is an important week.  We are to plan the assessment and evaluate how it meets the key requirements for effective assessments.   We planned our assessments around the key requirements so they should line up well.  After reviewing them I have made a sort of checklist from the data from “What Kids Can Do“.  Here is that checklist.

Key Principles of Assessment

Assessment is for students.

√  Has personal relevance for students (e.g., provides a tangible product they can use).

√  Students become more confident and articulate about what they know.

√  Students feel ownership over the process as well as the product of their work.

Assessment is faithful to the work students actually do.

√  Notebooks, works-in-progress, and routine presentations are basis of assessment.

√  Occasions for reflection and discussion are integrated into ongoing project work.

√  Students are assessed on what they know and do, not what they don’t.

Assessment is public.

√  Students’ goals are solicited and become part of those assessed.

-I will add that this area can be improved, we need to add some more specific goals.

√  Criteria for judgment remain visible and accessible to students from the beginning.

√  Performances are viewed and judged by a broad group of people.

Assessment promotes ongoing self-reflection and critical inquiry.

√  Teachers and students both speak of the qualities of good work, and how to attain it.

√  Standards used reflect those of adult practitioners in the field.

√   Categories and criteria of assessment remain open-ended, subject to challenge and revision.

Looking over the key principles of assessment I think we should add some more goal oriented activities for the students and this way more student input can be included.  Overall, I think we are on track with the assessment!

Categories: -1.3 Instructional Strategies, -1.4 Learner Characteristics, -3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization, -3.4 Policies and Regulations, -4.3 Delivery System Management, -5.1 Problem Analysis, -5.3 Formative and Summative Evaluation, Reflections | Tags: | Leave a comment

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