The past couple of years I have really become interested in all things gamified. I am a huge proponent of BYOD/BYOT and gamification is a great way to enrich curriculum and teach content in a fun, engaging way. Most educators have played games as a student and while teaching their students but gamification is more than playing games to fill time or teach individual skills. Gamification activities are challenging and involved critical thinking and decision-making skills. A great wiki to review is http://badgeville.com/wiki/.
Gamification is a great way for student to practice programming by using coding skills or playing games to learn about strategies to employ for success on a variety of skills For instance, students playing the game “Angry Birds” by Rovio Entertainment online or on mobile devices aren’t just playing games. They are using trial and error, learning from failures to perfect their game technique, make decisions while having fun. Angles are reviewed as are trajectories, velocity, etc with tons of math and scientific principles at work in the game. Students don’t realize that the reason we promote and use games such as these for learning is that students are engaged in meaningful activities that teach the content we want our students to learn.
I just finished writing a book about gamification and ways to use technology in gamification strategies. The book is in the editing phase and the current title (which may change) is, “Kid Detectives- Classroom Gamification Learning Activities: Mystery Adventure Quests“. The book is scheduled to be published and finished in August and I am so excited. If you would like to review the book please let me know and I will see about getting you a copy to review. Special thanks to Chris Bigenho, Ph.D. for writing the foreword for me.
I was unable to present this session scheduled for July 23 at 2:30pm due to a severe knee injury (keeping fingers crossed for MRI results this Friday). Anyway, I wanted those who were interested in using cell phones or global projects in the mathematics classroom to have a copy of the presentation I would have presented during my scheduled session. You can view it on slideshare or view the embedded version below:
Feel free to email with questions or requests to present using the contact form of this blog. Thanks and sorry I couldn’t be present to join everyone! See you next year!
It’s that time again – time to submit presentations for the K12 Online Conference! As part of the K12 Online Conference organizational team, I wanted to share the news with everyone. The theme for this year’s conference is “Igniting Innovation” and video presentations are broken down into the following four strands:
Stories for Learning
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics
K12 Online Conference
The conference will take place the week of October 13, 2014, kicked off with a keynote by Wesley Fryer (@wfryer).
Week 1 of the conference will feature the following:
Week 2 will feature the following:
Joy Kirr (@joykirr) will share a keynote in the “Passion-Driven Learning” strand. Karen Wilkinson and Mike Petrich (@TinkeringStudio) will keynote our STEAM strand. Descriptions for each of these strands are available on our 2014 call for proposals. The submission process for the finished video presentation has been streamlined and we welcome all submissions including video presentations featuring students in action and student voices.
Share the News
Please download our conference marketing flyer in PDF format. Forward this flyer and print it for display at your school in the teachers’ lounge, beside teacher mailboxes, outside your classroom, or anywhere else it can catch the attention of other educators! Many thanks to Naomi Harm (@nharm) for creating our flyer and logos for the conference AGAIN this year!
If you use Twitter, we encourage you to tweet about the 2014 K12 Online Conference using the hashtag #k12online14! Remember our online Call for Proposals is open through August 15th. If you haven’t presented before for K12 Online, or you haven’t presented in a few years, we’d love to have you add your voice, perspectives, and ideas to the learning experience of our 2014 attendees! We will help you every step of the way in the submission process.
We would also appreciate everyone sharing the news about the upcoming conference and the call for submissions by putting a linked version of our 2014 square conference logo badge on your own blog or other website. You can download the logo and add it to your site, linking it back to k12onlineconference.org.
The Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teachers is scheduled for next week. I was scheduled to speak on Wednesday, July 23rd at 2:30pm CST but will not be able to attend to present. Several weeks ago, I began having knee pain and it has increasingly worsened so that I cannot walk or stand for any length of time without severe pain. We just moved and that aggravated the tendons and muscles as well. I have an MRI scheduled next week to determine if surgery will be necessary. Additionally, I am fighting severe dehydration as the more intense the pain became the less I ate and drank. Unfortunately this week was another ER trip. I say this not to make everyone feel sorry, just to explain why I am out of commission online and offline.
I was honored that I was selected to speak and so looking forward to presenting and sharing ways to enrich and create motivating learning activities for mathematics using the design process to revamp curriculum to include cell phones, mobile devices, apps and a variety of stimulating strategies. There is always next year so hopefully things or 2016 when the conference will be back in San Antonio, Texas. Keep checking back on this blog as I will post short posts talking about some of the things I would have featured in my presentation. Hope to see you at another CAMT Conference in the near future.
Many junior and senior high school students are taking or preparing for the SAT and ACT tests throughout the summer and school year. Khan Academy has partnered with the College Board to provide free preparation materials including previously unreleased questions in the math, reading and writing sections taken from previous SAT tests. There are over 200 videos that show how to solve the problems step-by-step.
The SAT test is changing its format in 2016 and by spring of 2015, Khan Academy will offer interactive learning tools to help assess and find students’ strengths and weaknesses. This feature isn’t available yet but it is coming soon in preparation of the SAT changes in 2016.
Whether students are taking the SAT/ACT tests this school year or next, you can count on Khan Academy to have great resources to help students prepare for these tests and other standardized tests. Check it out at www.khanacademy.org/sat.
For the third year in a row, Google is hosting a free online Maker Camp. The camp is based on the premises of traditional maker faire and maker-movements but this is an online event designed for teens. The Google + social network is how the camp will be hosted.
According to the online article by Stephen Noonoo,
The event is an extension of a maker’s faire Google began hosting in the Bay Area almost a decade ago. The online counterpart sees students building items like LED shoe clips and bottle rocket fireworks. On Fridays, virtual field trips will take members on tours of places like NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
After announcing the project through a blog post, over 500 local ‘campsites’ were created for kids to gather to experience the online camp together. Schools, community centers and local libraries joined in to serve as a ‘campsite’ for the teens to meet, participate and collaborate on the projects that will be created as part of the camp activities.
The camp officially stated Monday July 7 with students participating in a Google hangout with astronaut, Buzz Aldrin. What a fun opportunity for teens this summer!
If you and your students or teens will participate, please let me know your experiences and share pictures of students working on the projects. I love to showcase teachers and students in action using technology!
Although I didn’t get to go ISTE this June, I am so touched by those who saw my husband and sent greetings to me through him. He told me about all of the people he encountered (thanks so much to everyone who took time to talk to him) in the vendor hall and throughout the conference. I felt the love even though I couldn’t be there and it is heartwarming that I wasn’t forgotten even though my husband left me behind (j/k – he didn’t leave me behind!). As the conference winds down tomorrow I hope everyone found it valuable. Hope to see everyone online soon!
I was checking about the home decor on my favorite site, Zulily.com, and came across the plaque to the right. We just moved households and are still in the clean up process. I was looking for items that might look nice in the new house and came across this saying.
While the plaque is very small, it can have a big meaning attached to it. Teachers write on the hearts of their students every day. Every single day we make a lasting impression on the young lives we encounter each day, whether online or face to face.
My question to you is what teachers write on the hearts compassionate and caring or cruel and stagnating? Same goes for admins to their teachers, parents, students, stakeholders, they encounter on a daily basis. Is the message imprinted on the hearts of those around you positive or negative? As this school year is or has come to a close for you and your students, think about the message you last wrote on the heart of your students. Since it can never be erased, was the last thing you wrote something positive or uplifting or negative and belittling.
We all have frustrating days and say things we shouldn’t but take a reality check and see if the writings on the hearts you are leaving lately are positive or negative. Not be sappy and sugary sweet, since the words and imprints cannot be erased, it is important that we are a positive support system, caring for those precious hearts when we speak and helping make a positive difference in our students lives as I am sure they have plenty of people that leave negative imprints on those little hearts.
What is the Amazon Fire? It is Amazon’s latest offering and is a smartphone. The cost is $199 with a plan from AT&T and $649 without a service plan. You can pre-order the phones for release July 25, 2014. The $199 phone offers 32 GB of memory and you can get a 64MB phone for $100. I don’t care for AT&T service so hopefully the fire will be expanded to Verizon and Sprint after awhile like the iPhone was slowly phased in to other markets.
The phone uses the Firefly technology and almost looks like the images are in 3D. There is a video on the page that spells out the specs and technology of the phone. Check it out and let me know if you think this is the phone for you. Can it compete with the iPhone 5S or the Galaxy S5?
I came across a tweet from Time.com that shows an interactive world map showing the presence of tweets that were posted in remembrance of Maya Angelou and thanking her for her literacy contributions and public speaking events when she passed away on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at age 86. The graphic above shows some of the many retweeted images of Maya Angelou according to Time.com. She was a prolific author, civil right activist and spoke at presidential inaugurations and many other public events. She will definitely be missed in the publication industry and public speaking events. She lived a difficult, but amazing life, inspired and motivated adults and students alike to dream, believe and “…do better when you knew better”. She definitely left the world a better place by having her presence on Earth. I embedded the graphic below.