School dev story

Last year I spent Winter Break reading two wildly disparate books about child-parent relationships gone bad. This year I played Kairosoft’s Game Dev Story on my iPad – and read #blog4reform (you should, too). Game Dev Story puts you in charge of a game development company. You develop games and fulfill contracts in pursuit of ...

Learning underground

Learning underground
In my recently adopted US history class, we’re thinking about the price of colonization. After comparing and contrasting some before and after pics of New York, we’re painting our own unspoiled landscapes based on photographs found online. Thereafter we’re going to make lists of everything that we’d bring along with us to start new colonies. ...

Small-group gaming: settling in 2

Tweeps near and far have me thinking about the game layer, gamification, and how to curate games in the classroom or school library. Our own work in class to master Mario Kart as cooperative cycling teams has hit a kind of instructional equilibrium: everyone is happy to play, but the teams who have mastered the ...

Legacy

I’m wondering about how to reintroduce self-directed learning to students doing an excellent job of directing themselves to the work I’m designing for them. To wit, here are the questions going through my mind this week. Is it possible for reading and writing to get in the way of learning? Do struggling readers and writers ...

As if anything ends

This week I read around the Washington Post’s “Top Secret America” portal. You can read about its methodology and see the project’s credits here. I started with this article: “National Security Inc.” On page 10, the article describes the work of Ken Pohill, an employee of General Dynamics, a defense contractor serving multiple roles in ...

SPACE PANDA 2010 1

SPACE PANDA 2010
As I work on this year’s curriculum map, I’m trying to set up a learning space bounded by the minimum number of teacher-imposed, useful constraints necessary to promote student-directed democracy, community, and learning. My map this year will look more course-specific than last year’s meta-map, which I think is still a useful model for project-based ...

“What drives curriculum?” 3

Mary Beth Hertz (@mbteach) wrote here about #ISTE10′s “Dissecting the 21st Century Teacher” panel. I commented on a few of the lines that caught my attention regarding curriculum and a teacher’s role in maintaining and delivering content. I’m torn there. There’s so much discoverable content maintained out there that it’s useful for a teacher to ...

Two Rules for Music & School 1

It doesn’t surprise me that iPods are popular, or that I like them as much as my students do. Our iPods are our 1:1 music devices, customizable reflections of our interests and emotions. They are our 1:1 identity, expression, and need-fulfillment devices. When we need to feel big, we find big music. When we need ...