Archive for March, 2009

My Wife Gets Skyped

Posted in Educational, Gaming, Personal with tags , , on March 29, 2009 by Mister A
henzimers-first-instance

My Global WoW friends and I

Web 2.0 applications will not make sense to people until they touch them personally.  Earlier this year I was working my way through a World of Warcraft instance with several edutechs and teachers in New York, one in Portland, one in Florida, and a guy from Great Britain.  We were connected on a SKYPE conference call so we could discuss what was happening, teach and learn from eachother, joke, and converse like we were all in the same room (and in a way, we were).  My wife came into the room where I was and asked what I was doing so I explained it to her.  She said,  “neat…could you move your feet so I can vacuum…”.  It was no big deal to her that I could be working my way through an instance while conversing with people 1000’s of miles away.

The significance of the impact of Skype and similar applications did not become apparent to Joanie until she was out of town one day for work and she was able to utilize Skype from her laptop in her hotel room and our computer at home in our kitchen to enjoy her regular morning routine of visiting with our two children while they ate breakfast and prepared to go to school that day, even though she was 115 miles away in Havre, MT.  It was that same day that Joan called me with the news that Skype was the most fantastic invention of all time, as I reminded her she could have Skyped me for free.

In most cases, adults won’t “get” web 2.0 tools until they touch them in a PERSONAL way.  They are a lot like students.

springfling1On a personal note, the basketball team I coach, the Great Falls Crashers, recently ended their season by winning the Spring Fling Hoop Thing basketball tournament in Missoula, MT.  They are a fine group of 6th grader boys who always work their hardest and were playing their best basketball at the end of the season.  They made coaching this year FUN…so…thank you Conner, Reid, Zach, Cody, Lukas, Bostian, Kam, and Edin (and Adam – the manager)…You guys ROCK!!!

Diigo Social Bookmarking

Posted in Uncategorized on March 19, 2009 by Mister A

I have been using Diigo for about a half a year. I am just learning to use some of the features presented in this video. Diigo is a very powerful bookmarking and sharing tool. I can’t wait to try some of the new things shown here…Webslides…Wow!!!

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21st Century Rules – No Spamming in Text Chat

Posted in Educational, Personal on March 15, 2009 by Mister A

iburst1Last week, I had to discipline a couple of students in my classroom for some behavior that goes against the rules in the virtual world Quest Atlantis. Quest Atlantis (QA) is an international learning and teaching project that uses a 3D multi-user environment to immerse children, ages 9-15, in educational tasks. QA combines strategies used in the commercial gaming environment with lessons from educational research on learning and motivation. The acronym IBURST is used to help students remember the rules in QA. QA is not only helping my students achieve curricular goals but it is showing them how to behave in a safe and responsible manner in a virtual environment, something that will be essential as we move into the 21st century.

The students in question repeatedly typed the letter “U” into a line of text chat. This had the effect of stretching out public chat so that scrolling was required in order to see what was being said. Several students asked them to stop and they did not. This situation gave me an opportunity to teach what I believe is the most important IBURST rule and also the most important rule that I have in my classroom…Respect Everyone. I had them write the IBURST rules 29 times (I love prime numbers) and also construct and send letters of apology to the text chat victims. My hope is that they learned an important lesson about appropriate behavior in an on-line environment.

Imagine if everyone in Second Life, WoW and other virtual places followed the IBURST rules…wouldn’t those places be even better than they are now?

agamenonisOn a personal note, last night I had the privilege of watching my nephew Wyley play in the state championship basketball game which they won. He was their starting point guard and a real team leader for the Charles M. Russell High School basketball team. I was his coach in middle school and even then, there were times he could navigate himself and the ball through people like they were standing still. He did that several times last night…It was like he was floating. I was there when he was born and have watched both he and his brother Zach grow into incredibly talented, kind, and responsible young men. My brother, Mike, and his wife Becky must feel very good about their two children. Go Rustlers!!!

Husband song

Posted in Uncategorized on March 13, 2009 by Mister A

This video made me laugh…Jenny Luca thank God its Friday…

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Playing Games w/ Olmaxim

Posted in Educational, Personal on March 11, 2009 by Mister A
henzimer

Henzimer - Dwarf Paladin

I played wow over the weekend with a young student from Australia. We completed some quests with one another as I tried to teach him some different aspects of the game. World of Warcraft allows players to share quests with each other so that they can learn from and collaborate with one another to accomplish goals. To me, the fact that I can work with a person thousands of miles away to complete missions, learn innovative technologies, and meet interesting new people is astounding…for him, it is NORMAL!!!