Archive for Quest Atlantis

Line Dancing in Quest Atlantis

Posted in Educational, Quest Atlantis with tags , , on February 27, 2010 by Mister A

At the Quest Atlantis teacher connection in February, Marianne Malmstrom came up with a cool idea of having students line-dance in world.  Here is a video of my kids line dancing in Quest Atlantis.  Thank you, Knowclue, for the great idea!  The kids thought it was totally AWESOME!

On a personal note, I had to take the day off on Wednesday of last week as my oldest son had to have four screws and a plate put into and on top of his radius.  It looks as though he is going to heal very well but it sure makes you appreciate how far medical technology has come.  We were in and out of there in about four hours.  A few years ago, I imagine a surgery like that would have taken at least a couple of days in the hospital.  Tough kid is mine:)

Quest Atlantis, Skype, and My Son

Posted in classroom tools, Educational, Personal with tags , , on February 10, 2010 by Mister A

QA Henny

A vice-principal came into my classroom today.  My students were working on a unit called “Ingolstadt” in a muve called Quest Atlantis.  She watched them for a few minutes and said, “Man, are they ever ENGAGED”.  I have a friend that calls virtual games like this and the activities they contain, “Behaviorist Pedagogy“.  I, on the other hand, prefer labeling them as Experiential learning.  I am not certain which of us is more correct.  Perhaps we are equally correct, but I do know a couple of things for sure.  My students are engaged, learn self-direction, and have fun when they are in Quest Atlantis.  They are learning to interact, communicate, and collaborate with others in an on-line, teacher-monitored, safe environment.  They are investigating Social Commitments and how to treat others respectfully.  All the while being invested in a standards based curriculum.  The more I see kids work with Quest Atlantis, and as I become increasingly efficient at teaching with it, the more I believe that MUVE’s like it definitely hold a very strong place in the future of education.  If you would like to see a video about Quest Atlantis described by its creator, you can click HERE or just watch it below.

Sasha Barab Video

Edin

On a personal note, my son is one of my students when I teach school on this side of town.  He was ill today and had to stay home.  The computer in my kitchen has Quest Atlantis and Skype loaded on it.  During my last class of the day, I skyped home and my son was able to attend my class and talk with his classmates as they worked their way through the Ingolstadt mission in Quest Atlantis.  My son, a seventh grader at one of the middles schools where I teach is at an age where I think he does not appreciate me as much as he did when he was younger.  However, I think he liked the fact that I was able to help him come to school on a day he was too sick to make it past our kitchen computer.

End of Year…still blogging

Posted in Educational with tags , , , , on December 29, 2009 by Mister A

Students Playing Quest Atlantis

I haven’t written a blog post in nearly two months.  I guess learning my new job has been a little bit overwhelming.  I am enjoying my new position; but I believe any time you start a different teaching job, the learning curve can be a bit steep.  I need to remember why I started to blog, if I am to continue blogging. It is because it helps me become better, both as a teacher and, I believe, as a person as well.  Even short blog posts, like I am certain this one will be, are important for me.

I have learned a lot over the past four months about the gifted and talented population.  Mostly, I suppose, is that the majority of these kids seem to have parents who truly care about academic success.  For the past seven years, the majority of my students and their parents cared little about academic success; and for the most part, their grades showed it.  There were exceptions, but they were few and far between.  So far those who argue that the biggest predictor of academic success in the classroom is “the teacher”, I would disagree.  I believe it to be parental involvement.  Intrinsic motivation is rare among middle school students…Parental motivation is NOT.

One of my bicycles

On a personal note, I am regaining my passion for cycling and hope to start racing again in the spring.  I forgot the amount of dedication it requires to be really fit, but it is very slowly coming back to me.  I have not been in really stellar health since I started working towards my master’s degree a little over three years ago.  That stupid piece of paper seemed to really take its toll on my health and on my checkbook.  Hopefully I can use the machine pictured above and some better eating habits to regain the health I possessed in my pre-master years.  Thank God for New Years Resolutions!