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ISTE 10 Videos

ISTE 10 was an incredible conference and experience.  Learning didn’t only occur during the sessions, it happened in the conversations and collaboration between the sessions.  As I mentioned in my last post, it was so much fun to meet members of my PLN in person.  We seemed to fall into conversation and joking like old friends (which I suppose is what we are).   Edublogger Alliance member Buzz Garwood orchestrated some excellent conversations that can be viewed in the following videos: I was honored that Buzz included me in these videos, but absolutely floored that I got to be in a video with David Warlick.  David’s blog, 2Cents Worth, is the first educational blog that I read.  Corey, Amy, and I got a mini keynote right there while we listened to Buzz interview David.  Once again, as I listened to my peers speak about teaching, learning, and technology I was overwhelmed by the greatness I am surrounded by daily in my PLN.   You guys are amazing! There are two parts to our video: 21st Century Classroom.  In part one we share our insights on teaching and learning in a digital age.  In part two, we discuss the challenge of using IT to make the classroom relevant and engage students in a learning lifestyle.  (As a side note, I love the idea of ditching the phrase life-long learner for learning lifestyle.) Personal Learning Networks is another video that Buzz took during the conference, in it he interviews some of the members of my PLN as well as members of the iLearn Technology blogging alliance. Thank you Buzz for collecting all of this on video, it was a pleasure to meet you and work with you in person! And Now for something completely different, take a look at this ISTE10 fashion video that my colleague Amy and I got roped into.  Good for a laugh anyway!

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Playfic: create, play and remix text-based games

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, History, Interactive book, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 08-01-2013

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What it is: Playfic is a site that let’s users create, play and remix online text-based games.  I may have lost some of you already…but don’t leave yet! A text-based game is a genre of game that uses no graphics or sound, but instead, uses text to tell a story in an interactive world.  Think of a choose your own adventure tech-style.  Students can create a story that others can interact with by directing the story using words and phrases.  As an example, the story might be about a forest, describing what you can see East, West, North and South.  The player would type in a direction “East”, hit the return key, and the story progresses.  You can try out a sample text-based game here.

How to integrate Playfic into the classroom: Playfic has all kinds of good stuff for classrooms.  To create a story, students must first learn a little bit of coding.  Tutorials are included on the Playfic site, and are easy enough to get your students up and running in no time.  There is even a link to an Inform 7 (coding language) recipe book that will have your students dreaming up new scenarios and actively researching how to make them come to life.  Students can create games for each other while strengthening their writing and grammar skills.  This is wonderful for fictitious writing, but could also be used for students to explore “what ifs” in history and science.  Students can take a moment in time and dream up what might have been different about the world if the event hadn’t happened the way that it had.  As they are researching and learning about the actual event, they will also be analyzing why the event is important and critically thinking about it’s impact on the world we live in.  Similarly, students could explore a science experiment, hypothesizing what will happen and the different outcomes that might occur.

Teachers could create these choose your own adventure stories for students for new learning or review of a topic.  Wouldn’t it be cool to have a story using sight word vocabulary that prompted practice with the sight words?

I know a handful of students who really struggle with writing…it is PAINFUL.  These students are brilliant. They have great ideas to share. One of the students I have in mind came up to me today and said, “over break I taught myself Lua (programming language).”  Students like these will be all over this type of writing.  What a cool way to engage them and excite them about the writing process in a new way.

One of the things that I really like about Playfic is that it takes a lot of planning, organizing, and thought to create this type of story.  For some students the planning/organizing portion of writing is a real struggle.  This site would be so useful in teaching students the importance of those steps.  I also love that it will have them researching and looking up solutions for how to make their ideas come to life.  Just like we do every day in the “real world.”

Tips: The Inform 7 Recipe book can be found here. 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Playfic in your classroom.

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