Blogs

Powerful Girls, Powerful Women

The New York Times has a long article celebrating the beauty in the power of women athletes, in particular the top women tennis players. This is a transmedia piece with a slide show, text, and videos in extreme slow motion. Two of the women featured in the article, one of whom is also in the video, have also taken time off for motherhood and continue to perform at the top levels of the game. A close reading reveals some of the support network, the village of people, needed to be able to be a top performer.

Images refreshed on P4games.org

Josh and I are exploring Drupal themes to provide a visual refresh to P4games.org. In anticipation, I have added a set of twenty images that will cycle as visitors navigate from page to page. These have been drawn from both Pixels Programming & Play, and from the Teacher Game Institute.

Safari 4 and Drupal are not playing well together

This entry is being written from within Firefox. Last week I attempted to make some updates from within Safari as we began the Summer Gamecamp at MLK. I was not successful. A quick search revealed that others in internetland are also having issues with this particular configuration. I don't have a resolution yet.

Implementing Ideas

1. I'm still working through this question of how I will implement what I have done at TGI. First, I am working (ok, let's be honest. Mohammed is working...) very hard to figure out how to program my game. The idea I have for it should lead to some great discussion and could be a great supplement to what I am already doing.

I can see a discussion about the game I'm making lead to some good discussions about media, video games and other "big ideas." At the very least I want my game to be a valuable tool for my classroom.

Creativity Exercises

Art and Photography
• Do images stay with you vividly in your memory?
I just started getting into photography and love it. I like film and love finding images within footage that is compelling.
• Do you want to capture pictures or recreate images that you’ve seen?
I have seen a lot of photos that I like, a lot of poses or images that then I have tried to recreate or capture for my own.
• Do you doodle or keep a sketch book?
My laptop has an incredibly random collection of ideas and thoughts.
Music
• Do you feel strong emotions when you hear a favorite piece of music?

2 Days of playing

I am definitely interested in anything and everything that will make me a better teacher. Across the board I think the thing that helps me be a better teacher, no matter what I am actually doing, is engaging students. This is what intrigues me most about the TGI. To be honest I don't know that I'm sold yet on the idea that video games in Scratch or Greenfoot will actually engage students more than something I already do, but I do know that technology interests students and that some effort in this area will pique the interest of many students since I my interest has been piqued.

Games and Constraints

Last Wednesday I had my class design a game. This was the exercise in which they were given a few constraints for the game:

1) The game had to be for two players.

2) The game board had to be an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper.

3) The game had to be completable within 5 minutes.

The students were then handed two random game tokens, a die, and colored markers and given 10 minutes to design a game.

Game Release Party

On Wednesday, November 12 we had our first release party. Students presented their games to the class, discussed some of the design decisions, and talked about issues they faced in creating their first game and how they overcame their obstacles. Afterward, students rotated through their classmates' games, playing them and providing feedback.

One of our Assistant Principals attended the party. Overall we had an impressive array of games, everything from some maze games to pong-style games, to track/race games.

First Semester of Game Curriculum at my High School

I am piloting the game programming curriculum using Greenfoot with five students who are in their second semester of computer science. I am also using parts of the curriculum with 20 first semester computer science students but using Scratch as the programming platform. All students are in the computer lab at the same time.

The first semester students are in the process of creating their first games. What is exciting to see is how the students are trying to follow the tenets of humane games. Only one game is a shooter and that is shooting at a bouncing target.

Day 4

You can read my blog of today here: http://mhobkirk.wordpress.com/2008/06/27/day-4-du-teacher-game-institute/

Complete with photos of artwork, and game boards!

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