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Game Design Aspect of the Month: Educational Games, Any Progress?

Not much has changed for educational game developers, either. Targeting schools as potential buyers is still less profitable than targeting home schoolers, parents, and grandparents. There really isn’t a lot of funding in school budgets for games and even if there were, figuring out the differing sales processes is time-consuming. Larger school districts may even require a pilot testing period of a few years before anything can be definitively decided.…

A warning to college profs from a high school teacher

My students did well on those questions because we practiced bad writing. My teaching was not evaluated on the basis of how well my students did, but I felt I had a responsibility to prepare them for the examination in a way that could result in their obtaining college credit. I would like to believe that I prepared them to think more critically and to present cogent arguments, but I…

The End of the Web, Search, and Computer as We Know It

Until now, the web has been space-based, like a magazine stand; we use spatial terms such as “second from the top on the far left” to identify a particular magazine. A diary, on the other hand, is time-based: One dimension of space has been borrowed to represent time, so we use temporal terms like “Thursday’s entry” or “everything from last spring” to identify entries. Time as a metaphor may seem…

Flickr Is Back, Letting Us Go Home Again

Blogging this mostly because of the good writing. Facebook is a continuing nightmare of privacy disasters. It’s the bathroom door that resists all efforts at locking, swinging open again and again while you’re trying to poop. When even Mark Zuckerberg’s own sister (and also the company’s former marketing director) can accidentally share photos in wider circulation than she intended, there are clear privacy issues that are yet to be worked…

Procedural Enthymeme with Inform7

Pretty awesome, focused use of Inform 7. (I’m generally content just to let my students explore, trusting through experience that they will learn from testing each other’s games and asking me specific questions realated to the stories they are creating, such as, “So how do I make it so you can’t enter the TARDIS without the key?”) A procedural enthymeme describes a set of rules that, in constraining an interactor’s…

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Student “engagement” declining dramatically – and what schools can do

Makers, take note. Let’s be clear. This is NOT an attack on teachers. That’s because teachers are being pushed hard to focus on standardized, multiple-choice tests. But as the national Gallup organization points out, we should care about this because “Hope, engagement and well being of students accounts for one third of the variance of student success. Yet schools don’t measure these things. Hope, for example, is a better predictor…

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Resumes: Top 5 Tips for Job Hunters

I just freshened up an older instructional page, Resumes: Top 5 Tips for Job Hunters. I still need to update the examples, but my advice is pretty much the same as it was in the late 1990s when I posted the first draft. Value the Chance to Try Again Balance Creativity with Function Details, Details, Details Presentation Matters Strike the Right Tone (Don’t Undersell or Overhype Yourself)