A Very Deceiving Night

When I was in middle school – we were shown a movie about Donald Duck and fractions.  From that entire year of school, that Disney film is the only memory I have retained.  I always wondered what it was about that experience that made it stay in my memory – even decades later – while everything else that occurred in those months was forgotten.

That question played a major role in my decision to start graduate school.  I wanted to find out how people learn.  I wanted to understand how technology can support that learning?


I think that videos can introduce a student to a topic at a different level than a lecture or reading text.

For example – I saw a documentary on the National Geographic Channel – Called “A Very Deceiving Night”.  It was about the Titanic – but, it was centered around the research by Tim Maltin and his work to solve the ultimate mystery of the tragedy.


For a hundred years the world has asked how this ship, a magnificent creation of the most technologically advanced design and construction of its time, could end up torn and scattered at the bottom of the sea on its maiden voyage.  The loss of life was unimaginable.  1500 people died that night.

The video was so well crafted that I was immediately part of the drama and mystery of the event.  I wanted to know how this could have occurred.  And so I read Tim Maltin’s book.  I don’t generally spend time reading books that are about the sea, the Gulf Stream, or how light bends across the horizon – but, I was drawn into it, and immediately read every page.  I was fascinated with the roles of refraction and temperature.

I could not resist the enthusiasm and focus of this Researcher, Tim Maltin.  I was inspired by his determination to find the scientific answers to these questions.

The fact is that the video impressed me so much – I wanted to learn more –  and so I read the book on my own.  I continued to seek out more documentaries and writings about the topic.  This for me is an example of how video can engage a student in a topic, and inspire the student to continue to explore and learn on their own.  I feel that this represents an example of how technology can facilitate learning in an authentic way.


Week 7 – I Have Always Wanted to Learn How to Make a Video Game

I have always wanted to learn how to make a video game.  I don’t have a deadline – but, I would like to make consistent progress towards that goal.

I have quite a collection of books on this topic – including What Video Games Have To Teach Us About Learning and literacy by James Gee, Chris Crawford on Interactive Storytelling by Chris Crawford, Digital Storytelling: a creator’s guide to interactive entertainment by Carolyn Miller, and the Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-based methods and strategies for training and education by Karl Kapp.  I have many others.  I want to read these books – but, with school, and work, and life – I am lucky if I get to read a few chapters in them before they end up back on my shelf.

I have read about it online – in articles such as “5 Teaching Tips for Professors—From Video Games” by Jeffrey R. Young featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education.


I spent time exploring sites whose focus is on how the creation of video games supports learning at sites such as Globaloria and the World Wide Workshop.


From sites like this I found people that I wanted to hear more from such as Idet Harel Caperton who founded the World Wide Workshop for Children’s Media Technology & Learning.

I am interested in Kurt Squire’s work and writings on this topic and his web page has links to many of his activities that connect video games to learning.


Mark Overmars developed software that allows someone like me to create games that are really neat.  It is called Game Maker and you can really learn a lot by using his book, The Game Maker’s Apprentice that he wrote with Jacob Habgood.  This walks you through tutorials that are awesome and fun. I was able to complete a couple of chapters before life took over once more and – I dearly want to go back and try some more.


The Game Maker is showcased and at this site and has quite a community of enthusiasts. It is located at:


I sometimes feel discouraged that this interest must always be put aside while I rush through my day barely meeting my obligations to work, studies, and the realities of daily living.  But, someday – I would like to commit time to learning more about video games and how they can facilitate learning.  I want to read these books, follow the communities that these people are involved with, and learn how to make video games.

Week 8 – Movers and Shakers

There are some things I like about an LMS.  It’s predictable – mostly stable and dependable – and it can support the administrative tasks pretty well.  It’s convenient.  It does a job.

In order to thrive or even just survive, institutions of higher learning need to gain the ranking and stamp of approval of key organizations. They must document that their curriculum are tieds to concepts that are listed and to prove that they are meeting certain standards.  How better to collect and organize this kind of information then with data based platforms that track everything.

Technology continues to present new opportunities for students to become creators of content rather than just consumers.  Advances in social media resources allow the development of communities of learners – and now all of these resources are available 24/7 on our cell phones.

I think that the way that our Instructor for this Social Networking course has set up the three web-based sites to support the learning goals is the way to go.  The right tool for the right job seems to be the answer – If you need security and/or statistics use the LMS.  If you are trying to get your students to create and explore – open a site in wordpress.



What are the implications of “going Edupunk” with learners?

Learners who “go Edupunk” – are life wide and lifelong learners.  They are autonomous. These learners are destined to be active in learning communities and actively create content to share with the world.  They are the “movers and shakers”.


Week 6 – What Is Showing…

When I first put my About.me page up I used a picture of a flower that  I had snapped in my garden on my way to work one day. The rose filled the card.  There was a spikey green part of the flower that went right through the middle of the image. The image dominated the screen and I feel like it was distracting and too busy.

First Image

I put the image into powerpoint and played around with the angle and placement on the slide.  I tried to lose the spikey green thing in the middle of the screen.

Working in PowerPoint

I then used some of the options on the tool bar to blur the background to make the image softer and hopefully fade into the background.

I worked a little with the font size and ended up with a different look.

My Aboutme page

I think I need to do something different with my picture too – but, haven’t come up with any new ideas.


I went to my wordpress site made a similar switch out with the same image. But, I used the stage before I blurred the background. This made it a little crisper and I thought this would work as the image is only a strip across the top.  I liked the feature that let me choose the portion of the picture that I wanted to show.

Using the same image in blog site