Questions and/or Observations

Posted on Jan 9, 2016 by Mike Skocko Latest activity: Jun 29, 2017

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Game On v3.x Discussion

Comments (54)

Matthew Miller

Posted on Dec 11, 2016 8:17:08 AM - Permalink

​I had a student request earlier this semester, to add to my Company Store: a way to convert minutes into XP. He argued, rather eloquently, that there should be a reasonably direct translation between minutes spent working and experience. I'm still thinking about the consequences of this move, but it seems to make sense to me from one perspective: epecially in a classroom (like mine) in which some jobs require substantially more time invested by some students, this might be a way to reward students who spend the extra time. However, when there is also a direct translation between gold and minutes, I have a problem with allowing it, because that means students can essentially buy XP with gold (and I also have students who will spot that in an instant and take advantage of it).

At the moment, I'm feeling that it's enough to allow free translation between gold and minutes, with an option to buy honor (and a penalized reverse (honor->gold) transaction). Maybe in the future we could implement tracking minutes such that earned minutes are separately counted from minutes converted from gold, so that XP could be transferrable only with the former (similar to the way a credit card has separate limits on purchases vs. cash withdrawals), but that seems like a lot of coding work for a pretty limited benefit.

Any thoughts?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Dec 11, 2016 8:57:25 PM - Permalink

Considering all the stuff on Forest's plate, this feels more like a job for a repeatable LOYO (or similar) quest with an option to purchase one of two store items in the final stage: Minutes or XP.

We have a lot of control over the allotment of loot but right now little control over new features—especially complex ones.

What do you think, Matthew?

Matthew Miller

Posted on Dec 12, 2016 6:03:47 AM - Permalink

D'oh! I never thought of that. Simple, direct solution.

I wasn't suggesting we add this to Forest's plate, certainly. Just opening a discussion about the idea in general. To put on the blue-sky list, at most, if it seemed like a useful option. But right now I have serious reservations about the idea at all because of the buying XP aspect.​

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 2:33:32 AM - Permalink

Is there a way to filter quests based on having a badge? I thought I had used that in the past but it may have only been a brainstorm idea to add.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 2:51:52 AM - Permalink

Sorry, no. Just Level, Honor (bonus), or Damage (penalty) at present.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 29, 2017 10:47:38 PM - Permalink

ben davis

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 9:56:12 PM - Permalink

Hello Everyone,

Ben Davis here. I am here to get my GAME ON. Teaching at El Capitan High School and looking for insights from those who have come before me.

Thanks in advance,

Matthew Miller

Posted on Aug 15, 2016 6:22:35 AM - Permalink

Welcome, Ben! There is a ton of great info and many discussions about how to use Game On in various settings squirreled away here in these group forums. I browsed and lurked for several weeks before getting started - there's so much history saved here you can read through posts nearly endlessly. :-)

You can get a pretty thorough introduction over at Mike's site (The Mac Lab), particularly on his blog - he's written a short series of posts distilling philosophy, mechanics, and some implementation. There are various others with somewhat different implementations, including Rob Schwartz' GAMR and my own Nolat Labs and Gnimmargorp (warning: both of these are under heavy re-construction right now so they'll look rather disordered and messy the next few days; better after August 20th).

But perhaps the most powerful way to get started is to install Game On, watch the videos as you need to when things don't make sense right away, and then start conversations here on the forums about what you want to know, figure out, share ideas about, and so on. Learn by doing.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 2:54:59 AM - Permalink

Ben, it was a pleasure to have you in the Mac Lab this morning for a few hours. So cool to see the enthusiasm dripping from you as you prepared for day one of your own gamified learning environment.

Most all of my interactions are long distance. Nice to experience it in person.

Game On, bro!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Aug 11, 2016 3:50:33 PM - Permalink

Hey, Mike, how do you get the avatar image to show up above the Rewards info in your quests?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 11, 2016 4:16:07 PM - Permalink

Divi. Featured image. Bottom right sidebar.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jul 20, 2016 2:15:57 PM - Permalink

Mike, I'm trying to set up an intro that is somewhat like what you used last year, with a Divi post slider on the front page. How did you format yours to allow the wider content area? I'm currently banging my head against the "Don't panic" button on my wall in frustration as none of my efforts on this front have been successful. I've asked over at the Elegant Themes forum, but haven't gotten any useful answers there. (My site for this is http://www.nolatlabs.com)

Update: I resolved that issue. Yay! Turns out the "Slider Description" element has a boatload of padding applied to it. When I set that from 95 to a more reasonable 10px, it gave the content plenty of room (and enlarged the images, to boot).

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 11, 2016 4:17:15 PM - Permalink

Sorry, Matthew. Never saw this. Glad it's resolved! :)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 26, 2016 11:06:18 PM - Permalink

Who knows when I'd have noticed this thread if not for Forest.

We have a new user (Justin) and he asked a good question. I'm trying something new that some of you might find of value—as a jumping off point for other ideas if nothing else. Details right here.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jun 19, 2016 4:18:57 PM - Permalink

I've been noodling a few things this year with the hope of building them into my game over the summer. One small gem (I hope) just coalesced while I was showering today. Throughout my game, the characters are named after major figures in the history of computer science, like Bill Joy and Grace Hopper. I've thought several times that I should have a reward in which a synopsis of the figure's contribution to computer science was a major part. Today I thought what I could do would be to build a quest with a password on stage 1, put the synopsis history in stages 2 and 3, and then add an activity related to that synopsis in stage 4. A link to this quest, plus the password, would be the loot at the end of another quest. Then they get the history as their reward, plus an opportunity for some bonus loot if they want to do the activity (like "go research what else Grace Hopper contributed and share it with the game-master in written, audio, or video format").

I think I'll link the reward quest to the avatar's picture throughout the site, so players are likely to encounter the mysterious quests and the need for those passwords before they find all of them. One possible downside is that if they share the passwords they find, all the players will have access to those reward quests/histories. But honestly, if they're motivated to go read up on the history of computer science, I don't feel like I should object too much. ;-)

What do you guys think?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 26, 2016 11:06:06 PM - Permalink

Matthew and I spoke at length about this awesome idea a couple of days ago. Love it!

Mike Skocko

Posted on May 31, 2016 2:59:30 PM - Permalink

Divi users rejoice! 100 Days of Divi. (Freebies every day.)

Get this:

The visual editor will be super fast and responsive, and every change you make to the page will appear instantly. No page refreshes, little to no ajax loading bars, just instant manipulation of the page powered by React. This will be the first WordPress page builder that we know of built using React, and we are building it from the ground up to take full advantage of what the javascript framework has to offer.

Live editing right on the page! Too friggin' cool.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 5, 2016 9:19:30 AM - Permalink

Just finished my Jerry McGuire-like mission statement. Except it took me two weeks to write.

Get to present it to our staff next Wednesday, the 13th. Actually, it will be more of an invitation to read it and join the Rebel Alliance. I imagine the Empire of old-school teachers will not be pleased.

Que sera sera. http://maclab.guhsd.net/reimagine/

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jun 19, 2016 3:36:10 PM - Permalink

How was the invitation/presentation?

Terrence Banks

Posted on Mar 11, 2016 2:23:37 AM - Permalink

I really appreciate both of you (Mike, Matthew). I am always trying to find new information and teaching techniques to enhance my skills as a teacher and student learning. Both you guys make me think. With the million other ideas that are going around in my brain..you guys always seem to add one more.or a lot more..lol

This year has gone really good. But many times I'm my worst critic and I feel like I have to be better, that I can do better. You guys help me with that with your beautiful crazy minds. I have observed since using Game-on (since 2012) it has opened a beautiful pandora's box, that releases more goodness every year! My administration is like Mikes. They are very supportive of whatever I do because they know whatever it is the students will be learning.

Just an observation...

Matthew Miller

Posted on Mar 11, 2016 2:42:05 PM - Permalink

Terrence, you've made my day, hearing this. I know I've taken away a ton of PD just from participating on these forums, no small part of which has been due to me breaking out of my usual lurker shell and posting my thoughts and experiments here. Thank you for sharing that it's made a difference.

I, too, feel like it can always be better, that I can do better. My game has been well received by the players every year, despite the vision of how very much more it could be, which I hold up in my mind. It's never good enough. But I had a student return this year; he was in my very first year of trying gamification, before I had anything in Game On, when it was really just a dream, not much of a reality. At the time, my class told me it was one of the most fun classes they'd had. Today he was blown away by how much more there is, how much deeper it is. And I still feel like I'm about 4-5 man-years away from having something I'd be comfortable sharing as a semi-well-developed product.

Keep moving forward. You are making a difference!

Adam Coulson

Posted on Mar 20, 2016 7:01:00 PM - Permalink

Game On and specifically this forum with all of you massively talented never satisfied teachers has put me into a frame of teaching that makes me want to be better every day. My continued career and much of my classroom success is due to the extremely high bar set by all of YOU.

So often I hear from teachers that do enough to get by and succumb to the pressures of poor administrative support that I am refreshed to jump back onto this forum and instead focus on how we can do more...new...better...and most importantly the excitement I can hear in your posts. Keep up the great work you teachers of teachers! I will forever be grateful for my group of GameOn internet friends that I tell all my coworkers about :)

Mike Skocko

Posted on May 31, 2016 3:04:31 PM - Permalink

Believe me, the feeling is mutual. You guys have helped to rock my classroom.

You teach best what you most need to learn is a dead-on fact.

Thanks for the kind words. The same back at'cha. :)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 10, 2016 4:18:52 PM - Permalink

D'oh!

Did you know you can gamify any page or post even without Game On's quest/mission/task custom post type?

Even though I've been using store items for scaled loot inside quests and in the "convenience store" on each of our daily updates, it finally dawned on me that I could drop store items anywhere to boost interest and engagement.

Holy fragnog! Because store items [go_store id=""] create a link generated from the item name, this is a way to sprinkle in hidden loot anywhere on your site for those who pay attention or explore.

Like I said, D'oh! But oh, the potential for this idea!

Anyone already doing this?

Matthew Miller

Posted on Mar 11, 2016 2:36:06 PM - Permalink

I knew I could use Game-On's shortcodes elsewhere but this hadn't occurred to me. Fun potentials, definitely! Haven't done this yet, but it's now on the list for adding this summer (or maybe a few over spring break). Thanks!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Mar 4, 2016 12:21:42 PM - Permalink

Had to post this mini-essay one of my students wrote this month on their reflection blog. I had them read an article about how google affects learning today. One of the biggest prompts for writing all year - more students wrote 2, 3 or 4 paragraphs than ever before. Anyway, this student came into my class with an IEP explaining that he needed extra time and comprehended slower than his peers. Then he wrote this:

Google has completly changed the way of learn in every subject or context google is my greatest source my one true recourse. When was the last time I wrote am essay without googling words to find synonyms? When was the last time I answered did history homework without googling the question first? When was the last time I did my math homework without using the google calculator or looking up videos on similar problems to refresh my mind? I have a dictionary, thesaurus, history text book and a very expensive graphing calculator. I don’t know why but I always put them on my bed like a small shrine before I begin my homework. I could easily turn a few pages and find answers. But Google is right there, daring me to use my laptop. I can still read novels and use dictionaries. In fact I often do read novels, but the books I find are on ibooks and are recommended by Google. Honestly If you put me in a grand historical library and told me to write a research paper on the French Revolution I might cry and hand in my work like 4 days later. But, If you gave me a laptop and internet and gave me the same instructions I’d probably give you the best research paper ever written on the French Revolution in about three hours.

Furthermore, Google has affected the way teachers teach. “Watch this video.” “Read this article.” “Google it”. These are all dominant instructions in classes. So not only are students getting dependent on google so are the teachers. Instead of showing us how to learn and then explain what we are learning. Most go straight to the what without the how and use a googled recourse they googled to explain the lesson. Some teachers have a perfect balance but most do not. I love google, I could live without it but, I rather not. It’s efficient and fast and reliable. So of course it has changed the way I learn but that does not mean its a bad thing. Like when cars became popular people complained that nobody can decently ride a horse anymore and all those people who work with horses gradually lost their jobs. But the car, made new jobs and it’s more efficient, fast and reliable just like Google. The invention of Google is not a bad thing or a good thing. It’s a just a thing. A thing that we have all learned to need.

Now, call me biased, but I think his comprehension is pretty damn solid. AMP, WSR, Game-On, and the weekly blogging reflection are the greatest things to ever have happened to my classroom. (Which I know I've said before, but I keep running into new ways in which they are really making me happy I chose them.)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 4, 2016 1:24:43 PM - Permalink

Matthew Miller

Posted on Mar 4, 2016 2:04:33 PM - Permalink

And another one, from a student who rarely says much in class, just comes in and works. She hardly even says much in our one-on-one conversations for "What's your grade." Here's what she wrote for the same prompt:

The problem with modern education system is that they teach you what to learn, not how to learn. This is way too obsolete for our age. There is basically no purpose of a teacher if they say memorize this, annotate this, research this. You can watch a 5 minute video online explaining the same thing. Especially now with google this is useless, how to learn and the skills required for that is more essential. Information is so widely available and easy to access that teachers shouldn’t just spew information, as it is already available. Skills such as critical thinking, how to speak, fallacious thinking, logic, philosophy is so much more helpful. The Google age has brought less reading from physical books, even textbooks because one thinks he is wasting his time going through word by word, whereas on google with one click he can get it all summarized in a couple of pictures or paraphrased. Time is money, and google preserves time. You find that people in the past studied so much longer for tests then students do today. There are way too many downsides of google, so much that it would be absurd all of them here. The purpose of life was social interaction, and humanitarian needs, not just in front of a screen. You find the eyes weren’t built for this either. This doesn’t make us smarter then previous generations, but actually just regurgitating facts we read off the screen, instead of complete comprehension and practical use. But now there is no excuse for not being knowledgable in your field of passion, you don’t have to travel to China to get some information. Always important to find that balance between reading from a screen and off.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 4, 2016 4:12:32 PM - Permalink

Isn't it wonderful to get authentic student feedback in place of "correct" answers?

This one's a classic:

For the past 12 years of my life, I’ve been told getting good grades is what matters. If I want to live a comfortable life, I was told I would need to get into a good college. To get into a good college, I was told I needed good grades, so I got good grades. Year after year, I worked in my classes to get my A’s because it was expected; I would sometimes put more work into getting the grade (or calculating how I could get the grade) than into the class itself. Grades made me feel like I was playing the system, I was counting cards against the curriculum, and it worked. I didn’t have to worry about doing much work because the numbers said I could get an A without applying myself. It was boring. It’s still boring. I spend all day in class doodling on notes and assignments.

If the article changed one thing for me, it changed the level at which I despise grades. I absolutely hated this article because I knew that it was talking about me. From my family to my teachers to various educational horror stories on the internet, I’ve been told that grades are what matter. Grades are the only thing that have mattered. I can’t remember Algebra 2, much of World History, half of the material we “learned” last semester, even. I got an A in all my classes, but so what? I got an A because I memorized what I needed to maintain an 89.5% across my classes. Want to know how to do an anti-derivative of a logarithmic function? Well, I couldn’t tell you because I already got an A in calculus.

When we get rid of grades, though, I’m able to retain information. Even after spending about a year away from the Unity API, I still remember how to use most of the methods and functions, I still remember what I’ve worked on (and in which directory I saved it). Without grades, I learn practically. With grades, I barely learn.

— #10 in graduating class despite 4 years of 4.0 A’s in the Mac Lab impacting his cumulative GPA

EDIT: This is the article he's referring to.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 1, 2016 8:25:58 PM - Permalink

Our first Hunters and Healers of the year. (Stupid teacher! Why didn't you do this last semester?)

Spectacular results. Thousands of gold changing hands. Lot's o' blogs repaired and updated. A new model I'll be using the rest of the year and definitely by week 6 next year!

Mechanics monitored via 3 store items in stage 3 of this quest. If for some reason you want to watch the vids, III and IV cover the instructions (I and II were preliminaries from yesterday). Changed my mind in the middle of the night for today's mechanics. (Good call!)

Printed out the Hunter/Hunted receipts each period (one example from period 1/2 class). Great record of interactions. Man, store items rock accountability!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Feb 29, 2016 5:56:51 PM - Permalink

It's a week for good posts. My vice-principal just posted this summary of Hattie's "Visible Thinking", something I thought I was familiar with. But I was surprised to (re-)discover the top item on the list of effective interventions. I was also pleased to notice that our games (integrating AMP, WSR, etc) hit 4 of the top 5 possible interventions.

Also pleased to notice, again, that the things I tend to ignore (like maintaining a quiet classroom and having testing) are the low-value interventions. Yay! (Now if I could just get our other administrators on the same boat... ;-)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Feb 29, 2016 6:23:18 PM - Permalink

"Hattie's research suggests that schools should adopt and support programs that focus on formative assessment. Simple, but openly defying every dumbass politician that has supported any kind of end-of-year testing to the detriment of other programs."

+1 I'm going to make a graphic quote and post it on Twitter.

"So much for the top-five programs that matter according to Hattie. So why in the hell are we spending so much time on the programs that don't matter much to the exclusion of the programs that do?"

+1 again.

Love the article but cringe at edu-research generalizations. I really believe most studies deal with new strategies in old-school settings rather than these same strategies in new-school settings. World of difference (or so I believe).

From http://maclab.guhsd.net/sko/fso-emdt-apa/

But my real problem lies in the peer-reviewed papers I’ve read so far. Where is the teacher’s influence and the culture of the classroom factored in? Where is the resultant synergy—by its very nature, an unpredictable and unknowable factor—in the equation? Observing students in a controlled environment is an absurd notion even if one proposes that Teacher Droid 117 delivered the instructions in a predictable, uniform, systematic manner. Students don’t fit in neat rows and columns even if desks do. Every group of kids contains its own variables. There are simply too many variations in teaching styles, personalities, classroom culture, history, potential, expectations, and especially the inevitable synergistic factors for me to suspend disbelief long enough to even start to believe I’m reading anything other than yesterday’s semi-flawed theories.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Feb 27, 2016 3:45:59 PM - Permalink

Outstanding new article at Cult of Pedagogy that concisely sums up the RAMP philosophy/pedagogy and gives constructive, concrete examples of what to do and how to do it, along with recommendations for taking it further (reading, websites, etc). Best single source for this that I've found (except that she doesn't reference Dan Pink in the main article, only on the reference site; but he does get top billing there).

Mike Skocko

Posted on Feb 27, 2016 5:13:32 PM - Permalink

Read that a couple of days ago. Really good (and familiar) stuff!

Speaking of familiar, I've been refining a presentation I gave last weekend. Here's the latest WIP. Lots of the segues are verbal, of course, but I think you'll get the idea—with the exception of the Lawrenceville slides.

  • $60K is yearly tuition (YIKES! For high school?!)
  • 87% = average score for science final (all grades) in June
  • 58% = average score for same science final (returning students) in September*

*And it was a simplified version of the final.
It's a call to action that I've been working on out loud on twitter as well.
----
I've sold our principal on c.school and we're going to have a school within a school next year. Also pitching the district. Exciting stuff!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Feb 27, 2016 7:55:26 PM - Permalink

Pretty cool stuff, Mike! Gratz!

If you didn't live in southern Cal I would so want to work at your school, or district. It sounds like it's really headed good places. (I prefer a few million fewer neighbors than that area; ironic since I'm living in Cairo, but that's for other reasons.) I like the mini-exchange and the early/bell items. Well designed for the game aspect.

My game is working well enough that I had kids asking, last week, if I would build in a quest line that integrated the math concepts they're working on (they'd just had a realization that they could build a program to compute (math) functions). Now I'm collaborating with the Maths teachers and it sparked brainstorms about linking into the English curriculum...potentially history as well...may be others I've not yet connected.

And another teacher here, in the Middle School, is piloting a board game version of his ancient china unit, which is going great guns and is very popular so far, according to reports. I'm eager to see the final outcomes. He's put in a ton of work on it and is really pleased.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Feb 29, 2016 6:51:14 PM - Permalink

+1 on the cross-curricular projects! That's HUGE.

We're doing much the same in here. We might have opportunities to cross pollinate next year. What languages are your kids using? (We're back to beginners but some really good ones. Foundation in HTML5 and CSS3 then on to JavaScript. A few in Unity are learning C#. No newbies working on Game On, yet. Forest is our one-man army.)

And thumbs up to the middle school teacher, too.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Mar 4, 2016 12:12:10 PM - Permalink

They're mostly in Python. A couple wanted to do Java. The ones who were interested in the web site took my web design course (1 semester elective in the fall) but didn't want to go into PHP. Several of this year's coders have expressed a strong interest in continuing, so we'll see what develops.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Feb 27, 2016 5:28:47 PM - Permalink

c.school is why I haven't been very active here.

Ironic because Game On is playing a bigger part than ever in our classroom. New strategies that are working great with the kids. See the Mini-Exchange for a few of them (first two and last two lines).

Store items in final stages are huge, too. Since I get email notifications, cheating is reduced to near zero. One kid who lost his loot for Phase II yesterday is going to discover he can't buy it again once he's actually done the work. Ouch! But necessary to get to Phase III—legitimately—so he's still got a reason to continue after the realization sinks in. :)

Matthew Miller

Posted on Feb 27, 2016 7:56:47 PM - Permalink

Could you explain a bit about the store items in final stages? I think I see what you're talking about, but both to make sure and to post so that it's here for reference? (Or did you already and I missed it...very possible)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Feb 29, 2016 6:42:53 PM - Permalink

Missed this.

The final stage store items (hopefully) provides kids with more structure to guide iteration and offers additional options take projects above and beyond "finished."

Or so goes the idea. Still very much a work in progress.

Does that make sense?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Feb 27, 2016 5:43:57 PM - Permalink

Another Doh! idea is separate quests for turning in specific work.

Easy to sort and find all submissions. Putting the submission field in the final stage was too obvious for me to consider before.

Like I said, D'oh!

Update: I move all the files to Google Drive, put 'em in a folder, and share the folder with the client. Super easy way to wrap up real-world projects (or at least narrow down what we need to fix) without downloading each file and dealing with even more clutter on my computer.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jan 29, 2016 4:49:12 AM - Permalink

For those of you teaching graphic design, creative writing, film, etc. Just ran across a wonderful site (that has been up a while, so you may already be familiar with it): HitRecord. It's essentially a pair of brothers working to re-design the concept of a production company to fit the 21st century and the 'everyone is a creator' aspect of the internet. This may be a great place to get inspiration and is also an opportunity for students to share in an active worldwide community, with potential other benefits as well.

https://www.hitrecord.org/

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 29, 2016 6:09:32 PM - Permalink

Love the concept. Great find, Matthew.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Jan 27, 2016 4:18:39 PM - Permalink

Pods? Trying to set up a Photoshop Basics pod to include stuff like layer styles, blending modes, selections, etc. If I add several missions to a pos, is there a "home base" for each pod instead of linking to a single mission in the pod? Like if I five posts with a category Photoshop, I can just add the Photoshop category to the Wordpress menu and when I click on it there are all of the posts within that category.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 27, 2016 4:48:03 PM - Permalink

Pods are glitched and we don't know why.

They work for us 99% of the time but when they break they hose the user's account (just ask Matthew). Austin was back from NYU a couple of weeks ago and looked into it but was dumbfounded.

I really, really want to use Pods but we may need to remove them so others don't discover this wonderful/horrible feature.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Jan 27, 2016 5:23:43 PM - Permalink

I see. I better ditch them for now then. I was getting ready to record new tutorials on Layer Styles and saw you already have some. Score!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 27, 2016 6:11:47 PM - Permalink

I have 5% of what I intended to create. One day... :)

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jan 27, 2016 6:36:02 PM - Permalink

Run the other way. They are seriously hosed right now. When we had a pod with 3 quests in it, after the user mastered two quests and click the link to the third, their account was corrupted somehow and the site either hung up, or gave us a 504 Timeout error (but that may have been conflated from another problem we ran into at the same time). Full details in this thread.

If you've created any pods already with 3 or more quests, I would recommend not allowing any students access to your site until you've removed any reference to Pods that you have created. It's that serious. If not, just remove all pods and pod references from quests and you should be OK.

Mike, I would be in favor of removing Pods for now, at least the visible access to them, to prevent serious problems. The consequences are just too unfortunate.

Ryan, what I've been doing in the meantime is using categories, with

  • a page or post that lists the requirements (do X of these) and the individual quests, OR
  • a menu that lists the quests by category, with a number on the category indicating the requirement. Eg:
    • Photoshop (6)
      • Once upon a toolbox
      • Palettes, panels and panes oh my
      • ...
    • Illustrator (3)
      • Battle: Vector vs Raster
      • The power of the pen
      • ...

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jan 13, 2016 5:27:22 PM - Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 13, 2016 11:39:37 PM - Permalink

Cool article—and accomplishment—but Adobe glitched your link. Thanks!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jan 10, 2016 7:55:57 PM - Permalink

This is probably not OK to share with students, unfortunately, but it so clearly demonstrates why kerning is such an issue. My favorite is number 9, but it's only a hair ahead of several of the others. Warning: probably not OK to even view this in some districts (almost all are vulgar).

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 10, 2016 8:21:00 PM - Permalink

I haven't clicked the link yet but I can already see a few in my mind's eye.

You see, a couple of weeks ago I Googled "bad design" and "bad kerning" and was going to throw out two LMGTFY links to the image results for the kids. Oh my! That plan didn't ever come to pass for the same reasons you've hinted at.

On the other hand, I have a strong "Miles" gene and it's yammering the mantra at me right now.

After all, it is a lesson they'd not forget. ;)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 1, 2016 8:35:39 PM - Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 9, 2016 2:39:44 PM - Permalink

My kids have been using Twine to map out edu-games. Last night (at an ungodly early hour) my brain woke me with an idea how core teachers could use standards as a framework for an interactive game requiring students to (re)connect standards to the real world. (Twine seemed like a great way to develop/present this.)

It's a dystopian concept. Something along the lines of helping the MainBrain heal itself after whatever disaster befell it/us. As students build the initial (re)connections new standards emerge (they only see a few at the beginning so they're not overwhelmed). Hard to explain at this point but it feels real and solid.

I've been discussing c.school with our district and my principal and this might play into the idea.