Mike Skocko

Reading Roundtable

A place to share informative, inspirational, and/or innovative concepts discovered via books, articles, and/or research.

Please add items one-by-one so we can discuss resources individually. :)

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Matthew Miller

Posted on 7/21/16 5:40:44 PM Permalink

An article was just published at the Digital Pedagogy Lab which, while the title isn't very exciting, is packed with thought provoking perspective on the point of games, the importance of fun in learning, and why education should remain untethered to productivity and practical outcomes.

(Higher) Education as Bulwark of Uselessness by Luca Morini

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/12/16 9:12:05 AM Permalink

Just read an article about "Rethinking Intelligence" that excited me greatly. This is the sort of research that aligns with what I believe, supports what I am trying to do, and promises hope for an eventual shift away from one-measure-to-rule-them-all type evaluation.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/12/16 3:14:25 PM Permalink

Great story, but measuring imagination? Seems as futile as measuring intelligence—or any other multi-dimensional human trait.

Here's a pic of two girls with the same IQ. Yeah, that 103 really tells the story. The End of Average is a must-read. Looks like 150 years of research is all built on a misconception.

…the same assumption served as the basis for research in every field of science that studies individuals. It called into question the validity of an immense range of supposedly sturdy scientific tools: admissions tests for private schools and colleges; selection processes for gifted programs and special needs programs; diagnostic tests evaluating physical health, mental health, and disease risks; brain models; weight gain models; domestic violence models; voting behavior models; depression treatments; insulin administration for diabetics; hiring policies and employee evaluation, salary, and promotion policies; and basic methods of grading in schools and universities. The strange assumption that a group’s distribution of measurements could safely be substituted for an individual’s distribution of measurements was implicitly accepted by almost every scientist who studied individuals, though most of the time they were hardly conscious of it. But after a lifetime of mathematical psychology, when Molenaar unexpectedly saw this unjustifiable assumption spelled out in black and white, he knew exactly what he was looking at: an irrefutable error at the very heart of averagarianism.

…A century and a half of applied science has been predicated on Quetelet’s primal misconception. That’s how we ended up with a statue of Norma that matches no woman’s body, brain models that match no person’s brain, standardized medical therapies that target nobody’s physiology, financial credit policies that penalize creditworthy individuals, college admission strategies that filter out promising students, and hiring policies that overlook exceptional talent.

Rose, Todd (2016-01-19). The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness (p. 62, 65). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/12/16 5:42:09 PM Permalink

Ok, if you keep responding to my posts with great books that I discover I have to add to my reading list (which is already plenty long, happily!) I'm going to have to send you a personalized thank you note or something. :-)

That looks like a great read for this summer. Measuring imagination doesn't seem that far from measuring creativity, which is one of Adobe's core tenants right now, IIRC. But I don't see why we have to measure it all, actually. Just acknowledging its importance, making time and space for it to happen, and structurally encouraging it in our teaching seems to be sufficient, to me. I'm not a fan of measuring, really. Evaluating and iterating, yes. Measuring...not so much.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/12/16 6:03:49 PM Permalink


Move End of Average up the queue. It's worth it just to understand jaggedness, context, and pathways in the study of individuals—NOT the study of large groups of individuals which has ignored those inconvenient factors for 150 years and led us to our current untenable situation.

I present to our staff tomorrow. Might actually have a chance to reach some of them.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 7/16/15 10:16:18 PM Permalink

Matthew Miller

Posted on 6/4/15 8:19:19 AM Permalink

One of the first truly scientific studies to confirm that personalized instruction results in improved learning. It's a 'duh' conclusion for anyone who has played (or developed) games, but this is, reportedly, one of the first times it's really been verified scientifically in a classroom setting. Results for the 6-week test resulted in as much improvement as the best results for homework over a year, in terms of improving student results.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 6/4/15 1:27:19 PM Permalink

I read the article before reading your comment. My reaction was similar to yours...

"And in other news, researchers have verified that water runs downhill."

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/21/15 11:01:40 AM Permalink

An academic analysis of factors that can lead to learner overwhelm when learning new material, and approaches to minimize this overwhelm. "Taking the Load Off a Learner's Mind: Instructional Design for Complex Learning." [EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST, 38(1), 5–13: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003]

Although in academic language and supported with multiple study references, it boils down to what is done in game design. When we introduce complex new material that will require the learner to integrate and synthesize or construct new mental schema before real competence can be achieved:

  1. Introduce simplified versions of the problem to start with, gradually increasing the complexity until the learner is capable of handling fully realized scenario.
  2. Provide scaffolding to cue the learner exactly what to do in the early (simpler) scenarios, gradually reducing the amount of scaffolding as the learner demonstrates their competence. Eg: provide partially worked out solutions and gradually have the player solve more and more of the scenario.
  3. Present tools for understanding necessary knowledge when the knowldege is needed (Just In Time / JIT)
  4. Unless the knowledge is very complex, in which case break it down and present it in advance, then provide a refresher or review in JIT manner.

All of which won't be stunning news to anyone here, I suspect. I just haven't seen it written out so clearly, and so fully referenced with supporting studies, so I wanted to link it here for future reference.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/19/15 6:55:45 AM Permalink

Nice article about how to ensure that Making leads to Learning. Very research based (links directly to various studies) and meaty. Key takeaways for me are:

  1. direct instruction is recommended at time, particularly for new material and skills
  2. when having players explore to find a solution (and there is a known best solution), learning is substantially enhanced when you then present the cannonical solution and discuss why it is better than the ones the students developed on their own (and there are great details in the article about how to do this well).

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/17/15 12:08:15 PM Permalink

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/3/15 6:10:43 AM Permalink

Thought provoking perspective on gamification and games based learning from Shapiro, who wrote the Mindshift guide to digital games and learning. Really made me think about what it is in building a class-as-game that makes the experince different for students (vs. a great teacher doing a lecture series). I particularly liked this bit:

"The real reason that we should embrace game-based learning is not because it does what we already do with more efficiency and dependability. Instead, the promise of video games is that they represent a change in the way we can think about education. For example, the presence of an avatar provides players with two “I”s. The I that holds the controller and the I that’s within the game. This creates a kind of objective distance (which education researchers call metacognition) that enables students to recognize that they have the autonomy to shape and iterate their own learning experience."

Edit: And then on the next page, I ran into this bit, which I think is simply laser-focus brilliant, in which Shairo attacks the notion that we should use games because they make learning fun:

"Almost three millennia ago, when Plato described the process of education in The Republic, he used the metaphor of walking out of a dark cave and staring into the sun. At first, the light burns your eyes, but slowly you adjust to a new way of seeing. There’s nothing FUN about that.

The truth is that games and digital interactive learning platforms can help students become as passionate about learning traditional academic content as they are about learning to play Assasin’s Creed."

4 Fundamental problems with everything you hear about the future of education

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/2/15 5:24:23 AM Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/19/15 7:17:02 PM Permalink

Not required reading. Something I was lucky enough to watch appear magically on the paper before me. Twenty years ago.

Dream Yet Complete

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/10/15 8:23:52 PM Permalink

Mar '14: meta-analysis of research on use of games in education was published. Very restrictive selection criteria found 69 out of over 1000 reasonably eligible reports qualified. Digital games, design and learning, a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Overall, the analysis found:

a) digital games conditions were on average more effective than the non-game instructional conditions

b) augmented games (designed for learning) on average are more effective than non-augmented versions

c) the design of an intervention (game, gamification, GBL, etc) is at least as important as the medium

There is also a wealth of detail regarding specific mechanics, operations, and so on. The report is currently free.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/10/15 8:58:22 PM Permalink

Great find. Downloaded it.

I'm unwilling to turn the Mac Lab into a controlled experiment to participate in any studies because I'm unwilling to cheat the kids in the control group. Objective edu-research is so... what's the correct phrase? Oh yeah, Fragnoggin' subjective!

Love this:

These findings further underscore the importance of design (and careful reporting of that design) for both game and non-game conditions. Media-comparison research often highlights medium while placing less emphasis on the design of the game and control conditions. Many of the media comparison studies in the present meta-analysis, for example, underspecified (or didn’t specify) the nature of the game and/or control interventions. As research on games shifts toward closer analysis of role of design, researchers will need to provide “thicker” descriptions of game and control conditions, including screenshots, URLs, and detailed descriptions of the underlying theoretical bases for the chosen designs. This will require many journals to increase page limits.

Like any of this is actually quantifiable. The last line in that paragraph is a LOL moment.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/10/15 9:00:06 PM Permalink

Hey, you're on spring break. Quit reading research and have some (other type of) fun!

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/3/15 6:41:46 PM Permalink

In the spirit of Matthew's April 3 entry, I give you Make a Game Out of Learning which feature this line: But these optimistic, play-loving game gurus have come to despise the biggest buzzword in their field: gamification.

Am hyper-intrigued by The Radix Endeavor and can't wait to explore it.

Some other cool concepts like:

A few years ago, Osterweil distilled what he calls the “four freedoms of play,” including freedom to experiment, freedom to fail, freedom to assume different identities, and freedom of effort (meaning the ability to mix full-throttle effort with periods of relaxation and disengagement). For Osterweil, these freedoms are about more than good game design.

And that blows up my rubric. :)

Nathan Scherer

Posted on 4/3/15 8:30:55 PM Permalink

I think there's a real divide developing here between those who use gamification to motivate and those who use it as the actual source of education. I think we there's a real difference between gamifying your class and gamifying your curriculum. In a perfect world, the thinking that "math is fun" in and of itself is definitely the way to go but the reality is that public education is dealing with a growing population that doesn't think math is fun. So gamifying your classroom is a motivation tool to get someone who's not interested in a subject engaged in some fashion.

I just think education professors, administrators and everyone else that isn't teaching these types of students are truly naive to think there's a switch that you can hit to make someone interested in every topic under the sun. It's not realistic!

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/3/15 9:06:05 PM Permalink

I think rather than a divide it may be a spectrum. There are plenty of folks using gamification in smaller ways within traditional classrooms (Michael Matera, among others I list on my website). But I am definitely farther along the spectrum toward turning the entire class into a game (and I think Mike leans that direction, too). That isn't to say that I don't think there is room for other approaches, just that I have the freedom to take this further than others might be allowed. I think it's worth doing, as an example of what is possible and to try and find the potholes so I can share and hopefully ease others' journeys along similar paths.

I would agree that there isn't a switch for instant motivation. That idea is pure hype. There are techniques that improve our chances and we're all experimenting to find out what works and what doesn't. Sometimes, as in my class this year, the same techniques work with some kids and not with others. I had 2 of my 15 opt out of my game from about week two. They've been happily engaged in a more traditional path throughout the year, only dipping their toes into the gamified version on occasion, when some aspect intrigued them.

On the other hand, I think even those "math isn't fun" folks can find, with a caring teacher and a powerful approach (that may not necessarily even have anything to do with games) can discover/learn that math can be fun. It's our system and its traditions that have sucked the fun out of subjects. Gamification is just one way to try to counter that influence. It's not a panacea and it definitely has its own share of problems, but it's the best tool I currently know of to improve my chances of reaching more students, more powerfully.

Nathan Scherer

Posted on 4/3/15 9:33:47 PM Permalink

I agree with your spectrum comment. I think I was pointing that other people have a problem with the other end of the spectrum and that's where the divide is. I think they are wrong to say that the other approach isn't effective or doesn't work. It might not be effective for a chunk of students but for others it's the only thing that will work.

I think people at the university level are a little bit out of touch with what's going in high/middle/elementary schools. All of the stuff I learned from my professors didn't do much for me until I did my student teaching. That's where I learned what actually worked and pretty much threw out most of what I was taught in class. I think when you're spending most of your time researching at a conceptual level and teaching students who have paid to learn what you're teaching you start to lose an understanding for everyone else who's working under much harsher conditions.

I obviously don't think that's true across the board but when I read comments like the one Mike quoted from the article, it really rubs me the wrong way.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/6/15 4:56:18 PM Permalink

If you're talking about the profs' despising "gamification," I agree that they seem to be looking at it through a lens I don't agree with either. I've met a lot of profs who "get" that K-12's a different challenge. Some others, though, seem to look down their noses at us. C'est la vie.

And about teacher-ed... I learned far more subbing for a year prior to entering the credentialing program. Failing at direct instruction as a student teacher was the best lesson of all. Long live self-paced learning!

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/3/15 9:09:50 PM Permalink

Hang on to your rubric a minute! What about just adding something like my "dimensional shift" item into your store? In my classroom it allows students to take 20 minutes off (inter-dimensionally warped out of the classroom ;-). I've made it fairly expensive, so I've had just a couple of uses so far. Next year I may ban doing homework for other classes during mine - I intended it to be used for relaxation...but I'm still considering that. It's a freedom for the players and I'm not sure my intention is worth taking that away.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/3/15 9:15:12 PM Permalink

Oh, I'm not letting those guys blow it up. They have some interesting ideas but...

I was looking at it from a "growth mindset" in terms of "negative feedback." (Don't like that latter label. Constructive criticism isn't negative.)

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/3/15 9:18:56 PM Permalink

Besides, I've already begun tinkering with it, allowing for up to 15% of slack time. Click (A work in progress.)

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/3/15 1:42:59 PM Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on 3/31/15 1:32:49 AM Permalink

The Power of Habit: A lot of info about simple steps to breaking and building habits (pulled from copious research) but the documentation piece that I just ran across is eye-opening.

Over simplified version:

One: Researchers trying to figure out why people don't stay on diets, eat healthier, or lose weight (and keep it off) asked a group to document one day's food intake per week. Fail. Some didn't do it, some lied to cover bad habits, and some forgot to document all meals. But as they stuck with the group, they discovered that over time, some began to document with increasing regularity. It seems, some individuals saw patterns they weren't aware of before (due to unnoticed eating habits) and became more curious about keeping better records. In turn, the individuals who were most diligent changed their eating habits and developed new eating habits.

The scientists were not trying to change behavior; they were trying to gather data to track food intake. The documentation triggered the behavior change and built new, better habits.

Two: Same thing with trying to understand why older hip and knee replacement surgery patients didn't follow through with critically important exercise after surgery. Patients were asked to document their plans to exercise. Those that documented consistently were more diligent in exercising. But more importantly, those who—unbidden by researchers—had a plan to cope with the urge to abandon the exercise due to the excruciating pain, were most successful.

Again, the scientists weren't looking to change behaviors; they were trying to gather data.

All I could think about was student blogs. I've always concluded that my best students have the most stellar blogs because they're plugged into the student-centered learning process in the Mac Lab. But could it be the other way around? Could the documentation drive achievement?

I have no idea if that makes sense to anyone else, but as an occasional hyper-documenter, I'm freakin' psyched at the potential application of this info in conjunction with focusing on establishing a new keystone habit (prior comment)!

36% into the book. I <3 the Kindle app!

Mike Skocko

Posted on 3/30/15 8:54:55 PM Permalink

I hadn't noticed Matthew's 3 book link or the article that followed it (from July of last year!) but the second of the 3 books reminded me of the one I'm reading right now: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

I'm currently hooked on the concept of keystone habits and how they might be directly applicable to enhancing student engagement in the classroom (and beyond). Will be implementing my own version next Monday when we return to school.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 3/21/15 1:16:02 PM Permalink

Have just read a quintet d'oh! quartet of books by Malcolm Gladwell.

I can't recommend them highly enough. Each one a collection of golden, mind-opening connections.

And I just flashed back to this:

Abstract finger painted words, to dance the metaphor
Makes the rhyming reason, for those who will explore
Twenty-six, pick-up sticks, word pictures do you see
Common sense, evidence, in conflict do they be
Look the question in the eye, extract what’s make believed
Prism bends the lighted path, like notions preconceived

Yeah, like that.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 3/21/15 6:26:53 AM Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on 3/21/15 12:51:48 PM Permalink

Well, that certainly validates the introduction of Bonus Loot into Game On. Good find, Matthew!

My students have reacted enthusiastically to the prospect of a 1% chance of winning 1000 Gold for Mastery in select quests. I've overheard several telling their friends that they were going to master the quest simply because of the Bonus Loot.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 2/2/15 6:43:06 PM Permalink

This video summarized why it's important to allow mulitple attempts and to provide specific and detailed feedback to students. It's about a 1st grade biology/art project, but applicable across the curriculum and grade sequence, in my opinion.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 3/21/15 12:57:18 PM Permalink

Epic! And I love how one of the commenters pointed out the connection to SOLE, Sugata Mitra's Self Organizing Learning Environments. Details.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 2/1/15 5:02:01 PM Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on 3/21/15 1:00:13 PM Permalink

Yet another reason for this soon-to-be 60 year old (gasp!) to continue his WoW ways. (Need to show my wife this one.)

Matthew Miller

Posted on 3/29/15 2:54:57 PM Permalink

If you get into it, let me know and I'll get back in. Started last summer and was enthralled, but stay away because it's too absorbing and competes with my work/family life. :-) I only worked my way up to level 18.

But if I have someone to play with...

Mike Skocko

Posted on 3/29/15 4:14:15 PM Permalink

If I get into it?! LOL!

I've got six level 100s with all primary professions capped.

When players buy WoD they get a free level 90 toon. If you choose an Alliance character on Khaz Modan (where I had to play for 10 days in month 9 of my masters program) I can provide gear and other buffs.

Garrison Missions were the inspiration for this page which began in January. (I intend to grow it like wildfire over the summer so that next year's students will have far more quests than they could ever hope to master.)

Meet the family: Gati | Ampton | Balcam | Synergix | Mclab | and Skocko (the one I used in the masters assignment)

My students gave me so much grief for playing only hunters,* I leveled a rogue and a druid to 90 just to prove I could do it. I've tried all the races and settled on humans for one reason: I like the way they move. The females are especially graceful. It's pretty immersive for me; I can literally feel the movement so the lumbering characters aren't nearly as fun.

*From the beginning, I played to study the game mechanics. I'm still convinced that WoW's mechanics hold the key to what my Game On implementation will become in a few years.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 3/29/15 7:33:54 PM Permalink

Yeah, that shoulda been "if you get back into it." I knew you were a big player from prior posts (before the Game On group at EdEx, back when it was "The view from level 80").

I was initially interested in going through the entire experience, from WoW original at level 1 on through the series. Is it better to just start with a level 90 toon? I assumed there was a substantial amount to be learned by going through. Just playing through the first 18 levels was quite an experience for me, and I am still mining those memories for ideas and mechanic suggestions (both examples and counter - I like our progress bar, for example, better than theirs because it's easier to understand at a glance).

That page is absosmurfly fabulous, Mike! What a great lot of inspiring quests. I almost want to start completing quests at The Mac Lab just because they are so intriguing. I know that is a rabbit hole I wouldn't soon return from, though. :-) I also love Echo and R&D - your new site is quite beautiful (content and chrome). I may have to get that theme after all - though I've been pretty happy with TwentyFourteen, I think it may be time for a facelift this summer, if I can work it in. Content revision first, though.

Anyway, yes, I am serious about gaming, if you won't mind having a n00b along on your quests. I'm still pretty wet behind the ears in MMO worlds and not terribly coordinated. I think it would be really fun to play, discuss mechanics, and generally hang out, since I won't likely get to SoCal any time soon. (Working on a plan to get down there next summer for a bit - that'd be the soonest. I'd love to meet face-to-face at some point.) The other caveat is that the gaming would have to be intentionally limited in time and frequency. Otherwise I'd lose too much of my other life, which I really like!

Mike Skocko

Posted on 3/29/15 8:58:13 PM Permalink

I haven't stopped playing since those first (required) 10 days. Once I became convinced it was THE model I wanted to build on, the play continued to be study (though my wife has a real hard time believing that). And I've been seriously pondering a "view from level 100" to build on the 80 and 90 posts because Draenor (90-100) is so much richer than Pandaria (80-90).

As for starting from the beginning, I've takes soooo many toons through those first 20 levels (then deleted them to start anew). Many races begin in different zones so the experience differs. Starting at the beginning definitely has value. But...

Blizzard has done something very different with WoD. There's always been more quests than anyone except the hardest-core players could exhaust, but now, with the addition of the Garrisons, it's almost like two games in one—the Garrison itself + the myriad "follower" missions and Draenor + quests in the wild. Plus they've built it so that newbies can jump in and experience WoW's highest levels without spending 500 hours leveling through the lower zones (average time according to McGonigal).

If you want to save some dough, you can always play the first 20 levels forever for free. But you can't join a guild, ply the auction house, send and receive mail, etc. You can test all the races and 1-20 zones, though.

To be honest, I was getting ready to quit WoW before the WoD expansion. I felt I'd explored it enough. Draenor's a whole new game, though, and it's re-inspired me. I'd recommend trying it and I'd be up for limited play leveling one of my level 90 non-hunters if you want (I'm terrible with both of them—different mechanics than I'm used to so we'd both be n00bs). We could schedule once (or twice) a week research and document the experience.

Let me know what you'd prefer. If you choose WoD, remember: Alliance on the Khaz Modan server... whoa, is that even possible in Egypt? You might have to check 'cause Khaz a North American server. (If we're not on the same server, I can't provide gear, goods, and gold. We could quest together in a group but you'd be a pauper to my prince—so to speak—and I couldn't share my hard-earned riches. And you'd die, a lot probably. Ah, the good ol' days....)

Anyway, looking forward to seeing you in the flesh in the summer of '16.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 3/30/15 8:02:02 PM Permalink

Sounds like a lot of fun. I think Khaz should be do-able; I've been able to play on the Sisters of Elune server in the US. The druid is the one I'm most drawn to, though I'm so inexperienced any would be fine. I think once a week would be great.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 3/30/15 8:32:48 PM Permalink

The only reason I picked hunter originally was that my early research indicated they were the easiest to solo (I'm more a lone wolf than a pack animal). I do however, have a level 90 druid ready for the leap into Draenor. If you want to try the gameplay there and like druids, we can learn to play them together.*

*I never did come close to mastering the combat rotations and did much of the leveling gathering ore and herbs. Don't tell my students I relied on that workaround for about half that toon's XP. I did, however, make a lot of gold (selling and utilizing the mats) in the process.

Once a week will be fun. Pick a day/time that works for you and let me know when you're ready to begin.

Is anyone else interested? (Like anyone else even reads this thread.)

Annette Whitby

Posted on 3/30/15 8:57:10 PM Permalink

Re: Is anyone else interested? (Like anyone else even reads this thread.) ~Mike

Ha! I've been following the interesting discussion between you and Matthew. At times, I'm not even sure what you all are talking about. Hope you two have fun! (Mike, I will follow-up using your guhsd email account)


Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/4/15 12:09:22 AM Permalink

Sneaky! :)

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/4/15 12:08:42 AM Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on 3/29/15 4:21:55 PM Permalink

If you really do want to try this, I'll send a Scroll of Resurrection. I think both of us get perks for that.

Oops. That's over. I think there's something new but I'll wait to hear one way or the other to look for it.

If you decide not to, no problem. I almost joined Inevitable Betrayal (the folks you just presented to) but they're focused on the end game and I find that to be major boring sh*t. It's all so choreographed it feels like line dancing (which I also detest).

Different strokes.

That's one of the cool things about WoW. You can focus on things that YOU find interesting.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 1/11/15 7:31:43 AM Permalink

"New" theory (2004): connectivism, with great references. First place I saw the 'half-life of information' actually referenced.

Conectivism: a learning theory for the digital age

One of my favorite bits:

The need to evaluate the worthiness of learning something is a meta-skill that is applied before learning itself begins. When knowledge is subject to paucity, the process of assessing worthiness is assumed to be intrinsic to learning. When knowledge is abundant, the rapid evaluation of knowledge is important. Additional concerns arise from the rapid increase in information. In today’s environment, action is often needed without personal learning – that is, we need to act by drawing information outside of our primary knowledge. The ability to synthesize and recognize connections and patterns is a valuable skill.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 3/21/15 1:08:46 PM Permalink

Agreed. The phrase, meaning, and implication of "the half-life of knowledge" stunned me when reading. Had never considered that quite so explicitly.

Great support for embedding and driving home the concept of life-long-learners into our "school sucks" crowd. And even more to point to this challenge.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 3/29/15 3:00:04 PM Permalink

Love that! We don't have much of the in-your-face school sucks crowd here. But there is definitely an undercurrent of that feeling that is strongly rooted in our student community. I need to consider how to pose this challenge in a way that will reach underground and grab them.

If any of your students want a challenge, let me know and I'd love to Skype with them, describe the situtation here, and have them come up with a marketing campaign to counter this. We have the possibility of posters, videos, digital art on the video displays, etc.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 3/29/15 4:29:45 PM Permalink

We're in the home stretch here so let's hold that one for next year. Sounds too cool to pass up. :)

Mike Skocko

Posted on 3/29/15 4:34:14 PM Permalink

Matthew Miller

Posted on 1/2/15 2:18:26 AM Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on 1/2/15 3:35:14 AM Permalink

Will watch. Thanks!

Have read much on Dweck. Her research confirms the value and importance of something she calls "grit." Something about the value of sustained effort and resilience.

We need a rubric that places value on that. ;)

Mike Skocko

Posted on 1/5/15 2:57:17 AM Permalink

Just watched. Not the most riveting speaker but the content is, as you say, powerful!

Reminded me of something that's often said in the Mac Lab...

Student: But I can't do ________________.

Me: You haven't done ______________ yet.

Motto: Your past is not your potential. (Marilyn Ferguson)

Matthew Miller

Posted on 1/11/15 7:23:32 AM Permalink

Like that motto. Think I'll steal it. Thanks!

Matthew Miller

Posted on 12/17/14 10:12:27 AM Permalink

Ran across another nice (and short) article. Probably wouldn't have posted it here as it's preaching to the choir, except that the first couple paragraphs are highly remeniscent of postings here last year by Rob.


Nathan Scherer

Posted on 12/17/14 1:28:33 PM Permalink

The only thing I don't like about articles like this is that it supposes that there is a way to get every student interested in every subject and that all you have to do is find out what's interesting about the subject and teach it that way. I teach in a community and state where the rules make it so that my classes are stacked with students who have no interest whatsoever in digital design and in fact are even openly hostile to the possibility that they might be interested. How do you work with kids who are only at school because... well, I honestly don't know why they are here (maybe because it's the safest place to be?). The only thing that gets them motivated are the little things like the money and badges, which in turn, gets them more and more exposure to the work that they would normally not do (because if they don't care about good grades, they definitely care about their damn bathroom breaks). That exposure actually has them trying things they would never even think to try and in the process a few of them walk out of here with a possible career choice they would have never explored.

I agree with the writer's premise that we should find what is the most interesting in every subject and teach those things to build interest. Too bad all those pesky standards and standardized tests get in the way of that...

Matthew Miller

Posted on 1/2/15 2:24:12 AM Permalink

If the money and the badges are a hook to get them interested, even a little bit, I think they're worth using, Nathan. Intrinsic motivation is definitely the end goal, but extrinsic motivation is another tool that can be used, especially at the beginning of the path. Unlike some of the papers I've read, I don't think extrinsic is to be discarded nor avoided, but rather used in it's place, which sounds exactly like what you described.

The standards movement is definitely difficult to work with at times; keep up the good fight because your students are benefiting, I'm sure. Best of all worlds: find out how the standards can be wrapped around what you already want to do so they're off your back without wreaking havok in your course.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 12/16/14 3:08:58 PM Permalink

The comment below this one (the one with all the links) is glitched. Everything breaks every time I try to fix the links and the comment reverts back to plain text. Right-click to open links. They don't open with left-clicks. Very strange!

Crud! Now some links don't work. Here's the page they came from.

Matthew got his pound of flesh for my transgression.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 12/17/14 10:14:03 AM Permalink

Wow, that is truly bizzare. Same thing happens on my machine. I've never run into links that work right-click but not left-click before. The universe works in mysterious and wonderful ways. :-)

Mike Skocko

Posted on 12/16/14 3:05:11 PM Permalink

I started this thread almost a year ago to post about some of the books I've been reading and in that time I've only commented on a few. At the risk of having Matthew call me out again (and rightfully so) for posting the list, I just want the task off my hydra-like to do list.

I wonder if a copy and paste will work? Here goes...

Apologies for the link dump. ;)

Mike Skocko

Posted on 12/16/14 2:45:00 PM Permalink

Just finished Creativity Inc. this morning. It's the second time I've read it and it's inevitable that I'll read it several more times. Ed Catmull may have been one of the first "open" practitioners, sharing trade secrets to push his own dreams forward.

The man has walked the talk for decades and the evidence in incontrovertible.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 12/16/14 9:57:35 AM Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on 12/16/14 2:32:17 PM Permalink

The first thing he did was move to standards-based grading. He told his students to show him they’d learned the material, it didn’t matter how long it took them.

Genius! Thanks, Matthew. Really charged my batteries!

From We need schools to be different (read yesterday).

Somehow we have to balance creating schools of the future with policymakers’ attempts to further reify schools of the past. And the toughest part of all of this is that we don’t even know what many of the answers should be.

But looking for them is half the fun!

Matthew Miller

Posted on 7/18/14 2:26:31 PM Permalink

An annotated list of 3 books on the psychology of video games. After reading the descriptions, I want to get all three and read very soon - they seem quite applicable to our environment and designs. If you're well read in this area, you may already be familiar with these three (to save you the time, they are: The Proteus Paradox, Hooked, and Glued to Games) but if not, it's well worth reading the annotations to see if they'll be useful to you.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 7/13/14 11:48:25 PM Permalink

Just ran across this research by Dr. Quiana Bradshaw (it's her presentation on her Thesis paper). This presents her research on the intersection between Jesse Schell's Elemental Tetrad (from The Art of Game Design) and Csikszentmihalyi's Flow theory. Slide 26 shows a (predictable) high correlation in response to questions about whether Schell's aspects contribute to the learning experience in WoW and Minecraft. Nice support for anyone presenting about the value of gamification. But I found the variety of answers from gamers in the qualitative data, starting on slide 28, more interesting. Wordles of the answers to questions about, for example, how does GBL through WoW and Minecraft give a student control over their learning environment.

Terrence Banks

Posted on 6/12/14 7:06:00 AM Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on 6/12/14 9:40:59 AM Permalink

Matthew Miller

Posted on 6/4/14 5:59:37 AM Permalink

Just discovered that Extra Credits has a playlist of all their videos related to gamification and game based learning. Some stuff there I haven't watched yet, woot! If you haven't yet had the pleasure of watching an Extra Credits episode, I highly recommend them. Funny, fast-paced, informative; one of the best produced short-video series I have ever run across (plus, it's about games! ;-).

Mike Skocko

Posted on 6/12/14 9:54:55 AM Permalink

Just watched Gamifying Education. Love the pace, style, and fearlessness of Extra Credits' videos.

So many ideas... Thanks, Matthew!

Mike Skocko

Posted on 5/31/14 6:41:46 PM Permalink

Yeah, I've read Gee's thoughts before about the nature of leveling in games—that completing levels or beating that final boss means that you've mastered the material. But as someone who has a collection of Level 90 characters in WoW, I can honestly say that I've NOT mastered all the nuances of the game.

But then again, who ever masters ALL of the nuances of a given subject?

I kept coming back to the "adaptive" component that's missing from Game On. Right now, I can't imagine an automated version but it seems we could craft hidden quests for a manual, "adaptive" version.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 6/1/14 5:14:39 AM Permalink

Regarding mastery, I would submit that as someone who has a collection of Level 90 characters, you have clearly mastered playing WoW. Just as with martial arts, or the world's simplest rubric, if you reach the level at which you understand all the fundamentals, if you say "Wow, I've come a long way! But compared to that I have a long way I can still grow," then you've reached mastery. If you have enough understanding of the nuances to say "Sure, I understand certain aspects pretty well, but there are so many that I don't yet fully understand," then you've reached mastery.

One way to deal with mastery level players is the elder game, something I've started thinking about vaguely for Gnimmargorp. I'm debating between mentoring, building, and advanced questing models and will likely mash-up at least two of those.

As far as 'adaptive' I agree, I have a hard time imagining how we could build that into GameOn. I think that would really require a more robust engine than WordPress. GameOn is gamification, not really a full game development environment. Hidden quests, or quests that are limited to high XP level characters, quests that are limited to certain professions which have prerequisites, etc. yes, but fully adaptive - I don't think so. We can reach that direction by building out the testing for unlocking completion & mastery levels, but without a really huge amount of work...hmm...actually, I take it back, I think this could eventually develop into at least a rudimentary adaptive game environment, but the amount of work it will take is staggering when compared to the amount of work already devoted to this project.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 6/1/14 1:28:40 PM Permalink

The elder game even accounts for flatliners. Have I been battling a law of nature?

Seriously though, that does open new thought-paths. Maybe something akin to low-level quests to entice and arouse those whose onward and upward progress has stalled.


Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/28/14 1:15:38 PM Permalink

This TedTalk by Sir Ken Robinson is not new (May, 2013) but I hadn't seen it before and really enjoyed it. Unlike earlier Sir Ken, this one is framed as a "how to change," not just "what is wrong." How to escape education's death valley. Inspiring, as Sir Ken always is.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 5/31/14 2:48:34 PM Permalink

Have seen it multiple times but watched it again. Well worth the reminders that we're on the right path.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 5/31/14 4:32:11 PM Permalink

Just watched a couple of others I'd not seen. The last 8 minutes of Educating the Heart and Mind are especially relevant. His thoughts on "alternative education" lit off flares.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/27/14 1:02:16 PM Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on 5/27/14 1:46:58 PM Permalink

Quick reply. Heading to SDSU for this in a few min.

Clicked on Flow link and wasn't disappointed. Intrinsic Mo, Gamification, etc. Looks like a another great find, Matthew. Thanks! And what a cool project to follow.


Learned last night that this session:

9:45 - 10:00 a.m. Skills Spotlight*: "How to Get Positive Press Attention to Your School" (with Karsha Chang of Los Angeles PR firm Karsha Chang PR)

Will involve building a PR campaign around a project chosen from the attendees. Seems she chose something dealing with gamification. :)

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/28/14 1:09:13 PM Permalink

Gratz, Mike! Both the award and the campaign. Has anyone put the bug in Chang's ear about that group of students in SoCal that do great graphical design work? Could be contributors in a campaign of this sort. School called Elysium or paradise or something like that. ;-)

Mike Skocko

Posted on 5/28/14 1:19:56 PM Permalink

Thanks, but the award is ancient (2007 when I was a 5th-year n00b teacher). The campaign, however, was a valuable lesson for all the attendees (not just the Mac Lab). I'll share the strategies when time permits. (Waiting on a graphic as well.)

Mike Skocko

Posted on 5/19/14 4:11:08 PM Permalink

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/17/14 6:27:19 PM Permalink

A decent layman's language piece summarizing much of what we say here, in just a few paragraphs. Especially useful, I imagine, for handing up the chain to administrators to whom these are new concepts. References research & studies that can be followed up on, if there is interest, while avoiding eye-glazing detail. :-)

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/13/14 7:14:06 PM Permalink

Nice quote in an email I received (newsletter from Learning Revolution):

"So very much of learning, versus memorization, is tied up with story. As we learn, we seek to create a story that explains the information we see before us. Our curiosity drives us to gather information, to understand it, and to place it into context. I read or see something that interests me, it drives me to want to know more, and as I gather additional information and understanding, a story takes shape that allows me to place the new information into the context of my thinking, or often stretches my thinking in such a way as to reshape previous ideas or beliefs. The mental framework that I ultimately build around this new knowledge is the result of a story-building process.

I think we naturally recognize the importance of this process. With my new story or framework, I can start to tell you what I have learned, but I know that you haven't had the experiences or been exposed to the information that I have, and so I start to tell you in a way that I think will spark your curiosity. You ask me questions, I tell you more. You go through a similar process and construct your own story--which will almost certainly be slightly, if not significantly, different than mine.

The danger in teaching is to assume that the story we have constructed must be memorized by someone else."

This reminded me to step away from content as I'm building my class for next year and focus a bit more on the story I'm telling. I'm thinking more and more about how the story itself can be both a motivator for interest and a vehicle for provokations into new thoughts.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 5/20/14 5:36:47 PM Permalink

Together with Brandon's post, those words resonate with what should be—or rather, what could be. Funny how easy it was to have forgotten the very things that were once so important in my own vision of the gamified classroom.

I'd become so buried in the development of the tool that I'd forgotten all about how I wanted to use it.

I love the energy in collaboration and the free exchange of ideas. Thanks for the jolt, guys!

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/13/14 8:20:39 AM Permalink

The power of feedback - a piece by Hattie and Timperly from 2007 that is still very relevant. The core idea is that feedback helps when the student understands/accomplishes some, but not all, of what is aimed at and feedback should be guided by answering the question "How am I going," relative to "Where am I going," by providing specific alternatives or sub-steps to "Where to next" (from the conclusion, on page 102).

It's also full of gems when they summarize prior research, like this on page 84:

"Thus Deci et all concluded that extrinsic rewards are typically negative because they 'undermine people's taking responsibility for motivating or regulating themselves' (p. 659). Rather, they are a controlling strategy that often leads to greater surveillance, evaluation, and competition, all of which have been found to undermine enhanced engagement and regulation (Deci & Ryan, 1985)."

Unfortunately, it's silo'ed at "Review of Educational Research" so a subscription is needed to get a copy. :-(

Mike Skocko

Posted on 5/20/14 9:03:58 PM Permalink

Many teachers I talk with use their own extrinsic motivators (the pressure of hitting all the standards, preparing kids for exams/college, locked in to working with their department teams, etc.) to explain why they can't/won't consider a more student-centered approach.

While I understand and empathize (to a point) I wonder how deep our programming runs. It's almost as if we're addicted to and/or reliant on the carrots and sticks to supply our daily demotivating dose of excuses.

Why do we typically fear change more than we do the cliff we're rushing headlong towards? It's almost as if, in some very twisted way, we're afraid of intrinsic motivation.
(Just thinking out loud.)

Nathan Scherer

Posted on 5/21/14 12:38:10 AM Permalink

It's so bad here in Florida. Our standardized tests have failed our kids so hard and they are just miserable. Career and Tech classes here don't currently have any standardized tests but every program is required to find an industry certification test and have all of their kids try to get certified (for me it's Photoshop for Digital Design and Dreamweaver for Web Design). Due to Race to the Top, Florida has decided that EVERY single class offered must have a standardized end of course exam. So, now, we are also going to have our own standardized test at the end of our class in addition to the certification test that we have to prepare them for. It just never ends here. So, when that happens, I'll spend the beginning of the year trying to get them to get certified and then after that will just try to hit all the standards. The ones who care will get finished early and get to experiment with other options in our career but the majority of my students (the ones who haven't chosen my class and are just there to graduate) will lose out on that experience because they'll be trying to get finished with all the standards work. Obviously, it's their own fault, but what bums me out about it is that they don't really know what is on offer and don't understand what they can get out of career exploration. This year I've had so many students who didn't give a crap about my class (and who are bad students) who actually found something they really truly loved and could actually see themselves doing once they explored outside of the class standards. Now that I'll have to be sticking to them so hard, my students are going to miss out and it really stinks.

With all that said, I'm going to be working my butt off trying to figure out how to do both for the rest of my career with the hopes that one day this will all backfire on the FL politicians and we'll see them working the opposite way (all to have it reverse again 50 years later).

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/29/14 7:31:12 PM Permalink

Keep fighting the good fight, Nathan. It seems hopeless from the trenches some times, but every once in a while you might hear back from former students or others. Believe. Because your impact, like George Baily's, is always larger than it seems (I guarantee it is, based on what I've read about your classes here).

If you ever want to set up a chat to brainstorm about possibilities for the doing both aspect, let me know. I'd be happy to help come up with ideas.

Nathan Scherer

Posted on 7/18/14 2:29:25 PM Permalink

Thanks Matt!

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/17/14 1:40:49 PM Permalink

Can we (Americans) get any crazier? Apparently, according to this article at Business Insider, which exposes that some doctors are considering creating a new diagnosis for those "sluggish cognitive tempo" kids who are more commonly known as daydreamers. In other (my) words, they are building a diagnosis so they can medicate the kids who show signs of creative thought. Sheesh. Color me disgusted.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/19/14 3:49:16 PM Permalink

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/17/14 8:31:04 AM Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/17/14 12:07:26 PM Permalink

An endorsement?!

Clicked the link wondering why you'd suggest that...

After almost an hour of reading, rereading, and pondering the implications I enthusiastically submitted my endorsement.

That's friggin' gold, Matthew!

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/15/14 9:11:28 PM Permalink

A nice piece that re-packages some research many will probably have read about already at some point. This article takes as it's specific focus the aspect that creativity is trainable and arts (and similar creative classes & unstructured time) promote brain activity that will lead to better problem solving skills and (duh) creative fluency.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/16/14 1:23:11 AM Permalink

Luckily, creativity isn’t an unknowable, mystical quality. It can be developed. “You have to cultivate these behaviors by introducing them to children and recognizing that the more you do it, the better you are at doing it,” Limb said. The problem is a lot of kids don’t get much unstructured time either in school or out of it. School is often based on right or wrong answers, leaving little room for students to come up with ideas that haven’t been taught to them before.

There's the mission statement.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/17/14 8:29:34 AM Permalink

Yep. I loved the comments about unstructured time. That's part of what makes the WSR/AMP model so powerful, in my opinion. We're not about seeking specific answers (they can google those just like I can); instead we're about exploring, creating, attempting, succeeding, and failing in a gloriously unstructured way.

So much more appeared in my classroom when I un-structured my lessons. :-)

Nathan Scherer

Posted on 4/10/14 3:29:46 PM Permalink

This is a cool idea!


Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/16/14 1:17:07 AM Permalink

“If you’re going to be nice, you’re not going to get anywhere,” ter Beek says.

Respectfully disagree, Nathan. I think there are better (and more polite) ways to critique bad design.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 3/16/14 6:14:16 AM Permalink

On my reading list for the summer: Open, by David Price. Our Mike is a forerunner in radical openness, which Price says is a growing and unstoppable trend. From the blurb:

"What makes a global corporation give away its prized intellectual property? Why are Ivy League universities allowing anyone to take their courses for free? What drives a farmer in rural Africa to share his secrets with his competitors?

A collection of hactivists, hobbyists, forum-users and maverick leaders are leading a quiet but unstoppable revolution. They are sharing everything they know, and turning knowledge into action in ways that were unimaginable even a decade ago. Driven by technology, and shaped by common values, going ‘open’ has transformed the way we live. It’s not so much a question of if our workplaces, schools and colleges go open, but when. "

I'd love to put together a discussion group about it, if anyone else is interested.

Update: I initally put "Drive" by David Price, rather than "Open." Sorry about that!

Mike Skocko

Posted on 3/16/14 12:47:52 PM Permalink

LOL, Matthew. I read the email version of your comment and went searching for Price's Drive but couldn't find it. Thinking it wouldn't be released until the summer and it (somehow) wasn't on Amazon's site for preorder yet, I came here to (enthusiastically) reply and...

Bought, downloaded, opened, and... It begins with a story that, after the set-up, leads to this wonderful line:

You see, I discovered an internet forum for fellow [interest group enthusiasts].

I paraphrased those last three words.

Yes, Matthew, open a topic about this. You had me at the blurb. It sounded as if he was describing IDEO and the founders' openness in spilling their business strategy in a series of great books as well as the other examples.

Oh, and by the way, I shamelessly stole "Radical Openness" from Jason Silva's mind-blowing video.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 2/26/14 9:52:41 AM Permalink

In the 'more general' category, just ran across The Psychology of Video Games website, with tons of great stuff about games (esp. video games) from a looking-inside-the-head-of-the-player-perspective.

Update: he recently (Dec) posted this list of 50 (or so) academics on Twitter who study or write about the overlap between video games and fields like psychology, communications, sociology, law, etc.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 2/26/14 12:54:53 PM Permalink

That's a friggin' gold mine for our game design, Matthew. Just read Why Do Color Coded Clues in Level Design Work? Amazing research that, of course, spills over into real life.

Hadn't considered color as another guiding principle for players. Think of it as a blatant clue we may not be conscious of, like the color red in The Sixth Sense. If you haven't seen the film, don't read that Huge spoiler!

Mike Skocko

Posted on 2/25/14 1:18:14 PM Permalink

Matthew Miller

Posted on 2/23/14 6:29:48 AM Permalink

Only tangentially related to our focus, but I thought this one was fun. If this research is borne out, in the future we may have kids with prescriptions for a certain amount of time in FPS and similar high-visual-processing games. Wouldn't that be fun?!


Matthew Miller

Posted on 2/16/14 12:24:41 PM Permalink

Out With the Degree, In With the Badge: How Badges Motivate Learning and 7 Tips to Use It Right.

I'm often not a fan of the "## Tips on ___" sites as they frequently seem fluffy to me. This article bucks that trend and includes a clearly written summary of the history of badges to date, a description of efforts to re-work undergraduate education to use badges instead of grades-and-transcripts, and a set of suggestions for building your own community around using badges.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 2/6/14 8:13:32 PM Permalink

Understanding Quest-Based Learning: Creating effective classroom experiences through game-based mechanics and community

Quest Based Learning is what we do with Game On - this is research on how that works, using the 3D-Gamelab environment. This is a high-level summary of the research, not an actual research paper.

Annette Whitby

Posted on 2/9/14 2:04:10 AM Permalink

Matthew: I thought that was you appearing in the attendance list for the edWeb.net webinar "Quest Based Learning in Group Projects" . I couldn't make it to the live session but got to see the recording. :0 ) Many great ideas shared!

Game Based Learning Community


Matthew Miller

Posted on 2/9/14 3:39:13 AM Permalink

Guilty as charged. :-) Did you review the chat transcript? Lots of good stuff got shared between attendees, too. Maybe see you next month for the Play as PD session?

Annette Whitby

Posted on 2/10/14 1:15:30 AM Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on 2/6/14 4:24:22 PM Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on 2/6/14 2:58:00 PM Permalink

Matthew Miller

Posted on 2/6/14 1:38:39 PM Permalink

Gamification of Learning and Instruction

by Karl Kapp. A textbook written in somewhat less than textbook-y style. Whole chapters on the Theory behind G (including Self-Determination Theory, Mike!), the Research around Games & Gamification, real world results, guides to applying to real-world problems, design processes for games...I'm like a kid in a candy store. Can't choose which chapter to read next! :-)

He's also just released the Gamification of Learning and Instruction Fieldbook, but I'm not there, yet.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 2/5/14 5:19:37 PM Permalink

Matthew Miller

Posted on 2/5/14 10:48:13 AM Permalink

Nice cover piece at Gamification.co about the top 5 stories (there) in Education Gamification in 2013. Top stories include World of Classcraft and MinecraftEDU. My favorite bit, though, is this triangle, which neatly summarizes retention rates for various activities. Nothing earth shattering (at least, I hope not! ;-), but perhaps useful.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 2/5/14 10:40:53 AM Permalink

A study of computer science gamification in which 40 girls are studied in an open-ended environment much like I'm building for my Introduction to Programming class, design to promote learning Java coding.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 2/5/14 9:46:00 AM Permalink

Matthew Miller

Posted on 2/5/14 9:44:56 AM Permalink

Whoa, I missed this great list of stuff! Have to catch up, now.

Ahem...the fellow who runs this site specifically requested that we post items like this one-by-one so discussing them is easier to track. Just FYI. ;-)

Mike Skocko

Posted on 2/6/14 3:02:03 PM Permalink

Mea culpa. I'll play by the rules from now on. :)

Matthew Miller

Posted on 2/7/14 6:58:35 PM Permalink

I especially appreciate the 3 myths about the efficacy... article--which helps me be ready when people come with tear-down approaches (rare) to what I'm doing--and the two on Badges. For some reason <insert rolling eyes here> badges come up nearly every major conversation I have around gamification. Andrzej's article is the most eloquent and succinct version I've seen that echoes my feeling, and Victor's is a great counterpoint or extension of that.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 1/29/14 9:59:49 PM Permalink

Reality is Broken

The book that launched Jane McGonigal's famous TED Talk. Fascinating and useful information up front then—for me at least—less so in the latter portion.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 1/24/14 7:47:21 PM Permalink

Matthew Miller

Posted on 1/26/14 12:42:20 PM Permalink

Just tried to get the iBooks version on my iPhone - can't purchase because "This item is only viewable on an iPad or Mac." :-(

Will try again this evening with my iPad.

Update: it downloaded fine on my iPad. The initial quote is worth the price alone! ;-) Very useful; recommend downloading immediately.

Update 7 Feb 2014: I found this one a disappointing read. Having read Reality is Broken (see next post above), I recognized many to most of the examples in each chapter as having come from McGonigal's book. The writing is decent, but without McGonigal's flair and obvious passion for the subject. It was worth the price I paid :-) I guess. If you are considering buying a copy, I'd say spend the cash on Reality is Broken instead.