Thursday, June 26, 2014

Then again, maybe I won't

With all apologies to Judy Blume for usurping her title, I've encountered a little change in plans.  I'm still on the hunt for good - and most importantly, relevant - information about game-based learning.  And I got word from my principal on Monday that a small team of us will be presenting sessions on  GBL to our faculty and staff on August 15.  Needless to say, I still have a lot of work to do there.

A second idea came to mind last week, however, and for my CECS 5200 project I'm going to be shifting gears.   Let me back up a bit.   Before summer started, I did not expect to be able to take this course.  As such, I decided upon several topics to explore on my own this summer.   One was GBL, knowing that a presentation would be pending at the end of summer.   A second was based on a session I attended at the Texas Library Association conference in April, a session about infographics.  After all, they are ubiquitous.   The third avenue of exploration was Google, specifically Google educator certification.  

Anyway, I began to question my GBL project because of concern over the breadth of the topic.  So I began looking at my other summer goals.   Infographics tie in very nicely to the idea of visual and digital literacy, and there is definitely research out there about how infographics are being used, how they can be beneficial, what makes for good infographics, and how they fit in on the learning spectrum with respect to Bloom's taxonomy.   Additionally, there are a few teachers I 'd like to get on board this year with having their students create and present infographics along with research projects, but I realize I need to know more about the topic - and how to create them myself.

So here I am.   New project topic.  But one that I've been thinking about.  And I'm excited.  And for now I'm signing off.  Want an explanation and examples?  Check out the Wikipedia explanation of infographics.  Want to know what I think?  Check back soon!

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Welcome to my blog for CECS 5200.080.  This course, New Technologies for Instruction, is my final one in a four-class sequence to earn a graduate academic certificate in Leadership in Professional Development in Technology for Schools through the University of North Texas.

I am the library media specialist at Corondao High School in Lubbock, Texas.  I love working with high school students and teachers.  My job, as I see it, is to provide access to information for both students and teachers.   Information can come in analog (book) form or digital.   I love reading.  I love technology.  While I have a preference for print books (I sit here composing this initial blog in a fabulous indie bookstore on South Padre Island), the method of delivery is much less important to me (my Nook and iPad are in my bag beside me) than seeking and finding information - both for entertainment and for real life.

In April, my principal asked for volunteers who would be interested in exploring game-based learning / gamification and determining what it means for our campus.  I volunteered immediately.   With that in mind, I want to focus on the research behind game-based learning (GBL), the application of GBL, find examples of GBL that I can share with the teachers on my campus, develop an example or two for teachers to experience, and provide resources for teachers who want to begin exploring and utilizing GBL in their classrooms.  

In subsequent posts I will explore the definitions of gamification and GBL (and perhaps the differences between the two) and will provide links to some of the resources I discover.   Two quick discoveries to share before I go ....  One resource is a LiveBinder from ISTE with a tab on gamification: 

The other is a LiveBinder from Jennifer LaGarde (aka Library Girl) full of resources. 

Join me on my journey to make classroom-oriented GBL accessible to the students and teachers at CHS.