The Director’s Bureau Special Projects Idea Generator

So The Director’s Bureau Special Projects Idea Generator generates fairly random three word idea strings like the one above – Do-it-yourself levitating animal. This is one of those things that I’d love to use in the classroom because it’s so simple and fun. It’s also flexible in terms of how big or small you’d like it to be. It could kill 10 minutes or be part of a whole unit. This particular generator isn’t really fit for student use because it’ll throw in “erotic” and some other iffy stuff but the teacher could spin the wheel a few times and come up with a great phrase for each week. I’d probably screen grab it or make something visual for the word results- as the packaging does matter. It can then be use for a variety of things. It’d be pretty cool right off as a creative writing or journal prompt but where things would be neat would be in tweaking it to focus on what you’re covering at the time. For instance- Describe the do-it-yourself levitating animal kit using every word from this week’s vocabulary list Write an ad for the do-it-yourself levitating animal creation kit using the bandwagon technique Write two responses to seeing an ad for the do-it-yourself levitating animal kit. In the first one respond in the […]

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Wiki Testimony

As part of our parent training we’re having teachers and ITRTs speak about powerful ways they’ve been able to use technology in support of 21st century skills. This is Ken Kellner’s comments on how using a wiki changed his classroom (6th grade history). He does a good job and conveys a lot of excitement. If you see him jumping and twitching it’s because I edited like crazy to get the movie down to about a minute and a half. Deep breaths and dramatic pauses were not allowed. It’s in TeacherTube as well. Download Video: Posted by bionicteaching at TeacherTube.com.

Ian Bogost on Persuasive Games

Ian Bogost was on The Colbert Report last night. Bogost has a new book, Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames, about rethinking the value of video games. From the book description: Videogames are both an expressive medium and a persuasive medium; they represent how real and imagined systems work, and they invite players to interact with those systems and form judgments about them. He mentioned a series of persuasive games he had produced to illustrate his theory, and as he described one of the games, I suddenly recognized it. Dissaffected, a game that places your on the service side of a Kinkos, must have popped on my radar last year. I played it for awhile, then became frustrated with the way I was being treated by the customers and never went back to it. I never realized the significance of my reaction. It is an interesting simulation of the service industry. Bogost has added a number of games to his catalogue, and I recommend exploring the games with your classrooms in mind. This could be a wonderful way to stimulate conversation and reflection. Ian Bogost’s Blog

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New Internet Safety Video

This is part of a class I’m working on for our students. The idea is to start each lesson with a “hook” video that will capture their attention and introduce the concept we’ll be covering. This one uses a bunch of short clips from popular (and not so popular) videos to show the power and influence that Internet video can have. The emphasis at the end is that you can either use this power wisely and possibly become a hero or screw things up and become mocked for “generations to come.” For the teachertube version the direct link is here. >>>>Edited to remove ebaumsworld reference on one of the videos- Thanks Chris and I’m working on a possible Ninja intro (time allowing) The sources for the video are listed below- “Dr.” Wix Dramatic Prarie Dog Lonely Girl 15 Numa Numa David Elsewhere – Kollaboration 2001 AskaNinja.com OK Go- Here it Goes Again Mentos Guys Star Wars Kid Spider Man This Land is Our Land – Jib Jab Hillary Clinton Impersonator

Simile – Exhibit – Tutorial v.4

It took a while but I put together a fairly lengthy tutorial on how to make an Exhibit site that gets its info from a Google spreadsheet feed. It’s complete with tutorial files and a number of screencasts. I’m not sure it’s out of beta yet but I’m inviting anyone who’s interested to check out the tutorial and let me know if I’ve done anything stupid or made absolutely no sense in any portion (which is likely when trying to describe how the different view options work). I tried to include a rationale for using the project with Millennials as well as step-by-step directions to get a basic working copy up and running. The customization piece was a lot harder to do w/o specific requests to cover. If you want to know how to do anything I didn’t cover feel free to contact me and I’ll throw up some more video. The link is here. I’d appreciate any feedback- good or bad. Thanks, Tom

Continuing Millennials Comic Book

So I’m up to page 4 on the Millennials comic book which is what I’m using to brainstorm and story board for a movie I’ll be making for our teachers. It’s below if you’re interested. If you’d like the whole set click here. Click on the image for the larger version.