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Games in the Classroom 5: embodiment, context, complexity, good assessment, measurement, and relevance

What was presented yesterday is how to embody and teach a lesson on Voice.

Trying to teach voice sounds pretty boring, especially when you tell them excitedly in your teacher nerd-talk that “you’ll like it, it’s fun! We’ll look at poetry and other fiction and examine tone, emphasis, word choice, syntax, volume, and all the things that make a great reading. Just think, diction is slang! We’ll study that too!”

Booooooorrrriing.

If they don’t heckle me for saying something like that, they should.

Now what happens when we embody that lesson in something that it is kind of fun and exciting?

Let’s try another voice:

How about cutting some tracks on garage band? You are going to do the voice on the song. Then we’ll put some music and a beat behind it.

What are you going to call your act? Are you going to be yourself, or make a character? What is their sound?

What are you going to rap about? How about this? Or maybe you can try rapping some one else’s words.

Well, we better think of a logo and begin to think about how we are going to promote you. Who do you like?

Okay, let’s think about doing a video, the cover art, and do some press kits and take some glam shots.

You are going to take on a couple of roles: the talent, the publicist, designer, the manager, the producer.

Will you want to do a clothing line?

So what happens when we try out a high interest activity?

How about engaging the imagination to make something real?

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Top ten list #6: Tech tools and Web resources to start leapfrogging now

ten-days-sm.pngWe’re back this week with the final five top ten lists! Today’s list contains tools and Web resources to help people start leapfrogging now.

Note: It’s hard to create an innovative tools top ten list while omitting services from Google – but, for the purpose of this list, Google is left off because everybody wants to be like Google. Why be like Google when you can leapfrog the industry?

  1. GNU/Linux: It’s open. It’s free. It works. And, it’s very well supported.
  2. Tom at Sky Blue Waters believes no leapfrogger can get by without a proper RSS feed to quickly digest and disseminate information.
  3. WordPress: Get your message out and solicit reponses with the best blogging tool out there.
  4. Wikimedia or other open knowledge-based software to quickly publish your stuff and open it for public additions, corrections, or (if necessary) deletions. Wikimedia is the platform that powers Wikipedia and Wikiversity.
  5. Second Life, World of Warcraft, Croquet and other virtual environments for building new social contexts, experiences and for trying out things you can’t get away with in the real world.
  6. Skype: You’ll want to talk a lot to others around the world. Why not do it for free or almost free?
  7. Old skool media (also available on the Web): New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, etc., etc., etc…
  8. Social bookmarking (e.g., del.icio.us): Find new ideas and resources, share them with others, and learn more along the way.
  9. Creative Commons licensing: Mark your creative work with the freedoms you want it to carry.
  10. Finally, if the resources you need aren’t out there, create your own. Need help? Consider building a team online.