Saturday, December 21, 2013

Collaboration: An eye-opening experience

Something I forgot to mention in a previous post about Kingdom Rush was the failure I was experiencing while trying to play the game.  I would get stuck, become extremely frustrated, but would have to keep trying over and over again because I have a hard time accepting defeat from technology.  I was past the point of frustration but was trying to keep a positive outlook on the activity.  Fortunately this week my teacher assigned us to work collaboratively with a partner to help each other out to avoid such frustration.
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I've only really experience frustration when it comes to computer games and others very similar. I started to think about the students I have tutored and that this was probably how they felt when they where in the classroom.  My own failure caused me to open my eyes and realize that this is what my students must feel like.

It then caused me to reflect on my own practices and efforts to help students foster a positive environment.  What do I do to help students through their failures to learn from their mistakes?  Do I brush off their frustration because I can't empathize? etc.   It soon became really easy to connect with those students. So even though I wasn't a fan of the game, I am a fan of how it helped me grow as a reflecting practitioner.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Just another hangout? Or is it a lot more?


1) Second Life is an online virtual world that allows users to interact with each other through avatars, or Residents. Residents can explore the world (known as the grid), meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another. Second Life is intended for people aged 16 and over.

Built into the software is a three-dimensional modeling tool based on simple geometric shapes that allows residents to build virtual objects. There is also a procedural scripting language, Linden Scripting Language, which can be used to add interactivity to objects. Sculpted prims (sculpties),mesh, textures for clothing or other objects, animations, and gestures can be created using external software and imported. The Second Life terms of service provide that users retain copyright for any content they create, and the server and client provide simple digital rights management functions.

There is no charge for creating a Second Life account or for making use of the world for any period of time and the vast majority of casual users of Second Life do not upgrade beyond the free "basic" account, although there are many additions you can pay to upgrade to.

Avatars may take any form a user chooses (human, animal, vegetable, mineral, or a combination thereof) or residents may choose to resemble themselves as they are in real life, or they may choose even more abstract forms, given that almost every aspect of an avatar is fully customizable. Second Life Culture consists of many activities and behaviors that are also present in real life. A single resident account may have only one avatar at a time, although the appearance of this avatar can change between as many different forms as the Resident wishes. Avatar forms, like almost everything else in Second Life, can be either created by the user, or bought pre-made. A single person may also have multiple accounts, and thus appear to be multiple Residents.
Avatars can travel via walking, running, vehicular access, flying or teleportation. Because Second Life is such a vast virtual world, teleportation is used when avatars wish to travel instantly and efficiently. Once they reach their destination, they may travel in more conventional means at various speeds.

Avatars can communicate via local chat, group chat, global instant messaging (known as IM), and voice. Chatting is used for localized public conversations between two or more avatars, and is visible to any avatar within a given distance. IMs are used for private conversations, either between two avatars, or among the members of a group, or even between objects and avatars. Unlike chatting, IM communication does not depend on the participants being within a certain distance of each other.

3) As an amateur gamer of any kind, Lionheart Orientation Island is a bit over whelming to say the least. I personally know that all of the helpful information that I was able to gather in the Hallway of Knowledge will be forgotten as soon as I really want to be able to do something that I can't. I get quite frustrated with this game already because of my lack of knowledge when it comes to getting from point A to point B. I expect it to be a simple process of pushing the forward button and I go exactly where I was to go. However, that is not the case at all and I become frustrated with the game, the controls  as well as my self for not being better in this world. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

This is our Kingdom

For my Emerging Instructional Technology class, we were asked to take part in online gaming through Kingdom Rush for reasons that it can be collaborative and is gender neutral, or any gender would be comfortable playing it. I found this request of my Professor to rattle me a little. From a rather young age, I have never seen the draw to video games. Sitting in front of the computer or television screen for hours at a time, trying to kill made up characters that are not anywhere close to resembling real life, and encouraging young children who do not know any better to accept that killing, slashing, and slaying people is an okay thing to do.

Because I want to become an Educator, I chose to try this game out from the stand point of a teacher to see what the children in my currently imaginary classroom, would be experience. Much to my personal expectation, I did not progress rapidly and soon became very frustrated with the game, partly because I had no say as to whom was killed when in the game in order for me to win. I soon found myself becoming angry at my roommate and friends simply because I was not being able to pass a level.

I feel this personal experience with gaming has shed a little more light on to what a lot of kids are going through. They channel their feelings and emotions through the game, unlike me, and are losing a lot of interpersonal skills because of games like this one. I am not saying that I am completely against gaming, I personally feel that they should be monitored more and regulated by the parents as to the level of graphics their children are exposed to.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Web 2.0 Event is a website similar to a television show. They have guest speakers Skype in and they have conversations about different topics. When I watched, they were discussing a certain educator and his now high number of twitter followers and how he became so famous. Unfortunately I cannot remember his name. The goal of this site it to allow teachers another resource to ask specific questions of their guest speaker whom is based off of what the audience is wanting. Basically this site is like watching a TV show on your laptop. I would definitely use this as a professional resource for my classroom if there are any question or things I would run across that would need more of a "professional influence". I am not entirely sure if this experience has changed me or what I think, just adding another resource to my list.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Take another look around

Look Again...

How will you integrate technology into your classroom with out making your entire classroom centered around technology?

Copyright Infringment on the Internet: Myth vs. Fact

5 Myths vs. 5 Facts: If you run a website or post to social media sites, you are probably breaching copyright- and don't even know it!

There are many rules now a days, when it comes to the internet. The creation of the internet has lead to many new dilemmas when it comes to one's own work and that of other's, just paraphrased a little.  There is more access to other people's works and there is no way to properly catch students who are plagiarizing.  Many sites that you can process papers through do not actually catch plagiarism from the sights that you have used. They look through other student's papers, which we have no access to without really digging for. In a world were we can create a cell phone, an electric car, the internet, one would think that we would be able to find something to better filter papers and other assignments to reference set criteria from the teacher. I have personally be accused of plagiarizing from one of these sites, when the professor looked into it more, it was obvious that I had no access to the paper that it said my paper was like. We even went to the extent of taking my laptop into our computer center so they could check my history and prove that I didn't access that paper. This is just one example of how I feel these sites in particular are not the best.