Gaming and Learning at ASTE 2014

While at ASTE in February 2012 I missed a session on using gaming for learning the presenter was Craig Kasemodel.

But here it is ASTE 2014 and I am in gamestar mechanic learning  how to develop video games including minecraft and historia. Learning history through gaming teaching students how feel as the leaders of history did as it was happening. So if minecraft  is used for learning will it destroy the joy of the game for those young gamers.  www,  Historia

So when I missed Craig I googled his name and found a site on learning in the virtual world.  Educators Learning in Virtual World. Mr. K as he is called had a discussion forum  here.

Second classroom was developed by Dean Groom and Judy O’Connell it is a collaborative venture to learn and share ideas.

I have been in professional development in Second Life at the former ASD Island but have never figured out a way to use it in my classroom.

On this site you can become a member it is free, my membership is pending approval.

What I did find though was a video from a chemistry teacher who had her students building atom and molecule models in her secondclassroom; she did not have enough supplies for all her students to make model so creativity became necessary. There are many videos submitted by teachers and other tutorials on this site.

There is a discussion board that highlighted considerations for bringing games into the classroom; Ten Considerations for bringing games into class

There are blogs along with the forum where I found the ten considerations. In the blogs I found a slideshare presentation on creating engagement in the classroom;

Creating Game-like Engagement for Learning

There is also a sidebar that include the virtual world of research.

Another sidebar is Educator Tools.

You can add photos from your second classroom.

You can join groups including open SIM based worlds, Second Life, World of Warcraft, or Game-Based Learning. I think these groups are relatively new with few members.

Other videos include Assessment in Virtual World: Mission Impossible? After viewing creating game-like engagement for learning I think assessment will be possible.

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Flipped Classroom Video What Not to do.

I have been flipping my classroom and while researching more on the flipped classroom I came upon this video. It is really good tutorial on what not do when making a video for a flipped classroom lesson.

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A Mashup Journey Through Digital Storytelling

At the beginning of the semester we began a journey in digital storytelling. The journey began with the elements of digital storytelling. I found that there are five to seven elements in digital storytelling and they are quite similar to the elements of traditional storytelling. The one thing I did have to come to an understanding of was that a digital story is a short story told through digital media. Before this assignment I considered many things digital stories television shows, movies, documentaries and other media that has always been there telling stories. I am not sure that I have been able to totally resolve this issue except for the difference in length.

The journey continued to cultural storytelling that began with a memory, became a cause and went full circle to educational uses of cultural storytelling. After cultural storytelling one of the most important part of the journey for a teacher was instructional storytelling. The instructional storytelling journey lead me to three essential elements for teaching with digital stories conflict, authenticity, and entertainment.  Then we moved into the participatory story that was at times frustrating, but always interesting and even captivating. I shared this part of the journey with my students who also found it interesting and even had some suggestions for the story. Next stop on the journey was QR/AR. I found this to be one of the most fun and interesting points along the journey. I was able to incorporate my AR story into my anatomy and physiology class. I also had students come up with a project of their own for the nutrient cycles.

The last stop on our journey was the remix and mashup. During this stop in the journey I complied a video that includes the ideas, lessons, and video clips used through out the journey. A remix began in the music industry where artist took music and edited to make a new rendition a mashup is a remix technique that uses different sources of media put together to create an original story  (Ferguson, 2013; Levine, 2013; Lamb, 2007).  An issue that will come up with both remixes and mashups is copyright. For information on copyright laws go to Creative Commons. So now the semester draws to an end and though this journey is over it has resulted in a whole new adventure. As I continue to work on a 21st Century blended classroom this adventure will fit right in.


Ferguson, Kirby. “Everything is a Remix.”Everything is a Remix. N.p., 26 Apr. 2013. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <;.

Lamb, Brian. “Dr. Mashup; or, Why Educators Should Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Remix (EDUCAUSE Review) |” EDUCAUSE Homepage | Version vol 42, no. 4. Educause, 6 July 2007. Web. 6 May 2013. <;.

Levine, Adam. “Remix or Mashup? What’s the Diff? (with images, tweets) · cogdog · Storify .” Storify · Make the web tell a story. N.p., July 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. <;.

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Participatory Story Camtasia Land of the Twin Moons

This link will take you to my media. One drawback of using WordPress is that you have to upgrade to Pro to upload videos. I was able to embed the video on my Google Site so this QR code will take you there. When I published this blog though my QR code was scrambled and I had to click on it to open it so I hope it works for you.


My media presentation for our participatory story was made with Camtasia Studio and Animation ish. I downloaded the trial software for Camtasia because I needed a way to publish and share my Animation ish flipbook. The trial version is a one month trial, the problem is that Camtasia is very expensive. I should have tried Screencast first, but I don’t think screencast as the features I needed to make the video. Camtasia as some really great features including music that can be used in your video. It was also pretty easy to learn to use.  I have a link to my video published through screencast. I was able to share the video on my Google Site so the QR code will take you to the embedded video.

I received a free version of Animationish last here from Discovery Education for teacher appreciation week because I am a Den Star educator. I have not really had much chance to do anything with Animation ish so I thought that this would be a good opportunity to try it. I don’t think it is the best artwork that I could do, but I wanted to try something with it so I created a wall. The wall begins to crack and opens up to the Land of the Two Moons. Then I tried to show the sandstone landscape and of course the twin moons. I drew in a chess board and tried to illustrate movement from the chess board into the cave. I then told the story through a reading using images that I searched for on Google images using advanced search so that I could filter for only images that were free to use and share. I did first try to search Creative Commons for images, but had no luck there so I went to advanced search.

I chose to tell the beginning of the story because my favorite part of the story is the land of the two moons. I wanted to try and depict the landscape and the two moons. I really enjoyed working on this story, but I think if I had more control I would have kept Sam, Blaine, and Pat in the land of the Two Moons longer and added new characters there. The challenging part of the assignments was the many different directions, twists, and turns the story took. This as been an engaging and interesting project.

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AR/QR Story Touring the Human Skeleton

structure of bone

Touring The Skeletal System an AR Experience (Get out your Layar Reader and enjoy)

To take a tour of the human body we must meet the bones. The bones or what scientists would call the skeletal system are very important to the human body and the story that will be part of this tour. To move through the human body we must first learn our way around the skeleton. The skeleton provides support and protection for the human. Another term that scientists would want you to learn about the human skeleton and other mammals is endoskeleton. Endoskeleton is an internal scaffolding like the frame of a building or the Eiffel Tower. The human skeleton has 206 bones that we will have to maneuver around during our tour. It is divided into the axial skeleton that includes the skull, vertebrae, and ribs, and the appendicular skeleton the pelvis, legs, and arms. The other important functions of the human body that we will encounter include movement. As we move to the bones we will pass the muscles and their attachments to the bones. Because you see the skeletal system moves the body, but it cannot perform this task without the muscles and the nervous system. As we move into the bone we will discover red and yellow bone marrow. Red bone marrow’s job is to produce red blood cells, while yellow bone marrow stores minerals like calcium and phosphorus and lipids to be released into the blood when needed. Oh that sounds like a great way to get a ride to another system. How exciting this journey will be.

The Process: Or should I say trials and tribulations

After much frustration and trials I think I finally got my QR/AR story put together. To begin the story I placed the QR code that will take you to the image that I published on Layar. I almost gave up and I am still experimenting with how this whole thing will work. My story is a tour or adventure I guess through the skeletal system. I actually wanted to make it a tour through the human body, but I have only made it to the skeletal system. I could see this becoming a class project though. I think there are still many obstacles in front of me to make it work in my classroom since wireless access for non-school computers and mobile devices has been blocked of late.

As I sit and write this I have not yet tested my project access through the QR code. What I have done is put the image I used to create the AR part of this story on a Google Site I began for my classroom. The Google Site itself is not in use at this time, but it seemed that I needed to have a URL for my image so that it can be accessed by our cohort. What I hope will happen when I go and check it is that the QR code will take you to the image and the text related to the story. Once you have found the image it should work with the Layar reader app on either Android, iPad, or iPhone. I finally found an image that worked when tested. I believe my problem was that the first image I chose was not a good trigger image. When I found a more suitable image from my biology textbook the links worked.  The image of bone structure is linked to a video the skeleton anatomy dance, a webpage, Get Body Smart, and an image carousel. The only thing I did not do, and  that I think for my lesson or tutorial to be complete is to create a podcast mini lecture to add. So before going any further I will now try my links and come back to finish my blog post. So what I figured out was that to get to the Google Site where I placed the image I had to sign in to my school Google account, that will not work. Then the other thing I realized was if you open the image on the Google Site with your mobile device you will not be able to view it with the Layar reader something I just did not think about as I added the QR code. I did link a pdf with the image and text of the story, but this is still not going to help. Next step delete (or move) QR code and upload image itself on this blog.

Here is the QR code though at this point I don’t think it will be of any use to anyone but me or someone with a Bristol Bay Google account. I am not sure at this point if I even need the QR code anyway since I can put the image in the blog post. I thought from reading other posts that a QR code and pdf were a necessary element.


The QR code is actually unnecessary for my story to work here. If you have a Layar reader you can scan the picture and get the links I added to the image. I also tried the reader with students today using both the image on my laptop and in the book. Using the Layar reader with the book really brought home the meaning of augmented reality. I now understand how a real image in a book can changed to a virtual experience. This will be awesome to use with students. I could see adding images to Moodle from textbooks and having students use their mobile devices to get to materials that I have added to go along with readings. I hope that our school will eventually come around and allow students wireless access with BYOD. I am so glad I did not give up on using AR to create a story for this assignment. Until I actually created the trigger image and played with the Layar reader did I fully understand what augmented reality was. I understood that it was similar to QR code, but that more information could be layered with AR.

AR is so much more than QR code though. I can see using both AR and QR code in my classroom for lessons. I have students working on nutrients cycles in biology I was trying to talk my students into making a QR puzzle similar to what Larry did for our participatory story for their project Cycle On. I almost changed my story to a QR code puzzle for the nitrogen cycle, but I was able to find the right image and make my AR code work.

While I was trying to work out the kinks with Layar I went back to Aurasma and was able to get an account. Somehow I was able to get the account without the 24 hour waiting period. I was able to set up a username and password that I was immediately able to verify. I used my university email account for verification because for some reason verification emails do not get to my school email. I used an image in Aurasma, but I found that I could not link a YouTube video. I tried uploading a video from my laptop, but that did not work for me either. I wanted to use the video I found on YouTube so I decided to go back to Layar.  Since I spent so much time there trying to get my image to work I now know how to link virtual material. Aurasma allowed me to figure out that the first image I used in Layar was an unsuitable trigger.  I tried the image that was working in Aurasma in Layar and it worked. Aurasma seems more difficult to work with at least it has more steps in creating the aura. It will take me more time to learn Aurasma. Layar was more intuitive to create my story with once I had the right image. With the right image it was really quite easy to do the rest.

Augmented reality is defined as “the use of technology which allows the perception of the physical world to be enhanced or modified by computer-generated stimuli perceived with the aid of special equipment; reality as perceived in this way” (Zagami, 2011).  Graham (2010) discusses the use of AR on a college campus for orientation tours. Graham’s interests include using AR for experiencing history and landscapes. The point that struck me in this paper was that quizzes could be embedded into the links created from images on the campus. That would be another great way to engage students in assessment and the material. The potential for AR in education is tremendous. There are advancements being made by Google, Apple, and Microsoft in AR with glasses integrating the technology (Karlin, 2013). As this technology is growing and being perfected the possibilities of its use are endless. It can be used by artists, city developers, and educators. I am officially excited by what I have learned and was able to accomplish for this assignment. I have much more work to do, but I am game.

Graham, S. (2010, Nov 12). 7Scenes: Augmented reality authoring for digital storytelling [Web log message]. Retrieved March 27, 2013 from

Karlin, S. (2013, March). Augmented Reality for Public Spaces [Web log message]. Retrieved Mar 28, 2013, from

Postlethwait, John H., and Janet L. Hopson. Modern biology. Orlando: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2006. Print.

Sadava, David E.. Life, the science of biology. 8th ed. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates ;, 2008. Print.

Zagami, J. (2011, Mar 19). Augmented reality and digital storytelling [Slideshare slides]. Retrieved March 28, 2013 from

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Instructional Storytelling

In the reading McDonald (2009) describes the principles of filmmakers that can be used by instructional designers to develop engagement by students. The study was conducted to investigate the principles of storytelling used by filmmakers. McDonald posed two questions in his research: “First, what principles do filmmakers use to engage and educate their audiences? Second, can instructional designers use these principles to create better instructional environments?” The study found that first the storytelling processes and instructional design processes are quite similar, second that principles filmmakers use to engage the audience can engage students, and third that instructional designers can use these principles for educational design. The similarities in the processes of film making and instructional design are important because in both you must know your audience, set goals and objectives, and evaluate. One of the filmmakers interviewed stated, “Good [teachers] are good storytellers. It doesn’t mean they’re funny. But they’re engaging and passionate, and that passion shows in the depth of the stories they tell.”

Now on to the principles of good filmmakers, the three principles are conflict, authenticity, and entertainment (McDonald, 2009).

1. Conflict- Good storytellers use conflict  in their stories they understand that a good story is more than a sequence of events. The structure of a story using conflict can be setup using three acts allowing the conflict to develop, climax, and then in the conclusion be resolved. This structure was compared to scaffolding in education. An easier way to develop conflict in a story is to use choices and consequences. In the inquiry curriculum I use to teach biology and earth science conflict is one of the strategies in earth science the conflict is whether to build a new development on the flanks of Mt. Rainier. In this conflict students are given roles of volcanologists and scientists  that must present evidence of the volcano to a development committee to decision on the new housing development. In biology the conflict students are presented with is the human population crisis. In both of these conflicts students are asked to take a stand and use scientific evidence to support their position. They must consider the consequences involved with whatever position they take. I believe this might be a great opportunity for me to have students create digital stories in place of the position paper that they are asked to write. In the following educational video the conflict being presented is biodiversity and what we can do to protect it.

I hope the link works I could not find any embed code so link was all I could do. This is a conflict because biodiversity is being threatened by the actions of humans. Our population is growing and reducing habitat. Humans are also changing the environment so rapidly biodiversity is unable to adapt fast enough to survive these changes. Education is the only way that some of this damage may be reversed. It has been estimated that five to seven species/day goes extinct. The rate of extinction is unknown though because we don’t know how many species exist. This video also has the principle of authenticity because the ecogeeks are real people and students will relate to them, I did.

2. Authenticity- This principle makes the film real by giving credibility to the character. The characters evoke emotion and create a connection to the audience so the audience will empathize with the character. The connection that is created by authenticity can create a change in the viewers behavior or self-improvement. There are probably a ton of these type of instructional videos in commercials for self-help promotions stop smoking advertisements come to mind. An example of authentic learning videos called the Adventures of Jasper Woodbury came up when I started to search for this principle in instructional videos. Of course that search lead to a series of pretty expensive videos. So I went to YouTube and search for the videos and found one that fits here. It is actually a video that is teaching how the method works, but it uses an authentic lesson that students might connect to.

The video has Spanish closed captions. It could have been done better. The narrator who plays one of the characters is a little dry and could have made a better connection if she was a bit more animated. The story the students were involved in and the students themselves were better. I use a series of videos with my class called Biologix that use the principle of authenticity. The videos main characters are a biology teacher and his students. The videos include lab experiments that the students conduct so students can relate to them. I have had my students tell me that they liked the videos and it helped them with the concepts we were learning in class. These videos are long and I don’t have any clips to add here.

3. Entertainment- The third and last principle is entertainment. This is the ability to capture the audience’s attention and interest. Entertainment may be humor, but it can also be suspense like the Hitchcock strategy. The first video clip I have is Bill Nye the science guy explaining how entertainment can be used to teach science and he should know because he has been doing it for years.

My next video clip is cartoon clip teaching about the research of an ornithologist that has been researching intelligence of crows. One of the things he discovered is that crows can recognize people. Crows not only recognized people, but they can also teach their offspring to recognize the same person. The crows teaching their young is not part of this video clip, but it is part of a documentary on PBS.

My favorite entertainment videos is a series called Standard Deviants. This series is by a group called Cerebellum Corp. These videos are made by professors and university graduate students and include a variety of topics in science, math, and many others. My students sometimes try to say they are corny, but I know they enjoy them also maybe not as much as me. I have even had students ask me to design a lesson so that they could make standard deviant videos. I have a couple of great videos made by students who love Standard Deviants as much as me. If I could figure out how to put them on here I would share, but I think I would have to pay to upload them. So I will share a trailer from YouTube of Standard Deviants instead.

Literature Cited

McDonald, Jason K (2009). Imaginative instruction: what master storytellers can teach instructional designers. Taylor and Francis Online, Volume(46) Issue (2). Retrieved March 9, 2013, from

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Cultural storytelling

Cultural Storytelling Through Advertising

As I started this assignment I immediately thought of the coffee commercial that was a short series like a mini soap opera. I began my searches looking for this coffee commercial as I always wondered what had happen to the couple portrayed in the commercials. One of the last commercials I remembered the couple was introducing their adult children and were engaged I believe. Then they just disappeared quite annoying actually. With some research I found the commercials and it was the Taster’s Choice Coffee couple. The story began with a well dressed woman going to borrow coffee from her handsome neighbor and grew from there (Richard, 1994).  They began to flirt with each other as he teased her about his “sophisticated coffee” and she quips back that her guests have “very sophisticated taste” (Dewolf, 1992). These coffee ads featured a British couple Anthony Head and Sharon Maughan (Dewolf, 1992). The series began in England with what was suppose to be three commercials for Taster’s Choice Golden Blend. There were thirteen commercials aired in the U.S. featuring this couple beginning in 1990 (Werder, 2007).  This next commercial features the couple meeting at a dinner party where Michael asks the woman (who is never named on a date):

Each commercial that aired was a cliffhanger leaving the viewers wandering just what would happen next. New commercial episodes were announced in TV Guide and on day time news so viewers would not miss it (Werder, 2007).  I have included another one of the commercials I found on You Tube and a third video that explains some of the back story of the commercials. The purpose of this digital story was to sell coffee. The social or cultural subtext was the romance between two coffee lovers. The commercials used a well to do couple, dinner parties, and cliff hangers to keep people enticed in this romantic intrigue. It was the upper class social settings  that allowed viewers to fantasize about a life style of the rich and beautiful and their good taste that made this series so successful.  The relationship between this sophisticated coffee couple kept people wanting to learn more about their brewing romance (Werder 2007). This commercial series was very effective because it kept people enthralled and sold lots of coffee. The commercials increased the Maxwell house brand by $ 596 million dollars and over three share points (Richard, 1994).

Commercials today are using digital storytelling and social media for selling their products. It has taken companies to a new level where they are talking to the customer not at them. In today’s market with social media and digital storytelling customers are looking for and demanding truth in advertising delivered in an interesting and compelling manner (Gleason, 2012).

A Cause: Cultural Storytelling

Midway the Film by Chris Jordan

I continued my search for digital storytelling in a cultural context and found a story of the Laysan Albatross of Midway Island. This cultural digital story is a video that a friend of mine shared on Facebook. I was intrigued by the video and felt that it belong in the category of a cultural video with a cause. These albatross have a breeding rookery on Midway Island and the video shows them bringing back plastic for their chicks. I researched the topic a little and found that the albatross are getting the plastics from the “great Pacific garbage patch” (Moore, 2003). This digital story is very well done with many of the elements of digital storytelling including voice of Chris Jordan, soundtrack, pacing, and point of view with emotion. As an ornithologist and ecologist this story saddens me. It is very powerful, but it made me feel powerless to help these birds or the Pacific Ocean. Moore says in his Ted Talk that I have also included though it isn’t necessarily a digital story that it is probably impossible to clean the ocean and the only thing we can do is to stop throwing plastic into the environment where it can be caught in the ocean currents and eaten by birds. You can also check out for more videos by researchers and Chris Jordan on Midway Island. There is a link for this and other information on the albatross on my Learnist curation. This is an extremely important environmental cause it not only effects these birds, but the entire ocean ecosystem. There is a small thing that we can all do to help these birds please never throw bottle caps away without first putting them back on the bottles. It was determined that much of the plastic the birds were eating and feeding to their young is plastic bottle caps (Moore, 2003). So please recycle when you can and never throw or toss out bottle caps.

Cultural Storytelling in Education

The last bit of searching I did I came across the digital story cultural exchange. On this website from New South Wales, AU they highlight several projects by students around the world including the day in the life, Koori Story Exchange, Digi Diaries and many other interesting projects. I have not had time to view many of these videos, but as a teacher I found this site quite interesting and worth mentioning. I will explore it more when I have more time. Digital Story Cultural Exchange

So my search has come full circle this digital cultural storytelling adventure began with a memory. It was there that my searching took me back to find the Taster’s Choice Couple. I don’t think the story ever was really resolved they met, they dated, we all fell in love with the romance. The last commercial was supposed to tell the ending of the story did she stay with Michael or go back to her ex-husband Andrew who appeared in the last commercial with her son home from college. We will never know, but romance sells and so did the coffee. More and more commercials are using cultural digital storytelling today branding still works, but a good story sells even more. Next part of my circle and digital cultural storytelling was a story with a cause that I hope we can all care about. The Laysan Albatross need our help. This beautiful pelagic seabird is threatened by what we do so we need to pay attention to what we throw away. This is part of the adventure we all need to go on together not just for the albatross, but for the Earth and all its biodiversity. So we come full circle back to education. There are so many ways that cultural digital storytelling is important to learning and teaching. I know as a teacher any time I can add one of my own stories to a lesson my students are engaged. And more importantly allowing them to tell their stories or stories of their learning not only engages, but gives them ownership of their learning.

Literature Cited

(2009, 24). YouTube. YouTube – Anthony Head – Taster’s Choice Commercial. Retrieved February 5, 2013, from

(2009, 10). YouTube. YouTube – Gold Blend Explained – Anthony Head. Retrieved February 16, 2013, from

Dewolf, R. (1992, 16). Featured Articles From The Orlando Sentinel. Taster’s Choice Soap Opera Ads Brew Ongoing Success – Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 2, 2013, from

Gleason, C. (2012, July 24). 5 Brands Taking Digital Storytelling To The Next Level | Ignite Social Media. Home | Ignite Social Media. Retrieved February 24, 2013, from

Jordan, C. (2012, ). Vimeo, Your Videos Belong Here. MIDWAY : trailer : a film by Chris Jordan on Vimeo. Retrieved February 14, 2013, from

Moore, C. (2009, ). TED: Ideas worth spreading. Capt. Charles Moore on the seas of plastic | Video on Retrieved February 20, 2013, from

Richard, L. (1994, June 13). Since its romantic couple first graced the airwaves in november 1990, taster’s choice has managed to increase its dollar share of the $596 million soluble coffee market by more than 3 share points, leapfrogging past folgers and maxwell house into the no. 1 postion taster’s choice rolls love potion no. 9.          Retrieved February 14, 2013. From’s-choice-managed-increase-dollar-share-596-million-soluble-coffee-market-3-share-points-leapfrogging-past-folgers-maxwell-house-1-postion-taster-s-choice-rolls-love-potion-9/86709/

Werder, O. (2007, ). Google Books. Critical Thinking About Sex, Love, and Romance in the Mass Media: Media … – Google Books. Chapter 3 Brewing Romance: The Romantic Fantasy Theme of the Taster’s Choice “Couple” Advertising Campaign Retrieved March 10, 2013, from

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