Category Archives: PD & Funding

Anyone Can Learn to Make a Game

* Anyone Can Learn to Make a Game

Have you ever had an idea for a game or wanted to learn how to make games yourself?

Richard Hart had a vision for the future of gaming, and in 2007 he started my first video game company. He believed that gaming was an incredibly powerful tool and that gaming could change the world.

He wanted to make gaming accessible to anyone who was willing to put in the time and effort to learn.

He has learned a lot over the years and one day he decided he wanted to share what he’d learned. So he created this course aimed at beginners. In this new course he shows learner how to unlock the amazing power of Unity3D. He takes you step by step through the process of creating a simple 3D video game in just a few hours!

While he’s teaching the basics of Unity, he’ll also be revealing the fundamentals of what games are made of and begin to show you how to the power of play.

When you sign up, you’ll get instant access to a growing library of over 70 high definition video tutorials, not to mention full source code examples you can download and try out.

This course will be a good fit for students who:

  • Are willing to take risks and challenge the status quo.
  • Are willing to put in time and effort to learn to create something of real value
  • Are not taking this to get rich quick or think that taking this course will land them a $100,000/year job a a big game studio
  • Have an open mind and are willing to learn, try new things and ask questions
  • It’s for people who want to push the boundaries of traditional games and believe that gaming has the potential to change the world!

While you’re having fun, you’ll be acquiring real skills, using real tools and learning to get your own unique ideas out of your head and into the world.

There are lot’s of game courses out there, but if your looking for something a little different, something that goes way beyond just explaining tools and technology, this is the course for you.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee.

Sign up today!

Professional development reform: 8 steps to make it happen

* Group of teachers looking up at the sky

Every year, school districts around the country waste a tremendous amount of time and money on ineffective professional development. The traditional model of “sit and get,” where a one-size-fits-all approach is utilized, yields abhorrent results. Ask teachers from typical school districts in America their thoughts on traditional in-service time, and the feedback won’t be pretty. Professional development in many districts must undergo radical reform, from a model that’s outdated and ineffective to one that’s differentiated, meaningful and engaging.

How can school districts reform their professional development?

[Surely PD is not a one off event and should be treated as a year-long, life-long way of life - Carol]

Read more: Professional development reform: 8 steps to make it happen SmartBlogs.

Training Was Key to Google Apps Implementation

Google

A growing number of school districts have embraced Google Apps for Education as their cloud-based e-mail and content-management platform. But how these districts approach the effort—and the challenges and problems they encounter—differ widely.

Valuable lessons in how to implement Google Apps for Education (commonly know as Google Docs) can be learned from Crook County High School in Prineville, OR, and from the state’s Virtual School District. Two years ago, Oregon became the nation’s first such statewide Google Docs project, and Crook County High jumped on board. What started as a new e-mail system quickly evolved into a full-blown Google products rollout.

Crook County High adopted a top-down approach to implementing Google Docs in the classroom, according to Rachel Wente-Chaney, who directs the training efforts for the Oregon Virtual School District. School administration ensured that all teachers received a summer boot camp and weekly training each step of the way. The process started two years ago with the sixth grade, and this year the seventh grade adopted Google Docs as well. The keys to success have been a team-based approach to navigating through the process, which has included training and tech support offered at both the local and state level.

via Training Was Key to Oregon’s Statewide Google Apps Implementation — THE Journal.

In This Flipped Class, Teachers Learn From Students’ Videos

New York technology teacher and trainer Rob Zdrojewski is flipping the flipped classroom–or, rather, his students are.

Using a video technology known as screencasting, Zdrojewski, who will host two workshops at the upcoming FETC Conference in January, turns the popular phrase on its head by asking his students at Amherst Middle School to create instructional videos for their teachers.

“The term ‘flip your classroom’ is really for the teachers to flip the classroom for the students, but this is like flipping the professional development for your staff–but having students teach the teachers,” Zdrojewski says. “It’s another catchphrase we’ve been using.”

Read More: In This Flipped Class, Teachers Learn From Students’ Video — THE Journal.

New model to teach teachers about technology

 

Boulder Valley to use new model to teach teachers about technology - Boulder Daily Camera

The Boulder Valley School District has three people assigned to help teachers at 55 schools figure out how to integrate technology into their classrooms.

Looking for a better way to use limited resources, a committee of teachers, principals and community members spent a year developing a vision and researching programs in school districts nationwide. The group settled on a model in which small groups of teachers will receive extensive training and then serve as mentors to other teachers in their schools.

“It’s a good new direction,” said Boulder Valley educational technology manager Kelly Sain, who worked with a similar model in two other school districts. “The enthusiasm from our teachers has been huge.”

Full Text: Boulder Valley to use new model to teach teachers about technology – Boulder Daily Camera.

School district sending entire staff to technology conference

More than 250 teachers from Bath area schools will attend a learning technology conference Friday in Augusta in an effort to make the best use of hundreds of computers deployed within the district.

Dean Emmerson, Regional School Unit 1’s technology coordinator, said this is the first time in the history of the conference that a single district has committed so many of its staff to attending. He said sending the teachers to the conference is something he and the district’s technology committee have envisioned for several months as a way to “build momentum” around the use of technology in education. A teacher workshop day was scheduled for Friday so the district’s 255 teachers, principals, education technicians and librarians can attend the conference.

“My hope for them is that they get an opportunity to see what other people are doing across the state and also to share the great stuff they’ve been doing as well,” said Emmerson. “Everyone talks about buying more stuff — that we need more computers, iPads and projectors — but the conversation sort of stops at buying the stuff. I think the focus should be on what can we do with it once we have it.”

[What is your school doing with PD in technology?]

Full Text: School district sending entire staff to technology conference — Midcoast — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine.

Need some extra cash for your school?

Give DonorsChoose a try.

How it works

DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need.

Here’s how it works: public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on DonorsChoose.org. Requests range from pencils for a poetry writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class.

Then, you can browse project requests and give any amount to the one that inspires you. Once a project reaches its funding goal, we deliver the materials to the school.

You’ll get photos of your project taking place, a thank-you letter from the teacher, and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent. If you give over $50, you’ll also receive hand-written thank-you letters from the students.

At DonorsChoose.org, you can give as little as $1 and get the same level of choice, transparency, and feedback that is traditionally reserved for someone who gives millions. We call it citizen philanthropy.

Full Text: How it Works.

Intel® Teach Elements—Online Professional Development Courses

Explore 21st century learning concepts

Group of teachers looking up at the sky

Intel® Teach helps K–12 teachers of all subjects learn to engage students with digital learning, including digital content, Web 2.0, social networking, and online tools and resources. Intel Teach professional development empowers teachers to integrate technology effectively into their existing curriculum, focusing on their students’ problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration, which are precisely the skills required in the high tech, networked society in which we live.

Intel® Teach Elements are free, just-in-time professional development courses that you can experience now, anytime, anywhere. This series of compelling courses provides deeper exploration of 21st century learning concepts.

Learn more about the Intel Teach Elements series >

Via: Intel® Teach Elements—Online Professional Development Courses.

YouTube Launches ‘American Idol’ Search For The Best Teachers

YouTube for Schools

YouTube is looking to give some much-needed celebrity status to the most engaging teachers in the world. They’re conducting an Internet-wide competition of the best video lessons, which will be judged by an all-star panel of online educators, such as Sal Khan of Khan Academy. “The rise of online educational videos is giving learners access to the world’s greatest thinkers and teachers, leveling the playing field for all,” explains the YouTube blog announcement. “We believe that inspiring online educators can come from all walks of life, and we want to find the next generation of educational YouTube stars.”

Google’s original $300 million foray into original content was all about unearthing the next generation of entertainment celebrities. This new education project bridges the long-held hope that the Internet can centralize the world’s best teachers with the marketing power of one of the great new media companies.

You can read more about the announcement here.

Full Text: YouTube Launches ‘American Idol’ Search For The Best Teachers | TechCrunch.

Bus Turned Into Mobile Classroom

Inside the eCoach

ShoreTel announced earlier this week it partnered with Scottsdale (Ariz.) Unified School District to deploy the eCoach, a first-of-its-kind mobile learning and technology training bus that will be used to train teachers and enhance students’ learning.

While numerous school districts across the nation have utilized ShoreTel’s communication solutions, Scottsdale Unified has taken this one step further by converting an old school bus into a modern mobile classroom to train teachers on new technology tools and gadgets before they hit the classroom.

[Great idea, more education depts should do this for upskilling teachers]

Full Text: Scottsdale School District Turns Bus Into Mobile Classroom With ShoreTel Technology.

CORE Education eFellowship Awards 2013

Pushing the boundaries of educational possibility

The CORE Education eFellowship Awards recognise innovative elearning practice by New Zealand teachers. The Fellowship celebrates teaching excellence in an elearning context and aims to raise public and educational community awareness of the benefits of eLearning. Once inducted into the Fellowship, Fellows will provide ongoing, community-focused leadership in the field. In any one year up to 6 new Fellows may be selected for the CORE Education eFellowship Induction Programme.

In 2013 there will be up to 6 awards.

  • The Fellowship is open to all educators from early childhood centres, primary and secondary schools (includes state and private sectors); and those teaching children in other organisations such as libraries, conservation organisations etc.
  • To be awarded an eFellowship, educators must have a strong existing reputation for innovative practice or leadership in elearning and a desire to share their e-learning approaches, practices and enquiries with the wider teaching community.
  • During this Fellowship year Fellows are expected to carry out an e-learning teacher enquiry which will be presented to the wider teaching community. This enquiry will reflect the Fellow’s passion for e-teaching and learning.
  • Applications for the CORE eFellowship Award to be completed here.
  • Applicants must complete ALL sections of the online application form and ensure that TWO online supporting statements are received by CORE Education by the closing date.
  • Please ensure you read ALL sections of the online application form carefully.

Apply here: CORE Education eFellowship Awards 2013 | CORE Education.