the best of qualities is dispassion

Author: Robert

My Big Idea on How to Become a Better Teacher

In my Research in Learning Design and Technology course the professor asked that I examine two or more big ideas that could become part of a framework for my professional role and problems of practice I might encounter at work. 

The Value of CARP in My Design Work

The four principles of CARP: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity Contrast—If two things are not the same make them really different Contrast means difference, and although difference sounds quite simple it is crucially important to the way we notice things. Humans scan a scene looking […]

Lesson 1-1: Nice to Meet You

Lesson 1-1: Nice to Meet You

Please listen to the lesson and practice speaking. Pause and practice until you feel comfortable with the words. 이 대화를 듣고 말하기를 연습하세요. 말하기가 편할 때까지 멈추고 연습하세요.

 

 

Lesson 1-2: My Name Is

Please listen to the lesson and practice speaking. Pause and practice until you feel comfortable with the words. 이 대화를 듣고 말하기를 연습하세요. 말하기가 편할 때까지 멈추고 연습하세요.

Lesson 1-3: Greetings

Please listen to the lesson and practice speaking. Pause and practice until you feel comfortable with the words. 이 대화를 듣고 말하기를 연습하세요. 말하기가 편할 때까지 멈추고 연습하세요.

Lesson 1-4: At School 1

Please listen to the lesson and practice speaking. Pause and practice until you feel comfortable with the words. 이 대화를 듣고 말하기를 연습하세요. 말하기가 편할 때까지 멈추고 연습하세요.

Lesson 1-5: At School 2

Please listen to the lesson and practice speaking. Pause and practice until you feel comfortable with the words. 이 대화를 듣고 말하기를 연습하세요. 말하기가 편할 때까지 멈추고 연습하세요.

Lesson 1-6: At the Playground

Please listen to the lesson and practice speaking. Pause and practice until you feel comfortable with the words. 이 대화를 듣고 말하기를 연습하세요. 말하기가 편할 때까지 멈추고 연습하세요.

Digital Story Assignment: My Food Revolution

This is a digital story which I produced for my Learning With Digital Stories course at CU Denver. I used ScreenFlow to produce it and hosted in on Vimeo. It is not connected to my focal theme for the class which was using digital storytelling to teach EFL. I instead decided to create a story which describes my decision to stop consuming animals and how I arrived at that decision.

My Food Revolution from Robert Piper on Vimeo.

My Response to: “The Intelligence of Emotions: Philosopher Martha Nussbaum on How Storytelling Rewires US and Why Befriending Our Neediness Is Essential for Happiness”

This week I couldn’t resist focusing on emotions and truth. These two issues boiled to the surface due to the recent heated debates concerning fake news, whatever that means, and the harm which is done by those producing it; that is those who sacrifice the […]

Digital Story Response No. 11: “Ghost Dance”

While searching the StoryCenter’s YouTube channel for recently uploaded digital stories I encountered “Ghost Dance.” Early into watching Tommy Orange’s digital story, I connected it with Dee Brown’s (1971) seminal book “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West”  which […]

Daily Create: Who Cursed This Image

Response to Chapter 5: “Seven Steps Of Digital Storytelling”

I enjoyed reading this piece by Lambert (2012) and learned a good bit from it. In this course, I have been viewing and responding to digital stories. I have also been researching what can be learned through digital storytelling. And through my journey, I have […]

Digital Story Response No 10: “The Story of My Story”

Today, I’m responding to K’s digital story “The Story of my Story” and this feels right, as today is the day after the US presidential election. I stumbled across this story some weeks ago but at the time I felt its message was too serious […]

Daily Create: A Red Themed Still Life

A Red Themed Still Life

A Day in the Life in the Future: Adult Learning in 2046

A short alternative media item that I produced using Plotagon. This was an assignment for my Producing Media for Learning Course at the University of Colorado Denver.    

My Response to “The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind”

This week I turned my attention towards philosophy and the issue of focusing the mind and improving one’s sustained attention. Due to my refocusing, I critiqued and wrote a response to the digital story “Eastern Philosophy: Wu Wei” which I

Digital Story Response No 9: “Eastern Philosophy: Wu Wei”

The digital story “Eastern Philosophy: Wu Wei” is hosted the on School of Life’s YouTube channel. I first encountered this channel when I was attempting to decipher the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche for an undergraduate philosophy course. The School of Life produces short videos wherein they endeavor to explain philosophical concepts that one can employ to improve their quality of life. I’ve found these short videos quite valuable in introducing a subject, or concept, that is otherwise often difficult to grasp. They describe themselves in the following extract from their website, “The School of Life is devoted to developing emotional intelligence through the help of culture. We address such issues as how to find fulfilling work, how to master the art of relationships, how to understand one’s past, how to achieve calm and how better to understand, and where necessary change, the world.” Ambitious goals indeed, but the contemporary philosopher and author Alain de Botton certainly understood the challenge of sharing his “philosophy of everyday life” when he co-founded the school.

wu-wei-screen-shot

In this digital story de Bottom tackles the natural Chinese philosophy of Lao Tzu and focuses on the widely misunderstood concept of “wu wei.” The direct translation of the Chinese term wu wei is non-doing or doing nothing, which is at the root of its misunderstanding by many in the West. As de Bottom explains this is not an “… invitation to relax or fall into laziness or apathy…” but instead a call to the “noblest kind of action.” Wu wei is a vitally important concept in Daoism (often transliterated as Taoism) and invites one to follow the way, which is the Dao. Dao is the core concept of Daoism and is described in the following passage from the Dao De Jing, which entwines wu wei and the Dao, “The way never acts, yet nothing is left undone.” Wu wei advises a flowing natural action, as a stream might gently flow its course and around any natural obstacles it encounters, like boulders, and yet it flows on while eroding the obstacle.

 

It advises one to be naturally aware, as others act frantically and then lightly adjust one’s actions accordingly, so as not to react.  Acting with purpose, and to be at peace while engaging in frenetic activity so that one can employ their skill and perform the task with optimum efficiency. It also invites us to abandon egotistical ideals that we might be tempted to force too violently on the world and instead focus on the true needs of the situation. No war on anything, but a natural awareness of, and unity with, one’s environment, through a reduction in one’s rigidity while flowing with one’s spiritual momentum. Change will come, like the gentle stream eroding the boulder.

 
I find much to value in Eastern philosophy and have studied it for many years, both formally and informally, although I don’t consider myself an expert. And yet, when it comes to wu wei, I argue that de Bottom understands, and furthermore, does a superb job of describing this confusing, yet simple, and very important concept. The story is narrated by de Bottom who again demonstrates his skill at storytelling while explaining difficult philosophical concepts. The story is professionally produced and the evidence of this is in the engaging images, theme music, and pacing. The text remains on screen long enough to afford one the opportunity to reflect on it, without disrupting the pace. Another quality production from The School of Life!

Response to Chapter 3: “The Evolution of the Digital Storytelling Practice”

I enjoyed reading Joe Lambert’s piece describing the evolution of digital storytelling. Part of my enjoyment arose from an important connection between Lambert’s piece and the digital story that I critiqued this week. The digital story was “What If Money Was No Object?” which was […]

Assignment Bank Visual W10: Your love for your pet

The assignment, Visual 1729: Make a collage out of photos of your pet (or your favorite animal)! Either take past photos or take photos throughout the week that show how cute or how funny they can be!

Well, although some may refer to these two as pets, we prefer to think of Bina and Sylvan as teachers.  They lived with us in the mountains of Colorado and then the Big Island of Hawaii, where they taught Hyejin and me much about how to live life. They have now gone on to whatever is beyond but left us with many teachings and smiles.

bina-and-sylvan-w10

Digital Story Response No. 8: “What if Money Was No Object?”

Alan Watts was a very influential British intellectual, philosopher, writer, and speaker of the twentieth-century. Watts spent much of his adult life living and teaching in the United States. He wrote much on Eastern philosophy and worked to put it into terms that his Western […]

Mobile Media Project: Three Steps to Meditation

View on FlowVella – Presentation Software for iPad and Mac

Learning With Digital Stories Robert’s Mid-Point Gallery Walk

View on FlowVella – Presentation Software for Mac iPad and iPhone

Mobile Mayhem: Funny Hangul Study

I live in an older neighborhood in Uijongbu-Shi, Republic of Korea (ROK) primarily populated with senior citizens. I relocated to the ROK in August of this year with my wife Hyejin who is a citizen of the Korea. We previously spent seventeen years living in […]

My Response to “At Last: Youth Culture and Digital Media”

This week I critiqued and wrote a response to the digital stories “Nanna’s House” and “Grandma’s Roof.” These digital stories were produced by two seventh-graders, Abigail and Victoria. The girls composed poems about their visits to their grandmothers’ homes and then read their poetry as […]

Digital Story Response No. 7: “Nanna’s House” and “Grandma’s Roof”

Poetry, written and performed by 7th graders is used to narrate these digital stories. This one digital story actually contains two which are packaged serially and labeled “7th Grade Poetry.” This film is a fine example of collaboration and creative cooperation, as even the transcript is simply titled “Nana’s House,’ which applies to both stories. The warmth, welcome, peace, and love that Abigail and Victoria experience when they visit Nana’s house is a theme which runs throughout the stories. The poems describe how their visits enliven their senses and encourage the dreams and hope of childhood. The first, “Nanna’s House,” emphasizes physical sensations, whereas the second, “Grandma’s Roof,” is more focused on the dreams and fantasies of her father’s childhood.

The takeaway for me is that some children do indeed realize that the love and nurturing provided by healthy parenting is invaluable. These girls, not only realize this but invest the time and effort required to pay tribute to it through their digital storytelling. Not the often seen childhood perspective and portrayal of parent as hero, or god, but instead a much more “sophisticated,” flowing, acknowledgment and appreciation.

nannas-house

The students used images creatively to tell their stories and the images that were chosen very nicely entwine with the young narrators’ poetry and voices. The images are flawlessly synchronized to the lines and together present very warm digital stories. Some of the transitions are a bit lively but I feel this is due to the creativity of youth. Their project was well planned and the complete transcript provided in the YouTube description offers some proof of this. I also enjoyed the poetry as narrative and will further investigate using this device in digital storytelling. It appears that this digital story was produced using PowerPoint or some other presentation application and the creators had a good command of the media. These somewhat short digital stories were crafted with care and I appreciate their effort.

Assignment Bank Video: When It’s Cold Outside in Uijongbu

This is a video assignment for my Learning With Digital Stories course. I was required to produce I short video where I describe what I do when it’s cold outside. I live in a cozy little apartment in the pictured building.

Digital Story Response No. 6: “The Bookmobile”

As they say, I’m a sucker for happy endings” and I also love books. Therefore a digital story that includes both books and a happy ending is irresistible to me, and this rich story includes both. The Bookmobile begins by describing that the narrator, Storm Reyes, was eight years old when she began working full-time picking fruit for less than a dollar per hour. She lived and worked with her family in Native American migrant camps in the northwest. She describes how she learned to knife-fight before she learned to ride a bike. She was not permitted to have books as they were heavy and therefore a burden due to her family’s frequent moves. The story describes that life in Native American migrant worker camps is about survival and “filling your belly” with no room for hope. When she was twelve years old her natural curiosity drew her to the bookmobile when it visited the fields.

The bookmobile and the kindness of its librarian brought her hope in the form of literature. From the books, Reyes “learned” that hope was not just a word. The power of literature is illustrated through her story. This is a very important point that I fear is often overlooked in this era. It was not always so, as many great thinkers attached serious value to literature. On French literature, Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote, “I cannot at all conceive in which century of history one could haul together such inquisitive and at the same time delicate psychologists as one can in contemporary Paris: I can name as a sample – for their number is by no means small, … or to pick out one of the stronger race, a genuine Latin to whom I am particularly attached, Guy de Maupassant.”
Reyes “learned” from the books that hope not just a word and this gave her the courage to change her life by eventually leaving the labor camps. She later became a librarian in Pierce County, Washington where she worked with books for thirty-three years.

I have critiqued several digital stories employing photographs in motion as slides, and others employing videos, but this is the first using animation. This short, well-structured, powerful story’s use of animation makes it appear to be professionally produced. The jazz background music played during the intro with the captions introducing Reyes provide the hook, which drew me in. The narrator’s voice is gentle and clear, and the audio quality is superb. The cute characters in the animation are silent and the narrator tells the story acted out in the animation. This provides the warm feeling of storytelling and makes it feel even more intimate as if the narrator is sharing her story with me, personally. This very creative little story is very well done and one that I truly appreciate. Thanks for sharing!

Response to Chapter 7: “Social learning”

I argue that some topics, even those which are seemingly innocuous, are better suited to abstract discussions than large collaborative projects. In these cases, the educator can offer both sides of an argument and then encourage an open discussion of it, and perhaps, a later […]

Digital Story Response No. 5: “Josef”

In my search for a digital story for this week’s critique, I finally realized that digital storytelling has become an important outlet for people who feel the need to share their pain. I encountered so many tragic stories of violence, including war, child abuse, sexual […]

Digital Safety Daily Create: Warning, future of the web.

Uijongbu Shopping District

Soon, web pages may be plastered with advertising like this building.

My Response to “The Use of Digital Storytelling for English Learning”

“We must teach communication comprehensively in all its forms. Today we work with the written or spoken word as the primary form of communication. But we all need to understand the importance of graphics, music, and cinema, which are just as powerful and in some […]

Assignment Bank Audio: Do You Hear What I Hear, Walking In Uijongbu Korea

Do You hear What I hear?  Was an audio assignment for my CU Denver Learning With Digital Stories Course. The assignment details: Record glimpses of the different sounds you hear throughout the day, whether it be busy street noises, people talking, birds chirping, etc. and […]

Digital Story Response No. 4: “Nowhere Anyhow”

This short digital story is artfully crafted and presents a girl’s history that must be told over, and over again until we finally hear it and correct the culture which permits it. A culture that all too often strips away a young female’s self-worth and any “hope” she has of a future is absolutely heartbreaking. To tell a young person that they are going “Nowhere Anyhow” is an attempt to do this, as they are not only a failure but will always be a failure. Darcy Alexandra skillfully employs ethos, pathos, and logos to tell her personal story of a waitress, an adopted daughter, a coffee shop in winter, and her father to expose one such case.

With economy, as the story is only two minutes and forty-seven seconds long, Alexandra communicates her story using black and white images, which demonstrates that a digital story does not have to be shiny or flashy to engage its audience. In some of the frames, she starts with a closeup and then zooms out, which had a great impact on me, as I focused on the bigger picture which she is working to communicate. The soundtrack matches the story, and the tone of the narrators voice so well, that it feels as if it were composed for “this” digital story. Again, she demonstrates that noise and flash are not required in digital storytelling. The project was obviously well planned as it works so well as a finished product proves. Alexandra obviously knew her audience as she says, “…with thanks to …. 10 year old girls everywhere …” so that they may realize that there is indeed an everywhere.

Response to Chapter 2: “Music remix in the classroom” and Chapter 3: “DIY podcasting in education”

With this topic, I’m certainly feeling my age as well as revealing my tastes in music and limited knowledge of pop culture. I’m afraid the remix culture, at least as it exists today, has left me in the dust.  Although I do watch many videos, […]

A Color Red Podcast

The following podcast was an assignment for my Producing Media for Learning Course and was: Record a 5-10 minute podcast on “a color,” not color, but “a color.” Well, that’s vague and abstract, and me, I’m not very artistic. When I think of this I’m […]

My Response to “Using Digital Storytelling to Support EFL Learning in China”

One of my principal concerns with teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in Korea is the learner’s “affective filter.” Lightbrown & Spada (2013) write the following description of the affective filter hypothesis:

Krashen’s affective filter hypothesis is proposed to account for the fact that some people who are exposed to large quantities of comprehensible input do not necessarily acquire language successfully. The ‘Affective filter’ is the metaphorical barrier that prevents learners from acquiring language even when appropriate input is available. Affect refers to feelings of anxiety or negative attitudes that … may be associated with poor learner outcomes. A  learner who is tense, anxious, bored may filter out input, making it unavailable for acquisition. (p.106)

Hence, one can understand my concern, as skillfully immersing studious learners in the target language (TL) in no way guarantees acquisition. Not only must the learner be motivated but the TL must be shared in such a way that it does not increase the learner’s affective filter. Although anecdotal, I have attempted three foreign languages with mixed results, and through these experiences came to realize that learner anxiety played a major role. I did best when I played the part of the clown and just had fun with the learning process, although this was not always appreciated by those teaching. And of course there are many variables and concerns when it comes to EFL acquisition, but my current focus is on reducing learner anxiety.

I am not alone in this concern and was, therefore, pleased to encounter Yue Dong’s (2015) paper “Using digital storytelling to support EFL learning in China” as what he shares about EFL in China parallels with what I have already experienced, and will likely experience here in Korea. Dong’s research is excellent and he shares it in this well organized seventy-seven-page paper. The section that drew my attention is titled “Promoting motivation and lowering the affective filter.”  Dong details how EFL learners in China keep quiet as they feel vulnerable and fear losing face if they make mistakes in front of their peers, which greatly inhibits their EFL learning. Dong links this to Krashen’s affective filter hypothesis and describes it as “second language anxiety.” He goes on to explain how students who experience overwhelming anxiety may even give up on the learning experience. He cites Lence (2013) who states, “Research confirms that digital storytelling helps to build a conducive learning environment where language learners are highly motivated and feel relaxed and safe.” Dong then references Yoon (2012) when he writes, “Yoon explored the change in Korean ELL learners’ learning attitude after attending 12-week digital storytelling-based English classes. Results revealed that Korean ELL learners strongly felt less anxious and stressed in a digital storytelling project, which arouses greater learning interests and contributed to more active class participation” (Dong, 2015, p. 17).   

Dong not only explores the positive outcomes of digital storytelling on Chinese students but further cites Yoon, who researched the impact on Korean EFL learners. The more I research digital storytelling and second language learners the more positive news I encounter. I will continue to explore this topic and also delve deeper into Dong’s excellent paper when time permits. Teaching EFL using digital storytelling is definitely in my future.

References:

Dong, Y. (2015). Using digital storytelling to support EFL learning in China (2015). Retrieved September 12, 2016, from https://dspace.library.uvic.ca/handle/1828/6035

Lightbown, P., & Spada, N. M. (2013). How languages are learned. Oxford University Press.

Digital Story Response No. 3: “Rites of Passage”

The digital story “Rites of Passage” compares and contrasts the educational experience of the storyteller, Nikiko Masumoto, with the educational experience of her Japanese-American grandmother during WWII. This story made me acutely aware of the fact that for digital stories to truly appeal to me […]

Daily Create: Twelve Photos of 10,000 Won Korean Bank Notes

I couldn’t resist sharing this photograph of twelve 10,000 won bank notes for today’s Daily Create, #tdc1709. I have read a good bit about King Sejong the Great and I’m now learning the writing system he created, Hangeul. It is a very logical system and […]

A Neighborhood Shortcut in Uijongbu-Shi, ROK

I take this shortcut several times a day which is just a few steps from my door in Uijongbu-Shi, ROK. My wife suggested that it would make a nice nighttime shot, and I agree. I realized after shooting it that it was not the assigned Daily Create, as I had wandered off from the assigned page, and yet I couldn’t resist submitting it. I often wander and just can’t help myself as I’m a natural vagabond. Apologies!

Neighborhood Shortcut

Response to Chapter 4: “Visual networks: Learning and Photosharing”

  I was immediately struck by how openminded Guy Merchant was concerning graffiti in his neighborhood. I, like many, have often viewed graffiti as a form of art, and yet art that is defacing the property of others. Although I strive to be openminded I […]

Digital Story Response No. 2: “My Iligan”

While searching for a digital story to critique for this week’s assignment I, fortunately, stumbled upon the prize-winning story “My Iligan” produced by Arkay Timonera of the Philippines. Timonera was awarded first prize in the 2009 My Iligan digital storytelling contest held in Mindanao, Philippines. […]

Visual Assignment for Week 3: Room Tour

My wife and I recently moved into this cozy little two bedroom apartment in Uijongbu-Shi, ROK. We arrived two weeks before the Fall 2016 semester commenced, so we furnished the space quickly. The computer and its monitor traveled with me as checked baggage. The day after our arrival we purchased the bookcase, desk, and filing cabinet/printer stand. The books were sent through the postal system and arrived our second day here. A few days later the ergonomic desk chair and printer were added and the office space was complete. Well almost, as my mother-in-law later provided the small Korean table and yo (bed), which I use to study “old school” when I’ve had my fill of the screen.

visual-assignment-room-tour-w3

The Yo in the bedroom was also given to us by my mother-in-law who graciously made the curtains pictured in both rooms. The meditation altar and its artifacts traveled in my wife’s checked baggage. The air conditioner and the circular air-purifier were installed the week after we arrived, and are a necessity due to the summer heat and air quality. My wife jokes that she feels like she is bowing to our environmental machinery instead of the items on the meditation table.

The small kitchen space serves us fairly well, although I do intend to move the refrigerator across the room to make room for a small table and chairs. First, I must install a power outlet on the opposite wall to provide power to the fridge. Once the table and chairs are added our simple, comfortable space will be home.

Digital Story Response No. 1: “Ethnolinguistic Profile”

I chose to critique the digital story “Ethnolinguistic Profile: Self-study of a Multilingual Person” as it was attached to the scholarly article that I responded to this week, which was “Digital Storytelling: Using Different Technologies for EFL.”  Christiansen and Koelzer (2016) included it as an […]

My Response to “Digital Storytelling: Using Different Technologies for EFL”

One of the main reasons I recently relocated to Uijongbu-Shi, Republic of Korea (ROK) was to teach. My focus will be on teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and I plan to take advantage of available technology, to better my teaching, and to improve […]

Bike Shop in Uijongbu-Shi, Korea

This bike shop is just a short walk from our apartment and I’ve noticed that it is a bit of a gathering place for some neighborhood gentlemen. There is a bike trail which snakes along a river that runs just past where the other fellow is seated. Convenient, as riders often stop by for repairs and adjustments.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Response to Chapter 1: “Sampling ‘The New’ in New Literacies” by Lankshear & Knobel

The sociocultural aspects of “new literacies” described in this chapter immediately grabbed my attention and caused me to reflect on an experience I had last semester. In my online Games and Learning course, the readings were posted online and two students were asked to read […]

Family Portrait DC1, Daily Create #tdc1693

My wife and I recently relocated to the Republic of Korea from the Big Island of Hawaii. I lived in Korea for most of the nineties but have not visited since we moved back to the U.S.A. in 1999. Therefore, I have not seen my […]

Robert’s Games and Learning Experience

 

I wrote early in this course that I have little interest, actually no interest in playing games. And this course has not increased my desire to play games, nor did I expect it to. This was not my reason for attending this course, nor the purpose of the course. I’m fifty-nine years old and if I were going to develop an appetite for games it would likely have developed some time ago. Although, I do realize that many “normal” people enjoy gameplay and that my having an aversion to it is unusual. And yet, if videogames can be used as an effective teaching tool that have a capacity for decreasing learning anxiety while improving motivation, I’m all for them. (more…)

Graphite and Me Cycle 6

“I hate everything that merely instructs me without augmenting or directly invigorating my activity.”   – Goethe Although I personally try to avoid the word hate I do wholeheartedly agree with the overall sentiment of what Goethe was communicating. So, permit me to share the fact […]

Second Language Leaning in MMOs Cycle 6

Interest driven learning in higher education is a new concept to me and it took some time this semester to truly understand what it meant. At some point in the semester, I was actually engaged in it before I fully comprehend how valuable it is […]

Play Journal Cycle 6: Failed Play

I strayed from board gameplay this cycle and instead opted for a Korean card game, which is most often called Go-Stop, in the west. The game originated in Japan where it was introduced in hopes of reducing gambling. And yet, Koreans routinely gamble when playing and although wagers can be large they are normally quite small where the winnings for a game is less than 2,000 Won ($1.70 US). In Korea it is known by two names, with three players it’s called Godori (고도리), and with two players Matgo (맞고). (more…)

Games and Learning Reflection No. 2

My participation in course activities this month greatly contributed to my understanding of games and learning. My focus is on videogames, although I understand and appreciate that this course includes many types of games and play. Previously, I had understood games as either games for […]

Videogames Designed for Acquiring New Languages Cycle 5

My continuing quest to find creative ways to support language learning through the use of technology has lead me to the language learning game Influent, which was previously named SanjigenJiten, as a working title. Influent was developed under the Monbukagakusho Research Scholarship at the University […]

Graphite and Me Cycle 5

In my previous blog post concerning my experience with Graphite, I wrote that I would purchase and download the Language learning game Influent and review it for this cycle’s post. Well, that has been delayed but for very good reasons. After reading more reviews of Influent I became even more interested in the game and decided to contact the creators and share my plans. (more…)

Off-the-Shelf Adventure Videogames and Foreign Language Learning Cycle 4

  I am preparing to teach English in Asia and, therefore, have an interest in digital devices that can support students in their English language acquisition. Because I will be primarily teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) where most students will not be afforded […]

Graphite and Me Cycle 4

In my previous affinity space blog entry, I wrote that I would become more familiar with the site and experience some of the interesting games and products that I saved to my Graphite board, which is located on my personal desk space. And so I […]

Play Journal Cycle 4

The board game that I played for Cycle 4 is a traditional Korean board game called Yut Nori. Nori is actually the Romanized Korean word for game, therefore, this game is usually just referred to as Yut, which is pronounced yoot. My wife, Hye-Jin, purchased our copy of the game approximately ten years ago and was very pleased when I finally expressed an interest in playing it for this class. Yes, I’m just dripping with guilt as I write this, both marital and cultural. (more…)

The Perfect Team

Due to the difficulties I have experienced with group work both professionally and in academia the in-depth article “What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team” seized me and just refused to turn me loose. It was written by Charles Duhigg and […]

Games and Learning Reflection No. 1

I do indeed have many curiosities concerning “games and learning” which may help explain why I am attending this course. I certainly did not take it in order to satiate my desire for gaming, as I don’t have a desire to play games. I realize […]

Graphite and Me

I am blogging about Common Sense Media’s Graphite affinity space to fulfill a requirement for an online “Games and Learning” course I am attending at the University of Colorado Denver. By joining this online community, I hope to come to a better understanding of the interactions that occur in such a space, as well as the tools that are made available to teachers in such a community. This is the first in a series of posts where I will share my adventures with Graphite.com.

The primary reason I selected graphite (more…)

Game Literacy for Boomers

I had difficulty finding a piece that I wanted to share for Cycle 2. I am still attempting to clear away my absolute ignorance about games and learning and it is therefore quite challenging for me to ferret out a piece that may both help […]

Situated Language Learning

One of the assigned readings for an online education course I am attending is a book titled “Situated Language and Learning” and was written by James Paul Gee (2004). Gee is a faculty affiliate of the Games, Learning, and Society group at the University of […]

Internet Privacy

I was recently asked to respond to the following questions for one of my online classes in eLearning. Oh yeah, my base camp site is this very site!
As you think about your own base camp site, and your work with learners in networked learning spaces, what are your thoughts about the issue of privacy? What are your concerns, and what are you going to do about them? (more…)

The Need for a Tribe

One of the readings for an education course I am attending is titled ‘How to Build Your Tribe—Finding ‘Your People’ ” and was written by Marelisa Fabrega. Fabrega is concerned with our human need to be part of a group. She writes that “Noted psychologist, […]

College of Education at the University of Hawaii

My Post titled “Redesigning Universities” is a fine example of a Canadian success story. The link below demonstrates how we, south and a bit west of the Canadian border are throwing words and theories at this issue, but failing miserably. The link leads to a […]

Redesigning Universities

I’m not a great fan of Ted talks, but occasionally one is recommended to me that just resonates, and this is certainly one of those. This is a “hot topic” for me, as I am very concerned with creative ways to improve higher ed, and Helfand addresses my concerns.

I Dig Diigo

As part of an assignment in my Social Media class I was required to try a new tool, resource, or community that I was curious about. The professor listed a few sites and I settled on Diigo. I actually tried a few of the sites […]

Laughter as a Disciplinary Offense

I read the following passage in a summary of Daniel H. Pink’s book, A Whole Mind, under the subheading Play: “Why is Dr. Madan Kataria laughing? … Kataria a physician from Mumbai, India likes to laugh. A lot. In fact, he believes the laughter can […]

Noam Chomsky Surprises Me Concerning Persuasion

I recently ran across the following quote from Noam Chomsky and I must admit that it surprised me. I always took it for granted that a thinker and activist like Chomsky was always out to persuade others. This short passage really made me stop and reassess my behavior, as well as the behavior and teaching techniques of many educators I have encountered.

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