Welcome to Educational Technology Leadership!

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Our focus in this course will be twofold:

First of all, we will focus on fearlessness and innovation through the readings for the course. These readings are meant to help us understand the current state of education, the current state of technology, and opportunities we may have to engage students in learning in new and creative ways. The initial book for the class, Teach Like a Pirate, is meant to spur us to action and tap into our passion. Dave Burgess, the author of this book, will be talking with us on February 13. We will then read a New Culture of Learning. This is a great book which will challenge us a bit, but will also help us to orient ourselves to the knowledge economy (Powell  & Snellman, 2004; Peters, 2010) and the rapid changes both we and students will continue to experience as technology expands our potential knowledge base.

Secondly, we will exercise our leadership skills as a collective. We will be working with iNACOL’s 2013 K-12 Blended Innovator of the year, Verena Roberts, and the co-author of Flattening the Classroom, Engaging Minds, Vicki Davis. These are two amazing leaders in Educational Technology and K-12 Learning. Verena has created K-12 open experiences for remote students in Canada and currently works as a consultant with Educurious, a non-profit company. Vicki teaches ages 13+ in Camilla, Georgia and you may know her better by her blogging, radio, and twitter identity Cool Cat Teacher. She has engaged her students in innovative and open learning for many years, and was a key player in the Flat Classroom Project, which many of us have studied in our classes.

With Vicki and Verena, we will be engaging in a Service Learning Activity: developing the Gamifi-ED Open Online Community (OOC). We have several roles in this community:

  1. We will work to develop a tool to assist students and teachers in determining the value of a Serious Game to their classroom
  2. We will be co-learners and co-teachers within this community, exploring innovative possibilities for student learning and teacher development
  3. We will document the experiences of the Gamifi-ED OOC, and we will make a recommendation concerning a Serious Game based on The Hunger Games, Book One

Therefore, you will have one ongoing product, one individual product, and one group product due in this class.

Ongoing Product: Blogging

Each week you will create a blog entry documenting your research and your experiences of the week. This entry is due on Friday. You will then interact with others by commenting on their blogs. Finally, on Sunday, you will blog about the impact you had on the learning of others.

Individual Product: Philosophy of Adaptation

The individual product that you will create in this course is your Philosophy of Adaptation. It is due in Week Eleven, and will be influenced by the reading and weekly assignments in which you participate.

Group Product: Recommendation for a Serious Game based on The Hunger Games, Book One

Finally, in groups, you will create a recommendation for a Serious Game based on The Hunger Games, Book One. There will be several activities to help us build our knowledge base and determine what components a Serious Game should have, including the development of the evaluation tool in Weeks 1-3, interaction with ages 13+ students who are accustomed to global collaboration, and  interaction with leaders in Educational Gaming from across the World.  The recommendations created by your groups will be presented to the non-profit organization Educurious, who will then create an online experience for K-12 students based on the recommendation of their choice. The recommendation from your group is due on the last day of class.

So – in this class, we truly are being Leaders in Educational Technology – sharing our experiences with the world through Blogging, creating and curating information which will further other teachers’ understanding of Serious Games, and acting as expert consultants to a non-profit organization to create an open and global Serious Game for use in K-12 classrooms.

Before the class begins, read the Hunger Games, Book One.

In Weeks 1-3 we will focus on learning about Serious Games and creating a tool to help us (and others) evaluate serious games for potential use in a classroom. This will be done in teams, and is our most immediate task.

You will submit assignments each week using LiveText. You should have gotten a message at some point in your program to sign up for the Blackboard LiveText Training so that you might receive your code to register. Please do this training soon, if you have not to this point, and get your LiveText account set up. Livetext is an important aspect of the course, and serves as our quality assurance and data management system.

The books for the course follow:

Burgess, D. (2012). Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost your Creativity, and Transform your Life as an Educator. Dave Burgess Consulting.  Available: http://www.amazon.com/Teach-Like-PIRATE-Engagement-ebook/dp/B009V9RQNU

Collins, S. (2010). The Hunger Games: Book One. Scholastic Press: Reprint Edition. Available: http://www.amazon.com/Hunger-Games-Suzanne-Collins-ebook/dp/B002MQYOFW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

Thomas, D. & Brown, J. S. (2011). A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change.  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Available: http://www.amazon.com/New-Culture-Learning-Cultivating-ebook/dp/B004RZH0BG/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1

If you do not have a Kindle device, you may click here to download the Kindle reader for your iPad or Computer and download the books in this way. Also – Amazon has recently partnered with Audible to offer some books as audio recordings. This is very helpful if you will have down-time and prefer to listen to the book rather than read it! A New Culture of Learning is available in this format.

I know that learning in the open may be new to some of you. I do encourage you to enjoy this experience.

Thank you!


Peters, M. (2010). Three forms of the knowledge economy: Learning, Creativity and Openness. British Journal of Educational Studies, 58, (1), 67-88.

Powell, W. W., & Snellman, K. (2004). The knowledge economy. Annual review of sociology, 199-220.


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