Epic Academy: Personalized PD for Your School

This is a repost from Rezzly, a learning technology platform that offers monthly teacher workshops online and a gamified LMS. I’ve known Lucas for many years, and he brought me into the world of Minecraft in the classroom. In our conversations about his personalized teacher professional development program in his district, Epic Academy, I was fascinated to hear how the teachers are responding to quest-based and gamified professional development that is designed around their learning needs, and showcasing their badges outside their classrooms. Great stuff!

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Epic Academy: Personalized PD for Your School

March 1-13, 2017

Imagine a personalized professional development program in your school or district that helps teachers engage with the latest topics based on their own needs and interests. Join Lucas Gillispie, Director of Academic and Digital Learning for Surry County Schools in North Carolina, and creator of Epic Academy, a quest-based professional development program in North Carolina where teachers throughout the state are questing and connecting around such topics as how to use YouTube in the Classroom, Being a Connected Educator, the SAMR tech integration model and more. Hear about his success and challenges, and get tools and strategies for starting a personalized professional development program in your school or district!

  • Play quests anytime at your own pace
  • Attend optional synchronous events
  • Fully facilitated by Lucas Gillispie

Lucas is a passionate gamer and educator exploring the intersection of games and learning. He is the creator of the WoWinSchool Project, exploring the educational potential of online games like World of Warcraft with middle schoolers, was one of the earliest pioneers to bring Minecraft into classrooms, and is working to build game-inspired professional development for teachers in his district through his EPIC Academy program.

Legendary educators can participate in Epic Academy at no cost, or register here for $79 (includes three month access to Rezzly).

New Rezzly 2017 workshops & features!

Hello friends! We’re excited to announce a new series of teacher workshops and platform features in Rezzly for 2017!

TEACHER WORKSHOPS

Check out our new facilitated Teacher Camps, starting in February 8th with Google Classroom & Tech Integration hosted by guild officer Mark Suter, Henry Ford Innovator Teacher of the Year!  Some of our workshops include:

  • Epic Academy: Create personalized professional development for your school or district
  • Play This, Learn That: Learn to add commercial video games to your classroom curriculum
  • Exploring Personalized Learning: how to empower students by creating ownership of their own learning
  • Edupreneurs in the Classroom: starting a classroom business with students as entrepreneurs and innovators
  • Minecraft for Teachers: It’s back! Join Lucas Gillispie to explore how to start a Minecraft program in your class or school
  • Coding for Everyone: Computer science that is fun and keeps everyone engaged
  • Social Media for Teachers: Start or add to your personalized learning network, and learn to use social media in the classroom

**All Rezzly Legendary accounts get free access to our workshops, found inside the Quest Armory. Hope to see you there!

NEW PLATFORM FEATURES

We’re ramping up development in 2017 and currently working on single sign-on with Google and Canvas (LTI). Before summer arrives, you’ll also see a new avatar creator, as a first step toward creating items that can be awarded to students to add to their avatar. We’re also adding integration with the OpenEd library in the Quest Builder, giving you access to tens of thousands of free educational assets you can integrate into your quests.

We literally have hundreds of features we’d love to see in the platform. Feel free to add any wishlist function using the HELP button inside Rezzly. Our focus in 2017 will be on giving our users some new, engaging function and content, along with the development we need as a platform to integrate into a larger educational technology ecosystem, essential to support scaling of the platform.

We appreciate our teacher innovators–game on!

Idaho statewide teen game design camp

For immediate release:

CONTACT
Idaho Digital Learning
Mike Caldwell
208.342.0207

Idaho Teens To Learn Digital Game Design as Career Path

Idaho Teen GameLab to teach Idaho students the art of digital game design and coding in an interactive camp.

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 1.36.26 PMBoise – January 2014 – Idaho students interested in a career in digital gaming and computer programming have the opportunity to participate in the Idaho Teen GameLab (ITGL). ITGL is a six-week, fully online academic camp that provides career exploration in the exciting field of digital game design. ITGL is taught using 3D GameLab, a quest-based learning platform where students level up by playing educational “quests” at their own pace within Gamemaker Studio, Sploder, Unity, Minecraft and adventure maps. Students will collaborate in virtual worlds to plan and build civilizations, create personalized games, test and provide feedback on fellow-developers games. ITGL is co-sponsored by Idaho Digital Learning (IDLA) and GoGo Labs.

“At Idaho Digital Learning, we are always searching for innovative ways to improve learning opportunities for Idaho Students. Idaho Teen Game Lab provides a rich learning experience that promotes creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking which are essential skills in todays work environment. We are really excited about our partnership with GoGo Labs and have enjoyed working with them on this project” said Mike Caldwell, Idaho Digital Learning Director of Program Development

“Ninety-nine percent of teens play video games. GoGo Labs is focused on engaging students and inspiring teachers through gamified learning opportunities, and what could be more interesting than designing the games themselves? We’re excited to be working with IDLA to bring this opportunity to Idaho teens” said Lisa Dawley, GoGo Labs CEO & Founder

In celebration of Digital Learning Day, registration will open on February 5, 2014.

Up to 200 middle and high school students throughout the state of Idaho can participate in the camp beginning in March. ITGL is great for beginning and intermediate game designers. For more information, or go to http://idahoteengamelab.org/.

Idaho Digital Learning was established as Idaho’s state virtual school by the Idaho Legislature in 2002.  The state virtual school serves 100% of Idaho School districts at over 19,000 enrollments in 2012-2013. Idaho Digital Learning is a nationally recognized program that was ranked 3rd in the U.S. for Online Learning Policy and Practice (Center for Digital Education, 2008) and is the fourth-largest State Virtual School in the United States based on statewide per capita online enrollments (Keeping Pace, 2011)

GoGo Labs, Inc., is a learning technology business based in Boise, Idaho.  Its mission is to empower, inspire and engage teachers and students using quest-based learning, and game-like learning communities. GoGo Labs holds a global exclusive license on 3D GameLab, a patent-pending learning platform that promotes student engagement and feelings of heroic success leveraging game mechanics such as quests, ranks, badges and player cards. Its customers are educators and institutions in over 13 countries that are seeking exciting, new ways to engage their digital-age students.

Winter Game Design Camp…for teachers?!

hero_banner-01I’m really excited about this one…game design camp for teachers, woohoo!! As a lot of states and school districts begin to get involved in coding initiatives (CodeMontana, Hour of Code, etc. etc.), we help coders and builders engage in a very specific type of development — game design!

Did you know 99% of US teens play video games, and over 66% of adults have played a game on their mobile phone in the last week?  Gaming is pervasive and ubiquitous in our society.  As we continue to explore the uses of gamification for learning, we can’t think of anything better than to help teachers and students become designers of their own games, educational or otherwise!

As some of you know, last summer we launched a fully online pilot of Teen GameLab, our game design camp, with appx. 30 teens around the US, and one from S. Africa.  I’m not sure if they had more fun or we did. Seriously, those teens were amazing, what a fantastic and engaging learning experience for all of us.  While advertising that camp, we heard from a lot of teachers who wanted to participate, as well.

So, we’re bringing back our game design curriculum in January and February, and making it available in 3D GameLab Teacher Camps.  In January, we’ll offer three weeks of questing in camps on game design in Minecraft (adventure maps, anyone?), and Sploder.  Lucas Gillispie, proud leader of the Minecraft in Schools project will be taking the lead on the Minecraft camp, and Chris Haskell, co-creator of 3D GameLab, will be covering game design in Sploder.  In February, Mark Suter will be teaching GameMaker Studio, and we’ll be adding a new camp in Unity (wow!) taught by Melissa Wrenchy.

Hope you can join us and share in the amazing games that will be built, played, reviewed, and shared!

What Students Think about 3D GameLab

A couple of screenshots shared with me recently by teachers in 3D GameLab. Thanks for taking the time to pass along the awesome news.  I love everyone’s enthusiasm. 🙂

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8th grader
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Survey of Mr. Denham’s class

Sometimes the best news  comes directly from the students themselves.  We recently completed Teen GameLab, our three week online game design camp.  I asked one of the campers what he liked best about camp, and what suggestions he had for the future.  I got a huge smile on my face when he said, “Oh, I absolutely loved everything about Teen GameLab, so I don’t have any suggestions.  The one bad thing is that we don’t get to hang out together anymore.”  I’ll have to figure out a way to change that!

Teacher Wallets & DonorsChoose

Teacher Wallets promoIf you’re into teachers at all, then you’re probably aware of donorschoose.org, a really cool organization and website where teachers can pitch their projects/needs for the their classrooms, and donors can contribute to help them reach their goals.   Recently, the Gates Foundation and Digital Promise teamed up with DonorsChoose to create Teacher Wallets, a unique pilot program that provides 300 K-8 teachers nationwide with up to $6,000 per teacher to purchase digital courseware in core content areas.  The goal of the project is to study and better understand how teachers choose and use digital courseware in their classrooms.

As a teacher advocate for over 20 years, you can see why this project has personal appeal.  It’s not only asking teachers what works in their local context, but it’s turning over the purchasing decision directly at the class level, and studying actual implementation and outcomes.  SRI International will be doing some of the evaluation work, and I’m really looking forward to finding out more about what they learn.

We are PROUD that 3D GameLab was chosen to be showcased as an option on Teacher Wallets as a result of our recent finalist position in the NY Gap App Challenge.  We’re also curious if teachers will “choose” us, and why or why not.  When developing educational technologies, it’s critical to engage with participatory innovation, and this opportunity to learn systematically about our platform is an amazing opportunity for next phase development cycles.  Good luck with Teacher Wallets.

PS  I’d love to see all teachers have a Teacher Wallet!!

In the News at ISTE

ISTE 2013 has come and gone.  At GoGo Labs, we were incredibly excited to have 3D GameLab showcased in the Epic Leadership event, and have our own Dr. Chris Haskell provide the keynote address for the Games SIG (SIGGS).  Gamification of learning was a HOT topic this year at ISTE, and we’re happy to share two great blogs summarizing some of the cool initiatives happening in this area. Thanks for the love!

Game-Based Learning Ideas from ISTE
Edutopia | Andrew Miller
http://www.edutopia.org/blog/gbl-ideas-from-iste-andrew-miller

Sparks Created at ISTE13
Getting Smart | Susan Lucille Davis
http://gettingsmart.com/2013/06/sparks-created-at-iste13/