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Jane McGonigal

Teachers Teaching Teachers #192 - Students and Teachers Finding our Missions on Evoke: Rachel Smith and Robin - 03.17.10


56:43 minutes (12.98 MB)

Robin is playing Evoke, and on this podcast he tells us why. Robin is in Paul Allison's English class. He's a tenth Grader at the East-West School for International Studies, and on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, Robin talks about his experiences in the first couple of weeks of playing Evoke.

We are also joined by Chris Wood, a student teacher from Queens College, CUNY who is working with Paul this semester.

So what is Evoke?

EVOKE is a ten-week crash course in changing the world.

It is free to play and open to anyone, anywhere.

The goal of the social network game is to help empower young people all over the world, and especially young people in Africa, to come up with creative solutions to our most urgent social problems.

The game begins on March 3, 2010. Players can join the game at any time.

On May 12th, 2010 the first season of the game will end, and successful participants will form the first graduating class of the EVOKE network.

Ninmah!
Rachel Smith is also playing Evoke and she joined us to talk about this Alternate-Reality Game (ARG) as well. Rachel Smith is the Vice President, NMC Services the New Media Consortium. In addition to being the lead writer on the Horizon Report, Rachel writes on her blog that she has

a hard time explaining what I actually do. Some of it is writing (a lot of it, lately, which is not a bad thing). Some of it is drawing, which is pretty cool. I used to doodle in high school and get detention. Now I doodle at work and get kudos. Go figure. I also organize things and direct projects and try to be generally helpful.

Rachel wrote an wonderful introduction to Evoke on her blog, "Urgent EVOKE: Agent Ninmah is Born," and she started a Discussion on Evoke, in which she is “calling all teachers!” to find ways to collaborate:

There have been many posts in other threads about getting a group of teachers together here on EVOKE. I’d like to pull us together. Here’s my suggestion:
1. In this thread, post who you are and what you teach — or, if you’re a teacher-type but not actually a teacher, like me, tell us what you do. Tell us also where you’re from!
2. Check out the google doc that happyseaurcin started — it has ideas about how to engage teachers in EVOKE.
3. Take a look at the wiki (http://urgentevoke.wikia.com/) and visit the Calling All Teachers page. Add your name (and a link back to your EVOKE profile, if you like) if you’d like to collaborate. If you have an idea for a project, add it to the brainstorming section.
Let’s see if we can get traction over the next couple of weeks and maybe pick an idea or two to develop more fully!

How did we get here?
At Educon 2.2 in January, Paul Allison had a conversation with Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss shortly after Suzie had interviewed Jane McGonigal for WorldChanging. It was Suzie’s excited comments that led him to begin to follow her McGonigal’s work and end up at Evoke. In March, several of us in the New York City Writing Project introduced Evoke in our English, Art, and Technology classrooms.

We are working together to become mentors for our students as they also play Evoke. We’re all very excited about it, so much so that on a Saturday morning last month, Susan Ettenheim, Chris Wood, Paul Allison and a few others traveled though a cold, rainy wind storm in NYC to meet for three hours, just to play Evoke together, and talk about which parts our students would need more support on and which they could do on their own. It was a lot of fun on that Saturday morning to share some of the stories of a couple of our students who had managed to push themselves onto the Leaders board already (e.g. Hannah Kohn).

Our students and we have already learned a lot with Evoke. We love the project prompts and the overall structure of Evoke! Our ultimate goal this semester is to look at other games, and to have students build prototypes of games, as well as mess around with some game building. (Oh, and we’ll be planting gardens and volunteering for City Harvest too!)
 
Please join us in this ongoing conversation!

We want to invite any teachers and students who are playing Evoke themselves and/or using it with their students to listen to this episode (and the next one, TTT #193, which is also about Evoke). We want to get your voice on a future episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers. We do these conversations on Skype. Please let us know when you can join us to talk about Evoke on a Wednesday in April (4/7, 4/14, 4/21 or 4/28) at 9:00pm Eastern / 6:00pm Pacific USA / 01:00 UTC Thursdays World Times. Plan to join us at http://edtechtalk.com/live if you want to find our more about Evoke and what were up to this Spring!

 

Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

Teachers Teaching Teachers #190 - Listening to Student Gamers (and Suzie Boss) - 03.03.10


65:23 minutes (14.97 MB)

Recently the group of teachers whose students are using Youth Voices have been paying more attention to both the gamers in our classrooms and to the educational leaders who are suggesting that we consider bringing gaming into the curriculum. We are looking for ideas, answer to our questions and inspiration from students like Jake and critical friends like Suzie Boss, both of whom join us on this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers.

The invitation that we sent for this episode remains an open one. We would love to hear how you and your students are bringing the world of gaming into your teaching and learning!

If you’re a student who plays games or a game designer or a teacher who resents that he doesn’t have more time to play games... If you use games in your classroom or would like to... If you want to learn more about gaming in education—like we do.... then please join us for more talk about what we’re learning about gaming! Join us at http://EdTechTalk.com/live at 9:00pm Eastern / 6:00pm Pacific USA Wednesdays / 01:00 UTC Thursdays World Times. We’re looking for more students and teachers to join us in this quest to include games in our classrooms.

Also, we would like to take a moment to say how important it has been for us to learn about the work of others at conferences this year. This episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, which was produced and edited by Chris Sloan, and much of the innovative curriculum work that we are doing in our classrooms this spring probably would not have happened without the important work of Christina Cantrill, Paul Oh, and Elyse Eidman-Aadahl and others at the National Writing Project.

They introduced us to the work of Barry Joseph and Rafi Santo from Global Kids at the Digital Is conference, a one-day conference supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media and Learning Initiative in November 2009. And they've been nurturing our connections ever since.

Also, we owe thanks to Chris Lehmann and the teachers and students of the Science Leadership Academy for bringing us together with Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss at Educon 2.2 in January 2010. Suzie's suggestion that we take a look at Evoke helped up us find a rich gaming path to follow this spring! It's worth remembering that a lot of exciting teaching and learning can come from following up on those business cards that we exchange at conferences.

Other related Teachers Teaching Teachers episodes:

Click here to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

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