Friday, December 7, 2012

Post Where I talk about ECOO 2012 and go off topic

Overdue reflection of ECOO.  Thank goodness I am not being marked on this!

This was my first time attending ECOO and I was lucky enough to be presenting with my two GamingEdus, Liam and Diana.  We presented on Minecraft in the classroom, and it went well -I think- as we had a pretty full room.  What I enjoyed most about our session was that some female students who were (I learned later) presenting with their teacher @royanlee*.   They arrived early, because they had heard we were presenting on Minecraft and wanted to check it out.  Fortunately, we had decided to bring our laptops with us and connect them to our Minecraft server to play.  It was great having students, then teachers come up and try out the game for themselves. 

I went to a couple of workshops and learned about a couple of web tools that I hadn't heard about before before including Popcorn.  I can't really explain it, but I think it is pretty cool.  A very, very, basic description would be to say that it combines video, and live web content that you can access while watching.  I really need to spend some time with it and play around, at least until I get the basics of it so I can let my students loose on it and have them show me what they can do.   

Much of what I got from ECOO was additional resources, validation for some of my beliefs around education (mostly from small group discussion with people before and after sessions), and a few things that challenged me.  Or to be more accurate: got my back up.

One of the things that got me was a comment about gaming along the lines of: he (the person presenting) uses games in the classroom, but that he wasn't a 'gamer'.  I didn't understand why he felt the need to say that.  As far as I'm concerned, if you play games you're a gamer.  To me it's just a matter of what's your game or games.  I respected that this he discovered for himself the ability for games to engage students; I just didn't see why he needed a disclaimer.  Talking about it with Liam and Diana we and came up with a few reasons why people would feel the need to do this.  Possibilities we discussed included : being intimidated by 'hard core gamers,' fear for being labeled a geek or nerd, and similarly the fear of not being taken seriously.  I'm sure we had other reasons too, but it's been a while and I forget.  It's stupid, but that comment got in the way of my engaging to his presentation for a while, but once I got over it, I found that much of what he spoke about came alongside my own understanding of how games can be a catalyst in the classroom.

On another note this past week I went through some old recordings of others workshops I had been too, and found another session (from the OLA Super Conference) where one of the presenters admitted -at their gaming workshop- that they did not game, and had to spend the last couple of weeks researching to prepare for the session.  Why?!?  

Sorry, I feel that I have gone well off topic here.  Anyways, to sum up: ECOO was a good experience, and everyone should play games proudly.

*is it weird that I find it easier to write people's twitter handles rather than their actual name?  I actually had to stop myself from refereing to Diana and Liam as @MzMollyTL and @liamodonnell.

Here is a random thought about writing this blog post: I had to go through this post, (which I first started writing on my phone, then my computer, and finally my tablet) and make sure I capitalized my 'I's. It seems I becoming so use to my phone and tablet automatically correcting it that I don't even think about it.  I was surprised that I had to give a mini lesson with my junior students about capitalization rules, especially the use of 'I' last week too. Are these two things connected? Are my students not capitalizing 'I' because they are use to their phones doing it for them, or did they really not know that they needed to capitalize 'I'?  Just wondering.

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