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Jul 02

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Planning for the Fall Already #3dgamelab

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Pure FEAR!

We’ve barely been out of school for two weeks and I’ve already had the first day of school nightmare! What the heck?! It’s probably because I’ve been obsessing with 3DGL and I’m so excited to use it that I’m jumping right in planning my year. I think it’s better to do it now, while I’m motivated and while the past school year is fresh in my mind. That way I won’t be feeling pressured to get this all done in late August!

My dream represents something I’ve been toiling over: what do I do on the first day of school? We all know how important that first day is to setting the climate for the rest of the year. So my thoughts are between do I start with tech and 3DGL right away or train kids first before jumping in?

I was leaning towards doing a couple of days of training on working cooperatively vs solo and having discussions around the appropriate use of tech and maybe even questing. This past school year I had a majority of students who weren’t gamers so they didn’t know what I was talking about when I’d use terms such as grinding or raids. I need to make my course accessible to the students who aren’t gamers while maintaining the Game-Based Learning (GBL) elements that I want.

But now I’m not so sure. Now I’m thinking of starting day 1 with the first quest, which would be an intro to 3DGL. The quest would ask students to watch as I demo the site and how to do do quests and submit them and give me feedback and check it for my comments, etc. Then let them jump in and start their first activities by questing! That sounds much more exciting to me than talking to them and eliciting guidelines, or, heaven forbid, RULES! Yuck! I think jumping right will excite many if not all of my students and set the stage for the year. The problem for doing this is how do I quickly add all my students? I have to do it one student at a time and I can’t do that on the first day while they are there in class. Or can I? I also need to add their parent’s email address. I can use a Google Form to collect that info but what about the kids who don’t know? I might be able to get some of that info before school starts but certainly not for everyone. This really makes starting on day one, or even day two problematic. I’ll have to ponder this one.

My next thought is about using 3DGL all year. Students won’t lose interest by the middle of end of the year, will they? I would think not, especially if the winning condition won’t happen until the Spring of 2014. Can I make shorter, sooner winning conditions I wonder? I’d like to have winning conditions for each major unit at least. We’ll see.

The above image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.

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