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The Mac Lab is being rebuilt from the ground up for the 2014/15 school year.

TAG Boot Camp: Player Orientation

Your adventure begins the moment you walk into the room. See the preview below.

Begin Your Orientation Here

Nuts & Bolts

Learn to survive and thrive in our self-paced, self-directed, gamified learning environment.

Click through the slides for more information.

Take your time, read carefully, and consider the implications of what you’re about to encounter.

TAG: The Artists' Guild

TAG is our Guild.

As a member of TAG you’ll battle the insidious forces of apathy and wasted potential.

You’ll earn Gold, XP, and Honor as you level up, develop your skills, and carve out a place of your own in the Guild.

Learn to use these new skills on cross-curricular projects to help yourself succeed in other classes, too.

Your Effort = Your Grade

It’s quite simple.

Consistent, persistent effort leads to long-term success.

Embrace the guild’s policies and expectations, play by the rules, and focus on your work instead of your grade.

If you’re unwilling to give it your all—to try your best—please see your Counselor and enroll in a different elective.

Find Your ZIM!

ZIM is the Zone of Intrinsic Motivation.

The diagram to the left describes a conversation, a negotiation, and for those who find their ZIM, a celebration.

Read the previous sentence one more time. Do you understand?

Offers like this are very rare. Take a few minutes to wrap your head around the possibilities.

AMP

AMP, another of our guiding principles, stands for Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.

Once earned, AMP will offer you creative freedom and an opportunity to meet and exceed your own expectations while contributing to a compelling cause.

AMP is another piece of the intrinsic motivation puzzle.

Focus on earning AMP sooner rather than later.

Autonomy

You’ll be offered the opportunity to choose and negotiate your own creative path.

Dedication and a willingness to learn and play by the rules are the keys to unlocking this door.

Autonomy is an earned privilege not a right.

When negotiating for autonomy, it’s always a good idea to refer to ZIM to maximize your leverage.

Mastery

Mastery is something you’ll strive for but never reach.

You’ll learn to reject notions of “good enough” as you discover that you’re capable of achieving so much more.

You’ll come to understand that “good enough” seldom is.

Understand that mastery is a journey, not a destination.

Purpose

Our purpose is to prove to the world that high school students can and will survive and thrive in a well-designed, self-paced, self-directed, gamified learning environment.

We want to make learning fun and engaging once again.

Devising, testing, and implementing potential solutions to problems is much more fun than complaining about them.

Code of Honor

As a member of TAG, you’ll be required to embrace and abide by our Code of Honor.

You’ll face and overcome apathy, discover untapped potential, embody integrity, and dare to dream:

What if… ?

Perseverance, honor, and integrity will help you to unlock doors in the real world, too.

Give it Your All

How often do you try—really try—to do something you’ve never done before?

How will you ever know what you’re actually capable of unless you do just that?

What if you could attempt it, risk-free?

Don’t squander this opportunity to discover something important about yourself.

Don't Stress

Work at your own pace. Don’t worry about being first or last because it’s not a race.

Give it your all, day after day, and you’ll accomplish things you never imagined were within your reach.

The only way to fail is to stop trying.

Believe every word because it’s absolutely true.

Superhero

It happens every year.

Some quiet kid works day in, day out, never drawing attention to herself. Then one day, the dedication and perseverance pay off. Jaws drop and respect blossoms.

She developed her own creative superpower.

It’s so much more fun to work hard and improve one’s self than to waste time and grow bored.

Flatliner

It happens every year.

Some random kid wastes time day in, day out, never really learning much at all. Then one day, the apathy and wasted potential sink in. Self-respect dips and frustration blossoms.

He’s trapped in his own black hole of boredom.

It’s so much more fun to work hard and improve one’s self than to waste time and grow bored.

Cruelty-Free Zone

The Artists’ Guild is a safe haven for all students.

We support one another and watch each other’s backs.

We are compassionate and kind but we do not tolerate the cowardice and insecurity of bullies.

Be part of the solution and rise above the casual cruelty many teens inflict on one another.

Have Fun!

Think about it…

Easy isn’t fun, hard is.

Wasting time isn’t fun, accomplishing something is.

Mastering a new skill is fun. Rising to a challenge is fun. Creating amazing art is fun. Hearing other kids say, “Wow!” about your work is fun. Being featured on the Internet is fun.

Try to have some fun every day.

Your Workstation

Seating is assigned so roll can be taken silently, without disrupting class.

However, at some point during the first week, you’ll be given the opportunity to choose where you’d like to sit.

And yes, you may change your mind at a later date.

Patience, Grasshopper. Most of the class needs to belong to the Guild before that option can be offered.

Read the Board

“What am I supposed to do? I’m so confused!”

When you walk in the room, read the board.

Every day.

Important information is always on the board and the board will almost always tell you to see something on our website.

Never ask, “What are we doing today?”

Under Construction

Under Construction should be printed on our T-shirts.

Every day, we become something more than we were.

We’re a little bit stronger, smarter, more creative.

We are all under construction. And so is this site.

Take an active roll on the team that’s currently constructing the individual you’re becoming.

The Cast and Crew

 


 

 

Meet the team.

Skocko (skotch-kō)

Skocko runs the Mac Lab.

He likes high school now. Not so much back in the day.

He’s dedicated to working with students to help change our antiquated education system.

If you have a question, ask it. If you have a suggestion, offer it. If something is wrong, tell him. (He isn’t psychic.)

Boss

The Boss controls the game, the Guild, and the other in-game characters you’re about to meet.

The Boss is firm but fair and he wants you to succeed.

The Boss has no patience or compassion for flatliners (those who give up and stop trying).

Don’t cross the Boss.

Randd: Research & Development

Randd coordinates the Guild’s experimental wing.

You’ll encounter Randd when the Boss wants to introduce radically new ideas.

And we have some radically new ideas waiting for you to encounter very shortly.

Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid of change.

Polex: Policies & Expectations

What Polex lack in social skills, they make up for in clarity of purpose. (Yes, Polex is plural.)

Polex will covey policies and expectations—the rules and regulations, if you prefer—in no uncertain terms.

Every game has rules. Ours is no exception.

When Polex speak, you better listen. And learn.

Reaper: The Enforcer

Reaper is the Boss’ hammer.

This year, if you cross the Boss (and you’ve been warned not to do that) you’ll definitely encounter Reaper.

But you may not realize it ever happened unless you pay close attention to your loot.

Reaper has a new weapon. And he can’t wait to use it.

Work hard, embody honor and integrity, and you’ll never have to fear the Reaper.

Julina: Creative Director

Julina coordinates all creative endeavors.

She’ll get you up and running with our software and with projects designed to hone your skills.

We don’t have tests. You learn by doing.

And in doing, you show what you know.

You might want to master Julina’s techniques because what you don’t know will show, too.

Hugger: Lending a Hand

Hugger is our overenthusiastic Jack of all trades.

Since you’re not omnidextrous, you’ll need to be patient and practice Hugger’s lessons.

Hugger may be a bit over the top but he’ll teach you an array of technical skills you’ll need to master in order to function effectively and efficiently within the Guild.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. (Often)

Balcam: Game Master

Balcam wants your help in improving the game.

We write the code, play the game, and refine its features.

The game is designed to motivate and engage students. And it’s doing that in classrooms around the world.

We’re looking for new hooks to make learning more fun.

Why waste time complaining about school when you can actually do something to improve it?

Bodhi: The Light

It happens every year.

One of you will see the art and read the words and think that you’re not capable of succeeding.

It’s too hard. It’s too much. It’s too good. I can’t do it.

Bodhi will tell you: You’re wrong. Try every day and don’t give up—that is success.

Overcome your own fears and learn the value of long-term goals. The Boss simply wants you to try your best every day.

Additional Information

 


 

 

There’s so much more, but for now…

Too Much Information

It can be a bit overwhelming.

The Mac Lab is a learning environment unlike any you’ve ever encountered.

The Boss understands that it will take you time to acclimate and feel comfortable with TAG’s freedoms and responsibilities.

Think of it as an adventure.

And that wave? Soon you’ll be riding it.

How Will I Remember?

You’re not being asked to memorize it.

You’re being asked to consider it.

Consider the information and its implications.

A better question might be: How might I use this to my advantage?

Reread. Review. Rethink. 

TAG Policy

Be logged in and working when the tardy bell rings.

The bell at the end of the period does not end the class. Continue working until the Boss thanks you.

Excessive tardies, absences, or any truancies or misbehavior will cause in-game damage, slowing your progress and potentially lowering your grade. Polex will supply the details.

You will be offered multiple options to repair damage.

 

 

What's Your Plan?

What will you choose to do after Boot Camp?

Have you considered your options?

Remember that the goal is to find your ZIM!

You may choose to focus on any creative use of technology that fits (or can be negotiated to fit) what the Boss wants you to do.

You don’t have to decide yet but you should be thinking about how to leverage this opportunity.

Under Construction

As previously stated, this site is and will be under construction all year long.

Content will be added daily.

If it’s important, required, or urgent, you’ll be informed.

Other content might require you to follow clues.

Pay attention, watch for clues, and use your imagination.

Orientation

If you’re a Mac Lab student and have reached this slide before September 2nd, well done, but…

Did you take your time, read carefully, and consider the implications of what you encountered?

And it seems no one took the initiative and read this slide prior to today, September 2.

Why not?

As Saint-Exupéry’s Little Prince says, “One never knows.”

Click to Begin

Orientation & Boot Camp

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Return to: The Journey Begins

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Go get ‘em!

Mac Lab Student Gallery

Over 200 superb examples of technical and artistic mastery

High Expectations, Dedication, and Iterations

Educators: Gamify Your Curriculum

Teachers request the features, students write the code, then we share it with the world.

Learn More About Game On

Build a 21st Century Learning Environment

We nod our heads in solemn agreement as Sir Ken rails against our archaic assembly-line education system. Then we sigh and return to our assigned place in the line.

Break free, join us, and design your own student-centered, self-paced, self-directed, gamified learning environment.