The Mac Lab

Archive for September, 2011

Full Speed Ahead (Week 4)

by on Sep.26, 2011, under Blog

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
André Gide

Now that adding and dropping classes is finally behind us, it’s time to head into the great unknown and shift TAG into second gear. I’ll be working on organizing our Quests to simplify your role in the journey. I want you to focus on mastering Quests, not struggling to find them. See the Master XP Scoresheet for links. More links, videos, and consolidation to come this week.

Change in XP: Since the balances were growing completely out of whack, I changed the bonus for each XP from 1 minute to .3 minutes. That means 100 XP = 30 minutes. Don’t worry. You’ll still come out way ahead in the long run. All students should earn a minimum of 500 XP each semester. I expect that most of you will top 1,000. Along with the bonus for not using the restroom pass each grading period, that’s a six to nine hour boost to your overall balance each semester. Does that sound fair enough?

Check the Clipboard: It’s important to check your balance every week. If attendance says you were truant, I marked you truant. It’s up to you—not me—to clear truancies. Plus, I do make mistakes. If you don’t catch them, who will? Be proactive; your balance affects your grade.

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Industrial Strength (Week 3)

by on Sep.19, 2011, under Blog

Creativity is very much like literacy. We take it for granted that nearly everybody can learn to read and write. If a person can’t read or write, you don’t assume this person is incapable of it, just that he or she hasn’t learned how to do it. The same is true of creativity. When people say they’re not creative, it’s often because they don’t know what’s involved or how creativity works in practice.
Sir Ken Robinson / The Element

If you reflexively disagree with Sir Ken, think about my juggling demo. Just as every one of you could learn to juggle if you tried, you’ll all have the opportunity to learn how to tap into your own innate creativity. I’ll help you learn but you’ll have to do your part as well. We’ll get to the introductory lesson by the end of today’s post.

TAG Blog: I’ll be setting up your blogs today but you have to take the first step. Don’t just sit there waiting for me to activate your blog. Continue reading and I’ll eventually call out your name as I work through the 40 or so emails I’ll be receiving each period. Watch these videos: Why and How. If you couldn’t see it in the video, my email is

New Bookmarks: Watch this video (about setting up your account) then bookmark my Google Doc and The 5 Stages of the Creative Process.

Google Doc Scoresheet: Good news and a valuable tip. Watch this video.

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Hidden Powers (Week 2)

by on Sep.12, 2011, under Blog

We are all functioning at a small fraction of our capacity to live fully in its total meaning of loving, caring, creating, and adventuring. Consequently, the actualization of our potential can become the most exciting adventure of our lifetime.
— Herbert Otto

Fighting the insidious forces of apathy and wasted potential, members of The Artists’ Guild (TAG) engage in Quests, earning Experience Points (XP) and Leveling Up while learning to harness powerful tools, techniques, and strategies. TAG members adhere to a Code of Honor as they Self-Assess (SA) through the levels of each Quest.
TAG Intro

Since our adventuring is just beginning, we’ll get right to it. I’ll mix in some Graphic Quests as we take care of the necessary business. So, with mastery in mind, conquer these Quests before moving on. But don’t rush through the videos. Learn while you earn.

Read the Board! Read the Board! Watch this video. SA (Self Assess)

Three Then Me: Don’t ask. Just watch this video. (Novice) 1 XP

Prior Posts: Just because it’s a new week doesn’t mean you’re not still responsible for last week. Watch this video. (Novice) 1 XP

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TAG: You’re It! (Week 1)

by on Sep.06, 2011, under Blog

Game developers know better than anyone else how to inspire extreme effort and reward hard work. They know how to facilitate cooperation and collaboration at previously unimaginable scales. And they are continuously innovating new ways to motivate players to stick with harder challenges, for longer, and in much bigger groups. These crucial twenty-first-century skills can help all of us find new ways to make a deep and lasting impact on the world around us.
— Jane McGonigal / Reality is Broken

Want to make a deep and lasting impact on the world around you? Welcome, digital warriors, to the 2011/12 school year in the Mac Lab where each and every one of you will become a game developer, facilitating cooperation and collaboration at previously unimaginable scales, innovating new ways to motivate peers to stick with harder challenges, for longer, and in much bigger groups. The Artists’ Guild (TAG) is poised to change the face of education as we join forces to fight the insidious forces of apathy and wasted potential.

Are you game?

This Week: We’ll be planning the initial phase of our game together. Today we’ll split into teams and begin brainstorming about expanding and modifying these initial plans. The Open Beta of The Artists’ Guild begins right now. TAG: You’re it!

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