The Mac Lab

Archive for November, 2011

Inspiration, Illumination, and Innovation (Week 12)

by on Nov.27, 2011, under Blog

A girl should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across her mind from within, more than the lustre and the firmament of bards and sages. Yet she dismisses without notice her thought, because it is hers. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility than most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else tomorrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.
Ralph Waldo Emerson / Self-Reliance (gender edit)

Ideas happen. When the Zone of Intrinsic Motivation (ZIM) flashed in my mind, I scribbled a few notes, launched Illustrator, and after a few revisions: ZIM! You might want to take a second look at that Venn diagram because I’m serious about incorporating those concepts into our learning environment.

The Artists’ Guild (TAG) is an outgrowth of ZIM! I freely stated that I didn’t completely understand how to turn our curriculum into a game but that I was going to try anyway because I believed in the idea. If we—the students, blog readers, and myself—can devise new ways to make learning more fun and engaging, we will have done ourselves and maybe even the world a great service.

Never underestimate the power of inspiration in action.

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Fighting Insidious Forces (Week 11)

by on Nov.13, 2011, under Blog

Mourn not the dead in that cool earth lie
But rather mourn the apathetic throng
The cowed and the meek
Who see the world’s great anguish and its wrong
And dare not speak
Ralph Chaplin

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 through the levels of each Quest.
— TAG Mission Statement

Have you considered how our mission statement might relate to your own life outside the Mac Lab? Have you wondered what the insidious forces of apathy and wasted potential might be doing to your own hopes and dreams? Do you even know what insidious means? Right-click and look it up.

in•sid•i•ous: proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects.

Achieving success through our Code of Honor. <<< Please read that page.

Today’s Epic Quest: Fighting Insidious Forces | FIF Quest Page

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Point of Reference (Week 10)

by on Nov.07, 2011, under Blog

As a young student he never did well with rote learning.
And later, as a theorist, his success came not from the
brute strength of his mental processing power but from
his imagination and creativity.
Walter Isaacson / Einstein: His Life and Universe

The clipboard is dead. Long live the clipboard.
Traditional Proclamation 

Every weekend, for almost 10 years, I’ve struggled to interpret the arcane markings some students leave on the clipboard:

Is that a 1 or a 7? …Or is it a 2? …Maybe it’s a 5.

No more. Thanks to Semar, we’ve got a shiny new digital version of our clipboard. Now you don’t have to wait until Monday morning to see where you stand each week. Our new system updates in real time. Log your minutes and XP on your own XP Scoresheet and it automatically updates on my digital clipboard. And thanks to the system Semar devised, I was able to create spreadsheets for each period that are linked to the data on mine so you can check your balance any time.

Lastly, thanks to whomever suggested we use Gamer Tags rather than ID numbers, the data can be shared online for the first time. Watch this video.

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Learn it all.