The Mac Lab

Archive for December, 2011

The 2011 TAG Winter BreakQuest Fest

by on Dec.16, 2011, under Blog

A person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside, allowing him to grow. Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken!
— from the movie, Dune

The first new experience is featuring student artwork from outside the Mac Lab. Well, outside of our Mac Lab. Taylor S is a freshman in Mr. Hayes’ Edison High School Mac Lab in Huntington Beach, CA. Go Chargers and fabulous work, Taylor! You’ve given my best students something to shoot for.

I’ll be adding to this all Winter Break. For now, here are some new experiences to wake and shake your creative soul:

WBQ I | 40 XP: Post a comment to this post that says: I claim 40 XP for [something about your intention to participate (to any degree) in these Winter BreakQuests]. Tell us about your intent in one grammatically correct sentence. BreakQuest expires midnight December 19 (all times are PST). Once expired, this Quest will be worth 20 XP. Comment and claim the 20 XP if after Quest expires.

WBQ II | 40 XP: Sign up for an Adobe ID then leave a comment claiming your XP. If you already have an Adobe ID, claim 40 XP for being ahead of the game. That’s all. If you want to download a trial version of a program, scroll down this page and download a single program. If you download the whole suite, all programs expire at once. If you download single programs, you can stretch out the trial versions, one after another. BreakQuest expires midnight December 20. Once expired, this Quest will be worth 20 XP. Comment and claim the 20 XP if after Quest expires.

WBQ III | 25 XP/Level Up to 20 (500 XP Max): But there’s a catch…

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Coming Into Alignment (Week 14)

by on Dec.12, 2011, under Blog

Never underestimate the vital importance of finding early in life the work that for you is play. This turns possible underachievers into happy warriors.
Sir Ken Robinson / The Element

Forget what life used to be
You are what you choose to be
It’s whatever it is you see
That life will become
Jackson Browne / The Fuse

Sometimes turning work into play is simply a matter of choice. To help with that choice I’d like to offer a crash course in Photoshop so that those of you who choose, may transform ordinary photographs into something far more beautiful.

As with most everything in life, how far you go will likely depend on how hard you’re willing to try.

We have five days. Let’s get right to it, young Jedi.

Photoshop Resources: Everyone: Watch this video. Yes, MLCS students will play along too because Photoshop will be a necessary tool for all of us to use effectively as the year unfolds and the Tips of the Day are filled with must know info.

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Artifactual Resuscitation (Week 13)

by on Dec.04, 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 to find new ways to make a deep and lasting impact on the world around us.
Jane McGonigal / Reality is Broken

From the beginning I’ve said that TAG is a work in progress. Our job is to test, refine, and redesign its foundation and structure to build something that actually does make a deep and lasting impact on the world around us.

Muhammad wrote something about the difference between PvP and Bounty Hunting that got me thinking. He makes a series of good points about the nature of PvP while disparaging Bounty Hunting. Calling it chaotic doesn’t bother me; after all I’m on record stating that chaos is part of the plan:

Controlled creative chaos is the overarching goal. Students quickly learn that self-motivated, self-organizing peers seem to be having more fun. Collaborative projects, always encouraged, never required, demonstrate the undeniable magic of synergy; the creative whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.

A bit of chaos can be beneficial. But ugliness? That’s definitely not part of the plan.

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