The Mac Lab

Tag: ZIM!

Reading the Map (Week 33)

by on May.14, 2012, under Blog

However, when those feelings of knowing tell you that you’re getting closer—when you feel the poetic meter slowly improve, or sense that the graphic design is being unconcealed—then you need to keep on struggling. Continue to pay attention until it hurts; fill your working memory with problems. Before long, that feeling of knowing will become actual knowledge.
Jonah Lehrer / Imagine: How Creativity Works 

Do you get it? Here’s another way to look at it:

Pay attention to the whispers of your soul. Trust them as you would a map, because that’s what they are.
— Andrew Heller

I’ll be sharing a tale of discovery in class today. Before getting to work, please re-read those two quotes at least one more time and think about what those words might mean in your own life.

And just in case you think these ideas just come from books I’ve read, here’s something from my own journey:

(continue reading…)

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Dreams and Needs (Week 32)

by on May.07, 2012, under Blog

It is necessary; therefore, it is possible.
— G.A Borghese

Home stretch. Six weeks plus finals. That’s all that’s left of the 2011/12 school year.

Many of you have found your ZIM. Some through AMP, some through TAG, and some through simply participating each day.

However, some of you remain apathetic. But the disconnected ones—the flatliners—though a visible presence in every class, are fewer in number than in year’s past.

Let’s cut that number by a few more today

Here’s the deal: Read the Code of Honor.

I’m serious. Read the Code of Honor and consider, really consider how each statement might apply to you.

Be a hero in your own life. Stand up and decide to try.

(continue reading…)

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WoW (Week 25)

by on Mar.12, 2012, under Blog

Games are the quintessential autotelic activity. We only ever play because we want to. Games don’t fuel our appetite for extrinsic reward: they don’t pay us, they don’t advance our careers, and they don’t help us accumulate luxury goods. Instead, games enrich us with intrinsic rewards. They actively engage us in satisfying work that we have the chance to be successful at. They give us a highly structured way to spend time and build bonds with people we like. And if we play a game long enough, with a big enough network of players, we feel a part of something bigger than ourselves—part of an epic story, an important project, or a global community.
Jane McGonigal / Reality is Broken

I was trying to find a different quote this morning when I accidentally hit that page. Nothing on it was highlighted (I always highlight the stuff that feels important) but, for some reason, I read it again. Wow, I thought, that paragraph sounds a lot like AMP.


The first two legs of the Type I tripod, autonomy and mastery, are essential. But for proper balance, we need a third leg—purpose, which provides a context for its two mates. Autonomous people working toward mastery perform at very high levels. But those who do so in the service of some greater objective can achieve even more. The most deeply motivated people—not to mention those who are most productive and satisfied—hitch their desires to a cause larger than themselves.
Daniel Pink / Drive

Wouldn’t it be incredible if life were as engaging as your favorite games? Wouldn’t it be great to play all day instead of working? And wouldn’t it be perfect if the games you chose to play actually helped to make the world a little better place? Now that’s a cause larger than yourself!

(continue reading…)

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A New Era Begins: WoW in the Classroom

by on Mar.10, 2012, under Blog

Thanks the the forward-thinking and hard work of our district technology specialists—specifically Larry S and Mike J (thanks guys!)—the district firewall has been breached. World of Warcraft is now playable in the Mac Lab (and only in the Mac Lab) between 3:00 to 4:30 weekdays and until 1:00 on Saturdays.

Text your fellow Alliance (or Horde) Faction members and let them know the game begins today.

Installation in progress.

Free Trial: If you sign up for the free trial, choose Khaz Modan for the Realm and Alliance for your Faction so we can play together. If you wind up in a different Realm by accident, you can always choose to begin again, creating another character to play. (I’ve started fresh over a dozen times.)

Update: Thanks to alum Chris Canel, WoW is installed on virtually all machines. I have an after school meeting to attend on Monday so we’ll finish the job on Tuesday. The lab will be open until 4:30 if you want to play. Student demand will determine how often the lab stays open late. If enough of you want to play, I’ll stay.

(continue reading…)

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Find Your Flow (Week 21)

by on Feb.14, 2012, under Blog

During this kind of highly structured, self-motivated hard work, Csikszentmihalyi wrote, we regularly achieve the greatest form of happiness available to human beings: intense, optimistic engagement with the world around us. We feel fully alive, full of potential and purpose—in other words, we are completely activated as human beings.

…Csikszentmihalyi argued that the failure of schools, offices, factories, and other everyday environments to provide flow was a serious moral issue, one of the most urgent problems facing humanity.
Jane McGonigal / Reality is Broken

When it comes to fully implementing TAG, ZIM, and AMP, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible. I keep searching for ways to improve the experience but at this point much of the responsibility falls on you. The challenge is simple. So simple, in fact, that it’s become overwhelming for a few of you:

What do you want to learn to create?

This isn’t what you’ve been conditioned to expect at school. Grades, deadlines, and mandatory assignments are, for the most part, off the table. Oceans of resources are at your fingertips. The time is all yours. Relax. All that’s left is for you to decide what you want to do.

(continue reading…)

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Learn it all.