Showing posts from August, 2007

The Interactive Whiteboard - white elephant or teacher's pet?

The Interactive Whiteboard ( IWB ) is a technology that promises to truly transform the classroom and yet is seen as a threat or a waste of money by many teachers. Their views range from luddite , regarding the introduction of any teaching technology as unnecessarily contaminating the classroom to the (more reasonable) preoccupation that this tool will lead to a overly teacher-focused environment and a group of learners passively sitting dazzled by the bells and whistles used by the sage on the stage . It doesn't have to be that way though. In this post, I will reflect upon the recent discussion on the Dogme (teaching unplugged) list about the pros and cons of IWBs, and put forward the view that the key to a successful IWB implementation is in the training, something which seems to be missing when many organisations unpack and install these shiny new toys. A good workman never blames his tools Before I continue, let's stop and take a look at the tool itself. There are many d

Alternate Reality Games

One of the reasons I haven't been blogging so much is because of the increased time I've been spending in Second Life , but I'm determined to get back to blogging again. More than anything else, I miss it. But blogging is also such a useful tool for sounding out ideas. Which brings me to... The main project I'm working on in Second Life is in the teen grid and, is looking more like a language learning laboratory for testing out different ideas. Among the experiments we're adding is mystery in the form of an alternate reality game . Alternate Reality Games ( ARGs ) One of the most successful of ARGs was ILoveBees , which was used to promote the XBox game Halo2 . A very clever marketing campaign, this game ignited the enthusiasm of a large community on the web, who worked together to solve the cross-media puzzles contained in the game. There are useful lessons here for educators: For example, Lingualgamers mentions "the levels of teamwork required for the mass