Saturday, October 9, 2010

Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine. This week I had the opportunity to meet and work with some great educators at MOREnet MITC in Osage Beach, MO. Thank you to everyone that came out and said hello. I wish I could have stuck around for Monday afternoon's and Tuesday's sessions, but I had to get back to my classroom on Tuesday morning.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. What Would You Do With $2,000 for Ed Tech Purchases?
2. Everything's Free! Now What?
3. Six Visual Dictionaries and Thesauri
4. Voxy - Learn a Language from Life
5. Video - The Animated Tell Tale Heart
6. National STEM Video Game Challenge
7. Stupeflix for Education - Registration Now Open

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YoYo Games - Create Your Own Games

YoYo Games hosts hundreds of relatively simple online games created by amateur and professional game developers. That's not why I'm pointing it out to you. I'm pointing it out because YoYo Games offers a free (for PC) game development tool called Game Maker 8. Game Maker 8 enables users to develop simple video games using a drag and drop editor. Game Maker 8 gives users the ability to customize backgrounds and actions throughout their games. For the first-time user YoYo Games offers a series of free Game Maker 8 tutorials.

Game Maker 8 is available in three versions; Lite which is free for Windows users, Pro which unlocks advanced features for $25, and a Mac version which costs $25. The Mac version can be tried for free for up to ten hours before a payment is required. 

Applications for Education
Game Maker 8 could be a good tool for students to use to try to develop educational games. After a unit of study instead of having kids give a presentation have them try to develop a game which demonstrates what they've learned. Perhaps they could develop a game based on a set of mathematics concepts or a game based on a set of historical events. 

Great, Free PD - K12 Online Conference Starts Soon

Good professional development usually doesn't come cheaply let alone free, but that's exactly what the K12 Online Conference offers every year. The conference will kick-off next week with a pre-conference keynote by Dean Shareski. Then over the following two weeks forty more presentations from educators around the world will go live. The K12 Online Conference will cover four strands this year; a week in the classroom, leading the change, kicking it up a notch, and student voices.

To help you get the word out to teachers in your school about this great opportunity to learn from other educators, the K12 Online Conference offers the free poster you see below. Print it and post it in your school's teacher room or office.
K12 Online 10 Flyer

Applications for Education
The K12 Online Conference offers educators a great opportunity to learn from each other. All of the strands are valuable, but if you're looking for something that you might be able to implement right away, make sure you check out the "week in the classroom" strand.