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Subject: Sharing all my teaching game design course documents---woo hoo!!!!! rss

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Madame Mercury
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Hello all,

I have had an epiphany of sorts. I have been teaching my middle school students how to design games for several years now, and I've shared my resources here and there with other teachers as long as they promised to not share them. I had visions of publication, seeing my name in print, fat royalty checks (bit of a joke there). So I've been compiling everything into a book form and readying a few chapters to be submitted to publishers.

Then I started to start integrating more and more technology into what I do, and the idea of a book of lessons began to seem more and more antiquated. A book is static, I changing, and easily forgotten on a shelf. Social media allows us to share, collaborate, and improve on what we find. I realized my ego and my desire to help other teachers were in conflict. One day, the scale tipped. I released the idea of ownership and am embracing a larger, crowd-sourcing model of professional development. For free. Teacherspayteachers.com and other sites like it are well and good, but I don't care about money.

I want other teachers to be able to teach game design without buying a book or PDF. I want others to see what I do, make changes, share it back to me, so I can improve my teaching too. No more wrangling mentally over the best method to teach something, I'll just put it out there and let others decide. I really believe in game design and how it can benefit students. I teach middle school gifted kids, and it is a black hole of quality, challenging, fresh ideas. So is high school gifted education, for that matter, as there is little designed to meet the needs of gifted kids apart from honors or AP classes or competitions. So, I'm going to share it all so I can help others teach game design and to let others teach it too. Liberté, égalité, fraternité!

Let the revolution begin!

So here's my question. :) I have files and files of stuff, probably at least a hundred pages. Word docs, power points, a whole shebango. Should I create a blog here on BGG, a Google website via my personal account (can't do it through school's google platform, can't share files outside of it), a blog on an outside site, or something else? I want teachers to find it, access it, use it, provide back on it, and share back their own ideas and improvements.

Any suggestions at all are greatly appreciated.

http://www.kathleenmercury.com is up and running! It's way incomplete, but I'm working on it. Any suggestions, additions, requests, etc. are more than welcome. Thanks to everyone for your support!!!
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Stu Ward
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I think a dedicated site would be a great resource. I'm excited to see this all put out there!

I'm an adult educator by profession myself, so if I can be of any assistance to you, please yell
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kSwingrÜber
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Yeah... I second a dedicated web-site.

And while you're at it, maybe think about putting the stuff into a more "generic" format? I'm thinking HTML, etc, to get out of the propitiatory MicroSoft stuff. That might make it a little more universally accessible.

At any rate... sounds like a great resource!

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Derek H
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thumbsup thumbsup for this!

If you don't want the hassle of maintaining a website, why not contribute towards a global resource:

http://www.oercommons.org/about

Another good website is:

http://wikieducator.org/Initiatives

P.S. I agree that for free material you would want to try and convert it to a more free-and-open format (e.g. LibreOffice) - but I am sure that communities at those sites can help with that.
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Madame Mercury
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Thanks everyone for the support!

I've been looking into Weebly.com for the site, and Google Sites is also a possibility, especially as I can update documents and have them integrated into the Site seamlessly. The only issue with Sites is that I'd have to use my home account, not my school account, as my school Google-based domain won't allow doc sharing outside of our domain, so I'd have to transfer stuff over. How much of an issue is using Word, because that's what it's all in right now.

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Bret Clifton
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This is fantisticabulous!! Open source is great but I don't mind Microsoft office as that's what I'd have to convert it back into anyway for my school's computers. Keep us posted! Thanks TONS!
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David Larson
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Thanks for sharing your labor of love and expertise!

If all the work you've done is in Word, then you can be good about leaving it in Word. Most every other word processor will open and convert it, so Pages and Google Docs users like me can do the work of converting it, if we need to.

I teach MYP Design, so I've always got my eyes open for opportunities to integrate gamesmithing () into the curriculum. Your course documents will come in handy, as will the prototypes you've posted on BGG.
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Derek H
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bretcliftawn wrote:
This is fantisticabulous!! Open source is great but I don't mind Microsoft office as that's what I'd have to convert it back into anyway for my school's computers.

Er, no, you don't. These days Microsoft products will read (some) open formats as well... Personally I think documents available in open standards, rather than proprietary ones, are more accessible, but YMMV.
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Dave Anderson
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This would be great! I teach at a high school and could definitely use this as an elective! Word formats are great for me! Thanks for sharing!
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Roger Fawcett
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davethevenerable wrote:
This would be great! I teach at a high school and could definitely use this as an elective! Word formats are great for me! Thanks for sharing!


Ditto. I also run a board games group on a Friday afternoon for years 7-9 ('Junior High' in Americanese???)

Thanks for this opportunity.

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Ben S
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I think this is a great idea and kids can certainly use a creative outlet like game design.

If you are interested I'd like to help in some small way. I run a modest consulting and web marketing company and I have a couple of folks who work for me who occasionally do web design. Feel free to send me a geekmail and we can discuss what we had in mind, but we can easily handle the site build (and hosting) side of things because I think this info could really be beneficial for people and this way you don't have to put out any money or worry about using your personal info.

Even if you prefer to do it all solo I wish you the best of luck and GM me with questions if you like.

Ben
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Madame Mercury
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benjs1 wrote:
I think this is a great idea and kids can certainly use a creative outlet like game design.

If you are interested I'd like to help in some small way. I run a modest consulting and web marketing company and I have a couple of folks who work for me who occasionally do web design. Feel free to send me a geekmail and we can discuss what we had in mind, but we can easily handle the site build (and hosting) side of things because I think this info could really be beneficial for people and this way you don't have to put out any money or worry about using your personal info.

Even if you prefer to do it all solo I wish you the best of luck and GM me with questions if you like.

Ben


Thanks everyone!

I just bought a domain and have created a Pro account with weebly.com. Zoinks! But I will definitely be contacting you as I roll along. I wish I had seen this! Oh well. :) Thanks so much for the offer.

I should be going live soon and adding lots of stuff as I go along. There's no way I can do it all then go live.
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Bob Long
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Just want to give a shout out to funkdonut. She shared her material with me and because of this my game design class has been very successful. Her material is outstanding.

I believe that there are multiple variables to game design so a separate site would be better for all involved.

teacher resources:
student blog/design ideas:
teacher blog:
perhaps even a way to have publishers/professional designers to give feedback

I know that Alan Emrich, Uwe Eckert, GMT games are very friendly to teachers that support gaming. My students playtested Freedom: the Underground Railroad and currently VPG's War of Cuban Independence.

War game designer Ben Hull gave a special presentation to my middle school students and we are looking forward to play testing other games in the future.

So, my hats off to funkdonut and other teachers that support gaming in one fashion or another...especially in these days of budget cuts and standardized testing.
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Madame Mercury
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Thanks Bob. :)

http://www.kathleenmercury.com is now up and running. It's far from complete but it's fun to work on, so hopefully that means it'll progress quickly. Any suggestions that folks have would be great!

Kathleen
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Roger Fawcett
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funkdonut wrote:
Thanks Bob.

http://www.kathleenmercury.com is now up and running. It's far from complete but it's fun to work on, so hopefully that means it'll progress quickly. Any suggestions that folks have would be great!

Kathleen


What you've done so far looks amazing.

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Ben Green
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I just want to thank you so much for making your tremendous work available to us. As a first year teacher last year, I taught a middle school board game design class and though it had moments, it wasn't half of what I could see you were doing, and though you generously offered to talk with me, the hectic chaos of teaching and parenting and life kept getting in the way. Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting your work online. I'm so excited to have this resource.
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Chris Kohlman
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I will add the link to my handouts when I am presenting to teachers about using board games within their classrooms. I have been getting a number of requests for the exact materials you are sharing.

Thank you for taking the time and effort to do this and most importantly, thanks for sharing for free!
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Madame Mercury
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Thanks to everyone for the support. It's a lot of work to do, quite honestly, and hearing that there is a demand for it means a lot. I might put everything together in a separate downloadable book, at some point, but for now, it's easier for me to put it out in chunks rather than trying to amass it all together at some unseen date in the future. I haven't been able to accomplish that in the two years, as I've been wanting to do, so that's why I just did it now.

I was watching Emeril's cooking show one time and he let some food burned. As the audience moaned, he said, "Hey, we're really cookin' here!" Meaning, it doesn't always turn out perfect because I'm teaching three other things at the same time, but darn it, I'm gonna put food on your plate :)

Kathleen
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Madame Mercury
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I just posted a bunch of resources on game mechanics. Working on how I have kids teach each other games. Working on assessment too.

Labor of love is an apt descriptor right now. :)
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Matt Loter
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This is awesome. Thank you!
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Zen
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Certainly an applause worthy effort on your part.

There should be more teachers so progressive in our school system.
 
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Madame Mercury
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You know, I think so too.

It's tough out there, though. Most teachers probably spend more time correlating instruction to standards and data crunching than they do on other less-tangible tasks. Not that they want to, of course.

Thanks very much.
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Ben Green
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Is it just me or is your “What is a game” power point white text on a white background?
 
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Madame Mercury
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Uhhhhhhh....should not be. I'll check that.
 
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Chris Kohlman
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ZenRiver wrote:
Certainly an applause worthy effort on your part.

There should be more teachers so progressive in our school system.


There are a lot of teachers that are progressive and wish to share. There are also a lot of them that are tired and are struggling to meet the demands of their classroom without adequate funding. This wouldn't be high up on their list of things to do because their classroom needs the focus.
Perhaps look at school board or government policies as to why this type of thing isn't happening more often.

This is yet another reason as to why this is pretty cool Kathleen. Thanks again.


 
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