Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When Fish Fly

global forumHow excited am I about the Partners in Learning Global Forum? I’m seriously thinking of taking vacation days and paying my own way to Washington DC to see if I can “crash” it. I had a great time and learned a lot judging the US event (Innovative Education Forum–Judging Day) this summer. I met some great teachers doing a whole lot if interesting things. One of the special things about this year’s event is that the attendees were grouped into teams and asked to create a “learning excursion activity.” The team that created the best activity as judged by their peers would be the “tenth team” that the US sent to the Global Event. Well the winner was announced this week at Flying Fish & Kinect help lead the final U.S. team to the Partners in Learning Global Forum.

The winning team is made up of:

  • Doug Bergman, computer science, Porter-Gaud High School, South Carolina
  • Johnny Kissko, math, Frenship High School, Texas
  • Margaret Noble, media arts, High Tech High, California
  • Donna Thomas, computer science, Sherwood High School, Maryland
  • Lou Zulli Jr., computer science, Lakewood High School, Florida

Some of those names will be familiar to regular readers of this blog. For example Doug and Lou have been congratulated before for their performance at the US IEF event. (Congratulations Louis Zulli Jr. and Doug Bergman) Johnny Kissko and his KinectEducation site have been linked to several times as well. Margaret Noble made a trip to a United Nations conference on Education  in the Middle East that she documented at Guest post: A reflection by a U.S. educator visiting Jordan “…a United Nations conference for education” and which I linked to.

Their project is really interesting and I encourage you to read all about it at Flying Fish & Kinect help lead the final U.S. team to the Partners in Learning Global Forum. But in brief,

The intent of “When Fish Fly” is for students to work in a collaborative design team to create an Xbox Kinect game (using the Kinect SDK among other tools) that replicates the sights, sounds and “sense of place” of this iconic venue within the Pike Place Market (you all have likely seen or heard of the Pike Place Fish Co., it’s the fish market where they throw whole fish when you place an order!). Of course not all students will have a chance to visit this market so the lesson was extended to be applied to any noted venue or location in your community.

Lou Zulli is having his CS students implement the project for real. I look forward to haring more about it in the very near future.

On a separate, but related note on Kinect : On Friday we released new lesson ideas and activities for use in the classroom with Kinect. These resources, aligned to Common Core Standards, were created by a team of educators (including one member from this team – thanks Johnny!). Check out the site and let us know what else you need to bring together gaming and learning in the classroom.

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