Parents: What you need to know about video games in the classroom

Here is a great link from Wow in school that highlights a bunch of good resources for parents who are concerned about a ‘video’ game being used in their childs classroom. Even my undergrads just think video games are ‘mindless’ entertainment until I show them how games can be used to promote all types of learning objectives while motivating the students. Anyway here is the link:

Here is some same sources from the site that I really liked:

Tips for Smart Video Gaming – by Connect Safely

Guide to Parental Controls on the XBox 360

Powerful Play: A Mom and Son in World of Warcraft

Why Kids Love Video Games and What Parents Can Do About It

The Serious Need for Play – Scientific American

The Video Game Revolution (PBS Series)

8 Myths About Video Games Debunked (by Henry Jenkins, MIT)

Local teachers use website for teachers to ask for funding for gaming lab

Local Wilmington NC teachers (well really Pender county) are using the website Kickstarter to ask for funding for various technology projects (video game lab) they are doing in schools. I think this is an excellent way to inform the public about what projects we are doing and gives them the opportunity to support various projects in our schools. The website is kickstarter, check it out. To get to the local projects I am speaking of from West Pender Middle’s potential video game lab, visit the Kickstarter page at Then, type “Warrior Gaming Lair” in the search field.

Here is a recent newspaper article about the programs in my area asking for funding:

Minecraft in Education

Check out the minecraftinschool wiki created by Lucas Gillispie (a former student in the MIT program at UNCW). This blog discusses how to set up minecraft for your classroom, provides sample projects, lessons plans, and even has sample student projects. This is very well done and I encourage you to check it out:

Here is just one of the many videos Lucas has created for minecraft in his classroom (many more on the page above)

For those that are new to minecraft, check out this video:

xbox 720 rumors

This is pretty interesting. A document found online, which is now removed via a law firm, has some interesting info about Microsoft’s next console. Here are some of the rumors:

– Bundle with Kinect: $299
– Blu Ray Player
– Tablet integration
– Cloud network/integration for games and media
– Glasses and virtual reality code named Fortaleza


Rumor: Microsoft launching tablet on Monday

Microsoft has plans to announce something big on Monday but at this point we do not know what. Rumors are that it will be a tablet to compete with iPad:

What will this mean? Well we need to see the device. Kindle Fire is an awesome device that competes already and is doing really well. I have a Kindle Fire along with my iPad and I love both. Do we need more devices? Well the three markets that microsoft can really do well in are: Business, Movies, and Gaming. Right now none of the tablets are really business friendly – well Android ones are kind of but MS could add office. Companies are so limited when they decide to buy their employees iPads. A business friendly tablet would be nice. Movies – They could add netflix and amazon and with books they could add all the apps. This is good because iPad does  not allow amazon, amazon doesnt have nook, etc (though android has all). Finally gaming – xbox is the best gaming system and if they could find a way to really link the two together – like allowing users to somehow play their arcade purchases (or even real xbox games) ms would win the tablet war in a second. Everyone with an xbox would want it. Really though Android does most of this stuff and iPad is very popular. Can MS get a chunk of the market? I guess we will see.

E3 – June 5th-7th

Anyone interested in gaming should check out E3 this year. The conference will take place from June 5th-7th in L.A. This is the conference where all of the big game makers will reveal their upcoming gaming hardware and software. It is at this conference where the latest advancements in gaming technology are revealed each year and it is worth keeping an eye on what is going on.

Amazon Prime available on Xbox!

Well this is certainly big news for Netflix’s biggest competitor. Amazon Prime, which is Amazon’s streaming movie service is now available via the Xbox. It was also recently announced that it was available on the PS3. I assume the Wii is next and maybe Apple TV? I am still bummed that I cannot watch it via my iPad or Android phone.

For those that do not know Amazon Prime is $79 a year. In addition to streaming video, you get free 2 day shipping on most amazon products (anything that is eligible for free $25 shipping you would get free 2 day), and you get one free Kindle book a month (to rent only). It actually a really good deal for those that use Amazon. And if you are a student or mother you even get a cheaper rate.

Amazon Prime:

Microsoft giving away xbox 360 when you buy a windows machine for school

This is a pretty cool offer for students. Buy a laptop, get an xbox 360. Here are the details:

“Students. PCs. Free Xbox 360. The Redmond team’s at it yet again. Similar to last year’s deal, Microsoft’s hooking students up with a 4GB Xbox 360 if they drop some cash on one of its Windows machines. It’s simple: shell out over $699 on a PC, or $599 if you’re in Canada, and you’ll be walking out with a shiny new console free of charge — naturally, you’ll have to do so at participating shops such as Best Buy, Fry’s, Newegg, Staples, The Source and, of course, Microsoft’s own stores. The promo is set to kick off here in the States on May 20th, while those living in the True North can take advantage of it starting today. And before you ask — yes, you will need to show your scholar credentials to get in on the bargain.”