Thursday, April 4, 2013

We'll Be Right Back.

The Level Up Book Club is recharging and is not yet ready for use.

Use of the #LevelUpBC hashtag is encouraged for resource sharing of gaming, game-based learning, and gamification tools and news.

While not directly endorsed by it's founders, the #LevelUpBC hashtag can also be used to find super interesting, super cool, super gamey guys and gals from throughout the interwebs to meet all of your collaboration, inspiration, and swooning needs.

In Guild We Trust,

Jennifer & Matthew

Monday, March 25, 2013

Pre-Season: Video 1: She, Jane.

Welcome (and welcome back) to the Level Up Book Club. We're glad you found us (or didn't forget about us).

Most of us are entering the final big push of the school year: Quarter 4. It can be stressful, but it's also a time for looking ahead to break, to time off, and for time to get to those things you've put off for so long.

Things are equally busy around Level Up headquarters, so we're changing things up over the next couple of weeks to keep your brain stimulated, your interest motivated, and your time respected.

That said, on to our first video task challenge!



Directions: Watch the following video and the consider what your students look like when they are engaged and motivated. (directions continue below)

Side note: This is a TED Talk given by Jane McGonigal, author of Reality is Broken, in 2010. It's pretty amazing and inspiring. Watch out for her images of motivated and engaged gamers.

Got a picture in your mind? Good! Now, go out and prove it! Share a picture of your engaged and motivated student(s) in action or recount a memory narratively by sharing via Twitter using #levelupbc or on our Tumblr.

Reward:  The winner of this challenge will receive a custom video heralding his or her ability to engage and motivate students. It will be awesome!

Deadline: 11:59pm Sunday, April 7th. Winner will be selected by random drawing from participants. Participate as often as you'd like. One chance of winning per submission.

Can't wait to see what you submit! Welcome back to Level Up!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pre-Season Line-Up.

We hope your school year, state assessments, midyear stretch, and otherwise good times are all going well. Jennifer and I had a chance to meet for the first time at the NCTIES conference in Raleigh, NC and boy were the wonder twin powers at full power! As a result, we've got a couple of really cool upcoming events with Level Up that we're excited to share with you including the kick-off to our next season. Stay tuned. This summer is going to be better than ever!
Jennifer and Matthew meet for the first time at NCTIES 2013.
Check Out Our Pre-Season Line-Up:


Less Book, More TALK: We're taking a break from the game-based learning literature and devouring data in more bite-sized portions. Watch for upcoming video posts and accompanying chats and challenges. Our aim is to share some great game-centered talks from leading experts and support each with opportunities to discuss and geek out with fellow Level Up members and the like.

Leveling Up with Heavy Hitters: With just a few short months of the school year remaining, we're committing time to connecting Level Up BC with the heavy hitters in the gamification and game-based learning world. Surrounding ourselves with experts will give us a ton of resources to pull from and a wealth of great knowledge to learn through. We'll track the individuals leading the way and look for how their work can improve our efforts in the classroom and school at large.

Co-Op Mode is Go!: Two Level Up members have stepped up for CO-OP mode, which means we'll have new creative talent influencing our challenges, discussions, and awesomeness.

Return to Reality is Broken in May: Headed to ISTE 2013 in San Antonio? You won't want to miss our Season 3 kick-off of the Level Up Book Club with ISTE opening keynote Jane McGonigal's Reality is Broken. It's the book that started Level Up, and it's one we're looking forward to returning to. Read it again or, better yet, invite a friend to read it for the first time. We're planning all new challenges, all new interactions, and all new EPIC wins. The good times return in May!

Until then, here's a little bite of awesomeness to whet your appetite. Please enjoy Reggie Watts with a TEDtalk that's both disorienting and intriguing.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Resource Luminary WINNER!

Sometimes it's important to reward someone just so that they know their work isn't going unnoticed.

A couple weeks ago we posted a new kind of challenge aimed at resource sharing and offered a prize never before awarded in the Level Up Book Club: a badge. Awarded to the LevelUpBC member who most actively shared resources over the past three weeks via Twitter using the #levelupbc hashtag, the RESOURCE LUMINARY badge is proudly bestowed to its first recipient: Ms. Jennifer LaGarde!

Jennifer, we commend you for sharing so many great online resources with Level Up and thank you for keeping the #levelupbc hashtag hopping!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Resource Luminary Badge.

Level Up is going into CO-OP mode, turning over a new leaf and trying something a little different. We're taking things at a more relaxed pace so that we can concentrate on all the great things going on in our schools.

We're swapping reading novels for articles.

We're trading our leader board for badges.

We're offering new opportunities for leadership and idea swapping.

And to start, we're turning our focus onto one of the things Level Up Book Club members do best: sharing gamification and game-based learning resources.

Task 1.

REWARD: Resource Luminary Badge

These gamification badges by Jonathan Patterson
are pretty amazing!
Directions: Share helpful resources and articles with other Level Up members on Twitter via the #levelupbc hashtag. Many of us are doing this already. We'll be curating those great resources you link through our Level Up Tumblr.

Reward: We're taking down the Leader Board for the time being and will replace it with a Wall of Fame. And on that Wall of Fame? Why, YOU, of course! You earn the badge, we'll immortalize your name on our Wall of Fame.

*We would have offered to immortalize you in carbonite, but our carbonite pool is under maintenance for the time being. Maybe next time.

Deadline: 11:59pm Sunday, February 24. Share the most (or best) resources via the #levelupbc, and you could be awarded are awesome one-of-a-kind badge!

Also, we're looking for Level Up readers interested in Co-Oping for future posts and challenges. Want to play? Read more here or complete the survey below.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

CO-OP mode.

Welcome to a new age of Level Up.

Since its inception in May of 2012 the Level Up Book Club has continued to reinvent itself to reflect the interests of its members and the nature of its reads. Challenges, chats, book studies, and resource curation have been at the heart of our work, but we now find ourselves in a position to try something new.

For the remainder of the school year, Level Up is launching into Co-Op mode. Co-Op (or co-operative) gameplay involves two or more players tackling a common obstacle together. Much like in good collaboration, playing co-op allows the players to experience the game in a new way and achieve goals difficult or impossible in a single player mode. Co-op allows for more strategy, better use of resources, and a more unified gaming experience. In Level Up, we see co-op as an opportunity for guild members to craft their own unique levelupbc experiences for others to enjoy.

This means that we're taking a break from reading books in order to provide relevant, engaging, and fun LevelUpBC experiences that are not as time-restrictive as our previous endeavors. It also means you can be a part of the future of Level Up!

Co-Op Mission Essential Knowledge:

By signing up for a co-op mission below, you are agreeing to work in collaboration with Matthew and/or Jennifer to create two (2) challenges for your selected month. These challenges may include:

  • Asking LevelUpBC members to retrieve and share resources on a given topic.
  • Creating a game or activity based on game-based learning, gamification, or other previously discussed topics of the LevelUpBC.
  • Moderating an online discussion on a selected essay or article related to gaming in education.
  • Doing something not previously conceived and yet totally awesome and memorable for LevelUpBC.
You'll also unlock super rare items, gain insane experience points, and will earn the respect and admiration of other Level Up guild members. Either that, or it will just be a whole lot of fun.

Sign up for a Co-Op mission using the form below. 

And welcome to a new age of Level Up.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Let's Chat: Extra Lives.

For most of us in the teaching world, February means parent-teacher conferences, quarter 2 report cards, and the halfway mark for the school year.

Exhausted yet?

We hope you've enjoyed our chillaxed approach for our final book selection of Season 2 of the Level Up Book Club. We're wrapping things up this Friday via a Twitter chat and would love for you to join.

Twitter chat this Friday, February 8th at 7-8pm EST.

On the agenda:

  • Highlights of Tom Bissell's Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter
  • Unveiling of the new Level Up Book Club Co-Op Mode
  • Crowdsourced feedback: What does the Level Up BC mean to you?
  • Geeking out over cool, new video games on consoles and iOs/Android
Join in to learn more about Level Up, reconnect with other guild members, or just to unwind after a long week. No need to read Extra Lives to feel included.

See you soon!

Friday, January 11, 2013

2013: The Year of GAME ON!!!

Happy New Year, Level Up Book Club!

January is such an awesome month for folks who spend their days with kids in schools.  Not only do you get to celebrate the fact that you've made it through half the year BUT you also get to relish in the best part of the new year - the opportunity for a fresh start:  A reboot.  A do over. (*AHEM*) Extra Lives!

That said, as you might recall, at the end of last year, we decided to spend December chillaxing - that is to say, spending quality time with our latest read Extra Lives by Tom Bissell only when that time presented itself.  And given how CrAzY December typically is, we're guessing that time was limited.  So... we're wishing you a Happy New Year with a fresh start to this fantabulous book and a fun new challenge!

In the spirit of renewal and revisiting our goals for the school year, your first challenge of 2013 is twofold:

S2: Task 4: Set a Goal.
Jennifer is a shoe-in for this badge!
  1. Set a Game Based Learning goal.  If you're participating in Level Up Book Club it is, no doubt, because you are either a) interested in game-based learning and how it can positively impact your students or b) you're already a true believer.  So, why not use the flipping of the calendar to set a goal for yourself or for your kids this year?  Maybe you'd like to introduce a console, like the Nintendo Wii, into your instruction. Or perhaps you'd like to incorporate gaming elements as a way of implementing the common core.  Or maybe you'd just like to give yourself permission to spend 2 hours a week playing Minecraft so that you can discover ways to use it as part of your teaching. Or maybe you want to pluck up the courage to ask your principal to observe a lesson laden with GBL. No matter what your goal is, part of your challenge is to share it with Level Up.  You can post your goal on Twitter - just be sure to use the #levelupbc hashtag as part of your post.  Or you can send it to us via the Level Up Tumblr.  We CAN'T WAIT to see what you're plotting and scheming for 2013!
  2. Grab, renew or download a copy of Extra Lives by Tom Bissell and pick up where you left off.  If you've already finished the book, dust it off and refresh your member.  But, if you're like us, and you started but haven't quite finished yet, it's time to dust off your copy and get back to it.  We'll have a new text based challenge soon and we'll look forward to our Twitter chat tradition at the close of the month!
Told in easy-to-digest chapters
that appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike!

2012 was an amazing year for Level Up.  When we started this little book club, we had no idea how it would grow or how much it would add to our lives.   Thank YOU so much for being a part of the learning and sharing that goes on here and for keeping us moving forward in 2013!  


- Jennifer & Matthew