Sunday, August 15, 2010

FUSE - Playing For Real

Over the next 12 months, I'll be working with ICT in Education Victoria on their FUSE project called Playing for Real.  We've already set up a twitter account and a website

We'll be developing the project in the open, and welcome contributions from interested colleagues as we build this serious social network alternate reality game.

So what's the big idea?
We learn when we play, and we're playing for real.

Playing for Real is a game for teachers to expand their learning about learning with technology. P4R will encourage them to share their knowledge and reward them for doing so. We aim to build confidence in online social networking, and provide opportunities to use the tools at our fingertips. Blogging, podcasting, vlogs. Video how tos, chatrooms, and twitter. It all becomes part of the social fabric of a professional learning network.

Our context is a scenario that will be familiar for most...
... an old school with a brand new building, brand new computers and a new whizz bang web based interface for everything. The school has to shift gear and make the most of the new resources, making sure everyone is along for the ride. The Principal, the ICT co-ordinator, School Technician, Teachers and Students all have a key role to play. But conflict arises when new government policies are introduced, vendors offer new products and parents expectations are thrown into the mix.

We'll be looking for ways of dealing with the challenges raised by technology in schools. Creating that important sense of urgency and possibility to really deal with cyberbullying, or how to shift reluctant staff members to embrace a 1:1 learning model, or how to quickly manage power and bandwidth, on how to constructively address issues around equity and access to technology. We'll be asking you to participate and contribute too.
We'll be preparing a series of episodes or levels, each with a different tech challenge focus. The game will provoke you to address those challenges and share your learning, discoveries and ideas. You'll earn points for your contributions, and for your level of participation. We'll have rewards and prizes along the way to motivate you and recognise your high achievement and quality collaboration.
It's experimental. It's risky. The department has indicated it is actively seeking new ways of creating and sharing content, and new ways of developing that content. We think that's an exciting challenge.
We also believe we can't do it without you.

Do you want to get involved?
Follow us on or email

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.
Literally and figuratively.

Tomorrow I'll meet others working on FUSE projects as we hear Delia Browne speak about "Free for Education Resources; how to find, use and produce them".
She's the National Copyright Director, from the MCEECDYA National Copyright Unit responsible for creating the smartcopying website.

Figuratively?  Playing For Real is something new for me and I'm wearing that on my sleeve.  We don't know all the answers and we're openly looking for help, ideas and people to collaborate with.