Tag Archives: tools

What is 3D Game Lab? And I want in!

“3D GameLab, the first meta-game platform to help teachers turn their classroom into a living game.” – 3D Game Lab

“Developed by Boise State University, 3D GameLab is a unique quest-based learning platform that can turn any classroom into a living game. 3D GameLab helps teachers tie innovative learning activities to standards, providing learners choice while they game their way through a competency-based curriculum.” – The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition (2012, p. 20).

The following YouTube video provides an overview of 3D Game Lab:

If you are interested in jumping into 3D Game Lab, you need to be a member of the Beta – there is a way:
Step 1: Participate in the 3D Game Lab Camp!
The 3D Game Lab Camp is an online camp/conference where you, the educator, becomes the learner. The camp is only held at certain times of the year, so in the meantime, you are able to sign up for the 3D Game Lab Newsletter, follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter – all accessible through 3D Game Lab

Step 2: During 3D Game Lab Camp…
You will be immersed in 3D Game Lab, gaining experience points as you complete quests, collaborating with other educators and participating in events throughout the month. You will have guides who will show you the way and complete short quests that build on past quests. The following is a sample of one of the guide videos:

Step 3: On completion of 3D Game Lab, you will have access to create your own learning modules in 3D Game Lab…
You will have access to the Academy Quests and these will step you thorough the admin interface and walk you through how to create a group, quests and invite people/students.

You will find there is great network of educators providing support along the way. The 3D Game Lab support team also offer a ‘Community Support’ portal powered by Get Satisfaction. The community is accessible through 3D Game Lab Community Support. 


Image: From 3D Game Lab Get Satisfaction portal

For more information on 3D Game Lab, go to:


Google Sites gets a +1 from me!

Earlier today (well yesterday as now we are in the wee hours of the morning) I posted a blog about Wikispaces and their new ‘verification’ process. The new process meant the Wikispace I created could only be ‘public’ if I became ‘verified’. As I only have a couple of days to go before my assessment is to be submitted and one of the requirements is a ‘public’ site (in order for my lecturer to be able to mark it), I decided to change where my assessment was to be housed and hoped for a good transition from Wikispaces to Google Sites.

I jumped into the world of Google Sites and created my first wiki inspired site Game Based eLearning Toolkit. There are some cool features in Google Sites, like embedding a Google Calendar, a widget for an Announcement feed (from a particular page of your site), and a little more flexibility on the formatting/layout than with Wiki sites. My only complaint is that it is not easy to embed non-Google products and you are (mostly) forced to use iFrames (that don’t always work in the way I want them to – could be a user issue – needless to say, I didn’t go with iFrames).

Overall though, Google Sites gets a +1 from me! I found it very easy to use and I am sure it has something to do with me being accustomed to Google Docs/Drive that  has very similar navigation/menu traits.

I present to you, my Game Based eLearning Toolkit:

Wikispaces now require $1 for verification? Um…

Wikispaces is advertised as a free service, primarily available for teachers and learners to create wikis where content can be shared and collaborated on in an online environment. Wikispaces was a great service and I have used it for two semesters now, however, they now require “verification” for wikis to be public.

The new verification is said to be due to spam – see their blogpost Taking a Stand Against Spam and costs $1 to be “verified”. In the world wide space, verification is usually in the form of confirming ones email address, so I was interested to know why the $1 fee was being charged. I was happy to pay it, until, the only payment option provided is Google Wallet. There is no Paypal option, nor BPay option or send a cheque (OK so that would be a little outrageous for $1 cheque, but not everyone wants to provide their credit card details online). What’s more, the Google Wallet payment page has no information about who I would be paying, their contact details or what the payment is for. I even had to check that I was logged in to Google as I was concerned I was redirected to a pretend log in page due to the lack of information on the page! In addition, I don’t want to have another online payment service having my credit card details as I already have a PayPal account.

Anyhow, having used Wikispaces for over two semesters now and not having completed any ‘spam’ activities, I would have thought I would be on the verification list that is spoken of in their blog post. A sweep was done of members and some were automatically verified. I was not one of them.

Image: My Wiki for eLearning Technologies in Wikispaces

So here I am. Assessment due in 2 days and I am not able to provide a link to my Wikispace for my lecturer to mark………………you are allowed up to 5 people to view the wiki, but the purpose of mine is to create a toolkit for academic staff members – I think there are more than 4 of them in the world!

Where to now? One of the comments in the Wikispace blogpost Taking a Stand Against Spam was about creating a free Google Site – so here goes…I have two days to move my site and two days to add those last minute things to get a great mark!

Watch this space for Amy’s adventures in creating a Google Site – the following video states I can get started in ‘just a few clicks’ so here goes!

using google web based fonts

As I want my site to pop (even though this is not a design unit), I have explored the possibilities that Google Web Fonts has to offer. Zinemac’s target audience is primarily youth and therefore I have been looking for a graffiti and/or blackboard style font. Google Web Fonts has one called Cabin Sketch, by Pablo Impallari. I quite like this font and have applied it as the Headings of my site.

To apply Google Web Fonts to your site:

  1. Go to Google Web Fonts
  2. Select the font you are interested in (for example Cabin Sketch) You are able to view the font character set, some history and current stats of usage as well as download it.
  3. Select the tab Use this font and you will be directed to a page with two sets of code. The first needs to be added in the <head> section of your html file and the second piece of code is an example of how to apply the code in your CSS file. I have applied the code to my <h1> – <h6> tags.

I have also been toying with the letter-spacing property and you will see in the above image the h1 and h2 tags have a value of 0.1em, while the h3 tag has no letter-spacing.

Other uses for Google fonts

In addition to being able to use Google fonts on your site, you can also download the font and insert it into your word processor library. This is a great feature if you are needing to create documents that match the branding elements of your site…or…for a number of alternative reasons, including making your assessments stand out a little more!

Definitely check it out and let me know how you go 🙂

adobe creative suite 5.5: design and deliver across media

I have just been told that there is a free info session being run by Adobe in Sydney 31 May 2011. It aim is most likely to tell you all about the products (if you are doing Digital Graphic and Still Image you most likely have 5)…but…the agenda caught my attention and they may have some hints and tips that will not only help in this unit, but other MIMM units:

9.00 Welcome and Keynote
9.30 Flash and the Multi-Screen World; Open Web – HTML5 and CSS3
10.15am Video and Audio Production
10.45am Break
11.00am Design for Print and Digital Publishing
11.45am Digital Imaging
12.20pm Conclusion and Prize Draw
12.30pm Close

Thought it may be of interest to you…registrations are limited (to the number of seats in the room) and it is free. Information can be accessed from http://www.adobe.com/ap/special/cs55roadshow/

javascript garden and guide (support tools for projects)

On navigating the web…I found an interesting Mashable article: Want to Understand JavaScript’s Quirks? Spend Time in the JavaScript Garden

The article refers to the JavaScript Garden – a place that contains documentation to help the JavaScript community avoid common mistakes and subtle bugs. The site has been developed for people who have an understanding of JavaScript.

For those that are newbies (me), the JavaScript Garden refers people to the JavaScript Guide…where I will be starting!

Hope the sources help you as much as I know they will help me through the semester.

000webhost validation delay

After creating my first page, I jumped straight onto the XHTML validator and I was confronted with the 000webhost error page being checked, rather than my page. I assume there is a delay between the upload and the opportunity to complete a validation check. Confused and tired, I retreated to bed!

In the morning, I was able to check if my page was valid XHTML and 12 hours later I was able to get the information I wanted through the validator. I also found out that there are two additional options to validate:

Hope the information helps you when you are validating.