Capstone Reflection (FPE)

How has your project evolved from month to month?

During ETC, my Capstone focus was on Google+ Hangouts on Air (HOA), with the objectives that learners were able to (1) execute a Google HOA, broadcasting live on both Google+ and Youtube, and (2) produce video recordings of live-broadcast Google+ HOA and upload them to Youtube.  Details can be found on (Global Collaboration with Google Hangouts on Air), and on these blog posts: #5 RILS Google+ Hangouts on Air, #6 RILS Google+ Hangouts on Air, #7 RILS Project, #8 RILS Reflection.

In DAE, I focused on using Google Earth narrated tours to produce educational videos and interactive maps.  Principal objectives included, (1) use Google tools whenever possible, (2) provide bi-lingual content in English & Spanish, (3) emphasize geographical content produced with Google Earth & Maps, (4) incorporate rich multi-media content, (5) license all content with Creative Commons.  Details can be found on the Capstone Project Update.

In FPE, I added storytelling and video production to my educational technology toolbox. I continued to focus on Google tools, integrating Picasa, Google+ Photos, Google+ Hangouts on Air, Youtube, and Youtube Video Editor.  The refined Capstone can now powerfully combine storytelling, video and images, Youtube, Google+ HOA and Google Earth.

How have the concepts and technologies presented in FPE contributed to your project?

The two concepts from FPE that contributed most to the project are storytelling and video production. Both are powerful components of an effective educational strategy.  I am now more empowered to effectively teach learners through interesting stories and engaging video.

What concepts/ techniques would you still like to learn about to gain mastery of the material?

My three main learning interests are (1) storytelling, especially story boarding and story scripting, (2) video production using Youtube Video Editor, and (3) Creative Commons licensing.

How has the EMDT experience informed your professional objectives?

The EMDT experience has informed my professional objectives, in that (1) my focus on education will increase, (2) I’ll tell more engaging stories, (3) my focus on Google will continue, and (4) I’ll use video more often and more effectively.


Gaming and Motivation Lesson Plan

Screen shot 2013-01-22 at 2.49.29 AM -  Start playing ss of ss

Cube is a game about Google Maps

This lesson plan represents a hypothetical re-imagining of the Capstone project when game mechanics and motivational strategies are incorporated.  This game based lesson addresses aspects of my research interests while delivering the information in a gaming format.

My efforts focus on empowering indigenous people through technology, principally by using a suite of free Google tools.  I’m interested in determining effective ways to teach these tools to indigenous counterparts, especially through gamifications of real-life tools.

This lesson provides training in Google Maps, using Cube, a gamified version of Google Maps with eight levels of increasing difficulty.  Each level takes place in a geographically distinct global location and uses a Google Maps feature as the game element.  The amount of time it takes to complete the challenge is provided upon completion of each level. Playing Cube is a fun and engaging way for users to learn about the wide range of features of Google Maps.  Rather than reading a long feature list, learners play their way through to understanding.

1) Pacing:  What is the pace of your lesson or game?  Who will go first?

The complete game of Cube consists of eight levels.  Levels are played one at a time.  Learners play together on the same level, but individually on their own devices.  When all students have completed a level, individual times are tallied and the class moves on to the next level.  If deemed appropriate to the situation, a running total of each student’s time can be tallied after each level is completed.

Screen shot 2013-01-16 at 11.37.14 AM - sf on two wheels

Bike routes in San Francisco is one of the early levels.

Screen shot 2013-01-16 at 11.39.14 AM - sf on two wheels - time

The time is displayed upon completion of each level.









2) Instructions:  How will your learners learn how to play your game?

The teacher will direct the learners to the very simple instructions provided by Cube at the start of the game.

Screen shot 2013-01-13 at 2.54.23 PM - How to Play

3) Controls:  What will the learners manipulate in your game?

Learners will control the position of a blue ball rolling about on the gamified Google Maps-like interface. The position and movement of the blue ball is determined by controlling the angle and tilt of the cube with their cursor (via mouse or trackpad).

4) Knowledge:  What do you expect your learners to know when they enter the game? What do you want them to learn from this game based lesson? What do you expect them to know when they leave?

When they enter the game, learners should have basic computer skills and some familiarity with Google Maps.  From this game based lesson, students will learn about the wide range of Google Maps features, including (1) basic navigation, (2) bike paths, (3) traffic layer, (4) subway lines, (5) road network, (6) restaurant reviews, and (7) check-ins.  When students leave the game, they will know the fundamentals of accessing and utilizing the Google Maps features that were introduced in the game.

5) Achievements:  What are the short term and long term victories for the learner?  How do you incorporate operant conditioning in your lesson?

Students achieve short term victories as they complete each level, gain familiarity with Google Maps features, and compare completion times among classmates.  A long term victory is achieved when learners complete all eight levels and gain basic proficiency in Google Maps.  Operant conditioning centers on the possible consequences of not being able to complete any level. In some cases it may be necessary that students work together to meet the objectives of the lesson.

6) Story:  What is the immersive story or background information that brings the learner deep into your world?

Each level has it’s own immersive story taking place in a distinct location and with distinct learning objectives.  The stories are introduced at the start of each level.

7) Endgame:  Who is the evil boss character they have to fight at the end?  What is the final outcome?  Is there an ending to your game?

Some possible “evil boss characters” in this game based lesson are not being able to complete a level or in taking much longer than fellow classmates.  Considering each level as a separate game with distinct learning objectives, the final outcome of each is to complete the task and learn one or more Google Maps features.  Each level ends when the task is completed.  The whole Cube game ends when the final level is completed.  The final outcome of the game is to have learned a variety of Google Maps features.

8) Assessment:  What are the built in assessments to your game?

Assessments are built right into the game Cube.  When the objectives of a level are met, a pop-up confirms the completion and provides the time spent.  Students could be required to provide screenshots of each level’s completion pop-up with the time included.

9) Timing:  What is the overall time you have to play this game and how do you adjust to make the game go faster or slower?

As a baseline, there should be one hour allocated to complete this lesson.  The game could be made to go faster by having students work independently of their classmates.  They would complete each level as fast as possible and move on to the next.  They would compete to finish all eight levels in as little time as possible.  The game could also be made to go faster by focusing only on select levels.  The game based instruction could focus on just those levels which taught specific skills determined to be more important for certain learners or situations.

To make the game go slower, the actual objectives to be completed at each level, typically reaching certain places with the blue ball, could be modified to be more lengthy and challenging.  At each level, students could be required, for example, to also navigate the blue ball to the highest building or the biggest park.  Students would need to provide screenshots as evidence of meeting these additional objectives.

10) Fun and Motivation: Why is this game fun and why would your learners like this game? What motivation theory does your lesson address?  What operant conditions are in place?

There are many reasons why the game Cube is fun and learners will like it.  The game is immersive and interactive.  The different levels facilitate an ever-changing diversity of learning environments, stories, and objectives.  Each level offers an immersive geographical perspective into a well-known global destination.

Students will be motivated by competing with their classmates, and also by the sense of accomplishment from learning new Google Maps skills.  Learners will be motivated to return to the game in an effort to improve their time and compare these with their classmates.  When collaborative opportunities arise, students will be motivated by team dynamics and positive reinforcement from fellow classmates.

Capstone Reflection

1. Are there any aspects of the course that you would like to integrate into your own day-to-day professional practices or environment?  ///  2. What aspects of the DAE course curriculum do you feel are most relevant to your CSC project implementation (if any)? Why?

There are three aspects of the DAE course that are particularly relevant to my CSC project, all of which I would like to integrate into my own day-to-day environment.

  • Writing Learning Objectives.  This aspect of the DAE course has been particularly insightful.  Since it was my first time preparing properly worded learning objectives, it was challenging at first.  With excellent instruction and learning resources, I figured it out.  I especially appreciate their importance when developing the rest of the lesson.  Everything else revolves around them.
  • Multimedia Principle. This is another aspect that is particularly relevant.  While it may have been in the back of my mind, the idea that we receive information through two channels, it is now very clear to me that learning is enhanced by combining pictures with words, rather than just words alone.  Of particular importance was clarifying that audio pertains to the verbal since it is words, and so a video is combining both channels.
  • Segmenting Principle. This aspect has proven very useful.  Given that my Capstone topic can be complex, especially for learners with no previous knowledge or experience with South American or the Amazon Rainforest.  By applying the segmenting process right from the beginning, it will allow me to divide the information in bite-size chunks, or as Clark & Mayer said, “you can help the learner manage the complexity by breaking the lesson into manageable segments—parts that convey just one or two or three steps in the process or procedure or describe just one or two or three major relations among the elements.”

Do you foresee any changes to your CSC Project as a result of the curriculum and activities in the DAE course?

Yes, I foresee changes to my CSC Project as a result of DAE activities, especially in the areas of the three aspects mentioned above.  In the area of Writing Learning Objectives, I have already made significant improvements and will always be vigilant they are properly worded. In terms of the Multimedia Principle, the content of the lesson will be more effective since I will be more aware of the importance of combining words with pictures in the appropriate balance.  And finally, by applying the Segmenting Principal, especially during this design phase, it will be easier to present the content without overwhelming the user.  Also, the user will be able to learn better with the material in bite-size chunks.

Capstone Project Update

1. What progress have you made in implementing your CSC project since your last update?

Goal/End Product: I was able to refine the focus of the CSC project, from being on the website, to a series of educational videos and interactive maps, addressing various biodiversity and cultural topics, based on Google Earth tour technology, and using only Google tools for embedded media elements.

Purpose: While the Goal/End Product may have been modified, the Purpose of the CSC project remains the same as the website, “to raise awareness of the rich biological diversity and indigenous culture of the Andes and Amazon of Bolivia’s Madidi National Park, the planet’s most bio-diverse place.”

2. Have you achieved any of the objectives defined in your original Action Plan? Briefly explain how these objectives were completed.

Of the ten objectives outlined in the original Action Plan, I have partially completed these four:

  • Use Google tools whenever possible. Only Google tools are being used to produce the lesson. Google Earth provides the foundation, Picasa is used for photo editing, and Youtube Video Editor is used for editing video. Photos are uploaded to Google+ and videos to Youtube.
  • Provide bi-lingual content in English & Spanish. The lesson is being developed to have both English & Spanish versions.
  • Emphasize geographical content produced with Google Earth & Maps. This is, in fact, the new focus of the project.
  • Emphasize rich multi-media content. Photos (and possibly video) will be embedded in educational balloons that pop open when arriving to a destination.

3. Do you feel that any of your original objectives need to be revised? Briefly explain why you feel these changes are needed.

The ten original objectives were focused on the website Of those ten, I will now focus only on those four objectives (the same four that have been partially completed) that are applicable to the revised Goal/End Product of the CSC project – a series of educational videos and interactive maps. I will also add a fifth objective: License content with Creative Commons.

4. Is your project implementation on track according to your original timeline?

Yes, the project implementation is on track. Last month in ETC I completed the Plan phase and this month in DAE I am executing the Design phase.

5. Have you encountered any un-anticipated obstacles in implementing your CSC project?

I haven’t encountered any un-anticipated obstacles.

BP9_RILS Comment and Link

Infographic from “RISE Model for Meaningful Feedback” at

Is anyone out there like me still working out the most appropriate mind mapping option?  I think I’ve boiled it down to just two – Google+ Hangouts Sketchpad and Popplet.

Over on the content-rich Educator Studio website, I found two very educational RILS Lesson Plans doing mind-mapping, one using Google+ Hangouts Sketchpad and the other using Popplet.  Both were packed with insight. I was so impressed that I had to leave detailed comments on each of the posts.  If you’re looking for my opinion, go over and check out the comments I posted on each site.

The first is the RILS of Catherine Jackson called OMP: Oh My Popplet.  You can view my comments here.  The second is the RILS of Angeli Chin entitled 7th Grade Astronomy Brainstorming with Creativity.  You can view my comments here.

BP8_RILS Reflection

Planning and implementing the RILS has been an insightful and informative experience.  I implemented the RILS with two learners, one successfully and the other not successfully. Throughout this experience, I learned many lessons, many of which are the reasons for the unsuccessful effort with one learner.

First, I learned that it is crucial to have at least a basic understanding of how Google+ integrates with the other tools in the Google suite.  I became even more aware of the importance of the black bar at the top of the different Google platforms.  Second, it became apparent that it was necessary to have at least a basic understanding of how Google+, and even Google+ Hangouts, before jumping into Google+ Hangouts on Air.  And third, I became aware of the importance of having the most current operating system running on computer participating in the Hangouts on Air.  This was a principal reason for the one unsuccessful attempt.  Overall, with these small hurdles addressed, it is possible that learners become proficient at executing, broadcasting, recording and uploading Google+ Hangouts on Air.

BP7_RILS Project is a learning hub and sharing community providing educational resources and raising awareness of Bolivia’s Madidi National Park, the most biologically diverse place on the planet. The staff and volunteers of are spread geographically throughout the globe, posing communication and collaboration challenges. Google+ Hangouts on Air provides free video-conferencing for up to ten people that can be broadcast, recorded and posted to Youtube.



google, Google+, Google+ Hangouts, Google+ Hangouts on Air


• Demonstrate the ability to execute a Google+ Hangouts on Air, broadcasting live on both Google+ and Youtube.
• Produce video recordings of live-broadcast Google+ Hangouts on Air and upload them to YouTube.


• Google Account
• Knowledge of Google+
• Computer
• High-speed Internet
• Web Cam
• Microphone


  • Rubric_-_Google_Hangouts_on_Air.pdfDownload


• Instructor and learners will log in to Google+ at
• The instructor and the students will add each other into a Google+ Circle.
• Learners will join a Hangout started by the instructor.
• The instructor will review the fundamentals of Hangouts on Air.
• The hangout will be live-broadcast, automatically recording and uploading to YouTube.
• The students and instructor will log in to YouTube to confirm the hangout has been uploaded.


Learners will be assessed on their ability to successfully execute a Google+ Hangout on Air, live-broadcast on Youtube and Google+, record it, and upload it to YouTube. See attached rubric.


Instruction will take place in-person as a group, where social interaction is local. Learners will work collaboratively to understand and execute the tool, conduct the hangout, create the final product and upload it to YouTube. Learners will then able to socially interact with the geographically dispersed global audience that can now view the final product online.


Google+ is a social network that includes Hangouts, free video-conferencing for up to 10 people, and Hangouts on Air, broadcasting and recording of Google+ Hangouts.


Soon after the lesson is complete, learners will be required to reflect in writing by thinking about the learning experience, then evaluating and communicating the process. The instructor and learners will then meet to collaboratively reflect and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the instructor’s implementation of the lesson. The instructor will use this feedback to improve future implementation.

AUDIENCE staff and volunteers.


The learner will make connections with:
• Previous knowledge: Learners will be familiar with the Google interface and have experience with social networking and communication tools like Facebook and Skype.
• Relevance: Learners will find the content relevant in facilitating more efficient communication and collaboration, breaking down cultural barriers and facilitating cross-cultural interaction.
• Audience: Learners will be empowered to communicate face-to-face in real-time with both a local and global audience.