Reimagine Learning

What Defines a Teachable Moment: Solar Eclipse 2017


by admin on Aug 28, 2017 7:50:24 PM

Across the country people stopped to experience the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21st. Total solar eclipses happen infrequently.  So, Wednesday was an opportunity for people to experience an out-of-the-ordinary environmental phenomenon. We also were reminded by educators, scientists, and the press, that the eclipse would be a teachable moment for millions of people – a real-life opportunity for a hands-on lesson about the solar system.

Redefining User Experience (UX): Our Top Takeaway from the NMC Conference 2017

Second Avenue Learning

by Second Avenue Learning on Jun 21, 2017 10:25:10 AM

Second Avenue Learning’s team was happy to sponsor last week’s New Media Consortium Conference, which took place in Boston, Massachusetts. The NMC is an international community of educational technology practitioners and visionaries who are shaping the future of learning in Higher Education, Adult and Career and Technical Education, as well as in K-12 schools.

Richard Culatta, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), served as a keynote speaker, who tasked attendees with reexamining user experience (UX) within the education space, not just in terms of education technology’s UX but also in terms of how we define UX within educational institutions themselves.

Topics: Learning Design, Design, Ux

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Rochester’s Impact on the Future of Game Development

Second Avenue Learning

by Second Avenue Learning on Feb 22, 2017 12:51:10 PM

Six disruptors in the gaming industry converged at our new space in downtown Rochester to discuss the future of game design and development, and Rochester’s role as a hub for the gaming industry. The panel of industry leaders shepherd perspectives and insight into various facets of the gaming industry, from education, to game design and development, to government affairs. Those who witnessed the Games Industry Panel unfold, learned from:

Topics: Gaming, RIT, MAGIC at RIT, Games, Design, Game-based learning

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Going to School on the Electoral College

Victoria Van Voorhis

by Victoria Van Voorhis on Oct 19, 2016 2:46:49 PM

Try telling a classroom of students that it’s possible for a presidential candidate to win the majority of votes in the U.S., but still lose the election—and that it has happened four times. Bush v. Gore wasn't the first time! 

According to Allan DeCarlo, an AP American History teacher at Pittsford Mendon High School and Voters Ed user, the Electoral College is one of the most difficult concepts for students to understand.

To help simplify election teaching, we’ve put together an infographic to outline the basics of the Electoral College. Explore the concepts of electoral vote, popular vote and swing states with this resource below.

The Magic 8 Ball says "Concentrate and Ask again": Can You Predict this Year’s Election?


by Annie on Aug 25, 2016 5:12:40 PM


Topics: Education, Back to School, Educational Gaming, Election 2016

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Top 5 Reasons Why Videogames Are Actually Good for Kids

Jackson Wheeler

by Jackson Wheeler on Aug 17, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Hi, I’m Jackson.

As someone who boasts an extensive resume of boss-beatings, puzzle solvings, and steely resolve in the face of the princess continually being in another castle, interning at a company that makes educational videogames has been pretty sweet. There are some who might disagree with the compatibility of education and gaming, but to me, they’ve always been necessarily intertwined.
 Here are five of my own reasons why I believe videogames are not just a worthwhile investment for entertainment’s-sake but also for their educational value.

Topics: learning, Education, Games

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"Eyes on the Future" Future of Game Design Industry (podcast)

John Jordan - Product Owner

by John Jordan - Product Owner on Jul 21, 2016 3:30:00 PM

Tory Van Voorhis of Second Avenue Learning joins Jennifer Hinton of MAGIC Spell Studios at RIT, Jason Arena of Workinman Interactive, to discuss the game design industry.

Topics: Martha Madison & Voters Ed

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Not so Flashy... Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Top 5 Considerations when migrating from Flash

Stan Monu

by Stan Monu on May 24, 2016 6:05:36 PM

Let’s be honest, you and Flash were great partners when you met. It was a great beginning. Together, you enabled students and faculty to have a nearly seamless user experience across a wide variety of platforms.  But it just isn’t working any more, and you've grown apart. Flash’s computational overhead leaves you feeling drained, its lack of support on mobile devices means you can’t travel together and perhaps most importantly Flash can’t keep a secret, so your privacy feels vulnerable. And your friends, like Chrome, are telling you it is time...

Topics: Flash, conversion, transform, migration, LTI, xAPI, HTML5

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Why Classroom Playtesting Sessions Are Required

Brian Regan and Victoria Van Voorhis

by Brian Regan and Victoria Van Voorhis on Feb 25, 2016 5:18:23 PM

Making videogames for a living is awesome!

I’ve helped create and shape videogames for many years now, and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of working with talented, creative people who share my passion and want nothing more than to build something that will knock your socks off. Game development can also be really, really difficult as well. One of the most challenging aspects of making a good game is the fact that, as content creators, we never actually have full control over the content once the game is done and in the hands of consumers. We build the framework and lay the ground rules, but the details are handled by the individual players.

This is a unique challenge for videogame production, as compared to other creative pursuits such as filmmaking, book-writing, or painting. Because the consumer of a game has a certain level of control over the experience, it is impossible to foresee all the possible ways in which players will interact with our games. Educational games add an additional layer of complexity, since we have to ensure players not only have fun with our games, but must retain the information as well. This leads to one of the most important questions in our field: how can we ensure our games are fun and perform well, when we cannot even begin to fathom all the different ways in which players will interact with them?

Topics: Serious Play, Games, Voters Ed, Martha Madison

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Put the Power of the Pundits in Your Classroom or Your Living Room

Victoria Van Voorhis

by Victoria Van Voorhis on Feb 1, 2016 7:30:00 AM

Recenly the Iowa caucus, the first test of electability for many of the presidential candidates, was held.  Like many voters, we at Second Avenue are thinking about the 2016 election and following it closely.  Here are some of the questions we found ourselves asking: 

How did two states, Iowa and New Hampshire, come to dominate the early discourse in the presidential primary?

How has the selection of presidential candidates evolved over time?

Is this process partially responsible for the increasingly bitter partisan divide?

How have parties evolved and how has the geographical landscape of party affiliations changed along with them?

How, as a parent or educator can you have this conversation in a constructive, non-partisan way in a classroom or in your family room?

Lots of questions, so we rolled up our sleeves and decided to answer them with input from middle school and high school teachers and expert insight from Professors Ferber and Sutton from the Rochester Institute of Technology Political Science Department

Topics: Technology, Ux

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