Jane McGonigal

Our speaker this year was Jane McGonigal, director of game research and development at the Institute for the Future, a nonprofit futures research group based in Palo Alto, California, and creative director at, a game development startup.

McGonigal, who holds a Ph.D. in performance studies, is the author of the New York Times best seller Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. Her best known game development work includes “Find the Future” and “World without Oil.” McGonigal explores how the collaborative and motivational aspects of gaming are being used to solve some of the most difficult challenges facing humanity, even battling personal social problems like depression and obesity.

Please note, to view this video you must login with your Penn State access ID and password.

Jane McGonigal at her Keynote Video. Image links to a protected video, please sign into the PSU network

Session Videos

Global Communication Pedagogy as Hybridized Collaborative Engagements

TLT Fellow Michael Elavsky will discuss recent efforts to transform COMM 410 from a course on International Mass Communication to an experience in cultural understanding. By partnering Penn State students with their peers in the Czech Republic on collaborative group projects, the new COMM 410 strives to inspire about new levels of cross-cultural empathy and respect. The affordances of technology create unique opportunities for information sharing and collaboration, and the process of implementing such technologies will be discussed. International group projects also come with their share of challenges to overcome. How these were managed will also be discussed.

From the Classroom to the Field

Learn how Cooley has teamed with Penn College’s Office of Instructional Technology to develop a rich media content package as a virtual field trip creating a more active learning experience. In Cooley’s Environmental Science class, field trips are part of the class activities, but nearly impossible to achieve in the distance environment. The solution is an online video series, “In The Field,” hosted by Cooley. Each “webisode” provides students with a unique field trip experience central to course outcomes. There is also an interactive online learning module, “The Cooley Cam,” presenting students with more personalized reinforcing material.

From Fear to Joy Why I Love Using Clickers in the Classroom

The first half of this session will include a conversation between the presenters about the process of adopting clickers (e.g., pre-adoption terror, their first meeting about clickers, up to use of clickers today). The second half of the session will include an interactive demonstration of how clickers are used in Coupland’s classroom.

Lumberjack iStan Taking the Classroom into the Forest

Traditionally, high fidelity human simulation has been used to train health care providers. This presentation will describe the partnership among the Penn State Mont Alto nursing program, the Penn State forest technology program, and multiple community agencies which allowed human simulation to be taken into the forest. The simulated scenario of a tree harvesting accident allowed forestry students to practice “field” first aid and CPR skills, paramedics to strengthen their teamwork process, and nursing students to use their critical thinking skills in a mock emergency department. This simulation was positively received by participants and clearly enhanced their education.

Designing Mobile, Location-Aware, Socially Networked Learning Assistants

This presentation reports on outcomes of a TLT Fellowship that developed a subject-based learning app for a keyword advertising course that leverages cellular technology, the contextual (location-aware) attributes of mobile technology, and social media. The goal was to make courses more dynamic and allow students to access content–and assistance with that content–when and where they need it. The app serves as a “learning assistant” that students can use in conjunction with a resident course. Initially, Jansen is collecting data in this course with the goal of identifying content and problem areas in the course learning.

From Tablet PCs to Instructional Frameworks

This interactive presentation will review several faculty-driven projects that highlight how tablet PCs, digital ink, and screencasting software are successfully being used as teaching tools to support problem solving in the College of Engineering and are impacting classroom practice. Project work will be presented in terms of how faculty have transitioned from using these technologies as electronic blackboards to promoting student problem solving skills. The presenter will describe how a team of faculty have generated an instructional model that integrates several of the strategies and faculty practices noted earlier, creating a scaffolded learning environment.

The Evolution of a Large Enrollment Course

There are two truths about evolution on which most can agree: everything that has successfully evolved has evolved for a reason and evolution takes a long time. Large enrollment courses are not any different. With enrollment growing to over 1,300 and with a large number of students barely getting through the class, something had to change in Accounting 211…something big. This presentation will take attendees on an eight-year journey through Accounting 211’s evolution. Topics include hybrid course design, classroom flipping, learning styles, meaning making for non-majors, virtual labs and review sessions, student tools, and weekly road maps.

Using Videoconferencing Technologies to Bridge Culture, Language, and Time-Zone Differences

The World in Conversation project has taken its face-to-face dialogues across the ocean so Penn State students can engage students in the Middle East. The presenters were initially reluctant to use videoconferencing technology because they saw the barriers it presented as impossible to overcome if they wished to meet the standards of face-to-face conversations. While things have not always gone smoothly, the presenters have been pleasantly surprised at their ability to have meaningful conversations that shift how students see their worlds and those of their conversation partners. Attendees can participate in a short conversation with students in the Middle East.

The Future of Learning Spaces at Penn State

Many current classrooms were built to support the lecture method of teaching, where rows of students face toward, scribbling notes, with little peer interaction. Modern conceptions of teaching and learning envision a far more active and engaged classroom, with students learning from one another, and a shift of the instructor to facilitator. Outside the classroom, libraries, labs, lounges, hallways, and virtual spaces are also recognized as places where rich learning takes place. This panel will explore new ideas about learning spaces. Each panelist will provide a different perspective, and the audience will be engaged in an exploration of solutions.

Shaping Penn State’s Learning Environment: Course/Learning Management System Review

In 2009, the provost and vice provost for information technology charged the eLearning Strategic Committee with developing a strategy for sustaining a common e-learning environment across the University. To accomplish this, the committee formed two subcommittees, pedagogical and technical, to explore the capabilities of several e-learning environments. As a result, ITS piloted Blackboard, Canvas, Desire2Learn, and Moodle. The pilot team is working with instructors, students, designers, technologists, and support staff to explore the capabilities of each of these applications within Penn State. This panel will provide an overview of the LMS review, accomplishments, assessment strategy, and the way forward.

Flipping a Large Classroom

Flipping the classroom has been studied in many small-classroom settings with success. The presenter tried this in two “large” classes, STAT 200 and STAT 250. All the positives of flipping are present, but a large classroom setting presents some unforeseen difficulties, including dealing with a traditional lecture hall as the meeting room, less peer pressure to be prepared for class, and the difficulty of the course material overall. This session will discuss the process of flipping the classroom and the increase in student learning and compare student responses to the use of recorded lectures in and outside class.

Scenes from the 2012 TLT Symposium

A look at some of the activities at this year’s Penn State Symposium for Teaching and Learning with Technology

Elevator Pitches

In preparation for the 2012 Symposium, presenters were asked to record an “elevator pitch” of his or her presentation to grab attendees attention and tell them exactly why they should attend that particular session.

An elevator pitch (or elevator speech or statement) is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a product, service, or organization and its value proposition.The name “elevator pitch” reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes.

Scott McDonald and Ellysa Cahoy

Digital Scholarship: How Digital Tools are Reshaping Academic Work

Sherry Robinson

Games and Gamification: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Rob Cooley

From the Classroom to the Field: Using Rich Media and ANGEL to Bring Real-World Examples into the Classroom

Jim Jansen

Designing Mobile, Location-Aware, Socially Networked Learning Assistants

Kate Morgan and Kevin McFall

Effective Use of Twitter in Academia? Believe It!

Jenny Shook

Flipping a Large Classroom: Students in a Class of 200 or More View Lecture Videos outside Class and Come to Class Ready to Practice the New Concepts They Learned

Carranda Barkdoll

LumberjackiStan: Taking the Classroom into the Forest

Cole Hons

Cole Hons talks about keynote speaker Jane McGonigal

Skip to toolbar