Gary Latman
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  • Chicago, IL
  • United States
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Profile Information

School / Work Affiliation
Chicago Public Schools - 33 years
About Me
I have taught high school English for 26 years (sponsored literary magazines, school newspaper, and chaired the English Department), before becoming a Technology Coordinator for 6 year. I have also taught professional development classes and workshops. During 2007-2008, I reluctantly returned to the classroom to teach 9th grade English (see Harper edublog link below).

Classroom 2.0: Technology Integration and Game Theory Application

Game Theory Application, the Audio/Visual Learner, and Interactive Education
Through a combination of traditional blackboard/whiteboard instruction, group projects, visual media and interactive game-based instruction, teachers can grab the attention of today's learners and deliver content effectively. The following web sites support this pedagogy:
Can Game Development Impact Academic Achievement? - An article from T.H.E. Journal that tries to answer that question
The Effectiveness of Instructional Games: A Literature Review This report documents a review of 48 empirical research articles on the effectiveness of instructional games.
Bibliography | Digiplay Initiative - Understanding digital games
Immersive Gameplay: The Future of Education? -- This article from T.H.E. Journal suggests that, "New immersive learning environments--built on state-of-the-art data modeling and "intelligent" game systems--may be the future of education."
Game Elements in Instruction from A Learning Theory for 21st Century Students
Engaging Brains with Games and Simulations by Bernie Dodge
IN TIME -- Integrating New Technologies into the Methods of Education from University of Northern Iowa
Flash Games Generator from Southern Adventist University. After registration users can create and play flash based games.
Instructional Games includes designing and playing board games for instruction.
Jump into the Internet - This interactive kid's site is challenging, informative, and visually engaging.
The Distribution Game is a simulation game in which the player controls shipments from a supplier and from a central warehouse. The goal is to cost effectively manage the flow of goods to satisfy random customer demands at multiple locations.
FactCheckEd offers help to students learn to be smart consumers of these messages, not to accept them at face value; to dig for facts using the Internet, not to stop looking once they get to Wikipedia; and to weigh evidence logically, not to draw conclusions based on their own biases.
3rd World Farming is an interactive game that teaches the hardships of 3rd World farming.
Peanuts and Crackerjacks- The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's interactive baseball game that tests your knowledge of economics and pro sports trivia.
Media Awareness Network offers educational games covering a variety of media based topics.
Bantam Shakespeare offers games, plays, and audio and video
Games with a Purpose - The site claims, "By playing our games, you're training computers to solve problems for humans all over the world."
Pollen Park - takes kids on a journey with a bee to collect the pollen needed to make the queen bee's honey. Pollen Park introduces students to the concepts of pollination and seed dispersal. Students will also be introduced to the parts of and functions of a flower.
Educational Games from - You don't have to be a rocket scientist to play.
Show Business: The Economics of Entertainment - Learn how to get rich by breaking into show business.
Educational activities and games for K-6 students from iKnowthat
Map Games - National Geographic provides these Map Tools for Adventure
Serious Game Initiative focuses on uses for games in exploring management and leadership challenges facing the public sector
Virtual Cell - The NDSU Virtual Cell utilizes the Xj3D Browser library to bring you the 3D virtual cell experience in your browser's window
Voice of Spoon River - Game Design Project of Utah State University - This downloadable game is based on the series of poem by Edgar Lee Masters
Using PowerPoint to Play Educational Games - Many creative instructors leverage PowerPoint's multimedia and hyperlinking capabilities to create games that they and their students play in class. Games motivate students, hold their attention, and introduce excitement, spontaneity, and fun into a class session. They are particularly useful for review or as a novel way to present course content.
The Information Literacy Game - from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. This is an online board game that tests information literacy.
Ask the Techies presents a sizable number of videos on numerous technology applications.
Current Internet Issues provides students and teachers interactive issues related to Internet literacy.
Webwise Online Course offers an introduction to the Internet from the BBC.
Doing Research: An Introduction to the Concepts of Online Searching - This is a visual tutorial on doing research presented by the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC).
Annenberg Media provides Literature and Language Arts videos
The Learning Resources site offers web-delivered instruction using current and past CNN San Francisco bureau and CBS 5 - KPIX (CBS Broadcasting) news stories.
ProCon - Although ProCon is not a game site, it deals with issues in a well organized and engaging manner, so it had to be included.
Above the Influence quizzes kids to see how much peer pressure effects them.
BrainPOP is an animated educational site that covers the core subjects. Some of it is free and some may require paid membership.
Algebasics offers interactive Algebra tutorials, simply and visually presented.
Frontline Online - Since 1983 these award winning documentaries have educated and entertained late night audiences.
National Geographic Videos provide various visual perspectives from the natural world
Discovery Education's Video Clips Screening Room provides short video clips on numerous subjects that can be used as a lead in to a discussion or for more extensive research.
Siemens Science Day - Learn by doing in Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science videos and activities
Global Warning is a short video about the climate change that humans have caused.
Science @a Distance eLearning Modules - Science based learning units created by Prof. John Blamire
7-12 Student Interactives from Utah Educational Network
At 2020Green, high school students experience real-life financial situations inside a virtual building of businesses, retail shops, and institutions.
The Virtual Astronaut - Become a member of the International Space Station (ISS) and move around in zero gravity. This site is a virtual simulation of the actual experience.
The Video Guide from Archaeology Channel
CBC | Interactive features videos from Canada Broadcast Company.
Interactive Constitution- The National Constitution Center provides an interactive explanation of the Articles of the Constitution.
Art Access examines objects from various areas of the Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collection to enrich visitors' understanding of their content, style, and historical context. Included are a variety of online resources of special interest to educators, parents, students, and young people, including lesson plans for the classroom and art projects for the home.
It's No Laughing Matter - analyze political cartoons at this educational web site
Make Beliefs Comix - This interactive site is a good follow up to the previous web site. Here students can make their own comics (supports foreign languages).
E-Literate is A 15-minute educational video introducing information literacy to young people.
TV 411 offers slide presentations that help strengthen literacy skills in reading, writing, and math test prep.
Teen Second Life is a Second Life virtual site but for teens.
Habbo is an interactive virtual world where teens can design their own rooms, collect cool furniture, and even throw parties.
Millsberry is a virtual world for kids; explore, and make friends!
Whyville is a virtual world where boys and girls from all over the real world come to chat, play, learn, and have fun together. is an everyday hangout where you can have fun with your friends and meet new ones -- all in a lush 3D environment that's yours to build and explore!
Teenwire - sexuality and relationship information for teenagers
Zoey's Room is an online community for girls in middle-school.
edutopia's video library shows successful applications of technology integration and project based learning in K-12 classrooms nationwide.
Teaching Now visits classrooms where technology integration has been implemented successfully.
Reading Rockets goes inside the classroom and captures effective techniques for teaching all aspects of reading.
Getting Results is a multimedia resource for community college faculty that will challenge previous thinking about teaching and learning, providing basic tools for effective classroom practice.
Futurelab's Podcasts and Videos
Kathy Schrock's Brief Overview of Podcasting for K-12
Podcasting 101 - video tutorial on podcasting
Podcasting Toolbox - podcasting tools and resources
Podcasting Tools - resource for podcasting
Podcast Resources
- information on how to create, produce and publish podcasts
Digital Podcasts - find and add audio and video podcasts.
PodBean - free podcast hosting
Publicizing Podcasts: 13 free services you can use
David Warlick's Colearners Guide to Podcasting
The Education Podcast Network (EPN) - The Education Podcast Network is an effort to bring together into one place, the wide range of podcast programming that may be helpful to teachers looking for content to teach with and about, and to explore issues of teaching and learning in the 21st century.
How to Podcast - Audacity tutorial for podcasters
Editing Audio with Audacity - an introduction to working with Audacity, a multi-track audio editor.
EdTechLIVE webcast interviews series by Steve Hargadon focusing on K-12 educational technology.
Video with Professor Monkey - Video 101 tutorial
The use of video to create and integrate content in the lesson and instruct students has been show to be extremely effective. Unfortunately, there are some who use the medium to exploit sex and violence, so many school districts ban such sites as YouTube. Because the need exists, a couple sites have been created by and for educators: TeacherTube and SchoolTube provide a place to showcase videos created by teachers and students. is another video hosting site dedicated to education.
UStream "In just minutes, you can broadcast and chat online with a global audience. Completely free, all it takes is a camera and Internet connection."
VoiceThread - Beth Guth's VoiceThread Tutorial. Also this tutorial from TeacherTube, explains how to use it in the classroom.
Brightstorm - Online Courses for students using video, requires nominal fee.
UnitedStreaming provides superb video on demand with pre-designed lessons, handouts, and a quiz maker, but it requires an annual access fee.
A more specific application of the visual concept is Tel.A.Vision, which "provides a great new tool for students entering a critical period of life to tell their story - to themselves and others.
Tech Talk from the University of Minnesota presents tech tutorial instructional videos.
Education World's Techtorials Archive offers free technology tutorials.
Classroom Learning 2.0 is an online learning program by California Technology Assistance Project Region 1 and the California School Library Association, which focuses on using Web 2.0 tools in the classroom
MERLOT is Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching - registration is free
Teachers Edition of Pageflakes offers resources for teachers.
OSU's Department of English is not really a Web 2.0 site, but is a superbly organized site to assist post-secondary students with organizing and developing their writing skills.
Social Software and Learning - a Futurelab publication
Synching Up with the iKid: Connecting to the Twenty-First-Century Student - an Edutopia article about keeping pace with the digital generation
Closing the Gap Between Education and Technology - Apple curriculum evangelist offers his thoughts about 21st century education at FETC 2009 Conference
David Thornburg's Handouts and Presentations - One of the influential educators whose work I read and whose lectures I watched as I pursued my MS in Ed with a Focus in Technology Integration in the Classroom through Walden University.
Insight and Innovation for Technology Leaders Tech Forum - Handouts, videos, and podcasts of this Spring 2008 technology forum.
Finally, we must Pay Attention to how our students learn. This insightful video speaks volumes to all of us who teach. Please watch it if you haven't seen it before.

Web Tools and Applications for Tech Integration indispensibletools for Tech Integration Wallwisher provides a communal board for stickie posts.
Check out how one teacher, Nik Peachey's Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers uses Wallwisher as a place to post your favorite application/web site with a brief description.
How to Create a Fillable Form for Word 2003 -- tutorial on creating a fillable form using Word 2003
Slide lets you upload pics, create a slide showshow with music, and provides embeddable code that can be added to wiki and blog sites.
Yacapaca! is kind of like Blackboard, only it's free and teachers can share tests and quizzes with other teachers.
28 Online Photo Editing Websites To Have Fun With Some of these should excite an imaginative teacher who wants to mix the visual with some technology

Gary Latman's Blog

Commentary on the State of Education

Posted on March 27, 2010 at 9:09pm 0 Comments

Tim Stahmer offers his take on the state of education in his recent blog Not Asking the Right Question. It's a quick read, but it does imply that educators and policy makers need to sit down and look at what we want 21st century education to look like and then develop methods to get there.

Using Ubuntu

Posted on May 19, 2009 at 8:00am 1 Comment

I had a refurbished Dell P3 Latitude laptop that was running so slow, it was almost worthless. I was going to toss it, but instead, I used a copy of Ubuntu (a free CD is available at the Ubuntu web site) and completely blew my system out. It runs much faster now, finds wi-fi quicker, and is now a fully functional laptop. There are a number of programs that come with it, but are not installed, but doing so requires putting a few checkmarks into boxes and then okaying the installation. Today, I… Continue

Read the Writing on the Wall

Posted on April 22, 2009 at 2:35pm 0 Comments

I just found a Classroom 2.0 web site that has potential for collaboration and fun. It's called Wallwisher and it's like the old fashioned bulletin board in the village square or coffee house where you can post a stickie and get feedback. But this site provides a web site address and lets you post links to sites and videos. I've used it to jump on my anti-Arne Duncan soapbox, once again.

Time Magazine Calls Arne Duncan An Apostle of Reform

Posted on April 20, 2009 at 11:42am 0 Comments

False prophet is what I'd call Arne Duncan. I am uncertain about the specifics of his plan to "scale up" NCLB, but that’s the type of phraseology that has caused many teachers in Chicago to lift a skeptical eyebrow. Those of us who worked in the Chicago Public Schools, who were in the trenches, did not find that Mr. Duncan was an Apostle of Reform. Instead, we see him as anti-union and pro-privatization, a school CEO who was a political pawn of our mayor. As head of the school system, he was… Continue

Global Warming

Posted on April 5, 2009 at 10:09am 1 Comment

I finally got around to watching "Inconvenient Truth". Al Gore offers the most cogent argument documenting the progression of global warming and its consequences I have ever seen. This is a must-see video that should be shared with friends, colleagues, and students.

ICE Conference 2009

Posted on February 22, 2009 at 2:00pm 0 Comments

During this approaching week, the Illinois Computing Educators Conference, the big Midwest tech conference for teachers, administrators, technologists, and tech vendors will be taking place at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL. I've attended this conference for the past 5 years, last year being the exception, when I was back in the classroom and very much out of the tech loop. This is a 4 day event, but Thursday and… Continue

Support Breast Cancer Funding for Underprivileged Women

Posted on December 30, 2008 at 10:57pm 0 Comments

The Breast Cancer Site is real and money paid by site advertisers does indeed go towards providing free mammograms. When a visitor clicks on the "Fund Free Mammograms" button on the site, another page opens that contains banner advertisements from site sponsors. All of the fees paid by these sponsors are used to fund free mammograms.

I must admit that initially I thought this was a hoax, but I checked it at several urban legend… Continue

President Elect Links Ed Tech to Growing Our Economy

Posted on December 29, 2008 at 10:49pm 0 Comments

Obama Links Ed Tech to Economic Growth reads the December 3, 2008 Digital | Directions article. Those of us involved with education and technology have been chanting an ed-tech mantra for quite some time, having identifed it as the hook to engage and challenge 21st century students. We have experimented with various applications in our classrooms, trying to involve our students with their own education, and ultimately… Continue

Comment to Chris Sessums Blog

Posted on December 21, 2008 at 4:00pm 0 Comments

I was reading Chris Sessums' blog post Driven to Distraction: Notes on Young Adults Living and Learning with New Media and felt compelled to add my 2 cents worth:


You raise some interesting questions in your article, but you also wonder " we can "measure" self-directed learning in this new media context?" and that's where the problem lies; we educators must justify what we establish in our learning… Continue

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Comment Wall (4 comments)

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At 2:52pm on April 23, 2010, John J Caprice said…

Keep on speaking the truth! I see the similarities in all organizations, heavy pay at the top, passing the responsibilities and blame on the base. It is politics, not administration.
At 8:16pm on January 1, 2009, Jack said…
Hi Gary!

Happy New Year! I was wondering if you, your educator contacts or students would be interested in participating in a nationwide Vocab Video Contest @ MIT university. We'd really like to get more students involved from Illinois!

You can view contest details at Please let me know. Thanks!
At 4:33pm on December 22, 2008, Mark Cruthers said…
Hi Gary,

With your work in online technology I recommend you take a look at Wiziq's virtual classroom and authorstream's power point presentation platform. Both are web based, have a bunch of features and free basic service. Good luck with your ninth grade English clsses, I teach 11th and 12th grade AP US History and Economics.
At 7:53pm on June 23, 2008, Danny Shields said…
Is Harper High currently using their computer lab for only game/video activities? What types of educational solutions are being provided/produced that involved computer skills training that contribute to proficiency and transferable development?

I understand that school networks must be in compliance, nevertheless, you should not feel that your efforts went unnoticed. Pushing for compliance, professional development, convergence and looking at ways to be innovative regarding how students, (particularly) high school students use technologies is extremely important.

When making the network available for folks… it needs to allow for remote log-in, process emails using Outlook accounts, looking at educational online solutions that take folks for the classroom to the boardroom…

Additionally, regarding curricula it needs to be flexible, folks should establish personal website on the network server, have presence of student/teacher mental development.

Gaming and video are hot topics today because it allows for collaboration; it poses a competitive environment, and it allows others to be expressive. Us as educators would want to use this as an opportunity to look at ways of integrating this into the curriculum looking at things like community media, DePaul CTI, IIT, community technologies centers, organizations like BDPA, and NSBE, which establishes partnerships that can promote visibility of IT skill development and how creative one can using technology for self-sufficiency.

I got my MS from DePaul in Business Information Technology and is currently working at the LEED Council as a Technology Coordinator, located at 1866 N. Marcey in Lincoln Park. If you have an opportunity, you should come and see what I’m trying to do…if you have some free time to stop by…let me know your thoughts

Let me know if you are interested in doing a writing project with me that involves a documentary…more to come…



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