Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hanover Educator Wins Top Spot in University's Alternate Reality Game

The game, which debuted during the 2011 Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference (PETE&C), was designed by two Harrisburg University of Science and Technology faculty members.

Harrisburg, PA, February 17, 2011 -- When it comes to improving teachers' performance at a traditionally under-performing high school, Michelle Krill showed she was up to the task when she bested 150 other contestants to emerge as the winner of a new Harrisburg University designed Alternate Reality Game entitled "I Love Trees."

The game, which debuted during the 2011 Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference (PETE&C), was designed by two Harrisburg University of Science and Technology faculty members. The game places contestants in the role of a newly hired Principal at under-performing West Side High. In order to improve performance at West Side High, Krill had to "grow" the Powerful Learning Practice (PLP) Tree of Knowledge. From this tree, the school gained access to the knowledge and resources necessary to thrive in a 21st century teaching and learning environment.

An Instructional Technology Coach at South Western School District in Hanover, Pennsylvania, Krill scored the maximum 3,650 points by answering questions, taking polls, solving puzzles, completing online tasks and entering codes.

Designed by Charles Palmer and Andy Petroski of Harrisburg University, I Love Trees combines real-world experience with fictional clues, puzzles and communication in an interactive game format. I Love Trees is a story-based and problem-based experience that promotes the use of online resources, collaboration among game players and critical thinking related to the storyline and problem-based activities.

ARGs are not computer or video games, though electronic devices including computers, cell phones, and GPS-enabled handhelds are used to access clues. Clues can be anywhere--websites, stores, signs, recorded telephone messages or printed materials. ARGs are not role-playing games. Players normally function as themselves in a real-world environment

The game's designers were thrilled with the response to the game and the engagement of players.

"Feedback from participants supports what we already know about games as tools for learning. Players become immersed in game play, competition and fun, but also develop problem-solving skills in a social and experiential environment," says Petroski. "Confidence and satisfaction are also gained throughout game play as players achieve smaller tasks that add to their overall score and achievement through a game regardless of whether or not they are the leader."

Harrisburg University's expertise and exploration of games, simulations and virtual worlds goes well beyond the I Love Trees ARG. The University, through the Center for Advanced Entertainment & Learning Technologies (CAEL&T) and the Learning Technologies Master of Science (LTMS) program conducts a yearly event that brings serious game designers from around the country to Harrisburg, PA. The Learning and Entertainment Evolution Forum (LEEF) showcases immersive learning case studies, design and development sessions and a high tech demo area where attendees can explore new technologies that may impact game and simulation design in the future. In addition the LTMS program offers a concentration in Games & Simulations and offers individual courses on the use of games and virtual worlds as part of the summer Educators Technology Clinic series of courses. Finally, the CAEL&T offers the Summer Gaming Academy, a 20-day intensive commuter summer program designed to introduce passionate young game designers and developers to the methods and technologies used by professional game makers throughout the world.
A leader in the fields of multimedia and information technology, Charles Palmer serves as director of the CAELT. Charles leads the Center as well as spearheads new developments in digital storytelling and forms of entertainment technology. He is a creative educator, administrator, and producer. He previously served as a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) since 2004.

Andy Petroski coordinates the Learning Technologies Master of Science (LTMS) program and learning technologies at Harrisburg University as Director of Learning Technologies. In 2010, Andy received the "Technology Educator of the Year" honors from TECHQuest PA. The honor recognizes Andy as an "outstanding example of IInformation Age Educator" using current technologies to educate, motivate and inspire students to develop careers in technology fields and become lifelong learners." The award-winning instructional technologist has more than 14 years of eLearning design and development experience in multimedia production firms, independent consulting, corporate learning and education.

Harrisburg University is home to a Learning Technologies Master of Science (LTMS) program and the Center for Advanced Entertainment & Learning Technologies (CAELT). The CAELT works with regional organizations on advanced technology projects in entertainment and learning and coordinates the annual Learning and Entertainment Evolution Forum (LEEF) with the LTMS program. LEEF brings leading serious game and simulation designers from around the world together to showcase their work in games and simulations for learning. The CAELT and the LTMS program have also worked with the Innovation Transfer Network (ITN) to create the Serious Games and Simulations Xchange, a group of universities and businesses that will work together to increase the serious game and simulation activity in central PA. The LTMS program provides opportunities for students to explore games and simulations for learning through the LTMS 603: Engaging with Activities, Games and Simulations course as part of the Educators' Technology Clinic format and will be offering a concentration in game and simulation design as part of the LTMS degree beginning in the fall of 2010.

Founded in 2001 to address Central Pennsylvania's need for increased opportunities for study leading to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, Harrisburg University is an innovative and ambitious private institution that produces graduates who provide increased competence and capacity in science and technology disciplines to Pennsylvania and the nation. Harrisburg University ensures institutional access for underrepresented students and links learning and research to practical outcomes. As a private University serving the public good, Harrisburg University remains the only STEM-focused comprehensive university located between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

For more information on the University's demand-driven undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs in applied science and technology fields, call 717.901.5146 or email

Steven Infanti
Harrisburg University Communications
326 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101

MAX Agency Toronto Talent is Working with Coco Cola and Auditioning with Degrassi High

MAX Agency Toronto Talent is working with Coco Cola and auditioning with Degrassi High. MAX Agency Toronto is Making big News.

Toronto, ON, Canada, February 17, 2011 - MAX Agency Toronto Talent is working with Coco Cola and auditioning with Degrassi High. MAX Agency Toronto is Making big News.

The very talented MAX Toronto Model Julia landed a Print Ad with Soft Drink Giant, Coca-Cola back in the summer. With her extensive training and professionalism, Julia was asked to come back and work with them again! Not only that but, Coca Cola decided to come back and see what other MAX Talent was on the MAX Agency Toronto’s Roster. This time, it was the lovely MAX Toronto Model Shelly that landed another audition with the Franchise giant. 

More big news for this week was an audition for MAX Agency Actor Jay for Degrassi The Next Generation. Currently filming in its eleventh season, Degrassi The Next Generation is one of the most popular shows on TV right now and New Face MAX Actor Jay landed a huge audition for the role of Noah. Only 16 years old a man of few words, Degrassi’s new heartthrob is good with his hands and quick with a grin.

MAX Agency: Toronto Based Model And Talent Management Agency

Welcome to Max Agency - one of the most successful model and talent management agencies in Canada representing men, women and children. Max Agency is involved in providing actors, models and entertainers for the film, television, fashion and advertising industries as well as appearance in trade shows, promotions and special events.

Max Agency has a team of dedicated professionals that know the ins and outs of the fashion and modeling game. Whether the talent is an established face with a working portfolio or someone who is unsure of their ability to work in the industry, Max Agency provides qualitative evaluation to find the right fit for an individual’s career goals. Max Agency's ability to recognize and identify new talent from around the world has positioned it at the forefront of model management and talent discovery. We have a wealth of experience and knowledge in the fashion, modeling and entertainment industries resulting in it expertly overseeing the careers of a wide variety of models and talents.

Talent Management Agency: Toronto Models And Actors
If you are a new or experienced Toronto model/actor who would like the benefits of working with a top model agency in Toronto, then Max Agency is your modeling agent. As one of the top modeling agencies in Toronto, we make it easier for Toronto models to break into the modeling industry and be seen by top agents and clients. With an emphasis on personal detail & development, new Toronto models and actors receive the attention needed to achieve success. We help Toronto models realize their full potential.

Are you interested in being part of Max Agency? If you think you have what it takes to become a professional model/talent or background performer, please send us your filled-in Application Form with accurate information and stats and we will contact you within 72 hours.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the rest of the month. MAX Agency Toronto is busier then ever, and has big things planned for the near future!

If you think you have what it takes to be the next big Toronto Talent be sure to contact MAX Agency.

For more information about MAX Agency, please visit

Or email, Call directly, (416) 482-5392

Natalya O
MAX Agency
2063 Yonge St. Suite 202
Toronto, ON M4S-2A2

Ottawa Self Defense - SAFE International Offers Women’s Self Defense Parties

Ottawa Self Defense, SAFE International Offers Women’s Self Defense Parties. SAFE International is the leading provider of mobile self defense/personal protection training in Canada.

Ottawa, ON, February 17, 2011 - (Straight Line PR) - Ottawa Self Defense, SAFE International Offers Women’s Self Defense Parties. SAFE International is the leading provider of mobile self defense/personal protection training in Canada. It currently operates throughout Ottawa and has taught more than 120,000 clients in the private, corporate and high school environments since 1994. SAFE International is expanding its seminar options to include women’s self defense parties.

SAFE International quickly realized that women had completely different concerns, fears, and needs than males. Chris Roberts, CEO of SAFE International listened to their concerns and tailored something that was not only educational, but also met their personal fears. Men have no idea what women go through on an everyday basis from the stares and comments to the physical gestures and advances.

One of the reasons that SAFE International enjoys teaching Ottawa women’s self defense, is how receptive women are to the skills that the SAFE International instructors provide. Chris Roberts attributes this to their appreciating the value in what is taught. While most men are receptive, they are usually more interested in knowing how to fight. Women are interested in learning, based more on their survival in today’s reality. Each skill or tactic taught could potentially save their life, and you can see it in the way they practice and adopt the new skill. Women have more reasons to learn these self defense skills.

Forget Tupperware Parties!

Invite 6 to 8 of your friends for a few hours of fun, education and potentially life- saving instruction. Plan a meal, bbq, snacks, maybe some dessert! Be prepared for a unique self defense experience! What has made SAFE International so popular is their unique method of teaching with humour and sharing of anecdotes. Get to experience their simulated attacks in scenario specific situations such as at the front door, the kitchen, the car, etc.

Women are much more willing to share their stories and feelings of fear since they don’t have the same pressure on them to be "the man". Chris Roberts has been both thankful and humbled by what thousands of women have told him. The women’s self defense course has really been structured around all the stories women have shared with the SAFE instructors.

Years ago Chris was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Annual Ontario Block Parents Convention. There were about 100 adults in attendance comprising of about 75 women. There were also about 25 police officers. Chris began his talk on how to avoid and handle potentially dangerous situations such as being followed, elevator safety, parking lots, distraction techniques, etc and all the women were laughing while about 20 male police officers sat there with their arms crossed staring at him seriously. Chris was thinking this might not be going so well even though all the women were laughing. At this point, the senior police officer in the group stood up and asked if he could say something. At this moment Chris was thinking "Well, this is probably the end of my business and he is going to tell me not to make a joke out of personal safety". The police officer told the group of 100 or so that this was the best approach to personal safety he had ever seen! He said that as a police officer he was sitting listening to the information and not focusing on the humour. He agreed that with the majority of the population the humour was a unique way to get the message across.

SAFE International clients include mothers, fathers, daughters, police officers, seniors, and people with disabilities. To contact SAFE International and Chris Roberts to schedule your Ottawa women’s self defense party, you can visit their main site at

You can also view Chris’ self defense blog at
You can also reach Chris Roberts toll free at 1-800-465-5972 or by email at

Contact :
Chris Roberts
SAFE International™
15535 Cooper Rd.
Lunenburg, ON
Canada K0C 1R0
1 800 465-5972