Image of Portland Taken with Google Earth

Where are we? (Am I)

This week has been a little rough with falling ill and missing out on an excellent opportunity – still – failing at that gave me a chance to reflect on the last couple months and I came up with a list of the rewards I am getting from life as an educator.

Positive Events:

  • I met several students this week – in person. For those imaginary people who I imagine might be reading my little education blog – I work in online learning and rarely meet my students in person. Sometimes my students seem like adults in their interactions online and other times they seem extremely young. Getting to meet them in person during school outings really helps me make a stronger connection with them.
  • Working with ISTE-NASA. I never announced this publicly but this is my second? third? week working on the MMS project with ISTE and NASA. I have been really enjoying the other participants thoughts and ideas. Sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed and wonder how I can contribute to such an amazing project and dedicated educators. I can’t wait to start developing curricular artifacts and seeing what everyone is able to produce.
  • Pushing on with VWBPE. Virtual Worlds: Best Practice in Education hit a few bumps this year. One of our major sponsors has decided not to support the conference as they are adjusting their vision to not include as much support for education. This was hard but I understand they are facing economic realities. What has come out of this experience is a tying together of various education interest groups in the virtual world community. There has also been some fracturing. We are in the painful section of a change or growth cycle with education in persistant virtual worlds and as it ripples outward I am eager to see the outcome!
  • ISTE SIGVE – I was part of the task-force looking at the future of ISTE’s presence in virtual worlds. We are losing the island but gaining a new angle into virtual worlds. Times are changing but as they move forward – like I said above – new opportunities arrive.
  • 3D Game Lab – I participated in this excellent program last summer – beta testing the tool for use in education. Dr. Dawley and her team put together such an amazing tool that it won the stage two part of the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning grant.
  • Finally – I applied to the doctoral program at Portland State University. My interview is next week so I am crossing my fingers and hoping the crazy stuff I have done in education seems 1/2 inspired rather than 1/2 nutty.

Where will I be in a year? Only three years ago I was struggling to figure out how I could become involved and make a difference in education. Now I have started influencing in certain areas – surely small puffs of air in the grand scheme of things but I am starting to achieve those goals!

Image of Portland Taken with Google Earth

This is a view of Portland as seen using Google Earth.

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About the author: Rurik

Known both as Ru (or as the title suggests, Ru Ru the Ruiner), Rurik studies ways games can designed to improve society, especially in the realm of education.