Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Last day of NECC--Rockin' and Reelin' from the Week!

Wow, this has been a fantastic week, and I thank my administrators at both University School of Nashville and the Vanderbilt Center for Science and Math for making it possible for me to go. I also want to thank ISTE and its administrators for giving me stage above and beyond what I expected here, and the fantastic Claudia L'Amoreaux (Claudia Linden) from Linden Lab for being there for all of us every step of the way. Toss in a deep bow to Steve Hargadon and the organizers of the pre-conference Edubloggercon "unconference" for giving me a rich day of networking with and learning from some of the best minds in the forefront of educational advocacy.

One of the limitations of what a dear Second Life friend calls "meatspace" is that one can only be in one place at any given time. We are often able to rise above that limitation with the Internet (when the wireless connection works--no jab at the tech folks here: I'm sure they're doing everything they can to make things work) by twittering, blogging, ustreaming, ninging, and such; but it remains an absolute limitation of physicality. That said, I want to say I missed hanging out with my IVC friends this year. My amiable and extraordinarily capable colleagues in that arena, friends for nearly a decade of collaboration, will always be my friends, or at least I hope they'll allow me that privilege. I've simply been limited this year by the Meatspace Law: "1 body, 1 place."

I'll be working over the next week to summarize as succinctly as possible my amazing adventures here at NECC 2008. Until then, I'd like you to chew on the following:

I believe that virtual environments hold so much promise for education in so many ways that I've thrown in with that group here at NECC, also a dynamic, dedicated, pioneering band of educators. I believe that so much that I'm proposing a new ISTE Special Interest Group, and I'll propose that it be called SIGVE, for "Virtual Environments." I talked with ISTE Membership Director Jennifer Ragan-Fore last night at a small gathering of ISTE Docents, and she seems to think it can happen, in part based on the full house Birds of a Feather session we staged Monday here in San Antonio. Anybody else think so?

I'm prepared to pursue what steps it may take to get it started. This, as friend Cathy Walker said last night when I discussed it with her, is a first and most important step toward legitimizing this fertile field in the minds of reluctant administrators, especially the ones who hold the purse strings for teacher professional development programs. Let's begin to work together to bring ISTE member focus to the potentials of the 3D internet. What say? Kitty, send me that paperwork?

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