pictured, Meghan, Jeremy, me, Peggy, and Claudia, WooooT! I think I scarfed this from Kevin Jarret's flickr set!
Wow! A truly fun day yesterday as we gathered 9 educators from 9 states along with the 30 participants who registered from all over the country and beyond (Canada, Russia, and Australia) to dive into Second Life for immersive hands-on work. I declare it successful!
Later in the day, five others of us spent an hour with a packed room of educators to focus on Second Life as a Professional Learning Network in a "Birds of a Feather" session. That went every bit as well if not better!
So here I am, a K-4 teacher with a few other interests and skill sets mostly centered around teaching and learning, having spent extraordinary quality time with hundreds of colleagues whose main goal is to improve their own teaching and learning, and who are not afraid to travel to Texas to do so :). Not only that, they are not afraid to explore the outermost boundaries of educational potential. I'm embarrassingly proud of my co-presenters and I'm just as proud of everyone who came to share in the common experiences that have so enriched my own practice.
This year, I promise to come out of the virtual closet about Second Life. I came to this resolution mid-way in the Birds session, when I had the mic between others' shareouts and said something to the effect of, "I have to point out that, were I not in Second Life, I would know none of these people." I had to pause to compose myself before continuing. I was nearly in tears. I don't know if others noticed but I have a hard time imagining that it wasn't pretty apparent. These relationships, instigated and nurtured by shared enthusiasm for immersive education, are that important to me. Claudia Linden's participation here at NECC so encourages me that I do--I promise to proceed into the Teen Grid this coming year with the goal of bringing my own school's students into this immensely engaging world. This year, I promise to come out of the virtual closet about Second Life. Will you?
Pics from our NECC2008 SLedupotential work and play are at a set in flickr, and you can certainly get all the visuals you'd like by going to flickr.com and searching "necc08."
I'm up to shower and get to the Second Life "Playground," friend Lisa Linn and friend Scott Swanson's day long contribution to spreading the word that it's okay to explore and Second Life is a promising place to do so!