I am going to make a fervent effort at blogging again as in the past it has been cathartic and a place where I can think things through without having to provide the level of evidence necessary for academic publication. A lot has been going on in the last 18 months and I should be talking about The Koan School systemic change project, the Old Alton ARG designed and run by Jenny Wakefield, the Villainous game designed by the Koan middle school kids last year, research with Dennis Beck in Arkansas, etc.
However, today and until Saturday, I’m in Philadelphia at AERA, so I’ll start there.
I arrived last night from DFW after an uneventful trip mostly punctuated by reading Chomsky and student papers. This morning, a bit of coffee, figuring out how to get to the convention center (which is quite nice) to check in, then out for coffee and steel cut oats while I reply to Facebook and Twitter messages sent in response to a class assignment in my online learning course at UNT.
It is good to be away so that I can work and clear my head, but I already miss my kids tremendously, as well as The Koan School.
For the uninitiated, a koan in Buddhism is “knotty problem” that we might call “ill-structured” in academic, problem-based learning jargon. We don’t often think about ill-structured problems as being designed for faculty/instructors/researchers/designers. Instead, in our arrogance, we generally only think about designing them for our students. However, creating a school from nothing with Heather, Amanda, and Jeanne as well as our amazing community in Denton, TX has been one of the most ill-structured problems I have ever encountered. I am learning more from this than from anything I have done in my life. It has been hard to find time to write about it, because I am constantly in the act of DOING. Being away should give me a little time to think things through and plan, which has not been possible for the last many months.
I’ll post a couple of times a day if I can.