Virtual School Meanderings

July 23, 2009

FLVS Game: Conspiracy Code

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conspiracy_codeAbout a month ago I first posted an entry about a presentation at the 2009 Games, Learning & Society conference about a game created for the Florida Virtual School (FLVS) called “Conspiracy Code” (see K-12 Online Learning And Games, Learning & Society 2009).

So, a week or two ago, I noticed that Scott McLeod had posted an entry entitled “NECC – My adventures with Horse & Hound magazine: Florida Virtual School, Achieve3000” on his blog Dangerously Irrelevant.  In this entry, he describes his experiences with an interview he conducted with Julie Young and Andy Ross of the FLVS about this US-history game that they use to teach the year long course.

Take a look at Scott’s entry – and the Vimeo video (which you can access by clicking on the image too), and tell me what you think.  In addition to the video, Scott has also posted this printed material:

In my earlier entry about this I mentioned that I thought the Academic ADL Co-Lab at the University of Wisconsin–Madison may be involved in this project – but have later found out that they were approached, but decided they weren’t interested as the project began to move forward (and I’d be interested in hearing some of the reasons why if anyone wanted to comment here or e-mail me privately).

Finally, after posting his original entry Scott has had some additional thoughts about gaming in education – see Do most educational games suck?

Note that I have used both my own tags and all of the tags that Scott used for his original entry as well – which accounts for the higher than usual number of tags and categories.

December 10, 2008

Blogging And The Academy

My good friend Clif Mims (see Clif’s Notes) sent me the link for a blog entry entitled I said, they said from the blog Dangerously Irrelevant.  Essentially Scott McLeod, is an academic that does a lot of work in schools – and the university that he worked at didn’t quite value that work that he was doing (and quite passionate about) with the K-12 schools.  The entry basically spoke to an annual review that Dr. McLeod had and then some of the experiences he had while interviewing.

While I can’t say I have the same complaints that Dr. McLeod, has, as my institution (like his current one) values my work with schools – virtual schools in my case – and like Dr. McLeod, I have been able to maintain my scholarly output.  But it did get me thinking about my blogging and its relation to my work as an academic.

As a researcher and someone who reads everything I can find about K-12 online learning in the United States, North America and around the world, I think that positions me to be a good person to comment on K-12 online learning.  However, I tend to quite opinionated (when I have the time to actually comment on issues) and I wonder if that affects my ability to do my research.  Does my general opposition to charter schools, based on political/ideological reasons, that I express regularly on this blog limit my opportunities to work with cyber charter schools?  I know that Cory (see The Next Step) deosn’t seem to mind, and my visit to the Odyssey Charter School that he arranged changed my opinion of at least that cyber charter school.  The folks at Connections Academy, who I have been critical of in places like Wisconsin, have continued to be classy individuals that are still interested in working with me.  But I always wonder does my blog and the opinions that I express here shut doors for me?

At the same time, I wonder about the investment of time and resources.  Some days it takes me very little to update this blog – as many of the items are simply cut and pasted into entries.  But some days I post entries that take time to compose.  This entry for example.  The entries are another great example.  These kinds of entries tend to take an hour or more in many instances.  These tend to be the entries that get the most response, in terms of comments and trackbacks.  As someone who lives in the academy, in the world of publish or perish, I often wonder if those hours would be better served actually writing manuscripts or conference proposals.  It was only a day or two ago I met with a group of my doctoral students to see who was interested in gaining some research and writing experience by helping me to work on the nine revise and re-submits that are currently sitting on the desk of my home office.  Let’s not talk about the other six to eight manuscripts that I have in various states of development and the data that I have collected over the years which I still haven’t had a chance to do much (or anything) with.  As an academic, where should my energies me focused and should the amount of time I put into the blog at present be a part of that focused energy?

For those other academic bloggers, what do you think?  How have you rationalized this in your own work?

Note: I have used almost all of the same tags and categories as Dr. McLeod used in his original entry.

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