I got an email from my friend Mitzi today:
Hey Bethie: If you don't write on that
blog of yours, I am flying over and whacking you with my 9 iron.
Life has been CRAZY-BUSY-WONDERFUL..dearest Mitzi!
Picture from: http://flickr.com/photos/jutecht/513927851/
First, the Best Practices Conference was a smashing success. The 50 volunteers that made up the event were just awesome. They are the best and brightest people I know, and it was an honor to work with them. 1,300 unique avatars attended the event.
That means that there are 1,300 people out there interested in MUVE education!!! WOO HOO!
If you want to hear me blabber on about it, check out the interview (done in the wee hours of the am) with Starr at SLCN.tv
That conference was just simply amazing, and meeting new people has been incredible. For example, I FINALLY met CDB Barkely in SL. I have emailed his real-life self, Alan, but never had the chance to meet his avie-dog. Likewise, I met AJ Brooks from Montclair State, and we are working together on a pilot project to connect our resources. KittyGloom Cassady from ISTE is one of the loveliest people I have met, AND she has lived in Pennsylvania and knows what a cheese steak SHOULD look like! Globalkids Bixby is another awesome fellow with tons of energy and passion, and Chuck Hamilton and Holly Stewart from IBM were just a thrill to chat with before and after the conference. Adreanne from Linden Labs was incredibly generous as a communicator for Philip Rosedale. Sheesh Louise, I could rattle names on for a day and a half, and STILL miss people!!! They are ALL just awesome awesome peeps.
Some new projects have emerged as a result of this conference, and they all light me up with passion. For example, Hiro Sheridan (SL) started the Open SLedware movement, and this is an important project to me. Opening barriers to education is important in all realities, and I am excited to see this drive for open course content move forward in SL.
At the moment, I have secured all new lands and am moving all my properties. It is a crazy thing, but it has to be done (or LCCC needs to give me a raise). Thanks to the absolute generosity of the UK educators group, the British Literature Classroom has moved to Education UK Island. I LITERALLY cried as Eloise and I packed up the two Knightsbridge properties. Debs Regents and the Virtual Commerce Project have been VERY kind to me, but I just couldn't foot the bill without support from LCCC. Eloise, feeling sorry for me, no doubt (blubbering in chat is a heck of a lot more attractive than what it looked like in RL), built Camelot, a Grendel Cave (COMPLETE WITH GRENDEL), and...hear this...HEROT!!! She is hosting the Grand Hall on her property, but we already used it for class. Eloise truly is my Fairy Godmother in SL...no doubt.
AJ Brooks and Montclair State University have been kind enough to provide space for Literature Alive! Headquarters, The Garden Classroom for Faculty Development, the American Literature Classroom, and....hear this...a NEW project....the Edgar Allan Poe House!!! As soon as it is finished, we will have a Poe Party!!! Many thanks to AJ for working so diligently to help me.
The School Store will be moved in about two weeks over to Drexel Island with the Women's Studies Classroom. Many thanks to Jean-Claude Bradley and Tim Siftar for being so incredibly generous to me, my classes, and the store. While the store doesn't really generate income, it does provide educational tools all in one spot for educators.
In real life, I have heard word that my beloved dean, Dr. Jim McCarty, has accepted a position elsewhere. They are luck to have him, and we are the worst for losing him. His support of digital initiaves (especially iTunes and SL) has been fabulous. He will be missed.
The Horizon Project wrapped up today, and Vicki Davis, that CoolCat Teacher Wonder Woman, is STILL one of the women I admire most in education. Her passion and light is addicting and infectious. Those kids, from all over the world, did an AWESOME job. I am now involved in an online conference led by George Siemens on the Future of Education out of the University of Manitoba.
I look forward to my future in SL as more partnerships form. But, I also look forward to sailing with Adey, going to Phat's JC for some nice music, and horseback riding at my residence in Caledon.