Friday, July 04, 2008

My Leadership Day Post: Leadership in Virtual Worlds

This is my 2008 Leadership Day Post

Many of us are participating in the Leadership Post 2008 Challenge. Since most of my work has been centered on building immersive literary builds in Second Life, I thought I would discuss Edu Leadership in that arena.

Is there an "A List"?

I have no idea. If there is one, I am not sure who is on it or who created it. I am fairly sure there are people who think they are on it, assuming it exists, but I am not sure how they arrived at the notion that there is an A List or should be one.

The Leaders

Even though I can't identify all of the leaders that exist in SL, there are attributes of leadership that are readily identifiable. A leader is someone who:

  1. Shares Resources It is very easy to hoard ideas, concepts, and tools. It is very easy to withhold great information in an effort to look better. But, leaders share resources. Max Chatnoir/MA Clark, for example, shares her pooping Llama, her DNA Cats, and all of her teaching resources with me. She wouldn't have to, ya know. I don't teach science. But, she does. Horace Moody/Jean-Claude Bradley and Hiro Sheridan/Andy Lang are out there sharing tools AND real life scientific research. In fact, Jean-Claude is giving up potential PATENTS because he believes Open Notebook Science is the way of the future. Eloise Pasteur donates more scripts and builds to the Metaverse than anyone else (INCLUDING the Lindens!). Butch Dae/George Kurtz collects and shares research through his MindMap tool. Troy McLuhan/Troy McConaghy shares all that incredible science. Organizations like the Foundation for Rich Content, SLNN, Cattle Puppy, FireSabre, the V3 Group all share resources with Literature Alive! in the form of Linden and Land grants. Colleges and Universities like Drexel, Montclair State, Finger Lakes CC, Monroe Community College, North Georgia SCU, and Lehigh Carbon CC share land with Literature Alive! for our builds. Organizations like ISM, NOAA, ISTE and NMC share resources for new educators and programming for both veterans and newbies. There are so many others, and I apologize if I missed anyone. But, just this short list proves that leaders share and don't count the cost.
  2. Share and Cultivate Research While there are many of us out here teaching, we rely on others to prepare and gather research ABOUT teaching in virtual worlds. Wainbrave Bernal/Jonathon Richter, for example, is coordinating the 2008 SLCCed conference with an eye for professional development in mind. There are so many doing this, and others working on tools to share (Jeremy Hunsicker and Daniel Livingstone, for example).
  3. Share Ideas/Feedback/Comments/Criticism Our success at Literature Alive! has been a result of awesome students and wonderful collaborators. When someone leaves feedback about one of our builds (Glenn Linden, for example), it helps us to make our builds better. Active participation is a true form of leadership.
  4. Evangelize Those who go out and speak on behalf of Second Life solidify our usefullness and help us to gain professional merit for our work. Sarah Robbins, for example, has been out championing this teaching tool forever, and her grassroots leadership has made a difference!
  5. Teach in Second Life It is one thing to talk about teaching, but it is a WHOLE other basket of peas to actually DO it. I have infinite respects for those who are actually using SL to teach: Bryan Carter, Max Chatnoir, Jean-Claude Bradley, Dave Longenbach, Eloise Pasteur, Hiro Sheridan, Intellagirl Tully, Charlie and Becca Nesson, Peggy Sheehy, Larry Dugan, and countless others.
These are just a few traits of leadership. And, certainly, I missed a whole host of people. But, suffice it to say, we ALL have the potential to SHARE, EVANGELIZE, and TEACH.

1 comment:

Cyndi Uriza said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comments. They give food for thought on how to make a positive contribution in virtual worlds.