“There and Back Again” (remix style)

Happy Thursday everyone,

I have to say that getting back into the groove of researching has been such a good feeling this past week. I never realized that transitioning back into “student” mode after a year long hiatus would be so challenging, but it’s all starting to feel right again.

So, this is my blog. Welcome. Here I’m plan on outlining my research throughout the semester. As of right now (10:48am on Thursday the 4th of September) my idea is this: Watching the Aaron Swartz documentary really made me realize that while I embrace the idea of Open Access, I’ve never really taken the time to look into what it’s all about, whose supporting it, how it has evolved over time, etc. So this first week, that is what I’m going to do. From there, I am going to hone in on what is going on in the community of “Digital Pedagogy”, meaning I want to get myself up to date with some of the practices that other educators/students are experiences in terms of how digital platforms are being used in a classrooms setting. I’ll spend about two weeks on this topic and then transition (YET AGAIN) to researching what I really want to know; how are we utilizing gaming (specifically MMO’s) or other digital modes of education (like google glasses) to move our education system forward.

Boom! Plan….kind of…Ok so in all honesty, these next few weeks are a trial run. There is a very large possibility that I scratch this idea and go a different direction. However, this is how I landed on this current idea (yes I’m going to tell you because it is my blog and I can tell you what I want to…tehe).

Over this past year of not being a full-time student and working/doing homework in my spare time, I became reacquainted with one of my all time favorite pastimes: gaming.  More specifically, I was able to experience a new genre of gaming known as MMO (massively multiplayer online game). I slowly began to engage in League of Legends Community, World of Warcraft Community, and (my favorite) the Final Fantasy: A Realm Reborn Community. I will say that, like every community, there are positive aspects to the online gaming community, and there are some very negative aspects. For some of the games, the community embraced those who were entering into a new community of practice (i.e. novice = noob). And other games had created a culture that downright bullied and tore down those who just starting out. I soon found myself leaving these more toxic communities, and only returning to them when I could play with a group of friends that I knew were encouraging and supportive.

So what did I learn from this and why does it matter? I learned that my gaming experience was driven by the community that I built within these worlds, which led me to wonder, why aren’t we bringing MMO’s into the classroom so that students can not only build a positive community base, but also so they can “experience learning” instead of just “forcing learning”. For example, when I entered into a world where I could both develop myself as an individual AND reach out to a support system when I needed help, I was more driven to keep questing and move forward with the plot of the game. Even when our group lost a fight, the attitude wasn’t negative, it was “Okay everyone, let’s make another strategy and try it again”. Why can’t all students experience this attitude in the classroom?!?!?!

So yes, this is essentially what I’m trying to look at. This notion of digital community and learning.

So, if ya’ll want to see how I plan to tackle this thing, I have re-mixed Kim’s calendar into my own device and plan on updating it as my research moves forward. CLICK HERE to see it.

More to come friends! GO team!

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