I guess I really need to let my dirty little secret out, especially to those who know me. I still play with Barbie dolls. Allow me to introduce Penelope Drucker. She is my avatar in the virtual world of Second Life and I have (mostly) unashamedly created her to look like a Barbie doll. I never intended to create her - I accidentally found myself in SL following up a Google search for ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education). Had I known I was tumbling down a rabbit hole, I would have named my avatar, Alice, but it has been one of the best misdirections I have ever fallen into. Penelope has been the most amazing learning vehicle for me. I could draw all sorts of parallels about learning through play but that is not the point of this post.
The point is in the picture. I want people to understand, especially my colleagues in my district, that all the tech/digital knowledge that I have acquired does not come from a natural-born geek's brain. I cannot, unfortunately, claim such mental prowess. I function more as a mental mess. My learning is sloppy and frustrating and I highly doubt I would push myself but for one thing; the sight of my students' increasingly disconnected and discontented expressions. It's my job to wipe that expression off of their faces.
So I will continue to catapult myself into their future of virtual worlds, augmented reality, Web 2.0, 3.0 and beyond our imagination. And you can too. I promise the landing doesn't hurt, because once launched, you will never want to stop soaring.
What has Penelope got to do with it?
Everything you see in this blog: the blog itself, a recorded Voki, embedded YouTube videos, uploaded pictures, site traffic tracker, RSS feeds, avatars and Second Life were all things I had never even heard of, let alone know how to create, two years ago before Penelope. I've met some of the most incredible educators in SL and due to their knowledge, enthusiasm, fearlessness, understanding, generosity and care I became brave and I learned.
I would like to dedicate this "coming out" post to all of them.