This has been a pretty crazy four weeks! My students started out the semester in EDET 668: Leadership in Educational Technology with a healthy skeptical attitude about games in the classroom. Over four weeks, we have explored and played serious games, determined our criteria for choosing a serious game for use in the classroom, and we’ve created some individual rubrics for teachers and students to evaluate serious games. We’re at the end of the first phase of our journey, and these students, who are in-service teachers and training professionals, are now refining the rubrics we created into two rubrics that integrate the “best of the best”! One of these rubrics will be for student use, and one for teacher use. Next week, Vicki’s 9th Graders will be presented with a template through which they can evaluate the games they have been examining, and my students will move forward as we begin exploring literature about what we’ve already been doing – innovating in the classroom!
I have shared with my students the pride I feel in their tolerance for ambiguity and their willingness to trust, and go with the flow, trusting the process during this journey! I know that my own ability to roll with the punches (or catch the wave and ride it) has been stretched through this project! But it has been so good for me. It’s easy to feel innovative when one is one his or her isolated ed tech island. Once I started working with Vicki and Verena; however, I had a whole new level of challenge! These are well known collaborators and doers! The fact that we are all doers has made this project both amazingly effective, and has stretched us all I think. The Four Amigos (as Vicki calls us) has truly become our own Professional Development Community and think-tank!
The project has changed so much since we first envisioned it, but each change has been for the better. Actually, I should say that it didn’t change as much as it evolved. We have weekly meetings to talk about what we are seeing, and what we think we should do next. Had we tried to “control” this project tightly, I don’t think it would have unfolded to become what it currently is. We noticed where the enthusiasm lay for students and for teachers, we felt the enthusiasm for gaming from the greater educational community, and we changed course throughout to respond to what we were seeing. This is what great teaching is about!