[This post is my weekly reflection on my participation and learning in the course EDET 693 – Gaming and Open Education, at the University of Alaska Southeast for the graduate program in Educational Technology. My class is developing a MinecraftEdu MOOC to run later this fall semester for 6th – 12 grade students. Our weekly readings are from our course text – “The Gamification of Learning and Instruction : Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education” by Karl M. Kapp (2012).]
When I went back to read last week’s reflection, I was reminded how much we have accomplished in one week! There have certainly been moments where I felt like we were on a long tangent, off the beaten path, and down the rabbit hole, but getting ourselves organized and putting our ideas in one place has helped me to feel like we are gaining momentum.
I like to write down ideas so we can see how they look, sound, and fit in with all the other pieces. Writing something down or getting that first draft on paper, helps me to “let it go” so it can be analyzed, pushed, pulled, stretched, morphed, or even thrown out. I try not to get “attached” to my ideas, especially when it’s a group effort and I want to incorporate other perspectives. It’s hard sometimes to not keep adding more and more great ideas to the pile. That can tell us that we are on the right track, that we have a good concept. However, I often remind myself to keep stepping back and thinking about the entire concept and then dive back in to work on a focused task. I went through the planning document and added my ideas where I felt I needed to; that helps me to let go of those pieces and focus on my specific tasks for this week. Because our team works on the planning document at varying times throughout the week, I think it is important to give our ideas and then let the assigned team member take it from there. I think that will help us to make progress rather than getting stuck in our process, debating every decision, and starting a new strategy every week.
I also like to build consensus in an effective way and make sure that my team feels supported throughout the process. We all have LIFE going on all the time and while this project needs a lot of time and attention from all of us, it can be difficult for us when there are IMPORTANT and URGENT things that demand our attention or our ACCESS to what we need is limited. I accept that all these factors are just part of the process and we deal with them because they impact our ability to do what we want or need to accomplish. I know we have all had that conversation with our students; we understand how LIFE can get in their way of being successful in our classrooms, so we do what we can to accommodate and support them. We meet them where they are at and we help lead the rest of the class in moving forward. I know it’s been a long and crazy week for our team!
I hope our planning and organization has helped everyone to gain clarity in their roles and responsibilities;
I hope each team member feels that their perspective and work on this project is valued by others;
I hope that the 6th grade student who joins our MOOC in a couple of weeks is transformed by this project;
I hope the teacher who takes a chance on us is rewarded with an inspiring experience;
and I hope each team member has a meaningful professional growth experience from our work together!
We got this!