Untold thanks to our capable guides and willing peers as we dove into World of Warcraft this week. Chris Dede of Harvard spoke of how educators must learn to unlearn in his keynote during the 2012 Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference.
Unlearning to me as a noob in World of Warcraft meant becoming vulnerable and dependent until I achieved enough self efficacy to navigate and even use new tools to ask for help. There were occasional frustrations as I pulled a Leeroy Jenkins running into an area where perils abound resulting in multiple deaths and respawns. "A little help here please" came not from me who was busy dying, but from my guide and capable, trusted colleague, Dr. Frankie Antonelli. She spent hours working with me grinding to levels making it possible to participate in mass chaos with the guilds. Sometimes I felt like Icarus, feeling the warmth of the sun just before everything went gray and alas. I was in the graveyard. Again.
Convening together with for dicussion in WoW among the various educators was transformative for me. Favorite game-based researchers, practioners, and theories could be shared without concern for being too fringe. My dissertation topic must incorporate some concepts that must be experienced and translated. After the fifth time in WoW I bought a subscription and vow to make time I do not have to delve deeper into the community of praxis.
How fitting that this week, Dr. Frankie and I attended a grants day sponsored by our university where we learned of the plans for the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) to focus on collaborative problem solving in 2015. The current 2012 PISA focus surrounds problem solving and research into the science of teams such as found of Teamscience.net sets up the type of interdisiplinary collaboration required to level up in World of Warcraft.
Perhaps this Collaboration and Team Science Field Guide created by the United States Government will help me and others tackle wicked problems that affect us all. If practicing in WoW, can make me a better collaborator, I am all in. Thanks again everyone!