Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Educator's frolics and the perils of the group task

Group tasks assigned: 1 (good); Group names assigned: 1 (hmmm); No. of hours after midnight spent landscaping, chatting etc.: (would rather not say)

Was v. pleased to be invited a couple of months ago to become part of Educators Coop and have blogged a little about it already. Is led by North and his colleague Bluewave, and others are renting bits of land in the Educators coop sims for educational purposes. Is interesting mix e.g. one person teaching GIS, another music and so forth. Think others are all from USA, with range of jobs.

Can get v. interesting discussions and good to be with group who you gradually get to know. Main down side is that earliest that meetings ever start is 10pm UK time, and usually more like 1am, so am pushing further into zombie like existence.

Anyway task has been set, namely to develop some empty bits of Educators Coop for group use. Did not initially get involved, since missed start-off meeting and also have enough to do at moment, what with missed deadlines, marking, students arriving etc etc. However got drawn in at next Coop meeting and found myself in 3rd group, consisting of people who hadn't attended first meeting.

Now know from experience how this kind of group turns out. People email each other to arrange meetings to which only a random selection (any 2 from 4, for example) turn up, normally with different people at each one. At some point one group member will decide that she can't face getting a fail. She will attempt to pull things together by doing lots herself, but forget to reread the assignment briefing. Gradually others will join in but by that time it's too late. Something is submitted but the Emergent Leader will moan that it's not fair because if she's done it on her own, it would have got a better mark, and she just had to rewrite things that others did, especially X. X will complain that Emergent Leader was so bossy she didn't listen to anyone else so all sorts of good ideas got ignored. X will come along to complain with fellow group member Y, who will nod a lot and and spend the rest of the time texting. The fourth member of the group, Z, will simply keep a low profile as she really didn't do anything much except sign the Joint Declaration of Collaborative Work.

OK well obviously this is NOT how this project is proceeding. Must be said was a bit worried at first, however now seems to be getting along swimmingly. Swimmingly is good word as although is land-based idea, currently land has cute swimming channel all round the edge. Have had useful talks with Lorri, Grandma and Pirate and we have a Plan for 3 level design, aimed at orientation esp. for library and information people. Have done some landscaping, since as readers will know, find landscaping most fun in world aside from other things that don't talk about on this blog.

However will need to curb impulses, since as wrote on shared Google Doc just now:

"Sheila - damaged one level by mistake*; dug water channel (forming figure of 8, if you include channel on neighbouring land) so that you might be able to go all round in an inner tube; added a duck, frog, crane, some willow trees, cushions, patchwork rabbit-chair; tree stump seating arrangement and a useless loud watertube in the air. Am donating to group where I have permissions, except for the tree stump."

* fortunately Grandma was forgiving about this.

Frogs, ducks, trees, cute chairs: same old, same old. Must try to channel rusty tin cans, ambitious sky sculptures, minamalist mountain builds etc.

Have not mentioned group name. Is, ahem, Sheila's Sheisters. Perhaps will be bonding factor since I am embarraassed to have own name there and others are not sheisters. Or perhaps not.

1st pic taken by Bluewave shows whole Coop meeting playing round on land when was still under water. Other pics are by me. You see that funfair is the other theme.

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The blog of Sheila Yoshikawa on her adventures in Second Life. This may be very thrilling. Or possibly not.