We, in my school district, had just begun to toy with the idea of acquiring some un-real estate in Second Life, when those of us who could actually, maybe, get it done, decided to retire from public service. That's a bit over-wrought, of course, as I am sure there are some others around who are of a virtual education bent, and who will pick up the slack, carry on the momentum towards the inevitable.
My "this year" seniors have stepped off into the world, and one by one, each benefited from being able to realize the power of their own inspirations। They ventured into the virtual reality of their interior landscapes to seek an ecology of the mind.
With or without a cartoon avatar, when we in education engage our students in seeking their own truths, the outcomes are always releases of enormous energy, coupled with growing self-realization that the only real empowerment for doing things comes from within ourselves.
This year, one kid was headed for finishing up high school with nothing to show for all that time, and he knew it. Was not even considering taking on any more frustration by going to college.
The word-for-word exchange between us:
"What are you interested in?"
"I like to walk in the woods."
"So, go build yourself a park. You know, like a national park or something, if that's what you have in mind?"
The next thing I knew, (next month) he's asking me for college recommendations to five schools near wilderness centers in the Rocky Mountains. The next thing I knew(two months later) he's handing me a copy of his published journal on hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Pennsylvania.
It just occurred to me, writing this post, it's kind of like the joke us Boomers have about how the world used to be all black and white, like Pleasantville