Saturday, July 7, 2007

SL Seal of Excellence?

by Allan Sturm

Editor's note: this post follows a very spirited and lengthy discussion on the SLED listserv about a suggested "stamp of approval" on SL-based educational materials.

There appears to be three camps of thought in this discussion about seals of excellence.

Just for fun, I thought I'd share what I have been reading "between the lines"... and I threw in a few perspectives just to help liven it up.

UniDiversity of Second Life

1) You can't tell me I'm the same as everyone else. (don't label me
or my efforts)
2) I promote diversity over similarity.
3) [Pretty much] toss out the old for the new. (anti-regime)
4) Don't tell me what to do or how to behave when [my vision of] the
future is so bright. (risk favorable)
5) Everyone is a peer. (the ladder of success is a pipe dream)
6) Everyone can excel if just given the opportunity or proper
[individual] setting.
7) Once a thief, not a thief forever. (if we could just 'reach' them)

UniVeristy of Second Life

1) I am more similar to others than I am different than everyone
else. (my labels define me and my efforts)
2) I tend to group over tending to separate.
3) The old works [well enough] so why reinvent it? (if it ain't
broke, don't fix it)
4) Give me guidelines or rules so that I know what to do and how to
behave. (Risk adverse)
5) I have inferiors, peers, and superiors. (ladder of success is a
6) Not everyone can or wants to excel regardless of opportunity or
7) Once a thief, always a thief. (odds are high that they won't change)

UniReality of Second Life

1) I am similar and different than others. (Labels only define me or
others as much as I allow them)
2) I am in groups and not in groups.
3) I learn from the old ways and adapt them to the new ways. ("If the
dog don't hunt, don't take him hunting anymore.")
4) Growth isn't risk averse, yet being risky most of the time will
kill me or my efforts.
5) Everyone is a peer and everyone has a purpose or a role. (play
well with others)
6) Provide opportunity and setting - some will excel, others will
fall to the wayside.
7) Once bitten, twice shy.

Think about baseball:

Team UniDiversity gets us the movie "Bad News Bears".

Team UniVersity gets us established and hard to modify Major League Baseball.

Team UniReality would be able to see that the Japanese are better baseball players than Americans, so why not examine how they do it and adapt? (adapt is the key word - keep what's working and update what's not working)

Seals of Excellence:

UniDiversity supports either no labeling at all or waiting a long time before anyone could possibly label our efforts in Second Life.

UniVersity wants approval of their efforts and authority to act in Second Life - asap.

UniReality would suggest a blend of UniDiversity and UniVersity - the time will come that labels will be appropriate and that these labels won't necessarily describe worthiness....

I was once told a disturbing fact(oid) about the military's doctors (in the past or present, I don't remember). Doctors must have an equivalent "seal of excellence" yet as the story goes, most military doctors were "C" students in college - apparently their medical classes??. If this is true, being given their version of a 'seal of excellence" (in the form of being allowed to practice medicine) doesn't mean Jack.

For those of you in UniDiversity, have a great (whatever you would feel comfortable describing it as)!

For those of you in UniVersity, have a great weekend!

For those of you in UniReality, have a great (well, it is the weekend so why not call it that?)

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