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Call for participation: Jesters Get Serious

                    Jesters Get Serious

We are court jesters, we who design, administrate, and teach on MOOs. We
oscillate between play and work. We play on MOOs and MOO for work. We take
our educational MOOing seriously, yet often languish outside the high
court circle of influence. In addition, many individuals currently
responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining educational MOOs do
so without pay and with little recognition. Dr.  Eric Mercer, an
administrator at Diversity University MOO, maintains, "Everyone who works
on MOOs for educational purposes should have the opportunity to be paid."

A recent discussion of MOO design on the listserv MOO-ED prompted Lonnie
Turbee, administrator of the wildly successful Spanish language MOO,
MundoHispano, to make a plea for administrative assistance. Lonnie, like
many MOO administrators, is unremunerated for her work, yet the
university, teachers, students, and others around the world still benefit
from her project as well as the work of her unpaid assistants. The work
load required of MOOs was becoming untenable. In response to a private
email, Lonnie quipped somewhat wryly,

          I still haven't quite figured out why a large university
          like Syracuse couldn't figure out how to hang onto me. But then,
          I'm sure they've lost *many* a lowly grad student with lofty
          ideas and successful projects....I sure would love to get paid
          for this project. Syracuse University won't do it. Syracuse
          Language Systems, my employer, won't (although they did buy the
          server for MundoHispano, MOOfrancais, and AskERICmoo). And
          writing a grant is just one more thing I don't have time to do.
          Not now, anyway...If there's any way I can contribute to our
          understanding of the place of technology and technology
          developers in education in the scheme of things (namely, who
          gets rewarded for what work), I'd be delighted to help.

Lonnie is just one MOO jester among many, and while many of us might be
outside the court of "rank and tenure," we still are in the singular
position of having the experience to "advise" the court in ways that only
a jester can, foolishly. To this end, jesters Cross and Fuglevik invite
your participation in an online forum (
comprised of a narrative survey and MOO cafes, focused on issues of
material and human resources in order to lay groundwork for an evaluation
of the play/work we do on educational MOOs. 

We offer a series of MOO "cafes" to discuss the issues affecting school
administrators, MOO administrators, faculty and students. These MOO
discussions, based on survey responses, will help build a tentative set
of guidelines from which to advise the court on hiring, retaining,
promoting, or otherwise valuing the work done onMOO.

Whether you can attend the MOO sessons or not, please take some time to
fill out the survey at 

MOO sessions will be held at DaMOO ( 7777) as follows: 

********   Are Jesters Serious?  ********
*                                       *
*              November 20              *
*              5:00 pm Pacific          *
*                                       *
*    Introductions: missions, agendas.  *
*    Why and how did we get here? What  *
*    do we hope to achieve?             *
*                                       *

            ***** MOO Benefits: a Cornucopia of Delights  *****
            *                                                 *
            *             November 25                         *
            *             5:00 pm Pacific                     *
            *                                                 *
            *     How have we, our respective institutions,   *
            *     departments, teachers, students,            *
            *     community benefited from MOO?               *
            *                                                 *

****   Playing the Jester is Hard Work   ****
*                                           *
*               December 4                  *
*               5:00 pm Pacific             *
*                                           *
*     Examining the human resources         *
*     necessary to MOO: what have we        *
*     invested of our own time, training    *
*     resources.                            *
*                                           *

******   Jesters Advise the Court  ******
*                                       *
*               December 11             *
*               5:00 pm Pacific         *
*                                       *
*        So how *do* we advise our      * 
*        respective administrators      *
*        of their needs as well as      *
*         our own?                      *
*                                       *

Kristian Fuglevik			DaMOO
DaGroup, Northridge, Ca.

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