We just finished up a two-day convening of 80-some representatives of various projects funded by the Digital Media and Learning department of the MacArthur Foundation. It's sort of a Jedi Council of the most bad ass researchers, educators, game designers, and techies in the field of 21st century learning.
It's good to connect again with old colleagues like Akili Lee of the Digital Youth Network, Diana Rhoten of the the Social Science Research Council and James Paul Gee of the "Our Courts" project. And I got to meet a number of new grantees in this area, including friends from the Field Museum of Natural History of Chicago, as well as the SmallLabs project, Hired Pen, and the National Writing Project.
The convening was a nice balance of structured workshops and free time for networking. There's nothing like being in a roomful of people who are smarter than you having heady conversations about topics that you care about… and then hear them compliment you on the work that you are doing. It just makes you want to do your job that much better.
And you couldn't ask for a cooler triumvirate of foundation program officers than Connie Yowell, Ben Stokes and Craig Wacker. They are so good at synthesizing and facilitating the work that we are all doing. And they are just fun to hang out with.
Now I'm off to spend some time with my dad and relatives in the OC before heading back to New York tomorrow.