Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Today's "E" Words

What comes after D?

Why, "E," of course! Words like energized and enthused and excited and eager and encouraged and expectant.

The good news is that I found work that speaks to me, that is right up my alley, and that is with someone (Ann McCormick) I've respected and revered from afar for over two decades and who, it turns out, shares my philosophies about just about everything -- from education and educational media to parenting and preferred vacation spots.

Ann and I have had parallel careers for the past 25 years, though on completely different planes, as she has been far more successful and in the limelight than I have. Although our paths have crossed numerous times, at CES, at NECC, and definitely at The Learning Company, which Ann founded and for whom I designed a game in 1987, it is only in the past few days that Ann and I have spoken extensively and come to realize how of-one-mind we are!

Ann's current venture is called Learning Friends, and if all goes according to plan, it will become the leader and premier provider of e-learning for children ages 4 - 9 (my favorite age group to design for). Learning Friends is currently in the fund-raising stage -- which means that for now they are only able to pay me in (hopeful) stock, not in cash... thus the final E-word, empoverished (improperly spelled, I know, but I had a THEME going)!

This is not an opportunity I will pass up because if it pans out it will be exactly the right fit for me. Having designed educational software programs for kids in the 80's and 90's like I did, Ann totally GETS my rant about what's happened to the industry and she completely agrees that the focus should stay on engaging and inspiring kids, not overwhelming them with superfluous technology. We want to create "immersive worlds" that teach reading and mathematics while integrating science, social studies, the arts, foreign language, emotional intelligence and technology. Each environment will contain integrated games, activities, tools, characters and stories.

Fun, yes? Inspiring, yes? And educational too!

There's so much to do -- from assisting with fund-raising efforts (obviously most important) to helping to organize numerous data bases and content, to developing characters and stories, to designing the user interface.

I'll still have to look for a "real" (that is, a paying) job because we still have a mortgage to pay, mouths to feed and college tuition (times three -- gasp!) to pay. And I'll still have to be prepared for Learning Friends NOT to pan out into a "real" job -- because that's what these things sometimes do. But for now, this just plain feels right and I'm old and experienced enough to know that sometimes the very best thing to go on is good ol' trusty intuition.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to file my weekly unemployment claim.

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Goofball said...

oh wow that sounds great. I can feel your enthousiasm and hope, so i'll cross my fingers that Learning Friends might pan into a real paying job :)

Anonymous said...

This sounds so great and right up your alley. And let's all hope that it will turn into a "real" job.

christina said...

Excellent! I'm betting it's going to turn into something good - sounds very worthwhile to me.

Rebecca said...

sounds wonderful - hope it all turns out positively and ends up as a 'paying job.'

Betsy said...

Wow! Sounds great! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you as well!

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