Reconnaissance is the subtle art of exploring areas outside of our expertise that may be potentially opposed to our current outlook or world view. Before this pandemic, the idea of a telecommuting economy seemed like a dystopian fantasy. Today, it is an inescapable reality that has invaded every aspect of our society; over 75% of all jobs have some meaningful form of work-from-home options available to them.

Nowhere has this impacted our society more than in the area of education. We educators (and by that we mean everyone who is interested and involved in helping others learn) are in the midst of the reconnaissance mission of our lives: not just to overcome, but to surpass, all expectations of what is hoped for and possible. To our colleagues, we say this: “We see you. We see your work and we will see the results of your work for years to come.”

As educators, we are having to adjust to more than just a transition from in-person to online methodologies. We are facing urgent challenges in the areas of remote classroom management, outdated policies or policies not designed to be applied to online environments, child psychology and welfare in online environments, health and safety considerations, and personal privacy, among others.

In the truest form, we are stepping up to these challenges and creating new opportunities to both adapt and improve at an equally rapid pace. We are intrepid problem solvers, creative planners, and innovators. We have also been among the most criticized, even as we keep showing that we don’t throw the white flag so easily. Often we must resort to our own reconnaissance to learn in a month what should have been cultivated over years. This form of reconnaissance is being done in the midst of danger, drawing upon the precious few resources available to us in curriculum design and instructional technology to alleviate the stress of such rapid change being imposed on all aspects of society.

Stress is the real enemy – and it is one that we shall overcome together. We must engage in reconnaissance because at the edge of that frontier, rejuvenating change and innovation await. More so, it sets the example for our learners that even in the face of great odds, there are even greater people willing to show courage, explore possibilities, and take a stand, because this too will pass.

The Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education this year is asking educators to consider what has changed over the past year as we have ventured out on missions through unexplored territory, and to share our intel (research and insights) into this new landscape in which we find ourselves.

  • What features, resources, and capabilities are either adding to or reducing stress in our fields of practice with the students and families that we are engaged with?
  • How are policies and guidelines supporting our ability to do our jobs, online, in the best way possible?
  • In what directions has our reconnaissance taken us?

We recognize that educators do not do the work of this mission alone. Educational technicians, web developers, experts in a multitude of fields who aid us in the mission of Reconnaissance, and all virtual worlds that support learning and development are welcome.

Please join us at the 14th Annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference, and together, let’s ensure that our reconnaissance makes this global online learning environment friendlier and more effective for everyone.

VWBPE 2021

March 18-20, 2021

* Play * Explore * Engage * Immerse * Learn *