Make no mistake about the name; these are no fools, even if they are humorous folk. Jesters is
really an initiative more than a project. It arose from a plaguing question for a distinct group of
people in educational technology: What do you do if you run a MOO, and find that it rules your
life, yet you are not remunerated for your efforts? With the goal of answering this question, the
Jesters group was formed, lead by DaMOO's Janet Cross and Kristian Fuglevik. The Jesters meet
regularly on DaMOO to discuss how MOOs must
be promoted to successfully integrate their important technology into curricula, and how to have
administrators of these services compensated.
What's It All About?
The Jesters group consists of wizards and other administrators from various MOOs, teachers and
other educators who are concerned about MOO integration, and regular MOO users who feel that
they can contribute to the decision making of the Jesters.
The Jesters began meeting on 20 November 1996, and have since conducted four sessions. They
try to meet every Wednesday, on DaMOO, at 8:00 am and 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time. Given
the often haphazerd scheduling of those in the educational field, though, regular meetings are not
always possible. However, Jesters maintains several web pages on DaMOO's website.
The Jesters' mission statement is clear:
" 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,
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.' "
The Jesters web pages also contain a survey form for interested or concerned people to fill out,
indicating their stance and ideas on MOO projects, former responses to those surveys, a Call for
Participation, which outlines the Jesters' goals, and the complete logs of all previous Jesters
meetings. New announcements and announcements of upcoming meetings are also kept here.
What's Going On With It Now?
Previous meetings have served well to focus the Jesters group's intentions and goals. Thus far,
they have identified a clear need to get institution administrators onto and aware of MOOs and
their power, flexibility, and advantages. They have also identified the need to promote the
MOO environment as a powerful and flexible teaching tool to a wider audience than is now aware
of the technology. Finally, they have decided that funding must be pursued, and that MOOs need
to be expanded, and the administrators paid for their work. To this end, several Jesters have
decided to band together and collaboratively pursue grants and other funding. Above all, though,
the Jesters feel that word needs to be spread about MOOs in education, and the great benefits
educators can gain from using the MOO environment in their pedagogies.
People interested in finding out more about the Jesters project, or participating in the Jesters
meetings should contact Janet Cross (aka Jai) or Kristian Fuglevik (aka Gofy) at DaMOO.
Click a link to see a description of the project:
| Project Gutenberg | Epiphany | Composition in Cyberspace | Crossroads
| Hyperfiction Narrative Workshop | Netoric | Jesters |
Click to Visit a Site:
| Project Gutenberg | Epiphany | Composition in
Cyberspace | Crossroads |
| Annenberg/CPB | Hyperfiction
Narrative Workshop |
Netoric | Jesters |
Direct comments to Scott Kapel