I will be joining ISTE’s SIGVE and the IB Educators Guild in WoW in on an Hour of Code to celebrate Computer Science Week and to advocate for teaching coding at all grade levels. This will be at least my third … Continue reading →
A group to support the development and use of machinima in education will begin meeting bi-weekly, starting on Monday September 16 at the Front Range Sim in Second Life. The SLURL for the meeting is http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Front%20Range/108/26/35 and the meeting will begin at … Continue reading →
Rod Humble of Linden Labs recently described the Virtual World as “creative space”. Jeddin’s Underground City sim on Second Life is a creative space melding the ideas of Descending Road author/creator with 3D artistry and SL scripting to make what the artist … Continue reading →
In an in-world presentation, Lesley Scopes aka Light Sequent presented ‘Learning Archetypes as tools of Cybergogy: A structure for eTeaching in Second Life‘ to VWBPE 2010. The presentation was worth watching for the information that was presented, but of particular interest was the presentation method. Lesley used 3D world tools to present rather than bringing the more frequently used 2D tool (PowerPoint) into the 3D world. This made the presentation more engaging than presentations I typically attend. The 3D models brought a unique physicality to the presentation that served to interest the audience.
A 3D representation is used to make a point
The presentation took advantage of tools not available in a 2D platform and perhaps demonstrates the evolution of 2D to 3D much like the evolution of overheads to PowerPoint was a few years ago. Using the tools available in virtual worlds requires that the presenter have some skills in the area of building. Light Sequent explained that the 3D items could contain scripts for additional interaction between audience and information 3D graphic. At the very least the presenter should be able to place the correct 3D object in front of the audience at the appropriate time but the actual building of the objects could be built by someone adept at building.
I look forward to using this method of presentation in the future, though I’ll need to label objects carefully so I don’t accidentally place a shoe or a silly gadget in front of my audience.
Employers complain that the incoming workforce lacks what is needed. Are we preparing our students appropriately for their future? Tony Wagner in his book, The Global Achievement Gap discusses what he calls the 7 survival skills for the 21st century. According to him these skills are:
Problem-solving and critical thinking;
Collaboration across networks and leading by influence;
Agility and adaptability;
Initiative and entrepreneurship;
Effective written and oral communication;
Accessing and analyzing information; and
Curiosity and imagination.
These are the kinds of things we discuss in our annual reviews with supervisors and we know these skills make us more productive and useful to the organization.
Most of these 7 skills are supported with project-based participant production in a virtual environment. Student production in virtual environments involves building, scripting and researching to develop content. This type of activity lends itself to a collaborative atmosphere and the ‘network’ across which students collaborate can extend across the globe. (Collaborative building in Second Life – Palo Alto Research Center). Problem solving takes place while planning and again while producing. Limitations must be considered and decisions about the best solution take place for effective results. Students must use mathematics and communication skills as they work together to complete their intended product. They may need to do some research and analyze information as they progress in their building. Discovery can take place and a plan may change or students may need to adapt a plan and influence colleagues toward a different approach. Of course, curiosity and imagination are always at play as students build what defies common perceptions and sometimes the laws of physics. It is the process that is most important here, what the students have to do to achieve their goal – not the final product.
Frequent questions regarding Virtual environments in education are “So what does a student do in a virtual world? How/what does a student learn?”. What students can do falls into two categories, they can consume content and they can produce content. … Continue reading →