SLanguages2008   Blended Learning
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SLanguages2008   Blended Learning SLanguages2008 Blended Learning Presentation Transcript

  • Blended Learning Combining Second Life with Online Tools Howard Vickers [email_address] www.avatarlanguages.com
  • Avatar Languages
    • Online language school
      • English currently; Spanish and other languages soon
    • One-to-one classes
    • Flexible individualized service
    • Implications for use of virtual worlds and online tools
      • Combination of Google Docs, Whiteboards, Skype and Second Life
  • Target Audience and Purpose
    • Target Audience probably one of…
      • New to Second Life
      • New to Virtual World Language Education
      • Some (not extensive) experience in virtual world language education
    • Language educators with experience in virtual worlds are extremely welcome!
  • Target Audience and Purpose
    • Purpose…
      • How can virtual worlds be incorporated into language education?
      • Focus on where virtual worlds are unique
      • New pedagogies for virtual worlds?
  • Online language education tools
    • First consider other online tools
      • Skype
      • Google Docs
      • Whiteboards
    • What are their relative strengths?
    • Second Life and virtual worlds
  • Skype I
    • Description
      • Messenger like MSN, Yahoo etc
      • Voice calls
        • PC to phone calls
        • PC to PC
      • Text chat (history function)
      • Video
      • Share images, files
      • Record voice conversations
      • Conference calls
  • Skype II
    • Advantages
      • Easy to use
      • Often excellent call quality
      • Many extra functions (eg Whiteboard Meeting)
    • Use in Lessons
      • Voice
      • Text chat prompts
  • Google Docs I
    • Description
      • Online version of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint
      • Saved on server
      • Multiple users can simultaneously edit
      • Immediate changes
  • Google Docs II
    • Advantages
      • Intuitive
      • Simultaneous
      • Track changes
      • Export to / import from hard-drive
    • Use in Lessons
      • When linear structure important
      • Shared work space
  • Whiteboards I
    • Description
      • Shared surface
      • Freely move text, images and sketches
      • Drag and drop images from web
  • Whiteboards II
    • Advantages
      • Intuitive
      • Responsive
      • Flexibility
      • Export to / import from hard-drive
      • Students love them!
    • Use in Lessons
      • Matching words with meanings / images
      • Re-ordering words in scrambled sentence
      • Indicate specific word / image
  • Second Life vs Interactive Web
    • Skype, Google Docs and Whiteboards – Complement virtual worlds
    • Skype, Google Docs and Whiteboards – Simplicity is their Strength
    • Second Life – Complexity offers variety of opportunities
    • Focusing on virtual worlds…
  • Second Life’s Strengths
    • Immersive and engaging
    • Environments to explore
      • Real life replicas
      • Imaginary places
    • Social space
      • Many users
      • Sociable culture
  • Second Life Challenges
    • Learning curve / Complexity
    • Not web
      • All content must previously exist
      • Limited media
  • Uses of Second Life
    • Social and communicative learning / practice
      • Meet people anytime / anywhere
      • Interviews / conversation practice
    • Exploring environments
      • Language tasks that refer to environment
    • Game like learning
      • Second Life as a platform for games for learning
      • Relatively cheap platform
      • Other presentations
  • Approaches to Virtual Worlds
    • Backpacker: Freedom
      • Backpackers don’t own land
      • Make use of public spaces in virtual worlds
        • Social quality for learning
        • Particular environment
    • Landed Gentry: Control
      • Landed Gentry own land
      • Determine what happens on your parcel
        • Who enters learning environment
        • What activities take place
  • Relative Advantages
    • Advantages of Backpacking
      • Real life / natural interactions and conversations
      • Flexibility to use different spaces
      • Low cost
    • Advantages of being Landed Gentry
      • Control and security
      • Specific tasks and activities for language learning
  • Avatar Languages Experience
    • Moved from Land Ownership to Backpacking
    • Desire to focus on individualized lessons
    • Flexibility is a priority
  • A New Pedagogy for Virtual Worlds
    • Second Life: a diverse, immersive, stimulating, learning environment!
    • So why have I not made use of this for this presentation?
      • Need for fast preparation
      • Time pressure
      • Control over presentation outcome
    • Correct this with field trip in SLanguages 2008
      • Groups to visit different locations in Second Life
      • Guiding questions to answer at each location
      • Answers collaboratively drafted and edited using a wiki
      • Second Life discussion at EduNation for conclusion
  • Blended Learning Combining Second Life with Online Tools Howard Vickers [email_address] www.avatarlanguages.com
  • slanguages.net SLanguages 2008 This presentation was given at SLanguages 2008 The Conference for Language Education in Virtual Worlds