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    071011MSU_SL_NewFaculty 071011MSU_SL_NewFaculty Presentation Transcript

    • Second Life: Possibilities for Teaching and Learning in a Virtual World
      • Assistant Professor
      • English Department
        • AJ KELTON
        • Director
        • CHSS Technology
        • Services Unit
    • What do you already know about Second Life?
    • What is Second Life?
      • “ Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents.”
      • A flexible space for learning and exploration
      • An opportunity for people to interact in a way that conveys a sense of presence lacking in other media.
      • Generalized rather than contextual, applicable to almost any discipline.
      • Second life is NOT a game - there are no rules or a fixed goal-oriented purpose
      • http://www.secondlife.com/whatis and http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2006_Horizon_Report.pdf
    • Statistics
      • 15-20K sign ups daily - over 10 million total
      • 25 - 50K residents on at one time
      • over $1 million spent daily
      • The Linden - $L - The LindeX
      • Well over 200 educational institutions
      • Over 250 “sims” dedicated to education
    • What is Behind Second Life
      • a scaleable co-located grid of servers running Linux - “infinite” growth just by adding a server
      • Real-time 3D streaming at DSL/Cable modem (or higher).
      • Streaming positional audio - conveys distance and direction.
      • One download delivers persistent desktop access - everything resides on the grid
      • Cross-platform portability
    • What is Behind Second Life
      • Infinite avatar customization - no two avatars alike
      • Uploadable textures and audio
      • Quicktime video can play in-world.
      • Rigid body physics simulation
      • International Language Support - chat and communicate in local languages, including Asian character sets. European keyboards supported.
      • http://lindenlab.com/press/technology
      • Pedagogical Validity for Teaching with Second Life
    • First, we recognize…
      • There is significant media hype focused on the “darker sides” of the in-world experience - violence, sex, drugs and rock & roll [VSDRR]
      • The label of “gaming” poses an image problem for SL insofar as its potential uses in secondary and/or higher education
      • Without proper directions, goals and objectives, SL is as aimless and as pedagogically bereft of meaning as any other poorly designed or poorly deployed classroom lesson
    • However, with constructivist pedagogies…
      • Comprehension soars when (Neo)Millennial students engage with their avatars and co-journey through the learning environment’s unfolding episodes and processes (Dede)
      • Learning communities are fostered ( Bereiters and Scardameglia’s Knowledge Forum experiment )
      • Collaborative knowledge-building develops and cognitive capital is distributed among groups and individuals
      • Continued on next slide
    • Constructivist pedagogies...
      • Learners forge Identity Formation Strategies (agency) through graphical avatars (persona) to communicate with other agents and to interact with digital artifacts (Dede)
      • In many ways, SL immersion is similar to what many literary critics call Transactional Reader Response (Rosenblatt).
    • Second Life is…
      • A medium or text that may be “read” as a hybrid genre or environ
      • A platform for learning and engagement
      • An interface where immersion in a virtual environ using avatar-based entities is akin to a transactional reader response with a character
    • We construct the Self in many ways; narrative exploration is one method
    • Harvard educational research indicates...
      • For psychologists adopting this model of cognitive psychology, embracing narrative and its characters is a fundamental way to enable human beings to make their way through the world.
    • We have at least 3 selves
      • The Real - the identity in the here-and-now; the person behind the facade or character
      • The Projective - the identity of the Real person we put into an avatar or online character; the qualities we transfer from the Real to the online
      • The Virtual - one’s identity AS a virtual character; a constructed, fictionalized protagonist we embody while “inworld”
      • Gee, James Paul.
      • What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. New York: Palgrave, 2003.
    • Navigating experiences through these personae is not simply “play”
      • Importantly, Jung clarified that the various persona, are not a pose or some other intentional misrepresentation of the self to others. Rather, it is, as it were, the self as self-construed, and may change according to situation and context.
    • Living through virtual experiences is to inhabit a realm of pure possibility and to practice what Donald Graves calls “long thinking.”
      • “ Long thinkers are problem finders, enjoy their own company, have a sense of play, are highly focused and have been appreciated by other long thinkers.”
      • Donald Graves Testing is Not Teaching: What Should Count in Education, 2002
      • Immersion yields enhanced motivation
      • Hands-on, constructivist practices pose challenges and peak curiosity
      • MMUVEs reach learners who do not succeed in conventional classroom settings
      • The use of MMUVEs allow for delivery of sophisticated content in context and application
      • http://muve.gse.harvard.edu/rivercityproject/
      Dede’s research on MMUVEs shows
    • The application of MMUVEs
      • Requires higher order skills
      • Builds fluency in distributed modes of communication, expression and rhetoric
      • Encourages participants to engage in extended periods of dialogue (both written and oral)
    • Second Life permits
      • Guided Inquiry, where experience is central to learning
      • Scaffolding of in-world prior experiences through seeking, sieving and synthesizing experiences
      • Decentralization of the class - knowledge is created across a community rather than delivered from an individual (the teacher)
    • And…
      • Unlearning of unconscious assumptions about communities and the “Other”
      • Application of critical thinking and problem-solving in context and in process
      • Sharing of resources, cultural knowledge, stories and experiences
      • Social exploration using a multiplicity of perspectives and points of view
    • Pedagogical considerations:
      • Asynchronous media to enable convenient participation and deeper reflection at each user’s pace
      • Synchronous virtual exchanges to allow for heightened immersion and emotional/social interactions
      • A combination of mediated, situated learning-environments (teacher established challenges) AND free, evolving situated learning environments (to experience virtual exploration)
    • An effective virtual learning environment may:
        • Supplement face-to-face interaction
        • Be used in combination with other multi-media (I.e. videoconferences either embedded within the SL platform or concomitant with SL)
        • Be an adjunct to BlackBoard or another more linear, asynchronous interactions with discussion groups and blogs
    • For discipline-specific uses of SL in the class:
      • “ 101 Uses for Second Life in the College Classroom.” Dr. Megan S. Conklin—Elon University http://trumpy.cs.elon.edu/metaverse
      • Advertising
      • Architecture
      • Art/Theater Studies
      • Astronomy
      • Business
      • Chemistry
      • Composition
      • Culture Studies
      • Disabilities Studies
      • Economics
      • Education
      • Ethics
      • Gender Studies
      • Geography
      • History
      • Journalism
      • Justice Studies
      • Language Studies
      • Marketing
      • Math
      • Physics
      • Political Science
      • Programming
      • Psychology
      • Real Estate
      • Religion
      • Rhetoric
      • Sociology
      • Women’s Studies
    • Ultimately, We Must
      • Make the environment part of the learning experience rather than an end to itself
      • Enable metacognitive reflection on the SL experience
      • Construct feedback loops and self-renewing frameworks to inform our praxis
      • Investigate the pedagogical successes and failures of using Second life for our classes and disciplines
    • Dante’s Inferno and Linden Hills
    • Meet Students in “Interesting” Places
    • Exposure to the “Other ”
    • Construct 3-D Sites
    • Hold Meetings Inworld
    • The CHSS Pilot Project
    • Recreate What Exists
    • Walk into a story
    • Create Something New
    • Engage Your Students
    • Science
    • Art
    • NOAA
    • Business
    • Spaceport Alpha and Delta
    • Literature and History
    • ?