IT Fluency in Teen Second Life

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IT fluency education in Teen Second Life

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  • IT Fluency in Teen Second Life

    1. 1. IT Fluency via Games and Virtual Worlds Barbara Z. Johnson, M.Ed. Graduate Student (Education) UM-Duluth
    2. 2. Thanks to: <ul><li>Elizabeth (Beth) King </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Elisabeth (Betty) Hayes </li></ul><ul><li>Lauren Silverman </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Constance Steinkuehler </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Jim Gee </li></ul><ul><li>MacArthur Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>The Tech Savvy Girls!! </li></ul>
    3. 3. Overview <ul><li>Introduction to the project </li></ul><ul><li>Measures of success </li></ul><ul><li>Selection of tools </li></ul><ul><li>Evolution of the project </li></ul><ul><li>Learning through creating in Second Life </li></ul>
    4. 4. Purposes of Project <ul><li>Middle school - many girls stop enrolling in science and math classes </li></ul><ul><li>Increase general IT fluency among middle-school girls </li></ul><ul><li>Increase interest in SMET class choice and potential careers among middle school girls </li></ul>
    5. 5. Measures <ul><li>FITness Standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intellectual capacities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IT Concepts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IT Skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Life-long usable skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applicable to wide range of careers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not just “programming” </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Method to the Madness <ul><li>Game PLAY not sufficient </li></ul><ul><li>“ Tinkering activities” (diSessa, 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>Interest-driven projects </li></ul><ul><li>Constructivist learning </li></ul><ul><li>Islands of expertise in a learning ecology </li></ul><ul><li>Studies on game modification or game construction in teaching subjects like history and math </li></ul>
    7. 7. Modding & Content Creation <ul><li>Go beyond the designed play dynamics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create objects that become part of the game </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create maps or change the landscape of the game </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Modify the rules of the game </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create the world and its functionality (SL) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total conversion (creating a new game using the frame of the old) </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. But which game??? <ul><li>Interesting to girls </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Puzzle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adventure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simulation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Acceptable to parents </li></ul><ul><li>Modifiable </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively easy to play and learn to modify </li></ul><ul><li>Social network </li></ul>
    9. 9. Year 1: The Sims <ul><li>Single player creates and controls actions of characters in the game (the “Sims”) </li></ul><ul><li>Simulation game centered around domestic life, fulfillment of game-character needs and desires, and relationships between Sims </li></ul><ul><li>Open-ended game </li></ul><ul><li>Many expansion packs </li></ul><ul><li>Runs on computers, consoles, handhelds, iPods </li></ul>
    10. 10. Typical Sims Scenario
    11. 11. The Newly Rendered Mesh Becomes the Newly Created Gown
    12. 12. Year 1: Results <ul><li>Pro </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Girls like the Sims (100 million copies of Sims 2 sold) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to start modification of content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Cheats” to change game limits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extensive social networks online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can share content between games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Significant gains in IT fluency </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Con </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reinforces many social stereotypes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limits to types of content and actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Players can’t PLAY together but only parallel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No opportunity to change interactivity (I.e. programming) </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Year 2: (Teen) Second Life <ul><li>Online </li></ul><ul><li>Segregated by age (teen vs. 18+) </li></ul><ul><li>You are represented by an avatar </li></ul><ul><li>Interact with multiple people from around the world </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual world - not a game </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No game roles or game rules </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mostly user created world </li></ul>
    14. 14. What Is Second Life? Company created world User created world Pre-determined rules, roles, and score Users make own rules and roles Second Life, Active Worlds Most video games and MMOGs (3-D) social networking Original Star Wars Galaxies EVE Online, Ultima Online, Lineage … Customizable MUDs, MOOs, MUSHs Game mods
    15. 15. What do you DO in Second Life? <ul><li>Pretty much anything you want </li></ul><ul><li>Socialize </li></ul><ul><li>Work/Business </li></ul><ul><li>Creation and artistic expression </li></ul>
    16. 16. Summer ‘07: Preparation <ul><li>Create accounts </li></ul><ul><li>Get equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Establish locations for project </li></ul><ul><li>Create activities and instructions </li></ul>
    17. 17. Physical Sessions <ul><li>One mentor physically at site </li></ul><ul><li>Two mentors in Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>2-hour meetings twice per week after school OR 4 hours on Saturday </li></ul><ul><li>Computers purchased via grant </li></ul><ul><li>At lab or library </li></ul>
    18. 18. Initial Activities in Second Life <ul><li>Quests to explore potential of Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>Discussed student interests </li></ul>
    19. 19. Welcome to the 60’s <ul><li>Movie “Hairspray” </li></ul><ul><li>Fashion & Interior Decorating/Design </li></ul><ul><li>Social Justice Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Gender Identity </li></ul><ul><li>Science and Math </li></ul>
    20. 20. History and Fiction
    21. 21. Scripting and interaction
    22. 22. Create and Manage a Business
    23. 23. FITness: Intellectual Capacities evidenced <ul><li>Engage in sustained reasoning </li></ul><ul><li>Manage complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Test a solution </li></ul><ul><li>Manage problems in faulty solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Organize and navigate information structures </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate to other audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Legal and ethical issues regarding Intellectual Property </li></ul>
    24. 24. FITness: IT skills evidenced <ul><li>Setting up a personal computer </li></ul><ul><li>Using basic operating system features </li></ul><ul><li>Using a word processor </li></ul><ul><li>Using graphics or artwork packages </li></ul><ul><li>Connecting a computer to a network </li></ul><ul><li>Using the Internet to find information </li></ul><ul><li>Using a computer to communicate with others </li></ul>
    25. 25. FITness: IT concepts evidenced <ul><li>Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Digital representation of information </li></ul><ul><li>Information organization </li></ul><ul><li>Modeling and abstraction </li></ul><ul><li>Algorithmic thinking and programming </li></ul><ul><li>Societal impact of information and information technology </li></ul>
    26. 26. Success Factors <ul><li>A place to meet in Second Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rent, own, or use a public space </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t have to be expert builders </li></ul><ul><li>Support from other educators </li></ul><ul><ul><li>List-servs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yearly convention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiki </li></ul></ul>

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