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Sledcc08 Project Murias


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SLEDcc08: Project Murias - Making an SL difference to the RL Development Education Community in Ireland.

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Sledcc08 Project Murias

  1. 1. © Dr Graham Heap 2008 Date: Saturday, September 6 – 2008 Time: 11-noon SLT Location: In World: Rockcliffe X Auditorium ( ) Project Murias: Making a SL Difference in the RL Development Education Community in Ireland 6th September 2008 Second Life® Education Community Conference - September 5 - 7, 2008 SLEDcc08 Centre for Research in IT in Education Trinity College University of Dublin
  2. 2. Outline of Presentation 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 <ul><li>Background to Project Murias </li></ul><ul><li>Main ideas of the paper </li></ul><ul><li>“ Interactive Session” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Group Reflection…... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>William Kamkwamba </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Development Education in SL” </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Aims of the Research Programme 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 The aim of our research Programme is to explore the potential of Second Life to support the Teaching and Learning of Development Education concepts for Citizens in Ireland, in both formal and informal educational settings. This research programme is for three years and started in October 2007 and is funded by Irish Aid, part of the Department of Foreign Affairs within the Irish government. Irish Aid website -
  4. 4. Centre for Research in IT in Education Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland. 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 Project Murias is led by Tim Savage, the Principle Investigator, and supported by Ann FitzGibbon from the Education department and Dr. Graham Heap full-time funded Research Fellow for the project. Overall the project sits in the Centre for Research in IT in Education (CRITE) in Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland. CRITE is collaboration between the Department of Education and Computer Science & Statistics - one of its main responsibilities is to run a two year (p/t) Masters program in Technology and Learning. CRITE website -
  5. 5. What is Development Education ? 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 Development Education (McGrath, 2005; Regan, 2006) in Ireland focuses on creating awareness of the issues facing the developing world and possible decisions each individual can choose to exercise to make a difference in their day-to-day life while recognizing that local actions affect and impact global development issues (Stiglitz, 2006). Development Education Teacher Educators and Teachers in Ireland tend to adopt a more exploratory pedagogy: constructionist (Papert, 1993) and constructivist (Glasersfeld, 1995) approaches, rather than the traditional transmission of knowledge. What is Development Education ?
  6. 6. Development Education - A Definition – An Aspiration. 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 &quot;Every person in Ireland will have access to educational opportunities to be aware of and understand their rights and responsibilities as global citizens and their potential to effect change for a more just and equal world.&quot; White Paper on Irish Aid
  7. 7. ‘ Essential Learning for Everyone’ 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 'Essential Learning for Everyone’ published by the Development Education Commission and developed through a partnership project with the Birmingham Development Centre - now TIDE Global Learning and 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World, outlines the core components of Development Education and identifies its commonalities with other social and political educations such as human rights, education, peace education, environmental education. Dev. Ed. Explored TIDE Global Learning 80:20 Development in an Unequal World
  8. 8. ‘ Essential Learning for Everyone’ 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008
  9. 9. ‘ Essential Learning for Everyone’ 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 Disposition of Values Respect for self Respect for others A sense of social responsibility A sense of belonging A commitment to learning An engagement with change Capabilities & Skills Communication skills Critical reasoning and thinking skills Social skills Action skills Ideas & Understanding Centrality of relationships Disparities of living conditions Importance of technological & economic change The concepts of democracy, governance & citizenship Cultural identities, conflict & conciliation Rules, rights & responsibilities Gender identities Sustainable development & conservation Experiences & Action Working co-operatively Working independently Giving and receiving feedback Participation in decision-making Feeling valued Sharing responsibility Knowing a sense of achievement Making connections
  10. 10. Project Murias 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 Two Streams Of Activity Stream 1 – Creation of an Teacher Island – Commissioned Jan 2008 Stream 2 – Creation of a Student Island – Year 2 of Project 2008/2009
  11. 11. Project Murias – Stream 1 – Teachers Island 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 In the first stream a Teachers Island on the SL Main Grid has been created (Murias) to provide Teacher Educators, practicing Teachers and Student-Teachers with an introduction to SL, a safe learning space for new entrants to experiment with SL; to understand and appreciate the potential impact of SL in their teaching practice. Introductory courses are ongoing and the Teaching Island milieu has been formally evaluated by a group of experienced in-world designers and educators (Mc Loughlin, 2008). As our learning evolves we expect to create additional compelling content and immersive learning experiences based on our own reflective practice and informed best practice.
  12. 12. Project Murias – Stream 2 – Student Island 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 The second stream requires the creation of a Student Island on the SL Teen Grid, and to leverage off the Teachers’ and Teacher Educators’ experiences. This second stream activity for teaching learners is not planned until the second year of the project, although the creation of the Student Island has commenced. The SL Teen Grid is a secure virtual space for teenagers between the ages of thirteen and seventeen years and can only be accessed by adult educators who have followed through a vetting procedure and are linked to an established educational institution.
  13. 13. Implementation Strategy for Teachers Island 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 Our original Implementation Strategy was to target a broad section of Teachers and Teacher Educators through teacher educator institutions based in Ireland and teacher educator networks, which focus on Development Education. Once identified, these educators would be inducted into Virtual Worlds through a basic introductory course in both classroom and individual face-to-face settings. This would prepare them for experiencing SL in a safe environment with their peers, rather than their own student audiences and allow them to experiment with the use of SL as a teaching and learning tool, as we endeavored to encourage an initial positive engagement, formative reflective assignments were allocated.
  14. 14. Initial Findings – Slow uptake 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 Our initial take-up has been slow, and the populations sizes on the Introduction courses too small to derive any meaningful qualitative conclusions. However, through applying the techniques of Reflection (Strauss & Corbin, 1998; Schön, 1983) on the case based qualitative data (Creswell, 2005; Yin, 2003) gathered from the pilot courses, and the Teacher Island evaluation, combined with our current understandings of Teacher ICT appreciation (FitzGibbon, Oldham & Johnston, 2008), we have identified that a significant barrier for the engagement of the Teachers is technology.
  15. 15. Initial Findings – Constraint of Technology 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 <ul><li>While the constraining factor of technology was foreseeable, our analysis of the data has identified four key areas within this problem: </li></ul><ul><li>lack of awareness of Virtual Worlds </li></ul><ul><li>no immediate perceived benefits to our target teaching audience </li></ul><ul><li>a steep learning curve to engage in Virtual Worlds, </li></ul><ul><li>issues over inappropriate computer specifications and institutional restricted </li></ul><ul><li>network access. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Initial Findings – Rethink our Implementation Strategy 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 This analysis at this early stage of implementation has allowed us to design a new implementation strategy, and we argue that the new implementation strategy will reduce the risk of project failure and maximize the return of participatory efforts and funding investment by Irish Aid. This new implementation strategy looks at how technology can be exploited to provide a benefit to the project, rather than a constraint.
  17. 17. Reflected Feedback for our new Implementation Strategy 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 This new implementation strategy is based on feedback from our Introductory course for a Development Education Teacher Educators who suggested that the creation of a website which demonstrated the use of SL in Development Education and to adapt current curricula so that teachers could see the use and benefits of SL for themselves, rather than direct experience of the SL.
  18. 18. Creation of an online Development Education community. 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 This further created the idea of building an active community of online users who would participate in Development Education learning exercises and for these exercise to be recorded and published on that website. This would thereby address the awareness of Virtual Worlds by creating a Web 2.0 presence and without teachers having to participate first hand. Thereby show the teaching and learning benefits of SL and help motivate teachers to learn more about the use of virtual worlds, and SL in particular. In addition could be used as part of their learning and teaching practice - without the need of appropriate high-end graphical computers, which SL demands. Thus would also combat the issue of restricted access to SL due to current Internet security protocols, designed, of course, to protect second level students and the integrity of educational institutional computer network.
  19. 19. Our role as Researchers ??? 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 In revising our implementation strategy, our discussions have also examined the opportunity cost in our decision making process and our role as Researchers - are we independent observers? Should we just observe objectively, measure carefully and report impartially? Or knowing what success means to our project in the area of Development Education, and our funding client, Irish Aid, as Researchers, are we now agents for change and promotion of the new Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 phenomenon (Glass, 2007)?
  20. 20. Creating an online community for the RL Development Education in Ireland 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 In addition we are examining how the existing real life (RL) Development Education community in Ireland can be moved into an online social network and how existing online communities in SL, which bridge the boundaries of physical geography can be used to attract this RL Irish Development Education community into a new online Development Education social network, an online community of practice (Smith, 2003) and this is where we believe that SL can be a facilitator of that process.
  21. 21. Conclusions 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 Our main conclusion is that a new online social network for RL Development Education community in Ireland needs to be created to mobilize that community into an online community of practice. This achievement would then be an additional channel to facilitate the use of SL by promoting the benefits of SL in Development Education and making a compelling motive for Teacher Educators and Teacher engagement.
  22. 22. “ Development Education in SL” 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 A parallel strategy will be crafted which focuses and pools from the active online community in Second Life which has a vibrant population of online Teachers and Educators. Also interested adults are present who have a passion for Development Education and promoting the awareness and understanding of issues of the Developing World and what actions we can take to make a difference to our world. To facilitate this strategy an in-world SL Group has been created called: “Development Education in SL” and as part of our presentation we will be asking for interested Educators, Teachers and passionate, empowered adults to join our in-world group to support and help SL make a difference to our RL Development Education community in Ireland.
  23. 23. “ Development Education in SL” 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 Wikispaces -
  24. 24. “ Machinima” 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 Project Murias - William Kamkwamba -
  25. 25. “ Development Education in SL” 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 “ Group Reflection” What ? So What ? What next ?
  26. 26. References 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 Creswell, J. W. (2005). “Educational Research - Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research.” International Edition, USA. Pearson. FitzGibbon, A., Oldham, E. & Johnston, K. (2008). Are Irish Student-Teachers Prepared to be Agents of Change in using IT in Education? In K. McFerrin et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference 2008 (pp. 1397-1404). Freire, P. (1998). “Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage. Rowman and Littlefield, Maryland. Glasersfeld, E.  (1995), “Radical Constructivism  – A Way of Knowing and Learning.”  London. The Falmer Press.  Glass, G. (2007): “Introduction to edu 2.0”, You Tube, June 22, 2007, Time Index 2.40, , Last Accessed 2 nd May 2008. Laurence J. F. & Levine, A. H. (2008), “Virtual Worlds: Inherently Immersive, Highly Social Learning Spaces”, Theory Into Practice, 47:2, 161 — 170.
  27. 27. References 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 McGrath, U. (2005), “What is Development Education?”, 80:20 Website, Ireland, , Last Accessed 30 th May 2008. McNiff, J. & Whitehead, J. (2006). “All you need to know about Action Research ” . London, Sage. Mc Loughlin, H. (2008), “We’ve bought an Island in Second Life. Now what do we do? ”, M.Sc. Technology & Learning, Centre for Research in IT in Education, Trinity College, University of Dublin. Papert, S. (1993), “The Children’s Machine”. New York, Basic Books. Regan C., (2006), “80:20 Educating and Acting for a better world.” Teachers in Development Education (TIDE). Birmingham, UK. Rosedale, P. (2007). “Second Life - the official guide.” Indiana. John Wiley & Sons. Schön, D.A.  (1983), “The Reflective Practitioner - How Professionals Think in Action. USA. Basic Books. Smith, M. K. (2003). “Communities of practice”, the encyclopedia of informal education, . Last Accessed 4th June 2008. Stiglitz, J (2006). “Making Globalization Work”, England, Penguin Books.
  28. 28. References 6th September 2008 © Dr Graham Heap 2008 Strauss, A & Corbin, J. (1998). &quot;Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures For Developing Grounded Theory&quot;. Second Edition, USA. Sage Publications. White, B. A. (2007). “Second Life: A guide to your virtual world”. Indiana. Que Publishing. Yin, R. K. (2003). “Case Study Research (Vol. 5)”. London; New Delhi: SAGE Publications.