Schome Park Programme


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This slideshow deals with the development of the Schome Park Programme - a series of research projects, which set out to extend thinking about what education systems might be like. These slides deal with the development of the programme from 2006-2008.

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  • This Powerpoint presentation is designed to tell you about Schome - the education system for the knowledge age Ho we have been using SL to achieve our goals.
  • In real life I’m a PhD student at the OU On the Main Grid I’m Marie Arnold On the Teen Grid I’m Fox Phlox The majority of staff on the project have two avatars because the Main Grid and the Teen Grid are separate. They have access to different experiences and also to different items and clothing.
  • Schome aims and key elements Based at - but not confined to - the Open University Set up by Peter Twining Not school, not home Difficulty in defining that, despite asking adults, children, formal schooling and home schooling and universities (we’ve dropped the ‘not school, not home’ tag because this is lifelong learning) July 2006 wiki quote: ‘ We had been struggling with how to help folk think creatively about schome - all our focus groups and much of the work within the Aspire Pilot was coming up with visions of schome that could best be described as 'school but a bit better'. We are all deeply entrenched in our experiences of the current education system - and this makes it difficult for us to think creatively about what our ideal education system could/should be like. Kieron suggested that we might use Second Life to try out ideas, which we couldn't implement in practice (cos of expense etc). Brilliant idea - maybe having a 'lived experience' of something radically different might help folk come up with more creative visions for schome. So we started to explore ... ‘
  • In this section of the slideshow I talk about the initial phase of the Schome Park Programme This ran from October 2006 until March 2007 This was the time when we thought of going into Second Life, and set the project up. This phase ended when the first teenagers arrived on our island. The picture is our island as it first appeared on the Main, Adult Grid.
  • What did virtual worlds such as SL have to offer? Freedom from preconceptions New way of doing things (not that you’d think so from this picture) Pressure to make us rethink things Worlds had an interest in education Went with Second Life from Linden Lab
  • Second Life allowed us to shape our own environment Appeared relatively stable and relatively permanent Individuals did not have to pay to join - or to get hold of software Willing to work with us and support us Not tied into a game Not tied to a preconceived environment - could design our own experience OU already had an involvement - here ‘s Peter Twining’s avatar on CETLment in Nov 06
  • Added bonus of a separate section for young people. Everyone on the Main Grid should be 18 or over. Some features of Second Life Main Grid unsuitable for children. Area solely for 13 to 17 year olds. Similar facilities to the Main Grid but more limited access.
  • Although entry to the world is free for individuals Islands cost money to buy and maintain Also expenses of research Project eg staffing and publicity Funding from NAGTY - members dispersed across the country Our first cohort were therefore gifted and talented teenagers This focus on gifted and talented was due to the funding source, not to the project or the environment
  • Aware that there were child protection issues - particularly on Main Grid. Set up as closed island. All adults have enhanced CRB check or equivalent. All teenagers age-verified by school or equivalent. Also, agreed Acceptable Use Policy - all participants sign up to this. Ongoing problems with schools and local authorities. Our strict closed policy means no guest speakers, no contact with the rest of the Teen Grid, no resources in, except under limited conditions, no resources out Protects children and gives peace of mind to adults.
  • Schome Park was developed on the Main Grid, with access to its tool kits and facilities Much discussion of what we needed: meeting spaces, skill training area, resources, themed spaces for learning Sketch map turned into reality. Building for the environment - people can fly, they find it difficult to walk Not appropriate to copy RL buildings across. Scho-op, SchomeHenge. Time-consuming. Lucky to have a skilled builder/designer willing to work on this. We (well, mostly Dan) spent time: to make it look professional, to give idea of the opportunities, to inspire the teenagers.
  • Staff at the OU - mainly PhD students and volunteers. A few paid hours a week. Limited experience in virtual worlds. Students from education and IET, but also from planetary sciences Also: Archaeology strand, Liverpool University Ethics and Philosophy strand: Warwick University Physics: The National Physics laboratory Distribution of responsibility led to formation of ‘core team’.
  • Steep learning curve Learning by experiencing and then comparing notes Identifying problems and thinking about how to avoid them Touring SL and getting ideas Set up a skills training area Made an introductory video. ‘ # First of all I teleported to the island # Then I sat on a frog, and bounced around for a while # The island is covered with giant toilet rolls at the moment, some of them zebra-patterned # I teleported to the mainland and took a balloon tour # Olly suggested I'd see more if I stood up, so I stood up, and then I fell out. # Then I headed to Boogie Nights disco, as suggested by Dan, and earned $6 by dancing while, in real life, I was off having a chat.’
  • Activity was not confined to virtual worlds Staff and students also able to communicate via a wiki and a forum This put them in touch with other Schome participants, including those to young to access SL Active moderation on both forum and wiki Publicise and record the project, share ideas, work together. Events calendar Wiki and frum accessible when SL is not (eg downtime or when on computer at school)
  • Three strands run by experts: weekly or twice-weekly sessions. All with their own purpose-built area Material from the international space-flight museum for Physics, Zen garden for ethics, classical temple for archaeology Try out different ways of learning Ethics: in-world discussions Archaeology: rebuilding Hadrian’s Wall Physics: investigating the physics of the world including the’ Schome Strange Force’ Sign-up pages on the wiki, discussion extension on forum.
  • More generally, as well as subject information, we were concerned with the development of skills that could be applied elsewhere Communication, Creativity, leadership, motivation, problem-solving And teamwork
  • This shows the island as it was developed by staff, and before any teenagers had arrived. We first started shaping part of an island in early Nov 2006, and we welcomed the first teenagers to Schome Park three months later.
  • Students built enthusiastically everywhere - under the sea, up in the air, inside other buildings, on top of other buildings. They built to see what they could do, how high they could go, how big they could build. They experimented with textures and with designs They began to build with specific purposes in mind - fr different occasions. They were able to explore their environment through play and experimentation Prim count soon became an issue
  • Quickly began to work on complex projects that involved them all working together, combining skills The chessboard, chess pieces and associated moves were developed by several people and used by many more Students were also increasingly willing to lead sessions, while staff took a more minor role. Students combined their own initiatives with staff initiatives * Attended some physics sessions * Attended an AI session, got a chatbot * Started making by own (basic) chatbot * Made myself a voice-activated bubble suit...very productive! * Made myself a voice-activated hat...and alternative head...and arrow * Participated in the regatta * Researched video codecs in Schome Park, made a machinima page * Joined the research group, intervied various people * Helped build the old AI emporium * Joined the Scripting department
  • Problems with access Need high spec computer with good graphics card Need high-speed internet access Need access to the computer Some parents and schools unhappy with accessing Second Life Some local authorities block access Grid is not always available Also temporary, individual log-in problems
  • Some students very active in the wiki and forum Some set up their own user pages. They began to build a collaborative dictionary, dealing with experiences in world. Active social side to the forum - lots of forum games Others never went on the forum or the wiki - the Schome Park Programme blended various media - it did not confine people to just one.
  • Material from the international space-flight museum for Physics, Zen garden for ethics, classical temple for archaeology Try out different ways of learning Ethics: in-world discussions Archaeology: rebuilding Hadrian’s Wall - also use of wiki Physics: investigating the physics of the world including the’ Schome Strange Force’. Constructing experiments. Lectures
  • Some student-led events took days to organise Brought together their SL skills and their knowledge-age skills Costumes, building, event coordination Some staff help - but some purposely kept secret from staff
  • Designed as a reminder of the project as the island closed at the end of Phase 1 A record of the builds - many of them created entirely by the students
  • Spii
  • Clash of F2F norms and in-world norms when a F2F group comes in world.
  • The British National Space Centre and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited are offering UK schools the chance to fly an experiment on one of the small satellites built by SSTL. The winning experiment will have a development budget of up to £100k. Six finalists, announced at the UK Space Conference. Winners announced at the IAF Congress in Glasgow in October 2008 Learners Y Factor, Handheld Learning 2008.
  • Part of a series of videos made by the class of US students. They worked in pairs on their own project. Part of their work involved documenting and assessing their project in a video.
  • Students are involved in data analysis This has involved writing case studies, contributing images and trying out analysis techniques Here one of the students experiments with use of Wordle to identify key words in a document.
  • Ou involvement Two islands
  • Schome Park Programme

    1. 1. Rebecca Ferguson, 29 October 2008 JISC, Virtual Worlds 2008 Sc h ome The education system for the information age
    2. 2. Fox and Marie <ul><li>Marie </li></ul>Fox
    3. 3. Sc h ome The education system for the information age The Schome Initiative is a long-term project, based at The Open University, which is developing a new form of educational system. An important element of the Schome Initiative is exploring the possibilities for learning and teaching in virtual worlds. The Schome Park Programme is based on the Teen Grid of Second Life and brings together teenagers based in the US and the UK.
    4. 4. Setting-up phase
    5. 5. Virtual worlds <ul><li>Image copyright Linden Lab </li></ul>
    6. 7. Main Grid Teen Grid <ul><li>Image copyright Linden Lab </li></ul>
    7. 8. NAGTY funding shapes project
    8. 9. Child protection issues
    9. 10. Building
    10. 11. Staff
    11. 12. Training
    12. 13. Wiki and forum
    13. 14. Learning: strands <ul><li>Physics </li></ul>Ethics and Philosophy Archaeology
    14. 15. Developing knowledge-age skills
    15. 16. Video: setting-up phase <ul><li>Videos made in Second Life are more commonly described as ‘machinima’ </li></ul><ul><li>All videos shown in this presentation are available to the public via our YouTube channel </li></ul><ul><li>http://www. youtube .com/user/ SchomePark </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘Schome Park’ video was made by staff as an introduction to Second Life and our island. </li></ul>
    16. 17. Phase 1
    17. 18. Buildings everywhere
    18. 19. Student initiatives
    19. 20. Access problems
    20. 21. Wiki and forum
    21. 22. Archaeology, ethics, physics
    22. 23. Student events: wedding
    23. 24. Video: Phase 1 <ul><li>All videos shown in this presentation are available to the public via our YouTube channel </li></ul><ul><li>http://www. youtube .com/user/ SchomePark </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘Schome Buildings’ video was made by a student to mark the end of Phase 1. </li></ul>
    24. 26. Fewer formal sessions
    25. 27. Building and designing island
    26. 28. Government
    27. 29. Bereavement
    28. 30. US F2F group
    29. 31. Maintaining order
    30. 32. Virtual staff meeting
    31. 33. Regatta
    32. 34. What students learned <ul><li>‘ I'm having a lot of fun doing this - you get to meet new people and become a new person. I've learnt so much that I didn't know before, it's amazing what a really close community can do.’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Everyone is learning - even the staff, and so age is not an issue, and it means that everyone is involved and learning together.’ </li></ul>
    33. 35. Video: Phase 2 <ul><li>All videos shown in this presentation are available to the public via our YouTube channel. This one is at </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘Airship Hindenburg’ video was made by the machinima group during Phase 2. </li></ul>
    34. 36. Phase Three
    35. 37. Redesign and expansion
    36. 38. Class meeting F2F
    37. 39. Staff-led sessions
    38. 40. Student-led sessions
    39. 41. Art
    40. 42. My Schome
    41. 43. External projects
    42. 44. Meeting face to face
    43. 45. Video: Phase 3 <ul><ul><ul><li>All videos shown in this presentation are available to the public via our YouTube channel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://www. youtube .com/user/ SchomePark </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The ‘Roarrr’ video was made by two students during Phase 3. This group had parental consent to display real-life footage of themselves on YouTube. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    44. 46. Phase Four
    45. 47. Data analysis
    46. 48. Second Life Grid
    47. 49. Problems
    48. 50. Successes
    49. 51. Sc h ome