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Second Life: Teachers' Perceptions

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Second Life; Teachers' Perceptions

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  • Laila and Paul,



    Absolutly Brilliant,



    I am one of those digital immigrants. Have heard of SLthough never used it.



    The numbers of participants that you quoted is amazing to say the least. No wonder that many organisations are using it to recruit and market products.



    What it can offer educationally has many potentials, which I am going to throw around this week to our online eam that is meeting this week. I like the fact that it allows educators to provide forall types of learners instead of like our text based courses that we use at the moment.



    Thank you for the invite to your virtual seminar

    Michael corbett
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  • Hi Paul and Laila,



    That was a very informative kind of knowledge and skills, indeed!!! The content, presentation, not the least the online learning tool that you have introduced. I think im very sure that i will try it...hmmnn, let me see if i can do it for my students back home...just the basic perhaps.



    That was real awesome, and you deserve a big round of applause!! cheers for Paul and Laila. Hey guys, expect some inquiry from me about SL...coz i might try it while the class is still on. congratulations!!



    Isnira
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Second Life: Teachers' Perceptions

  1. 1. Laila AL-Hadrahmani & Paul Penfold Virtual Education in Second Life: Teachers' Perspectives Virtual Seminar by: Laila Al Hadhrami & Paul Penfold
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>20 minute presentation - </li></ul><ul><li>please leave your comments on Slidecast </li></ul><ul><li>From: </li></ul><ul><li>LAILA AL HADHRAMI </li></ul><ul><li>Instructional & Learning Technologies Department, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>PAUL PENFOLD </li></ul><ul><li>School of Hotel & Tourism Management, </li></ul><ul><li>The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, HK </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul>
  3. 3. Seminar Content <ul><li>Introducing virtual worlds & Second Life (SL) </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching & learning in SL </li></ul><ul><li>New roles of instructors in SL. </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages & disadvantages of using SL. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers experience of teaching in SL </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges and opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions & recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>References/Bibliography. </li></ul>
  4. 4. What are Virtual Worlds? <ul><li>“ A virtual world is a computer-based simulated environment intended for its users to inhabit and interact using avatars. Virtual worlds are also called &quot;digital worlds,&quot; &quot;simulated worlds,&quot; and “MUVE’s.” </li></ul><ul><li>Not Simulations </li></ul><ul><li>Not games </li></ul><ul><li>Open ended – users choose the outcome and the activity </li></ul>
  5. 5. Common Features <ul><li>Shared Space </li></ul><ul><li>Graphical User Interface </li></ul><ul><li>Immediacy </li></ul><ul><li>Interactivity </li></ul><ul><li>Persistence </li></ul><ul><li>Socialization/Community </li></ul>
  6. 6. Virtual Worlds - Data Population of USA = 301 Million (July 2007 est.) Population of virtual worlds = 238 Million & rising daily
  7. 7. Virtual Worlds - Data Population of Australia = 20.4 Million (2007) Population of Cyworld = 21 Million (2008)
  8. 8. 60 Million +
  9. 9. 238 Million + 160 Million +
  10. 10. 20 Million +
  11. 11. Total User Accounts 238M+
  12. 12. Even Mi5 are using Virtual Worlds for recruitment
  13. 13. Major Brands <ul><li>Big brands are embracing Virtual Worlds: </li></ul><ul><li>AOL, BMW, Cisco, Dell, Intel, IBM, Mercedes and Sears etc </li></ul>Second LIfe theme park operated by Samsung and Softbank
  14. 14. What is Second Life? <ul><li>Launched in 2003, Second Life is an online 3D virtual world created by Linden Labs. </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life provides an immersive environment for users to play and interact in.   </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life is the size of a small city, with thousands of servers (called simulators) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Who is using Second Life? <ul><li>Registered population of over 13 Million (not all live). </li></ul><ul><li>From over 100 countries </li></ul><ul><li>60% are men, 40% are women </li></ul><ul><li>Aged from 18 - 85. </li></ul><ul><li>Also a teen-SL for under 18s </li></ul>
  16. 16.
  17. 17.
  18. 18. The Basics <ul><li>Your own avatar </li></ul><ul><li>Behaviour </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engaged, but not constrained </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All objects can be scripted </li></ul><ul><li>No material costs </li></ul>
  19. 19. Communication <ul><li>chat </li></ul><ul><li>IM </li></ul><ul><li>group IM </li></ul><ul><li>IM <-> email </li></ul><ul><li>voice </li></ul><ul><li>Skype integration </li></ul>
  20. 20. Moving around <ul><li>walking </li></ul><ul><li>flying </li></ul><ul><li>teleporting </li></ul><ul><li>locally via scripted objects </li></ul><ul><li>longer distances via ‘landmarks’ </li></ul><ul><li>in-world search engine </li></ul><ul><li>Directly from the Web </li></ul>
  21. 21. Land & Building <ul><li>rent or buy </li></ul><ul><li>needed for permanent buildings </li></ul><ul><li>shops, galleries, universities </li></ul><ul><li>mainland areas </li></ul><ul><li>private islands </li></ul><ul><li>objects made out of basic building blocks – prims (cubes, spheres, etc ) </li></ul>
  22. 22. Teaching & Learning in SL <ul><li>500 educational institutions </li></ul><ul><li>4,000 teachers (on SL Ed mailing list) </li></ul><ul><li>Two models </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Working campus (functional – no walls) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflective campus (like the real world) </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Universities use of SL <ul><li>Formal teaching </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lectures, tutorials, training, presentations, demonstrations. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Informal education offers more exploration and creativity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>student exhibitions, role play, games and virtual quests (Bleacher & Stockman, 2008). </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Subject Areas <ul><li>The most common uses of Second Life seem to be in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>computer studies, science subjects and humanities (Livingstone & Kemp, 2007), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>architectural studies, urban planning, graphic design, anatomy, natural sciences, law, languages, programming, literature, art and tourism. Dickey (2005) </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Second Health Hospital </li></ul>Nursing/Medical The Heart Murmur Sim Second Life Hospital Imperial College London
  26. 26. Libraries <ul><li>Info Island (built by librarians) is a cluster of islands bustling with activities that explore roles libraries and librarians may play in 3D virtual worlds </li></ul>
  27. 27. Languages Also: SL Islands for Chinese, Japanese & many European languages Instructors at the English Village use “holoteaching,” using classrooms where you can completely change scenes with the touch of a button, like the holodeck in the TV show Star Trek. English Village
  28. 28. Building & Real Estate <ul><li>Urban planning, collaborative architecture, building design, real estate practice & law etc </li></ul>
  29. 29. Computing <ul><li>Computer programming </li></ul>
  30. 30. Tourism & Travel Virtual Field trip - Morocco Hotel visits
  31. 31. Clothing, textiles, design
  32. 32. New Roles of Instructors in SL <ul><li>A new learning environment – many challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Need for more collaboration. </li></ul><ul><li>Rather than competing, faculty are pushed towards innovative collaboration across disciplines and national boundaries. </li></ul>
  33. 33. New roles <ul><li>Instructors realize that familiar ways of delivering knowledge and information may not be as effective in a 3D multi-user space. </li></ul><ul><li>Most educators try traditional ways of teaching first, and then move them towards more student-centred pedagogies. </li></ul>
  34. 34. New strategies for teaching <ul><li>From expert to a facilitator </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment challenges in SL </li></ul><ul><li>How to balance in-world and out-world instructional experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>How to create greater levels of interactivity between learners, the internet, Web 2.0 tools and virtual worlds. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Research with Teachers <ul><li>Survey with 5 teachers who used SL in Spring Semester 2008 </li></ul>
  36. 36. What were the main challenges? KEY A) Setting up Second Life B) Not enough time for the session or tutorial C) Technical issues D) Lack of experience in using Second Life E) Other <ul><li>Other: </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of computing facilities for students. </li></ul><ul><li>Need to spend extra time to get the students familiar SL </li></ul><ul><li>Should've been more prepared, had to rely on technicians. </li></ul><ul><li>One of my groups had technical problems with the voice chat </li></ul>
  37. 37. What went well in using SL? KEY A) Students enjoyed using it B) It was an interactive experience for students C) It was a good learning experience for students D) It provided a new dimension for my subject E) It gave some variety to the subject F) Other <ul><li>Other: </li></ul><ul><li>New learning / teaching experience for students & teachers. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Would you use SL again?
  39. 39. What would you do differently? <ul><li>More time for students' hands-on experience </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule tutorials in a computer lab and guide students into SL personally during initial sessions. </li></ul><ul><li>Need to give students more time to learn the system. </li></ul><ul><li>Have all computers ready before students arrive. </li></ul>
  40. 40. What would you do differently? <ul><li>Spend more time using SL, so that I am able to assist students more. </li></ul><ul><li>Select some year 1 subjects to kick off first. So, when the students move to year 2 and 3, they will be well prepared for any SL activity </li></ul><ul><li>Use SL in a more operations-based class </li></ul>
  41. 41. What can we do to improve the use of Second Life in the classroom? <ul><li>Promote to the students about SL </li></ul><ul><li>Include it as default install on all university computers. </li></ul><ul><li>Include university IT in planning. </li></ul>
  42. 42. What can we do to improve the use of Second Life in the classroom? <ul><li>Video a few online sessions and present the video to senior management, other staff and students. </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to let faculty know how it can be used as a teaching tool. </li></ul><ul><li>Make them aware of the facilities that have already been built, and suggest ideas for interactive sessions. </li></ul>
  43. 43. Problems <ul><li>Technical hurdles – graphic cards, speed </li></ul><ul><li>Learning curve </li></ul><ul><li>User expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Crime, sex, money & politics </li></ul><ul><li>Most problems in real world exist in SL! </li></ul>
  44. 44. Challenges & Difficulties <ul><li>Many educators are excited about the potential of virtual worlds, others are wary or sceptical. </li></ul><ul><li>Some consider them as upmarket games, while others are afraid they will degrade student learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual worlds present many challenges for students, teachers, and administrators. </li></ul>
  45. 45. Seven Major Challenges <ul><li>Antonacci et al ( 2007) listed seven major challenges faced by most teachers and students, these being: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>technology, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>support, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>faculty development, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>legal issues, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>mature content, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>learning curve and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cost. </li></ul></ul>
  46. 46. Technology <ul><li>Most university campuses do not have technical infrastructure to support large-scale implementation of virtual worlds </li></ul>
  47. 47. Faculty support <ul><li>Need to support faculty in their teaching </li></ul>
  48. 48. Legal issues <ul><li>Intellectual property issues, security, data protection and personal safety of students are also big concerns to universities. </li></ul>
  49. 49. Mature content <ul><li>Concerns about adult content </li></ul><ul><li>These threats can be minimized </li></ul><ul><li>Under-18s are banned from SL </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers have to get special permission to enter and teach in the SLTeen Grid </li></ul>
  50. 50. Learning curve <ul><li>It takes time to learn </li></ul><ul><li>Not many faculty are willing to devote time to learning a new piece of software. </li></ul>
  51. 51. Financial cost <ul><li>Cost may be a deterrent for some universities </li></ul>
  52. 52. Conclusions <ul><li>An alternative and potentially neutral learning space </li></ul><ul><li>A greater range and diversity of learning space environments </li></ul><ul><li>Enables real time interactions and global alliances </li></ul><ul><li>A great advance on older learning environments such as Blackboard, Moodle & WebCT </li></ul>
  53. 53. Conclusions <ul><li>A greater variety of teaching and learning styles </li></ul><ul><li>Different opportunity for greater range of interactions with teacher </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional role of the teacher changes </li></ul><ul><li>More personal interactions possible </li></ul>
  54. 54. SL Conclusions <ul><li>Usefuleaching, learning, research, performance, construction, demonstration </li></ul><ul><li>The key advantage of SL - the student must be an active learner. </li></ul><ul><li>The student has to develop ‘stuff,’ collaborate and participate. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning by participating & doing than by listening and absorbing. </li></ul>
  55. 55. Recommendations <ul><li>Go slow – experiment, pilot test, evaluate </li></ul><ul><li>Try and get buy-in from Management and ITS </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate what can be done </li></ul><ul><li>Disseminate and show successes </li></ul>
  56. 56. Recommendations <ul><li>Find appropriate topics or courses </li></ul><ul><li>Use the media appropriately – e.g. not necessarily lectures but exploration, design or socialization </li></ul><ul><li>Involve the innovators and pioneers </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize the limitations and challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Overcome the technical issues </li></ul>
  57. 57. References
  58. 58. Useful Links
  59. 59. Get creative – get a Second Life

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