Microsoft Power Point Conservative Societies Considerations From The Middle East

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Microsoft Power Point Conservative Societies Considerations From The Middle East

  1. 1. Mark Karstad, eLearning Coordinator Dubai Women’s College, Higher Colleges of Technology. United Arab Emirates mkarstad@gmail.com 2L: Buy Short or Dubai Karas
  2. 2. Islam is the official religion which goes back some fifteen centuries. Dubai is one of seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates. 2
  3. 3. Culture is a mix of Bedouin (Arabic for ‘apart’) who were/are camel and goat herders, fishermen and pearl divers. 3
  4. 4. Most recently, the population is made up of laborers for Dubai’s rapid growth and tourists from all over the world. 4
  5. 5. 5
  6. 6. Two development booms in Dubai: in the 90’s and since 2002. Before that… not much was here! 6
  7. 7. November 22, 2007: Dubai Women’s College, Higher Colleges of Technology, purchased their island. January 2008: A virtual campus has been created to provide a ‘safe’ learning environment for students. What did we learn? 7
  8. 8. 8
  9. 9. Women attending DWC have generally lived VERY sheltered lives due to their culture. 9
  10. 10. 10
  11. 11. The HCT college system screens web traffic and blocks sites from student access which are deemed as inconsistent with cultural values. ◦ In fact, for all residents in the UAE, the UAE’s telecommunication Ministry blocks inappropriate web sites. Second Life is not filtered as it is not html based. 11
  12. 12. Despite the Growth, Dubai is still conservative! New technologies seen as educational opportunities for extending and enriching student learning. ◦ The ‘risks’ inherent to 2nd Life –> visual material seen as inconsistent with the cultural beliefs of this Islamic nation. 12
  13. 13. Filtering web traffic policies presented challenges… HCT filters web traffic for its 20 000+ users through a single IP This conflicts with a Linden new-account policy of no more than 25 accounts from a single IP per week. 13
  14. 14. Train the Trainer Approach Six students volunteered -- introduced to: ◦ The ‘risks’ inherent to 2nd Life ◦ getting an account ◦ Navigating in a 3D interface ◦ Changing their appearance ◦ Search for things ◦ Teleporting and moving (mini-map and map) ◦ Inventory ◦ Taken on a tour to four safe locations -- safe in that they were not adjacent to ‘skin’ images. BBC, Islam on-Line, NOAA and Weather Island. 14
  15. 15. The 6 trainers were given L$ 1000 and asked to find something to purchase and support their purchase with a ‘need/purpose’. then share this with class. Unanimously, they chose to purchase wedding dresses. ☺ 15
  16. 16. Although students are covered within the walls of their college, they chose to not cover their avatars. 16
  17. 17. Teacher Quote: “I had two students who wouldn’t participate in SL. This was a very distracting influence for the rest of the class ... Xxxx, said her husband wouldn’t allow her. Xxxx, is very conservative and was not at all comfortable with [Second Life]. 17
  18. 18. I took a number of students to visit ‘Islam OnLine’ which contains a model of Mecca. During our visit another avatar approached us and said the following: [3:43] xxx xxx: Tell your student to cover herself [3:44] xxx xxx: even if it is SL this place still represents Mecca The student did not argue with the other person and we moved on shortly after. 18
  19. 19. VIE Objective: ◦ To introduce DWC students to other students and cultures in non-F2F situations where travel is not possible, and enable interaction. This is intended to expose student to global issues and broaden their global awareness. 19
  20. 20. Background: ◦ Female English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students from Dubai Women’s College join other college students from around the globe in international cultural exchanges in Second Life. 20
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  22. 22. During one of the VIE, the corresponding institution came dressed, representing their own cultures, so our students dressed accordingly as well. 22
  23. 23. As soon as the event was completed, the students changed. 23
  24. 24. Provide students with support in building objects and setting up businesses on the DWC Island. Encouraging students and faculty to explore ideas to extend the use of 2L. Partner with an on-campus student-run businesses to create an ‘exchange house.’ Students who do not have a credit card will be able to exchange UAE Dirham for Linden $. 24
  25. 25. Using 2L in a conservative Middle East society exposes many social and cultural dichotomies. Purchasing our own island permitted us to control access to a region in 2L were we can control who interacts with our students, thus providing a ‘safe learning environment’. There needs to be an opt-out option for students. 2L proved itself to be a VERY effective medium for exposing our students to other cultures and moving them a little further along the way to becoming global citizens. 25
  26. 26. Dubai Women’s College, Higher Colleges of Technology: Search under ‘Places’ for DWC DWC. 26
  27. 27. SLanguages 2008 This presentation was given at SLanguages 2008 The Conference for Language Education in Virtual Worlds slanguages.net

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