SLanguages2008 Blended Learning

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SLanguages2008 Blended Learning

  1. 1. Blended Learning Combining Second Life with Online Tools Howard Vickers [email_address] www.avatarlanguages.com
  2. 2. Avatar Languages <ul><li>Online language school </li></ul><ul><ul><li>English currently; Spanish and other languages soon </li></ul></ul><ul><li>One-to-one classes </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible individualized service </li></ul><ul><li>Implications for use of virtual worlds and online tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Combination of Google Docs, Whiteboards, Skype and Second Life </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Target Audience and Purpose <ul><li>Target Audience probably one of… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New to Second Life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New to Virtual World Language Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some (not extensive) experience in virtual world language education </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Language educators with experience in virtual worlds are extremely welcome! </li></ul>
  4. 4. Target Audience and Purpose <ul><li>Purpose… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How can virtual worlds be incorporated into language education? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on where virtual worlds are unique </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New pedagogies for virtual worlds? </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Online language education tools <ul><li>First consider other online tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Skype </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Docs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whiteboards </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What are their relative strengths? </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life and virtual worlds </li></ul>
  6. 6. Skype I <ul><li>Description </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Messenger like MSN, Yahoo etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voice calls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PC to phone calls </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PC to PC </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Text chat (history function) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share images, files </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Record voice conversations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conference calls </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Skype II <ul><li>Advantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often excellent call quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many extra functions (eg Whiteboard Meeting) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use in Lessons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Text chat prompts </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Google Docs I <ul><li>Description </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online version of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Saved on server </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple users can simultaneously edit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Immediate changes </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Google Docs II <ul><li>Advantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intuitive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simultaneous </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Track changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Export to / import from hard-drive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use in Lessons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When linear structure important </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared work space </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Whiteboards I <ul><li>Description </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared surface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freely move text, images and sketches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drag and drop images from web </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Whiteboards II <ul><li>Advantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intuitive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Export to / import from hard-drive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students love them! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use in Lessons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Matching words with meanings / images </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Re-ordering words in scrambled sentence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indicate specific word / image </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Second Life vs Interactive Web <ul><li>Skype, Google Docs and Whiteboards – Complement virtual worlds </li></ul><ul><li>Skype, Google Docs and Whiteboards – Simplicity is their Strength </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life – Complexity offers variety of opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Focusing on virtual worlds… </li></ul>
  13. 13. Second Life’s Strengths <ul><li>Immersive and engaging </li></ul><ul><li>Environments to explore </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Real life replicas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Imaginary places </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social space </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sociable culture </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Second Life Challenges <ul><li>Learning curve / Complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Not web </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All content must previously exist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited media </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Uses of Second Life <ul><li>Social and communicative learning / practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meet people anytime / anywhere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews / conversation practice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Exploring environments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Language tasks that refer to environment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Game like learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Second Life as a platform for games for learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relatively cheap platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other presentations </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Approaches to Virtual Worlds <ul><li>Backpacker: Freedom </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Backpackers don’t own land </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make use of public spaces in virtual worlds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social quality for learning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Particular environment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Landed Gentry: Control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Landed Gentry own land </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Determine what happens on your parcel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who enters learning environment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What activities take place </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Relative Advantages <ul><li>Advantages of Backpacking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Real life / natural interactions and conversations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexibility to use different spaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low cost </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Advantages of being Landed Gentry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Control and security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific tasks and activities for language learning </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Avatar Languages Experience <ul><li>Moved from Land Ownership to Backpacking </li></ul><ul><li>Desire to focus on individualized lessons </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility is a priority </li></ul>
  19. 19. A New Pedagogy for Virtual Worlds <ul><li>Second Life: a diverse, immersive, stimulating, learning environment! </li></ul><ul><li>So why have I not made use of this for this presentation? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need for fast preparation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time pressure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control over presentation outcome </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Correct this with field trip in SLanguages 2008 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups to visit different locations in Second Life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guiding questions to answer at each location </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Answers collaboratively drafted and edited using a wiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second Life discussion at EduNation for conclusion </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Blended Learning Combining Second Life with Online Tools Howard Vickers [email_address] www.avatarlanguages.com
  21. 21. slanguages.net SLanguages 2008 This presentation was given at SLanguages 2008 The Conference for Language Education in Virtual Worlds

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