The Shifting Landscape: Virtual Worlds in Education


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hings are happening fast when it comes to the integration of technology into our everyday lives, and especially our classrooms. For years, people have been talking about the next 'big thing" in education, whether it was VCR tapes, closed-circuit TV, video conferencing, or so many things in between. These tools have had varying degrees of success transmitting data, but none have been effective in immersing students into the educational experience in a way that even comes close to the face-to-face classroom. Learning in a virtual world has the promise and potential to do just that. Whether its Webkinz, Club Penguin, or Second Life, our students are looking to virtual worlds for a wide variety of reasons. Join AJ Kelton for a discussion on the lead up to this potentially revolutionary shift in educational environments and where this all may be going.

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  • Good morning. Thank-you, Carol. Wow! This is really quite exciting. I’d like to congratulate Carol and the Center for Innovative Education here at Kean University. Today’s program looks really quite amazing!
  • The theme for today, of course, is virtual worlds, real learning.
  • Virtual environments have been around for a while, I’ll get back to that in a second. But in January of 2007 I discovered Second Life and in January, the CHSS became the first educational institution in NJ to have a publicly available presence in Second Life. Others now - including Kean, Princeton, Rutgers, Seton Hall, and others.
  • But before we talk about that, a little history. Sorry, the jokes don’t get much better than this.
  • In 1990 the first MOO was released, a text-based virtual environment used, with the firs MUD, or Multi-User Dungeon, right behind it. Clearly there was a role-playing games slant to this, but it was also used in education, specifically distance education.
  • This is a fairly typical example of what you might
  • What was it about these environments that attracted people – LOTS of people? It was the level of engagement. The Holy Grail of learning, right? Isn’t that what we talk about – how to engage our students?
  • At the heart of 21 st century learning is…learning. What makes learning different now than 10 years ago? Or 100 years ago?
  • The climate in which we are working, our client – and when you think about it, they are clients in the respect that clients are those for whom we perform a service, and the classroom, the focal point of where the learning takes place during class. All three of these terms can be very broadly interpreted.
  • Constructivist approach – guide on the side, as opposed to sage on the stage, or Friere’s banking model.
  • Using technology for technology sake is never good. Pedagogy over tools, every time. In today’s climate, its easy to want to use a tool, like a virtual environment, because its cool or interesting. The reason to use it is because the results from using it make sense based on the learning objective.
  • 30-35 - 25 million 25-30 - Negligible 20-25 - 36 million 15-20 - 97 million 13-15 146 million 10-13 - 24 million 8-10 - 81 million 5-8 4 million
  • Educators migrated, from MOOs and MUDs to Active Worlds to Second Life, and they will migrate again.
  • Wikitude, Layar
  • Tools have restrictions – movements allow for a variety, and changing set of tools.
  • Not just colleagues and administrators, but parents
  • The theme for today, of course, is virtual worlds, real learning.
  • The Shifting Landscape: Virtual Worlds in Education

    1. 1. 21 st Century Learning Virtual Worlds, Real Learning
    2. 2. The Shift/ /ing Landscape Virtual Worlds in Education
    3. 4. <ul><li>history </li></ul>
    4. 5. MOO MUD
    5. 6. Sample of a typical MUD interaction.
    6. 7. Engaged
    7. 8. 21 st Century Learning
    8. 9. C C C limate lient lassroom
    9. 10. Actively Constructing Knowledge
    10. 11. Pedagogy <ul><li>Tools </li></ul>
    11. 12. Emmersive Education
    12. 13. Role Play Suspension of Disbelief
    13. 14. The Young and The Digital <ul><li>What the Migration to Social-Networked Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future. </li></ul>
    14. 15. digital is way of life ubiquitous computing + broadband The hypermediated student control
    15. 16. Entertaining Informative Interesting
    16. 17. This is what many of us are dealing with Laptop Clicker Notes Web IM Cell Phone iPod
    17. 18. What does all this have to do with virtual worlds and real learning?
    18. 19. Engaged
    19. 20. Emmersive
    20. 21. Expectation
    21. 22. Learning has to be about more than test scores
    22. 23.
    23. 24.
    24. 25.
    25. 26.
    26. 44. Photo Credit:
    27. 45. Photo Credit: Sarah Robbins
    28. 48. This is not about the application its about the product
    29. 49. Real learning is taking place in virtual and digital environments
    30. 50. Mobile
    31. 51. Augmented Reality
    32. 52. Think of this as a movement, not a specific tool
    33. 53. Be prepared for change
    34. 54. Be prepared for resistance
    35. 55. Fear Misinformation
    36. 56. How does this improve LEARNING?
    37. 57. The Shift/ /ing Landscape Virtual Worlds in Education