[SLED] SLED Conference Proceedings - DRAFT

Jeremy Kemp jkemp at cemail.sjsu.edu
Sat Aug 19 12:50:09 PDT 2006


Hello,

We're having a great show here in SF. Congrats to Dan for pulling off this SLED-SLCC06 proceedings:

http://www.simteach.com/SLCC06/SLED_SLCC06-proceedingsDRAFT.pdf

{All errors, omissions and unethical activity are solely my doings. ;-}

--Jeremy kemp
www.simteach.com

-----Original Message-----
From: educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com [mailto:educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com] On Behalf Of Daniel Livingstone
Sent: Friday, August 18, 2006 3:39 PM
To: Educators interested in using Second Life as a teaching platform.
Subject: Re: [SLED] SLED in the News

Great piece!

Well done all. Im not sure I quite recognise SL a being full of
'civil' people, but amongst this community I'll grant you that

:D

ps I made it to San Fran. My luggage hasnt yet, but that was only to be expected

On 18/08/06, Rik Panganiban <panganiban at ssrc.org> wrote:
>
>
>
>
> Awesome story. Congrats on the quotes Sarah and Jeremy, et al!
>
>
>
> Here's the full text:
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>
>
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> Right-click to learn
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>
>
> Second Life offers students a virtually real education
>
>
>
> By: KATE COHEN
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>
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> 8/17/2006 3:04:10 PM
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>
>
> 060818_sl_main
>
> Harvard in Second Life
>
> As membership grows exponentially on Second Life — the online 3-D metaverse
> where users can shop, socialize, and even blow their brains out — the
> academic world's forward-thinking minds are seeing new opportunities for the
> virtual campus. With undergrads already dedicating a lot of their online
> time to chatting with friends or gaming, instructors are discovering that
> their pupils are ideal guinea pigs for a new frontier in learning online.
> Desks might be a thing of the past, rules like "don't come to class naked"
> might seriously apply, and a professor's tweed blazer could be replaced by a
> robot chassis or butterfly wings, or both. But the possibilities for learning
> are nearly endless.
>
>
>
> Second Life (SL) is an online Multi-User Virtual Environment (MUVE) where
> users are represented on screen (or "in-world") by animated "avatars" who
> can walk, fly, and talk with each other in 3-D environments designed and
> inhabited by fellow users, known as "residents." SL residents can buy SL
> virtual real estate — usually in the form of a private island — from Linden
> Labs, the San Francisco –based company behind Second Life. Using graphics
> tools provided by SL, island-owners can develop their land any way they like
> — by building a mansion or a dungeon, say, or creating a forest or a
> snow-swept steppe. Residents also get to design their own avatars, often
> idealized human forms, who then function, on command, in any in-world
> environment. (To access Second Life, you need to download proprietary SL
> browser protocols and sign up for membership.)
>
>
>
> Although Second Life is not the first MUVE to gain a foothold on the
> Internet, the academic world is taking to its flexibility and advanced
> options. Linden Labs Community Manager John Lester, known as Pathfinder
> Linden in-world, is facilitating SL's partnership with educators by
> connecting them with the tools they'll need. Lester helped create a Campus
> Island, virtual real estate where educators can use an acre of land free of
> charge for the duration of a class.
>
>
>
> But the Linden vision is really to let the educators run with it. "We would
> love to see Second Life be used for things we haven't dreamed of," he says,
> "for instructors to use it to teach things that could not possibly be taught
> in the physical world." Many instructors who started with Campus Island have
> returned to build their own islands. Lester estimates that more than 50
> universities now have representation in-world, and about 400 members have
> joined his educators' mailing list. "It's a community that's growing on its
> own at this point."
>
>
>
> Otherworldly courses
>
> Having an online presence and sharing ideas among colleagues in-world is
> only the beginning. Already, instructors are moving toward holding real-time
> classes in SL; several will be teaching in-world this fall for the first
> time.
>
>
>
> For those accustomed to traditional forms of online learning, the
> possibilities presented by a 3-D teaching environment make correspondence
> courses seem antiquated. "Distance students have a very disconnected
> feeling," says Harvard Extension School instructor Rebecca Nesson, who will
> be teaching her first class in Second Life this fall. For the extension
> school's typical Web-based courses, a student might check in with an
> instructor from time to time, but interaction among peers can be iffy, with
> no set protocol for making it happen.
>
>
>
> Nesson chose to offer her course in Second Life "to make a
> distance-education experience feel like a more substantial, more connected
> experience so that they would have someplace where they could come and
> actually get to interact directly with each other and with the instructors."
>
>
>
> How exactly will classes meet in Second Life? "I think this is a real Petri
> dish for teaching and learning experimentation," says Jeremy Kemp, a
> doctoral student at Fielding Graduate University and the proprietor of
> http://simteach.com , a resource center for educators using MUVEs.
>
>
>
> "There's a fine balance there between offering the learning experience that
> students expect and utilizing the flexibility of the environment." Several
> campuses, resources, and research displays have already been established
> in-world. Some are mirror images of real-life buildings; for example,
> Harvard Law School's Austin Hall is operated on the island by the law
> school's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a real-world research
> facility devoted to studying and exploring cyberspace. Others reflect the
> imagination and ingenuity of the developers and instructors behind them. On
> Campus Island, research projects are displayed on floating platforms, and
> some even invite visitors to participate in a sample experiments.
>
>
>
> One instructor paying particular attention to her students' environment is
> Sarah Robbins, a PhD candidate at Ball State University who is studying
> rhetoric and composition. This fall, she will meet with her
> English-composition undergrads in real life one day of the week and in SL on
> another. Robbins, a/k/a Intellagirl Tully, has put a lot of thought into her
> island, offering her students lounge areas for meetings, a Tiki bar, and
> dorm areas they can decorate by working together.
>
>
>
> "I'm very interested in how virtual environments can foster collaboration
> and community building in the class itself," she says. Since so much of her
> class is centered on observation and research, the SL community as a whole
> will also play a major role, providing her students with interview subjects
> and discussion.
>
>
>
> "I've been in lots of MMORPGs [Massive Multiplayer Online Role-playing
> Games] and run into some nasty people," Robbins says. "I've not seen any of
> that in SL. ... I feel like I can trust the community to be encouraging so
> long as my students are [not] bothersome."
>
>
>
> It is perhaps because the SL community is characterized by civility that
> in-world learning has the potential to promote respectful, supportive
> classroom behavior. According to Jeremy Kemp, "When you have the other
> person looking at you in the face, it's kind of hard to be mean, and so it
> helps to generate an altruistic environment."
>
>
>
> Still, typical student behavior is to be expected; a student can fall asleep
> in a real class just as easily as his or her avatar can slump over,
> indicating that he or she is away from the computer. Instructors already
> accustomed to the real-life behavior of students seem prepared to accept it
> in-world.
>
>
>
> "We see many things in a lecture hall with wireless when the students have
> laptops," says Dr. Ed Lamoureax, who will be teaching an SL-only course
> during Bradley University's three-week interim session in January 2007.
> "Students multitask now. It's just a given."
>
>
>
> Kemp, whose studies focus on "legitimate peripheral participation" —
> extraneous classroom chatter such as instant messaging and passing notes in
> class — sees this behavior as a potentially good thing. "There are things
> that happen outside of the official line of communication in a teaching
> setting that students benefit from," he says. An environment like Second Life
> can encourage students to use such behavior in a constructive way.
>
>
>
> Expanding in-world resources
>
> In-world, there are offerings that are open to the public, from lectures
> with NASA engineers to presentations hosted by The Infinite Mind public-radio
> show, which was the first live-broadcast program to have a presence in SL.
> There is also Info Island, home to the Second Life Library 2.0, a
> collaboration between the Alliance Library System and Online Programming for
> All Libraries (OPAL).
>
>
>
> "More and more educators see Second Life as a way to engage students," says
> ALS director of innovation Lori Bell. "We wanted to see what role a library
> could play."
>
>
>
> A group of about 35 librarians have volunteered their time to build
> structures and stock the collection, which includes searchable indexes,
> audio and video clips, and books, many of which are public domain and
> available to own. "I see this as a great way to promote reading," says Bell.
> The library also offers live help at certain hours of the day, for the
> typical real-life reference questions that inevitably come up, and it will
> hold live events like authors' chats and tours.
>
>
>
> The library is also exploring ways to offer learning experiences that simply
> would not be possible in real life. It is working with the Library of
> Congress to build a Declaration of Independence room, where a
> larger-than-life-size copy of the document will be on display along with
> additional readings, audio files, and period furniture. There's also a
> library in the works on Caledon, the exclusively 19th-century island where
> avatars wear period dress.
>
>
>
> Historical displays from other organizations are scattered throughout SL,
> including an International Spaceflight Museum that hosts more than 50
> life-size rockets from space programs around the world. Visitors can ride
> the Titan II rocket to the International Space Station and view a scale
> model of the solar system where each planet has its own observation
> platform.
>
>
>
> So what does the future hold for education in Second Life? "The crucial
> problem for educators is finding out if being in this environment, which is
> very expensive in terms of time and technology, is worthwhile from a
> learning-outcomes perspective," says Jeremy Kemp. With the software still
> rolling out new features each week, it's tough to get a grip on how this all
> will shake out. Academics such as Sarah Robbins, whose research can take
> place almost entirely in these virtual environments, see the movement online
> as a necessary change.
>
>
>
> "Not being familiar with technology puts all academics at somewhat of a
> disadvantage right now, unless you're tenured or in a really traditional
> university," she says. "So it really behooves academics to understand how to
> deliver their content online. SL is the bleeding edge of that movement."
>
>
>
> That's the SL academic world for you: the most advanced generation of
> educators on the planet, at home in their pajamas, challenging minds simply
> by logging on.
>
>
>
> Kate Cohen is a Web researcher for WGBH's Frontline and can be reached at
> kcohen00 at yahoo.com .
>
>
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> Copyright (c) 2006 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group
>
>
>
> Rik Panganiban
>
> Program Coordinator
>
> Necessary Knowledge for a Democratic Public Sphere
>
> Social Science Research Council
>
> 810 Seventh Avenue, 31st Floor
>
> New York NY 10019
>
> PH: 212.377.2700 x 644
>
> FX: 212.377.2727
>
> email: panganiban at ssrc.org
>
> Web: www.ssrc.org/programs/media
>
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
>  From: educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com
> [mailto:educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com] On Behalf
> Of Robbins, Sarah Brooke
>  Sent: Friday, August 18, 2006 9:40 AM
>  To: Educators interested in using Second Life as a teaching platform.
>  Subject: [SLED] SLED in the News
>
>
>
> Here's a link to the Boston Phoenix piece about SLED. It's really great!
>
> http://thephoenix.com/article_ektid20561.aspx
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>
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> The site has been really laggy. If it doesn't come up keep trying.
>
>
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> Sarah "Intellagirl" Robbins
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> PhD Student in Rhetoric and Composition
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> Ball State University, Muncie IN
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> www.secondlife.intellagirl.com
>
> www.sarahrobbins.com
>
> Yahoo: Intellagirl
>
> SecondLife: Intellagirl Tully
>
>
>
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