[SLED] Conference Flyer

Jeremy Kemp jkemp at cemail.sjsu.edu
Sat Aug 19 13:39:02 PDT 2006


Hello All,

Are you SURE you won't be able to attend? :-) Here is the flyer we're littering around:

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

--Jeremy

-----Original Message-----
From: educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com [mailto:educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com] On Behalf Of Terry Beaubois
Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2006 1:35 PM
To: Educators interested in using Second Life as a teaching platform.
Subject: Re: [SLED] SLED Conference Proceedings - DRAFT


Nice job Jeremy and Dan. For those of us who couldn't make it...a special
treat.




On 8/19/06 12:50 PM, "Jeremy Kemp" <jkemp at cemail.sjsu.edu> wrote:

> 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:
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Right-click to learn
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Second Life offers students a virtually real education
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> By: KATE COHEN
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 8/17/2006 3:04:10 PM
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 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 .
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 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
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> The site has been really laggy. If it doesn't come up keep trying.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Sarah "Intellagirl" Robbins
>> 
>> PhD Student in Rhetoric and Composition
>> 
>> Ball State University, Muncie IN
>> 
>> www.secondlife.intellagirl.com
>> 
>> www.sarahrobbins.com
>> 
>> Yahoo: Intellagirl
>> 
>> SecondLife: Intellagirl Tully
>> 
>> 
>> 
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>> 
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> 
> 
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