[SLED] Live demos & Virtual offices
chris.collins at uc.edu
Thu Apr 26 14:56:10 PDT 2007
Hi Stan, I was giving a live demo today too so I feel your
pain. Ugh! Just when you think it's safe to schedule things on Thursdays!
Regarding this comment:
>Oh thank God! I'm so relieved you've raised this Alan. I've been
>watching with increasing despair at this obsession of educators with
>setting up little offices with little desks and little lamps and
I have been working with faculty to help them learn and teach with
technology for several years, and I think your despair is misplaced.
OK, not entirely, you raise some interesting and excellent points,
but I think it fails to recognize the _process_ that many faculty go
through as they begin to adopt a new medium. You don't dive into
Second Life creating whirligigs in the sky that jump and dance and
teach chemistry in one fell swoop. Many start off kind of bumping
into the walls and feeling overwhelmed and possibly confused or
self-conscious. From my observations, people go through phases -
learn how to move around, begin to understand what's possible, learn
to recreate familiar concepts and objects, then and ONLY then are
some able to begin seeing outside the box.
This process can be helped along with guidance and tutorials and
mentors, and it's great to demonstrate possibilities that wow and awe
and excite, but don't discount the value in having something that
feels comfortable and familiar to folks who are often experiencing a
whole host of emotions and thoughts as they encounter this world for
the first time. Don't miss the value of their students seeing
something that resonates with previous experience and signifies
expectations about the kinds of interactions to take place in that space.
I wouldn't despair until you see people engage with Second Life and
never change their office or never go beyond recreating the real
world counterparts in the virtual world. And even then, I hope you
feel as much despair over the instructors who never go beyond placing
a syllabus and a few powerpoint presentations in their campus CMS,
because it's the same thing.
The possibility that some will fail to take advantage of the full
potential of a technology shouldn't overshadow the value of starting
off with simple and familiar concepts for the beginner. There is
value in guiding the process, but there are rarely shortcuts, in my experience.
Chris Collins (SL: Fleep Tuque)
Facilitator, UC Second Life Learning Community
UCit, Instructional & Research Computing
University of Cincinnati
What is Second Life? http://homepages.uc.edu/secondlife
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