[SLED] SL Startup Help

Landy, Pat PLandy at lccc.wy.edu
Fri May 2 16:08:42 PDT 2008


Thank you so much.  I learn quite a bit every time I click on a SLED article.

I am finding the biggest obstacle in the very terminology we sometimes use.  When people think that a 3D virtual world is a game, they turn their backs on me.  I now start every conversation with "This is not a game.  It is a learning platform." I am currently building blended courses using SL when it is educationally more effective than f2f could ever be.  I have deleted the word "game" from my vocabulary.  I've been wandering around in SL for almost 2 years now and I have never played a game yet.

I do have administrative support but no money and no tech support.  I am basically on my own, but this SLED and the people in SL have helped me tremendously.  My first class begins in the fall.  Thanks to all of you who have helped me along the way.  



-----Original Message-----
From: educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com on behalf of Laurel Smith
Sent: Fri 5/2/2008 1:34 PM
To: klevine at cloud9.net; SL Educators
Subject: RE: [SLED] SL Startup Help
 
Wow, thank you for that Katherine. I'm not an instructor, but it's so 
frustrating for me to hear about instructors who are willing to take the 
plunge into SL and are met with so little support from their staff because 
I want to support and help this initiative at my college but the biggest 
challenge here will be getting instructors onboard. With an enthusiastic 
and supportive instructor I can't imagine the students wouldn't enjoy the 
course.

I really appreciate your points about making the inworld content relevant 
to the students' classwork because I think that's key to the learning 
process. That's where I really have to work with the instructors because 
from the tech side of things I really know nothing about the learning 
outcomes or what tasks students need to be able to accomplish by the end 
of the semester.

I want to start with a blended course where students will only go into SL 
for activities and receive instruction in the face2face part. Bbut that's 
a commitment on the instructor's side to be inworld at certain times, to 
encourage students to come into the game, to be spend the time 
troubleshooting for them ... it's a lot of commitment. I think it's well 
worth it in the end but how do I convince instructors of that? Or should 
I, if they aren't willing to try it out?

I hope that I will find instructors who are willing to give this their 
best, and perhaps learn from your experiences in SL. Thank you for sharing 
that with me.

Laurel




Laurel Smith
Virtual Program Administrator
Specialized Services
Continuing Education and Extension
Mount Royal College
Bus: (403) 440-8704
email: lmsmith at mtroyal.ca



Katherine Levine <klevine at cloud9.net> 
Sent by: educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com
05/02/2008 10:13 AM
Please respond to
klevine at cloud9.net; Please respond to
SL Educators <educators at lists.secondlife.com>


To
"'SL Educators'" <educators at lists.secondlife.com>
cc

Subject
RE: [SLED] SL Startup Help






Hi,
 
I have been struggling with this for the entire semester just with one 
class.  The resistance has been strong and my boss told me I could get no 
technical help, and If it didn't work the problems were mine.  Only one 
student out of 24 knew about SL.  Three or four complained to my dean that 
I would be taking up valuable class time for a "video game."  This was 
after I took the class on a 10 minute tour through the eyes of my avatar.  
The plan was to take the class which is a master's level course in Human 
Behavior in the Social Environment to the Naugthy Auties site to hear 
about and participate in a Sharing Knowledge Meeting with a group of 
people who identify as being labeled autistic-mostly Aspergers.   The 
complainers in the class boycotted that session or at least I think they 
did, I don't know who they are.  Four or five students didn't show for 
class that night; however, it is the end of the term and people don't 
always show for class when final papers and tests pending.
 
Those who did attend left class "blown away" in a very good way;  one or 
two have let the dean know that.  I have not, however, been asked to teach 
this same course in the fall and suspect this summer's class will be my 
last. Too many unhappy students going to a dean is always a killer even 
when offset by student compliments.  Adjunct professors are never fired, 
they just don't get assignments.  I am too old to care too much although I 
love teaching.  I also do things my way and that is not always pleasing to 
the administration or other bosses.  Life goes on.   I do feel I made 
progress and suspect the school will be using virtual realities in four or 
five years.  I hope to be living in Colorado by next summer anyway.
 
I learned two lessons I would like to share. I think the most important is 
to load your video or on-line introductions with material that is of 
immediate interest to your group. I get bored on SL when I am there 
without a specific mission or seeing a well run meeting that matches my 
needs.  Find the best simulation that will grab your people's attention 
and take them there. 
 
In teaching, I wouldn't make too big a point of going to SL or of 
insisting that your students go there unless of course it is a course on 
developing computer skills.  Now that I have figured out how to take my 
class there without technical assistance, I will take my course in 
Adolescents  there without mentioning what I am doing or where we are 
going.  I will use SL the way I use Utube.  Getting them on line will 
always be optional for me.  If I were just starting out as a teacher and 
wanting students to do something like practice group facilitation groups, 
I would offer the option of running  a group in SL for credit instead of a 
final paper.   When I have my own Emotional Fitness Training Center 
established on line, I will insist coaches in training go there; but that 
is my own business. 
 
I think the second lesson is to use voice.  As one of my students said, to 
hear the real voices behind the "paper dolls" was what made the experience 
so moving for them. 
 
Good luck and sometimes all innovators can do is keep plugging away and in 
time reap satisfaction from having been way ahead of the crowd.  Much of 
what I taught about human development over the past 20 years is now being 
seen as cutting edge.  I started when Autism was thought to be created by 
"Ice box" mothers, now it is recognized for the brain of those on the 
spectrum working in a very specific way.
 
Ladykat Tigerpaw. 
 
 
Stay Strong,
 
Katherine
 
Katherine Gordy Levine
Emotional Fitness Training®Inc.
Visit my web page at www.emofit.com
Subscribe to my Staying Strong News letter at 
http://emofit.com/newslettersignup.html
 
"There's a crack in everything, it's how the light gets in."
 
                                                   Leonard Cohen
 
 

From: educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com 
[mailto:educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com] On Behalf Of Laurel Smith
Sent: Friday, May 02, 2008 10:47 AM
To: educators at lists.secondlife.com
Subject: [SLED] SL Startup Help
 

Hi everyone,

I introduced myself earlier and I'm still looking through SL to see how I 
can make it work for my college. 

I've had an opportunity to speak with a few of my program coordinators and 
there were so many questions that I didn't know where to begin.

So I wanted to ask all of you on here, how did you start with your SL 
courses/campus? How did you get teachers and students onboard? I think the 
biggest challenge I will stand to face is the lack of willingness from 
instructors to learn new technologies and to teach their students how to 
use it.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated :D

Laurel




Laurel Smith
Virtual Program Administrator
Specialized Services
Continuing Education and Extension
Mount Royal College
Bus: (403) 440-8704
email: lmsmith at mtroyal.ca


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