[SLED] SL lesson plans

Anne Ogborn annie66us at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 14 13:14:48 PST 2009

I'm working on the Pathways tools, and as part of the design effort I made this list. It struck me that others might find it useful.

Lesson plans in SL:

Act out a play or create machinima of a story
Why SL as opposed to RL?
Cost of production is lower. Costumes are free or low cost. 
Sets can be made easily.
Subjects of more interest to younger students may be technically feasible,
e.g. a science fiction theme (imagine assigning a class to turn an Asimov
short story into machinima!)

Visit a museum with a specific lesson plan and purpose
Why SL as opposed to RL?
Cost and hassle of field trip eliminated - there's rarely a specific
lesson plan for field trips because they're too expensive to redo. In
SL revisiting a place with a different focus is as easy as tping.
Removes the distracting party atmosphere
Students can go on their own time, 24/7, alone or in small groups

example: Send students to the Sistine chapel with a specific assignment
like looking at body forms (are they thin, fat? Do they resemble the
people of the region? How do you know what people of that region looked
like then?)

Create an educational exhibit on a topic
Why SL as opposed to RL?
Cost of production is low.
Students may be more interested.
Less maintainence headache in classroom.

example: Have biology students create a giant cell.

Create a meeting with real students from a different culture
Why SL as opposed to IM or email?
Because there's a world around, there's something to talk about.
If the purpose of the meeting is a language lesson, then
you could set up a task that must be done cooperatively.
Even if the student's language skills are rudimentary they
may be able to cooperate in a game like a building blitz.

Create a scripted project
Why SL as opposed to some other programming environment?
more 'physical' and more approachable for a beginner.
pass out a rotation script. Have students use it to set up an orrery.
Lots of students pass through college without ever actually using
math to solve a problem 'in the wild'. This gives them the chance.
(beware, SL does NOT model RL physics very well with its' physics).

Create a learning environment
Introduce students to the idea of city planning by giving them
a set of building 'pieces' - two prim houses, commercial buildings,
etc., and asking them to arrange them and build any other pieces
they need.

Send students on a wide ranging information gathering lesson
Why SL as opposed to RL?
tping is easier than than driving around.
Send students to several different art museums in SL to look
at sculptures and compare them. 
Send students to several places to compare how people react to 
oppression and find commonalities and differences. What commonality
is there between the autism museum and library and "Indian Country"?

Send students out to do field work.
I ran into a student one day at NCI when I was volunteering. He
was brand new to SL, had been assigned to 'investigate' SL by a teacher,
and 'had a clipboard'. He wasn't 'getting' SL. Frustrated at trying to
explain it, I rezzed a prim, we sat on it, I moved it to 2000 meters,
gave a little explanation for drama, and deleted it.

Have students start a business
The best lesson on earth!
Every business teacher should have their students running a business in
SL. Where else can you invest about $10 and set up a real live business
with real live customers?

Living history
have students recreate a period of history similar to a living history
exhibit in RL. Insist on documentation of costume, setting, and character 

research appropriate to student's level of education. 
This could be carried out even at a grad student level.
Invite the public in at the conclusion to interact with the student 
living history interpreters.

Create a museum or permanent exhibit
Why not have your students run a museum or educational exhibit?
As a class assignment students must create an exhibit on some relevant
subject that fits into the museum.

Critiquing skills
Send students to a performance piece in SL,
e.g. a Kala Pixie show, and ask them to critique the performance

Paste a map of <<insert region here>> on a mega.
set up somewhere at some altitude. Have students place cone markers
colored for political control on it. Put a board in the corner with the
Move the map down a couple meters, put up a new year board, repeat
(save work, copy the existing markers and move them for the new boundaries)
Do this in bits through a course that follows a region through
history.  At end of course you can see the history in the sky.
This applies to all sorts of metrics - you could do population with
cylinders, or add pieces to the transcontinental RR, or whatever.

SL's an obvious place to train architects. Talk to mj Kranfel in SL.

Live music
SL's a great venue for live music. For a course on ethnic music, why
not locate artists in the country of origin, get them streaming into
SL, and have them perform?

Role playing
Can your psychology students accurately mimic people with various
mental disorders?
Role playing is a standard tool in business training. If your class
is distance learning, SL could make up for the difficulty of doing it
in the classroom.
Teaching 'culture', as done in advanced language classes, can be hard.
role playing might be a good way to understand cultural differences.

Machinima as a tool for building storytelling skills


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