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Jonathon Richter

The Journal of Virtual Environments - 3 views

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    The Journal of Virtual Environments
Jonathon Richter

LIS SIM Journals - A-M - SLIS Second Life Wiki - 0 views

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    journals
Teachers Without Borders

First Seasonal Report on Ethics and Virtual Worlds | NPSL: Nonprofits in Second Life - 0 views

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    The MacArthur Foundation recently put out this press release regarding RezEd.org and their first report on ethics and virtual worlds.
Eloise Pasteur

Holmberg - 0 views

shared by Eloise Pasteur on 10 Nov 08 - Cached
  • Learning in virtual worlds
  • The notion of distance
  • Of the respondents 28 were female and two were male. The youngest respondent was born in 1984 and the oldest respondent was born in 1952. Half of the respondents were born before 1967.
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  • Respondents didn’t feel that using the Second Life client was too difficult. The majority of the respondents answered that moving (73.3 percent) and navigating (66.7 percent) in Second Life was easy or fairly easy. Almost all of the respondents felt that it was easy to take part in Second Life–based lectures and discussions, and that they gained additional information from other students in discussions.
  • Respondents were asked to estimate the usability of Second Life as a learning environment by comparing it to other learning methods. When compared with face–to–face education, the respondents felt that learning in Second Life was somewhat more difficult. Face–to–face education was considered overall as a “better” (versus worse, as literally asked in the survey) form of education. But learning in Second Life was considered to be clearly more fun. Nevertheless, 60 percent of the respondents answered that lectures in Second Life could replace face–to–face lectures. This question raised strong opinions.
  • In addition, 83.3 percent of the respondents thought that the barrier to participate in discussions or to ask a question was lower in Second Life than in face–to–face lectures
  • When compared to Web–based learning platforms, Second Life was not considered to be neither easier nor more difficult. But even in this case, learning in Second Life was considered to be a lot more fun (a response from over half of the respondents). In contrast to the comparison with face–to–face education, Second Life was considered to be a “better” form of education than learning from Web–based learning platforms.
  • One–third of the respondents considered Second Life to be “better” — against 13.3 percent of the respondents that thought Second Life was “worse” — than Web–based learning platforms. The respondents graded a lecture in Second Life to be “better” than webcasting and discussion boards, almost as good as videoconferences, but clearly not as good as face–to–face lectures and meetings.
  • The mixed responses to questions about Second Life being comfortable or better than other environments of learning indicate a variety of emotional and cognitive reactions. This study did not give clear answers to the interplay of different distance variables (Nooteboom, 2000; Duval, 2006; Hargreaves, 2001; Garrison, et al., 2000) in Second Life–based learning. However, the results indicate that the feeling of presence and distance is a multidimensional issue that needs further attention in future studies.
  • Second Life was also considered to be a functional environment for teamwork. Assignments that students resolved in teams were considered to be fun and productive. The respondents felt that their teams produced more than they would have done individually. Students also felt very strongly that they were part of the team (56.7 percent).
  • When the respondents were given a chance to freely express their opinions about their experiences in Second Life, it became apparent that using Second Life in education may even have somewhat surprising positive consequences. One of the respondents wrote that using Second Life in education had brought her closer to her 16–year–old son’s world.
  • Another surprising observation outside the survey was that some of the students used Second Life on their own time to improve their language skills. One of the students told us that she spent a lot of time in the French–speaking areas of Second Life exercising both her written and spoken French. This discovery strengthens our belief of the huge potential that Second Life has for language education, an area certainly requiring further research.
  • In general, Second Life was considered to enhance interaction between students and between the instructor and the students especially when compared to Web–based learning environments.
  • Provided that participating face–to–face education does not require too much traveling and learning outcomes are satisfactory, Second Life does not necessarily provide any significant benefits, at least not when using it only as a platform for lectures and teamwork.
  • When considering distance only as a physical measure of separation, Second Life provides a means to overcome it. The existence of multimodal and non–interfering means of communication and socialization by using chat, instant messages and voice calls in personal and group interaction provides users a wider range of possibilities to communicate than in face–to–face sessions. Of these varied means, each student can select an option one that feels most comfortable, an observation also made by Paquette–Frenette (2006). In this study, all of the students were participating at a distance through Second Life, avoiding problems noted in Paquette–Frenette (2006).
  • A question about how the students experienced the presence of other students gave very mixed answers. Compared to Web–based learning environments the interaction between the students was thought to be more comfortable by almost 50 percent of respondents. It was considered to enhance interaction and the feeling of presence was stronger. Most of the students (56.6 percent) felt that other students were actually present in the virtual classroom. The respondents said that it was “fun” to meet all of the other students in the same location without having to leave their homes and that the campus–like atmosphere made it feel “real”.
  • In comparison to lectures, the benefits of using Second Life in teamwork were more obvious. The physical presence of avatars, the possibility to communicate in real time and the existence of a shared local space explain why Second Life produces a more realistic feel of presence than discussion forums or chat rooms. In a sense, Second Life brings distance education closer to face–to–face education, supporting Jones, et al. (2005). The strong feel of presence noted by respondents and the immersive nature of Second Life seem to do just that.
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    Respondents didn't feel that using the Second Life client was too difficult. The majority of the respondents answered that moving (73.3 percent) and navigating (66.7 percent) in Second Life was easy or fairly easy. Almost all of the respondents felt that it was easy to take part in Second Life-based lectures and discussions, and that they gained additional information from other students in discussions.
Teachers Without Borders

Educational Frontiers: Learning in a Virtual World (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE CONNECT - 1 views

  • I continue the orientation with highlights of accomplishments from teenage students at Ramapo, Suffern (N.Y.) Middle School’s campus in Second Life, hosted by Peggy Sheehy (http://ramapoislands.edublogs.org/about/). Their learning experiences are inspiring and help my students visualize projects modeled in a virtual world. During one session, a student reflected: “If teens can do it, I can do it.” Student ownership grows as students visualize the class workspace as a place where they meet, attend class sessions, work on projects, play, and relax with friends.
    • Teachers Without Borders
       
      Yes, I understand that university students can be inspired by the work of middle schoolers, but let's look at some examples of what university students have done in SL.
  • Virtual world learning experiences are fun
    • Teachers Without Borders
       
      So are fieldtrips.
  • A few may feel disengaged and go into “cruise control,” expecting the instructor to entertain them. Shifting students from the passive roles of survivors and castaways to the active roles of researchers and explorers requires a change in their perception of themselves and their willingness to participate.
    • Teachers Without Borders
       
      Very good point. Not sure yet why SL is the best way to do this ...
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  • Class can be held on the beach, in another country, in outer space, or in any simulated setting. Students do not need to be confined to a traditional class setting, with chairs facing forward, but can instead move within the learning environment, communicate via text or voice, offer information or ask questions whenever they like (without being impolite), and correspond with classmates and friends via private messaging.
  • learning stations can be designed that offer content to students who miss class or who need more time to study and reflect. Students can touch these 3D objects to get notecards, listen to podcasts, or see streaming video that covers this course content. Although this capability is also available in online course management systems and websites, the shared nature of an avatar interacting with an object, being part of the content that is being studied, and seeing 3D simulations of the content come to life is powerful. Since a student’s understanding of complex content may be hazy, offering information in a variety of ways allows students to use the information to solve problems and create solutions for their projects.
    • Teachers Without Borders
       
      There's got to be more to this. Still noyt sure why I need a virtual world for this. I need to download the client, open an account, create an avatar, just to click a box?

      I'd like to see a SL example of how "powerful" this can be. I'd like to hear from the students.
  • Class participants are often not anonymous, despite the use of virtual world aliases for avatar names. One reason is that students want information, education, feedback, and grades from their instructor, and they want to know who is responding to them. In addition, students share a sense of community in these environments, and they mentor one another as they discover how to use the tool to complete their individual and team course activities. This sense of identity differs from the social use of virtual worlds for entertainment purposes, where anonymity is often favored.
  • Students shift from being passive listeners to engaging in group interaction and activities and demonstrating that they understand the course content via the completion of projects, papers, labs, and case studies. Many classes that include case studies use role-play, putting learners in roles and contexts in which they explore the content and make decisions based on the forces and constraints placed on them.
    • Teachers Without Borders
       
      That shift can happen without 3D environments.
  • In addition to learning user-interface design and testing principles, the class goal was to reflect on new ways to design and evaluate user interfaces. With this goal in mind, the students elected to study problems related to accessibility, perception, and interaction. Instead of focusing solely on the software interfaces, they created 3D linked objects with behaviors that simulated real-world systems.

    In their “lessons learned” papers, the students noted that the virtual world classes enhanced their learning experience and their perceptions of self and gave them new skills to demonstrate their mastery of the course content. The sense of presence and the customization of their avatars were high on their list of priorities for learning and participating in virtual world classes. In contrast, they noted that it took time for them to customize their avatars and to learn to communicate, gesture, and emote. They also learned to create 3D objects and to texture, link, and program the objects into testable, scripted projects that responded when touched.

    • Teachers Without Borders
       
      Excellent example. Would be interesting to hear from the students, though.
  • In virtual worlds, we can leverage a mix of content and activity to support all learners: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic.
    • Teachers Without Borders
       
      We can also do it in a Kenyan classroom, for example, where there are only desks and a blackboard. A good teacher can accomplish this anywhere.
Teachers Without Borders

Virtual Worlds? "Outlook Good" (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE CONNECT - 0 views

  • bring the words “3D virtual environment” a bit closer to the mainstream. In June 2007, Second Life had nearly eight million residents. One year later, it had more than fourteen million.2

    But Second Life is not the only virtual world—and not the only one involved in education. The Active Worlds program Active Worlds Educational Universe (AWEDU) includes over eighty educational worlds (http://www.activeworlds.com/edu/). Educators are also working (individually) in There. Other virtual worlds efforts include Central Grid, Kaneva, Twinity, CyberNet Worlds, The Palace, Furcadia, and Project DarkStar. Others spring up daily, it seems. Over time, we may see a shift toward open source opportunities like Croquet and toward work-oriented virtual collaboration spaces like Sun Technology’s Project Wonderland.

    In addition, many virtual worlds are tied to product lines: Webkinz, Home (Sony), BarbieGirls (Mattel), and Club Penguin (Disney). Add the many additional efforts that Disney is putting forward in this field, along with other younger-market companies like MTV, and it is crystal-clear that virtual worlds are here to stay. If the number of virtual worlds is not an indication, certainly the amount of money being invested should be. According to Virtual Worlds Management, over $1 billion (U.S.) was invested in virtual companies in 2007 (http://www.virtualworldsmanagement.com/2007/index.html), and over $184 million was invested in the first quarter of 2008 (http://www.virtualworldsmanagement.com/2008/q1.html).

  • the New Media Consortium estimates that more than 1,200 educational islands were created in 2007.4
  • Other efforts are starting to move to the forefront and should certainly be watched in the coming months. Many, especially those working on an open source platform, would like to see standards that tie other platforms together. Efforts such as the Immersive Education Initiative (http://immersiveeducation.org/), by the Media Grid (http://mediagrid.org/), are looking to bring standards to, and develop best practices for, the mildly wild frontier that is currently virtual worlds.
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  • In July 2008, IBM and Linden Lab announced an interoperability agreement following successful tests in which avatars were teleported “from the Second Life Preview Grid into a virtual world running on an OpenSim server, marking the first time an avatar has moved from one virtual world to another.”8
  • Another perceptual challenge for virtual worlds is the idea that they are all games.
  • In addition, users of Second Life, Active Worlds, and There have something that players of the highly polished, graphics-heavy, multi-user role-playing games like World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings do not have: the ability to create, change, and control the environment.
  • Most of those educators using virtual worlds today realize that it is a means to an end, a tool available for teaching and learning. However, this particular tool has shown the same growth pattern and potential as the Internet. Just as once many in higher education loudly proclaimed that the Internet was of no practical use and was filled with questionable material and marketing, so too do critics today have their doubts about virtual worlds. But the web grew into a vital part of our lives, and a growing number of people believe that virtual worlds will do so the same.
Eloise Pasteur

Pioneering research shows 'Google Generation' is a myth - 0 views

  • The report Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future (PDF format; 1.67MB) also shows that research-behaviour traits that are commonly associated with younger users – impatience in search and navigation, and zero tolerance for any delay in satisfying their information needs – are now becoming the norm for all age-groups, from younger pupils and undergraduates through to professors.
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    Report that says the google generation doesn't exist - we're all showing the signs of it
Eloise Pasteur

SL-LandscapesforEducation » home - 0 views

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    Wiki page for discussing design features of terraforming for education
Teachers Without Borders

edna workshop in Second Life - 0 views

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    Participants in the Second Life session of edna's online workshops get the opportunity to collaborate on an original work of music. This international event included participants from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US. Many thanks to Jo Kay, Konrad Glogowski, Jude O'Connell, Dean Groom and the residents of the islands of jokaydia. Produced by KerryJ.
Jean Shankle

The Campaign For Real Life | HaveMacWillBlog (aka Robin Bloor's Blog) - 0 views

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    Second Life blogs from an SL participants
Jean Shankle

Second Life Library Project » Blog Archive » Info Island and Libraries in SL ... - 0 views

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    Composition and information
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    Librarians in SL have been very helpful on my projects.
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