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CALL Unplugged wants to know.... :)

Hello to all who participated in our little introduction to Second Life (SL) as a viable learning tool.

I have forwarded our professor a list of useful landmarks that may help you find your footing around SL (these she can forward to you inworld). While most involve education in one way or another, I also took the liberty of including some freebie places that I have used in the past (you know, we all want our good virtual hair days).

Since we had very little time to spare in class given the high learning curve required for merely learning to sit and walk in this virtual program, we were forced to delve directly into SL without much of an introduction.  However, I believe that the goal of introducing SL is not so much to hear about what can be done, but rather to have students do something while in SL.  I think you did accomplish that while getting a taste of the very surreal 'life' of avatars in SL.  Should you be so inclined, I would like to get feedback on your thoughts about this virtual program, and the potential applications it could have in a language classroom. Of course, I would like to hear how to better improve a presentation which is so exhaustive in itself that leaves not just our avatars gasping for air, but ourselves wondering if this type of virtual environment is a good fit for us and our learners.  Would you use this technology?  How would you incorporate it into a classroom setting?  What would you like to see done to improve it to meet your needs as educators?  And how would you improve it given the opportunity?

And please let me know if I can be of assistance to you inworld or out.  :)


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 14th, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC)
Using Second-Life
I must confess that although the experience was fascinating and fun, I came away with no clear idea of how to use Second Life in teaching. It seems that in order to do so I would need to create some elaborate world, which feels overwhelming at this point. I can see that if there are islands out there that have been preprogrammed in some way to facilitate language practice, these could be incorporated into existing lesson plans, and might afford good production opportunities for learners. But again, I don't know how I could make that happen. I'm sure that this use of technology would appeal greatly to young adults. I know it took lots of time just to get us all into Second Life, but perhaps if you could show us some teaching application during the demonstration it would help. Or maybe we could read some literature about it. Thanks so much for coming to our class. You were very patient with us, very enthusiastic about 2nd Life, and very knowledgeable! I would like to understand better what you are developing in 2nd Life for UTSA.
Apr. 16th, 2009 09:52 pm (UTC)
SL to my classroom....not sure yet
Hay M

Recently, I feel it is enjoable when I spent more time to get familiar with those function and icons. For any users, having familiairty of the tool is the first step. Otherwise, these frustration would casue learning less effective. However, I have seen some SL is used or designed very attractive or really incorporate language elements in the SL. However, some students in this class join SL with some univeristies to differnet sites. I feel very impressive the one designed my Michigan University- A chinese restaurant in the SL. First, the site is well-designed for all details. those objective are lable and can be heard it's pronuciation when students to click or point it. I felt they really incorporate the authentice scene, reading, listening at the same time.

Next,I have read some news about SL used in differnet area, such as in Medical school. Students can enter virtual ICU room to take care of patients, to learn anatomy, to see those vivd visual presentation on human's body. I think that's a good application in this context to give more interactive learning.

I am still enjoying the fun in SL; however, regarding to learning....I think I am still exploring.

Apr. 30th, 2009 01:55 am (UTC)
I personally would use it with my students, but the question is: how? I don't have an answer to that yet. I teach Spanish level I at the University, and I'm not sure if the students would learn or they would be goofing around with the avatar.

To incorporate this system in my classroom, I would need computers for each students. I do have a large class. I think this would be a problem.

I would have to schedule the day and time, the student should get familiar with the system and how to use the foreign language feature. My concern is that they would go to places that are not suitable, since I have young students (most of them).

I would like first, to teach through Second Life, to get a better perspective of this system. Then, I would have to think on how to implement this tool in the classroom.

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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