Sunday, May 11, 2008

SL in Schools

I have been toying with the idea of using SL as a platform for teaching various subjects and working on interdisciplinary projects. I first heard about SL at a Tech Expo for educators in New York. The workshop was given by a middle school library media specialist, who is the SecondLife facilitator at her school. She works with other teachers in all subject areas and across subject areas to teach her teachers and students how to teach and learn in a 3D virtual world.

There is a lot of discussion as to whether of not social networking sites, and especially virtual world, can enhance the learning process. Dr. Lisa Dawly has been studying using 3D virtual worlds, specifically SecondLife, as a learning tool. She defines Social Network Knowledge Construction as a framework for how students can interact and learn and actually impacts the learner's thinking process. She argues then that new pedagogies are needed to effectively integrate new ways of communicating into the learning environment.

My RL colleagues, and now SL friends as well, and I are putting together a grant to develop a SecondLife platform on the Teen Grid to use in our middle and/or high school(s). I'm looking to meet with/talk to anyone who has an interest in also developing such a platform or has already developed one. I think we would be still on the cutting edge of this form of learning, but would be among the first to produce students who are capable of creative and collaborative work, a necessary skill in today's and especially tomorrow's job market...

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