So I made it to the meeting in the previous post and heard a number of interesting items. It was news to me that there are no Virtual World groups in the Regional EDUCAUSE meetings, something that we will have to rectify. Some RL speakers noted interesting work being done–there is never a shortage of people asking for examples of what educators can do in SL. It is hard to imagine how to use it, so we all have to work collaboratively to design experiences and problem-solving tasks that are at a high level of engagement and productivity.
One speaker talked about a business case study, an idea I have long considered an excellent experience for business students who can create and market and analyze an entire business concept, from product to storefront.
In the medical field, many insitutions have developed in-world tools to make simulations more realistic. On the Long White Cloud sim, one school developed a tool to control an avatar’s physiology, so that students could demonstrate symptons that would be diagnosed by other students. Cool. [http://slurl.com/secondlife/Long%20White%20Cloud/128/128/2].
A writing professor designed an assignment of students decorating rooms that reflected the topic and thesis of a research essay. Interesting in terms of how you can visualize concepts.
On Meteora (see pic) is a full NOAA experience [http://slurl.com/secondlife/Meteora/177/161/27]. I’ll need to go back there and spend more time.
For professional development, think of joining groups and attending meetings and conferences. You will be surprised how many well-respected RL groups have SL counterparts. Take ISTE for example, the International Society for Technology in Education. Visit any of the ISTE islands [http://slurl.com/secondlife/ISTE%20Island/128/128/2]. They now offer an entry experience for educators. Go to the Education link on the SL Grid [http://secondlifegrid.net/slfe/education-use-virtual-world] and click on the Educator? Get Started button. You will be prompted to join and then be directed to ISTE Island, where you will find a good experience, tailored for educators. Joining here will allay some of the questionable experiences others have had in going to the traditional orientation islands. The NMC Orientation island is also still available, and you can revisit these orientations any time [http://slurl.com/secondlife/NMC%20Orientation/128/128/2].
And don’t forget Info Island International [http://slurl.com/secondlife/Info%20Island%20International/128/128/2].