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Re: [WWWEDU] Trialing Business English course in Second Life

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  • Robert D. Sharp
    Nik, I teach at a Middle School with a high poverty level but we do have some technology available to us for student use. I have checked my computer against
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 12, 2007
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      Nik,
      I teach at a Middle School with a high poverty level but we do have
      some technology available to us for student use.

      I have checked my computer against the standards page. It is fine
      but I will need to check the available student computers. We might
      not qualify based on the spec's. Pretty tough for public schools to
      match them.

      However, I am not 100% sure of what we can dig up. Mostly it looks
      like a lost cause, plus the curriculum may not match their interest.

      Still looking though. Right now, I am looking at Spanish, but we
      have several west Pacific languages also.

      Bob

      On Apr 12, 2007, at 6:32 AM, Nik Peachey wrote:

      >
      > I'm in the process of designing a Business English course which
      > will be delivered in Second Life www.secondlife.com , the popular
      > 3D virtual environment.
      >
      > I'm now at the stage where I'm looking for ESL / EFL students with
      > an intermediate + level to trial the course on.
      >
      > They will get 2 - 4 hours a week of free lessons between now and
      > the end of June and in return I'd like to evaluate their learning
      > over the course and see which parts work.
      >
      > If you have any students that you think might benefit from some
      > extra free lessons and their computer hardware and connection speed
      > passes this spec test
      >
      > http://www.languagelab.com/min_reqs.jsp
      >
      > Then I'd be really grateful if you could put them in touch with me at:
      > nik.peachey@...
      >
      > Many thanks
      >
      > Best
      >
      > Nik Peachey
      >
      > Nik Peachey | Learning Technology Consultant, Trainer, Content
      > Designer
      > http://nikpeachey.blogspot.com
      >
      > Email: nik.peachey@...
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
      > http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >

      --
      It has been said before but warrants repeating, "If you think
      education is expensive, try ignorance."

      Bob Sharp
      6th Grade Science Teacher
      Past Middle School Representative to the NCCE Board
      Recipient of The First Annual Learning Space Achievement Awards for
      Members




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Kevin Jarrett
      Hey Nik, I saw you posted this request on the SL in Education list (http://tinyurl.com/qfvv4) on April 3. No replies from that? Amazing. I d have thought you
      Message 2 of 7 , Apr 13, 2007
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        Hey Nik,
        I saw you posted this request on the SL in Education list (http://tinyurl.com/qfvv4) on April 3. No replies from that? Amazing. I'd have thought you would get tons.

        As a volunteer for the ISTE at their Second Life HQ, I constantly encounter people who are looking for ESL help. Just last night I had a lady come by from Milan, in fact.

        What is your avatar's name in-world? I'm currently doing grant-funded research regarding SL in education (see the blog below).

        If you have a chance, try to come to some of the ISTE events - the Thursday night socials are usually packed, and the Tuesday Night Educator Show & Tells are great fun as well!

        -kj-

        -----
        "The
        illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and
        write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." - Alvin
        Toffler

        Kevin Jarrett | Part-Time Faculty | Walden University Graduate School of Education
        In-World: KJ Hax
        SLBuzz Profile: http://profiles.slbuzz.com/kj-hax
        Research Project Blog: http://www.storyofmysecondlife.com
        Email: kjarrett at waldenu dot edu











        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Nik Peachey
        Ho Robert, You wrote I have checked my computer against the standards page. It is fine but I will need to check the available student computers. We might
        Message 3 of 7 , Apr 16, 2007
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          Ho Robert,

          You wrote "
          I have checked my computer against the standards page. It is fine

          but I will need to check the available student computers. We might

          not qualify based on the spec's. Pretty tough for public schools to

          match them."

          Yes, meeting the hardware specs is still I think one of the major obstacles to really getting things happening in SL.

          I've had loads of interest in the course, but very few people have signed up because of the hardware issues.

          It's a tough one, but not one that's in my power to negotite.

          Sorry.

          Nik

          Nik Peachey | Learning Technology Consultant, Trainer, Content Designer
          http://nikpeachey.blogspot.com/

          Email: nik.peachey@...






          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • audrey hill
          My personal experience of Second LIfe is that it s a world of barbie doll avatars with great bodies and minimal clothing. Occasionally I ve seen someone
          Message 4 of 7 , Apr 16, 2007
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            My personal experience of Second LIfe is that it's a world of barbie doll
            avatars with great bodies and minimal clothing. Occasionally I've seen
            someone interesting who plays around with their image more. But, it seems
            like most people just want to be hot. They stand or fly around in
            innocuously pretty places filled with beautiful water features, rolling
            hills and flowering plants with semi-greco roman amphitheaters and fabulous
            homes. They don't seem to do much of anything... except shop. All the
            avatars are shopping at the mall. There's a sociological study for you right
            there. Give people a world in which all freedom is theirs and they use it
            to shop.

            I've heard of cool things happening, of course... most of it on youtube
            videos, but many of those things seem like they would be more cool in real
            life,which begs the question is it great just because you can and before you
            couldn't, or is there something inherently useful about an avatar in a
            created space? Interviews with people like Susanne Vega, John Maeda and
            Kurt Vonnegut or a sim U2 concert.. I would learn more from real body
            language and facial expression than from Sim. The silliest use I've seen
            so far is meditating avatars... I really didn't get the point of that...
            sending your avatar off to meditate. One wonders whether the real people
            are meditating at the same time as their avatars which means that everyone
            got together where no one is watching the avatars who were created as
            representations of real people for other real people to watch, but no one
            is. It's that tree in a forest, sound of one hand clapping thing, I guess.
            That's ironic right there.. but even funnier would be if only the avatar was
            meditating.

            This morning I watched an animated educational video
            here<http://youtube.com/watch?v=ehEzRUu4_RM>where the author created
            an ant simulation. I liked it, although not more
            than a flash, cell, or claymation animation... Still... it was worth
            watching and instructive. And it appeared that the simulation included
            scripts for the ants, computer programming apps that would make it even more
            interesting as a teaching tool, although I wasn't sure if the script enabled
            the ant to do things that a real ant would do or just avoided a programming
            error.

            Another cool application that I heard of first on this list, I think...
            the middle school English class that created a mock trial for a book they
            read. That was a good use.... sort of a high tech improvised puppet show. I
            could really see using Second Life for something like that... although
            actually presenting in real time before a real flesh and blood audience is
            a skill worth acquiring too... perhaps if the students were from different
            schools so that the distance created need for a simulated courtroom... or if
            the sims required students to learn programming skills or 3D skills to
            operate them.

            In any case.. I've been bored in my Second Life and I'd like not to be. If
            anyone knows of a cool event or application, I'd like to hear about it.

            Audrey




            On 16 Apr 2007 05:51:10 -0700, Nik Peachey <nik.peachey@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Ho Robert,
            >
            > You wrote "
            > I have checked my computer against the standards page. It is fine
            >
            > but I will need to check the available student computers. We might
            >
            > not qualify based on the spec's. Pretty tough for public schools to
            >
            > match them."
            >
            > Yes, meeting the hardware specs is still I think one of the major
            > obstacles to really getting things happening in SL.
            >
            > I've had loads of interest in the course, but very few people have signed
            > up because of the hardware issues.
            >
            > It's a tough one, but not one that's in my power to negotite.
            >
            > Sorry.
            >
            > Nik
            >
            > Nik Peachey | Learning Technology Consultant, Trainer, Content Designer
            > http://nikpeachey.blogspot.com/
            >
            > Email: nik.peachey@... <nik.peachey%40btinternet.com>
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Kevin Jarrett
            Audrey, ... In any case.. I ve been bored in my Second Life and I d like not to be. If anyone knows of a cool event or application, I d like to hear about it.
            Message 5 of 7 , Apr 17, 2007
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              Audrey,

              >>>
              In any case.. I've been bored in my Second Life and I'd like not to be. If anyone knows of a cool event or application, I'd like to hear about it.
              <<<

              Thanks for posting. Your experience is unfortunately somewhat common I think, particularly among educators. Allow me to try to help. Please make note of my avatar name, KJ Hax, and look me up in-world if you want. (Sorry in advance for the length here...please get a cup of coffee.)

              As you may have noticed in a prior posting, I am presently doing grant-funded research on SL in education thanks to a Faculty Excellence Grant from Walden University. (I teach there part-time; my day job is as a K-4 Technology Facilitator/Computer Teacher at an elemenrary school in NJ.) I am blogging the experience here: http://www.storyofmysecondlife.com/. There are many, many other people doing the same kind of research, and more.

              First of all, as a generalization, "barbie doll avatars with great bodies and minimal clothing" is, to be honest, somewhat fitting. But that's really like saying encylopedias make good paperweights. There is SO much more to SL than the visuals.

              Thanks for sharing that video. It's one of the best pieces of educational machinima (machine animation) I've seen! Here is another you should watch if you have not already:

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9VZKTT6gZ8

              It was produced by The New Media Consortium, a group dedicated to education. It highlights, beautifully I might add, the educational potential of SL.

              Second, you need to make some new SL friends! Have you been to the ISTE HQ on EduIsland? I am helping to coordinate the volunteer presence there. We don't have people present at ALL times, but we are working on it. The very best time to visit seems to be Sunday nights around 4-6pm PST / 7-9pm EST. Especially toward the end of that slot. It's been a ZOO at ISTE HQ, with educators from all over the world convening to get to know each other, discuss what the ISTE is doing in SL, and explore ways to use SL with students of all ages.

              Third, the educational application ARE absoultely there. Here's one. Search for "Literature Alive" and meet Desideria Stockton (Beth Ritter-Guth in real life). She has built an amazing facility designed for educators to learn about SL. I would post a SLURL but don't have access to SL right now. Also look for "Terra Incognita," home of Lindy McKeown, the ISTE Outstandling Leader of the Year in 2006 (http://tinyurl.com/2glfqs). She is a PhD researcher in Australia and her island - built largely by volunteers - is a cornucopia of ideas, possibilities, and helpful info. She is an amazing person, one whom I have had the privilige of getting to know. Without SL, I never would have had that chance.

              Fourth, as far as the "connection" one makes in SL, I'm guessing it affects people differently. I personally feel my avatar is an expression of me, and if you meet me in-world, and then perhaps at a conference, I think you would agree it's pretty much on. In real life I'm not nearly as cool as my avatar, as young, as graceful, as muscular, or as well dressed, but that's not the point. It is my virtual representation, and I work very hard to act and communicate in SL as I do in real life. Concerned, helpful, funny (goofy!) - but all the while, focused on one thing: how SL can be used in education. There is a small but growing group of people I have met - SL friends - who have quickly become very important to my research and to me personally. I have a connection to them. They are REAL people in a VIRTUAL space. I have found the environment heightens these connections in ways that are hard to express! I had the pleasure of meeting one SL friend, a fellow educator, in real life
              recently ... and the experience changed us both. I look forward to meeting more SL friends at NECC in June.

              >>>
              Another cool application that I heard of first on this list, I think... the middle school English class that created a mock trial for a book they read. That was a good use.... sort of a high tech improvised puppet show.
              <<<

              Pardon me for chuckling, but, I have to laugh. :) That project is the furthest thing from "a high tech improvised puppet show" than you can possibly imagine. You're talking about Suffern Middle School in Suffern NY, one of the very few REAL SCHOOLS doing REAL WORK in SL right now. The leader, Peggy Sheehy, has a blog here: http://rampoislands.blogspot.com/. I spent two days last week - on my spring break - with Peggy and the students and teachers at Suffern (I live just two hours away). I have an audio interview on my blog - it is brief, but it will give you insight into how SL is percieved by THESE students - and how the environment, which is so natural to them, allows them to really express themselves and get into material in ways not otherwise possible. I have a video interview as well - we are waiting for permission to post it - that is also instructful. The students did not build, but they did assume the roles of the people in the trial in Of Mice and Men, and they
              explored the characters in FAR greater detail than they EVER would have "acting" in a real classroom. Think about it. This is a middle school. We all know the social pressures kids are under. SL strips those pressures AWAY and lets them communicate naturally, fluently, and powerfully. I saw it with my own eyes. I was blown away.

              OK! If you are (or anyone else is) still reading, let me say thanks for hanging in ... :) SL is a wonderful place but you need to seek out the right people and places and then network, network, network until your fingers bleed. SL has changed my life and I'm only 6 weeks into my research. I can scarcely imagine what the next four months will bring!

              Hope this helps!

              -kj-

              -----
              The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.
              - Chinese Proverb

              Kevin Jarrett | Part-Time Faculty | Walden University Graduate School of Education
              In-World: KJ Hax
              SLBuzz Profile: http://profiles.slbuzz.com/kj-hax
              Research Project Blog: http://www.storyofmysecondlife.com
              Email: kjarrett at waldenu dot edu

              Kevin Jarrett | Technology Facilitator, K-4 | District Webmaster | Google Certified Teacher
              Northfield Community School: http://www.ncs-nj.org
              SchoolFusion Classroom: http://elementary-computer-lab.northfield.groupfusion.net
              eBoard: http://kjarrett.northfield.site.eboard.com
              Grade 4 Computer Repair & Service Club: http://computerclub.northfield.groupfusion.net/
              Edtech Blog: http://www.ncs-tech.org
              kjarrett at ncs-nj dot org

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • audrey hill
              Thanks Kevin! I ll be rereading your entry and looking into all the links, places and people you mention. I look forward to finding out more. Audrey ...
              Message 6 of 7 , Apr 17, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                Thanks Kevin! I'll be rereading your entry and looking into all the links,
                places and people you mention. I look forward to finding out more.

                Audrey



                On 17 Apr 2007 11:01:19 -0700, Kevin Jarrett <kjarrett@...> wrote:
                >
                > Audrey,
                >
                > >>>
                > In any case.. I've been bored in my Second Life and I'd like not to be. If
                > anyone knows of a cool event or application, I'd like to hear about it.
                > <<<
                >
                > Thanks for posting. Your experience is unfortunately somewhat common I
                > think, particularly among educators. Allow me to try to help. Please make
                > note of my avatar name, KJ Hax, and look me up in-world if you want. (Sorry
                > in advance for the length here...please get a cup of coffee.)
                >
                > As you may have noticed in a prior posting, I am presently doing
                > grant-funded research on SL in education thanks to a Faculty Excellence
                > Grant from Walden University. (I teach there part-time; my day job is as a
                > K-4 Technology Facilitator/Computer Teacher at an elemenrary school in NJ.)
                > I am blogging the experience here: http://www.storyofmysecondlife.com/.There are many, many other people doing the same kind of research, and more.
                >
                >
                > First of all, as a generalization, "barbie doll avatars with great bodies
                > and minimal clothing" is, to be honest, somewhat fitting. But that's really
                > like saying encylopedias make good paperweights. There is SO much more to SL
                > than the visuals.
                >
                > Thanks for sharing that video. It's one of the best pieces of educational
                > machinima (machine animation) I've seen! Here is another you should watch if
                > you have not already:
                >
                > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9VZKTT6gZ8
                >
                > It was produced by The New Media Consortium, a group dedicated to
                > education. It highlights, beautifully I might add, the educational potential
                > of SL.
                >
                > Second, you need to make some new SL friends! Have you been to the ISTE HQ
                > on EduIsland? I am helping to coordinate the volunteer presence there. We
                > don't have people present at ALL times, but we are working on it. The very
                > best time to visit seems to be Sunday nights around 4-6pm PST / 7-9pm EST.
                > Especially toward the end of that slot. It's been a ZOO at ISTE HQ, with
                > educators from all over the world convening to get to know each other,
                > discuss what the ISTE is doing in SL, and explore ways to use SL with
                > students of all ages.
                >
                > Third, the educational application ARE absoultely there. Here's one.
                > Search for "Literature Alive" and meet Desideria Stockton (Beth Ritter-Guth
                > in real life). She has built an amazing facility designed for educators to
                > learn about SL. I would post a SLURL but don't have access to SL right now.
                > Also look for "Terra Incognita," home of Lindy McKeown, the ISTE
                > Outstandling Leader of the Year in 2006 (http://tinyurl.com/2glfqs). She
                > is a PhD researcher in Australia and her island - built largely by
                > volunteers - is a cornucopia of ideas, possibilities, and helpful info. She
                > is an amazing person, one whom I have had the privilige of getting to know.
                > Without SL, I never would have had that chance.
                >
                > Fourth, as far as the "connection" one makes in SL, I'm guessing it
                > affects people differently. I personally feel my avatar is an expression of
                > me, and if you meet me in-world, and then perhaps at a conference, I think
                > you would agree it's pretty much on. In real life I'm not nearly as cool as
                > my avatar, as young, as graceful, as muscular, or as well dressed, but
                > that's not the point. It is my virtual representation, and I work very hard
                > to act and communicate in SL as I do in real life. Concerned, helpful, funny
                > (goofy!) - but all the while, focused on one thing: how SL can be used in
                > education. There is a small but growing group of people I have met - SL
                > friends - who have quickly become very important to my research and to me
                > personally. I have a connection to them. They are REAL people in a VIRTUAL
                > space. I have found the environment heightens these connections in ways that
                > are hard to express! I had the pleasure of meeting one SL friend, a fellow
                > educator, in real life
                > recently ... and the experience changed us both. I look forward to meeting
                > more SL friends at NECC in June.
                >
                > >>>
                > Another cool application that I heard of first on this list, I think...
                > the middle school English class that created a mock trial for a book they
                > read. That was a good use.... sort of a high tech improvised puppet show.
                > <<<
                >
                > Pardon me for chuckling, but, I have to laugh. :) That project is the
                > furthest thing from "a high tech improvised puppet show" than you can
                > possibly imagine. You're talking about Suffern Middle School in Suffern NY,
                > one of the very few REAL SCHOOLS doing REAL WORK in SL right now. The
                > leader, Peggy Sheehy, has a blog here: http://rampoislands.blogspot.com/.I spent two days last week - on my spring break - with Peggy and the
                > students and teachers at Suffern (I live just two hours away). I have an
                > audio interview on my blog - it is brief, but it will give you insight into
                > how SL is percieved by THESE students - and how the environment, which is so
                > natural to them, allows them to really express themselves and get into
                > material in ways not otherwise possible. I have a video interview as well -
                > we are waiting for permission to post it - that is also instructful. The
                > students did not build, but they did assume the roles of the people in the
                > trial in Of Mice and Men, and they
                > explored the characters in FAR greater detail than they EVER would have
                > "acting" in a real classroom. Think about it. This is a middle school. We
                > all know the social pressures kids are under. SL strips those pressures AWAY
                > and lets them communicate naturally, fluently, and powerfully. I saw it with
                > my own eyes. I was blown away.
                >
                > OK! If you are (or anyone else is) still reading, let me say thanks for
                > hanging in ... :) SL is a wonderful place but you need to seek out the right
                > people and places and then network, network, network until your fingers
                > bleed. SL has changed my life and I'm only 6 weeks into my research. I can
                > scarcely imagine what the next four months will bring!
                >
                > Hope this helps!
                >
                > -kj-
                >
                > -----
                > The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without
                > trials.
                > - Chinese Proverb
                >
                > Kevin Jarrett | Part-Time Faculty | Walden University Graduate School of
                > Education
                > In-World: KJ Hax
                > SLBuzz Profile: http://profiles.slbuzz.com/kj-hax
                > Research Project Blog: http://www.storyofmysecondlife.com
                > Email: kjarrett at waldenu dot edu
                >
                > Kevin Jarrett | Technology Facilitator, K-4 | District Webmaster | Google
                > Certified Teacher
                > Northfield Community School: http://www.ncs-nj.org
                > SchoolFusion Classroom:
                > http://elementary-computer-lab.northfield.groupfusion.net
                > eBoard: http://kjarrett.northfield.site.eboard.com
                > Grade 4 Computer Repair & Service Club:
                > http://computerclub.northfield.groupfusion.net/
                > Edtech Blog: http://www.ncs-tech.org
                > kjarrett at ncs-nj dot org
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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