Making the Impossible Possible: Implementing a Virtual Worlds Program in a Traditional School Setting

Innovative and determined Lucy Barrow gave a fascinating presentation and insight into the uptake of Virtual World Environments in a traditional school, Ballarat Grammar, Victoria, Australia where she is teaching. She shared her knowledge, experience and student outcomes and amazed us with what has been achieved within 3 months. Great support was shown by @jokay from JodaydiaGrid and  Bron Stuckey the facilitator and co-ordinator for Quest Atlantis. Listen to the recording  Here is Lucy’s slideshare presentation

From the chat came the following:-

  • indeed.. things move fast in virtual worlds😉.. even the snails😉
  • virtual worlds in education are slower to get picked up than other technology, don’t you think?
  • You’re correct – the literature shows this.  It’s had greater take up at tertiary levels
  • Quest Atlantis http://www.QuestAtlantis.org
  • http://quest-atlantis-teaching.wikispaces.com/
  • QA is such a brilliant starting point for schools.. woot Bron and the QA team
  • It is FREE to use, train and implement for students aged 9 15 years old
  • Next QA teacher induction begins Monday August 23rd
  • http://atlantis.crlt.indiana.edu/site/pd_list Asia-Pacific Registration Code: 156257
  • all the teachers i know who have done QA training have raved to me about how good it is
  • Great that students feel safe – recognise this as an important element of virtual worlds
  • BronStuckey: We have filters, live chat monitors and send teachers transcripts of exemplary chat as well as breaking rules – it becomes the teachable moment to counsel students about their behaviour
  • I think seeing virtual worlds as a continuum of learning is a VERY healthy attitude – use different worlds K-12
  • jokay: Sadly Linden Lab announced that the Teen Grid will close shortly
  • Quest Atlantis is not heavy on bandwidth once the graphics have downloaded – they cache on your client computer.
  • Opensimulator is an open source platform… it was originally developed based on the Linden Labs codes.. but has developed alot since then..
  • jokay: At this stage I always recommend using a reputable opensimulator hosting service – as they have experience in balancing the load, managing updates and most importantly backing up the content created by users
  • jokaydiaGRID now also offers sims for educators… ReactionGRID is our technical host … http://jokaydia.com
  • can also IM chat in RG via iPad or iPhone
  • one of my AZ colleagues did some fantastic things with teens in Teen Second Life this past year and is now moving to Reaction Grid. http://pesdisland.blogspot.com/
  • you can watch Lucy’s session at the jokaydia Unconference, as well as Sue Gregory and a great seesion on WoW @ http://onlinevents.co.uk/library.html
  • Lucy’s session is @ http://livestre.am/1pmB
  • Jokaydia Unconference also has kids talking about leadership opportunities in virtual worlds like Quest Atlantis
  • jokay: Absolutely agree.. watching kids work together inworld is truly awesome… it NEVER gets old😉
  • Rita Ellul I am blown away that students can do this with out hours spent liearning how to use the tools in the first place – kids are amazing!  But it’s an indication of the quality of the tools too.
  • Bron Stuckey Yes the really transformative learning happens when the kids design, build, create activity inworld to demonstrate their learning – 3D solutions to challenges.
  • jokay: great point lucy – you can really easily scaffold the process – starting with objects kids can use and customise thru to them creating it all themselves
  • Rita Ellul: Great idea about scaffolding.  Could also help  allay anxiety for teachers who may want to give it a go but are concerned about time and skill.
  • BronStuckey: Kids can learn building in a flash – take a look at these projects that ran inside a week where kids from multiple schools cam together online to build a solution to a world problem like the oil spill http://quest-atlantis-teaching.wikispaces.com/Quest+Atlantis+as+a+Summer+Camp+or+Club – look at the video half way down the page.
  • jokay: Woot for Tweeps… follow the #virtualworlds, #secondlife, #reactiongrid and #jokaydia tags for more info
  • jokay: You can watch lots of great machinimas on youtube peggy search for Ramapo Island to start
  • ISTE info here – http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Membership/Member_Networking/ISTE_Second_Life.htm
  • jokay: here here.. working in virtual worlds is both super challenging and super rewarding.. people like Lucy and Steve are doing brilliant work and tis awesome to be part of the VWedu network with them!😉
  • http:krunchd.com/bgsvirtualworlds
  • http://delicious.com/lucybarrow/bgsvirtualworlds
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojbWGpl7bTc
  • incredibly exciting stuff!! you covered so much in such a short time Lucy!
  • Part of the EduSim project
  • Rich’s blog – http://roots.greenbush.us/
  • okay: In my experience the vast majority of kids in virtual worlds are pretty well behaved.. we dont see a lot of problems – particularly when positive codes of conduct are established early on
  • BronStuckey: If you expect the best of kids inworld – they really DO measure up. Infractions in 40,000 kids in QA are so low and so benign – sometimes funny
  • Rita Ellul: Bron, that’s a tremendous credit to the quality of QA – kids are so engaged, they are focused and on task.
  • BronStuckey: Peter Whitehouse (Wonko) is a sec teacher in independent school in Q – has been commissioned to owrk on a  virt world in Active AWorlds for EQ – very interesting design
  • BronStuckey: Qa is a community – and kids donlt want to offend their community. After a while it is very self-moderating
  • BronStuckey: buidling community inworld is important – kids are really learning citizenry
  • http://opensimulator.org/
  • http://reactiongrid.com/
  • http://begoniaisland.edublogs.org/
  • http://jokaydia.com/

One response to “Making the Impossible Possible: Implementing a Virtual Worlds Program in a Traditional School Setting

  1. Full list of OpenSim hosting providers — and prices! — is here: http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/opensim-hosting-providers/

    The two most focused on education are ReactionGrid and JokaydiaGrid (which actually uses the ReactionGrid services behind the scenes).

    — Maria Korolov
    Editor, Hypergrid Business
    http://www.hypergridbusiness.com

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