Teaching in Virtual Worlds with Sarah “Intellagirl” Robbins

Sarah Robbins, Ball State University and author of Second Life for Dummies

Pedagogy first, technology second
* Amen!

Students first, universities second
*Again, amen!

Chickering and Gamson 7 Principles for Good Practice in Higher Eduation (look up after)
*wOOt!

PPT is on blog, address on last slide

She is against idea of immigrants v. natives, no supporting data, causes divisiveness and problems. It’s a crutch.

Real difference is in the digital divide in terms of lifestyle, engagement and motivation. UK study – 15-18 yr olds least likely to give up cell phone, older folks more likely to give up cell phone and sex rather than liquor, caffeine and chocolate. *Scary!*

Don’t build a creepy treehouse! (http://technagogy.learningfield.org)

Approach
Identify problems and/or opportunities first, then match technologies with opportunities. What problem will tool X solve? Primary point of hesitancy and push-back. How will this HELP me?

From Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, The Promise -> The Tool -> The Bargain
Establishes offering, expectations, operating norms, and rules of conduct. Focus on The Promise and The Bargain, not The Tool.

What is the Second Life Promise? Increased sense of presence, community bonding, more engaging and immersive learning (when SL used correctly), fun

What is the Second Life Tool? Stigmergy (ability to manipulate environment to send a message to someone who comes after you-we have the ability to build and create, change/modify, leave something for those who follow), Customized Avatars (allowing students to make changes, reading the student by who they choose or allow students to role play in a realistic setting),  Global Community , Multi-modal Communication (text chat, voice 1 to 1, group and area and ability to emote)

She cites a great example of using it to teach rejection and social interactions such as discrimination in a safe environment.

Sarah also shared a great example of modifying environment to experience LD life, what happens when your environment is upside down? How do you cope?

What is the Second Life Bargain? What we need to accept: There is a Learning Curve (install and learn to get around, build avatar, learn to build, learn to script), Students need to suspend self-limitations (Loyalist College Border Crossing),  That we are using the tool as the best, justified use of the tools, Necessary expertise to serve as guide, advisor, AND instructor.

Resources
http://ubernoggin.com
http://SL-educationblog.org
SLED Mailing List
SLRL Mailing List

SL Avatar: Intellagirl Tully

Blogged with the Flock Browser

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2 thoughts on “Teaching in Virtual Worlds with Sarah “Intellagirl” Robbins

  1. Please feel free! I enjoyed your presentation and particularly liked how you focused on the pedagogy and the tool should fit a need that other tools/techniques cannot address effectively. That is the message that I need to get out to my faculty, and I thank you for reinforcing it!

    Enjoy the rest of the conference!

    John

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