Posted by: arieliondotcom | November 11, 2008

NOTES FROM DAY 1 OF THE VIRTUAL WORLDS IN EDUCATION CONFERENCE, 10 NOV 08

NOTES FROM DAY 1 OF THE VIRTUAL WORLDS IN EDUCATION CONFERENCE, 10 NOV 08

Below are my sloppy notes of the subject conference and salient snippets of the chat. The first session I attended was a formal presentation on a “Great, Good Place” for learning which reminded me of Terry Anderson’s post in the “Virtual Canuck” on the importance of a safe place for learning and my own paper “Welcome to the Exploratorium” which cites his statement and gives my implications. The second was an informal presentation, appropriately, on informal teaching of groups.

The New Great Good Place: Building Virtual Worlds for Education
Rusty Carpenter
The University of Central Florida
rgcarpen@mail.ucf.edu

Great good place – Oldenberg

“Good place” is like safe space for students (group) for sharing

Log students – survey items

Virtual collaborative communities – privatized individuals come together in the public

Move beyond password protected environments to a truly public sphere
You don’t just see it you become it — becoming part of their own text/writing process.

Hypericonomic – Marcel Ogorman – Humanities needs electronic media. Method foregrounds the visual which has been overlooked. Use hypericonomy to evaluate work in SL.

Projects at Emerson College (Digital Humanities – Imaging Space) Researcher moves beyond the space or physical constraints. No ceilings. Penoptic view. Enhanced ability to do research.

Much of future learning will take place in virtual spaces. Important social functions but beyond “fun”, it’s also rhetorically and pedagogically important and serves a purpose for learning. Look where we can break from physical spaces that are limiting us. Create a public sphere with a solid presence.

Visit the University of Central Florida virtual campus on Second Life

AUDIENCE COMMENTl: i was recently reading about “wikitecture” — wikis in SL that offer both the visual and textual; you might find that applicable. As a comment, I liked your presentation, and see many theoretical applications (having a background in Humanities Computing). I work now in e-learning for medical education, and I think that there is some use in replicating some of the environments like hospitals so that they are closer to “real life” for pedagogical/teaching purposes.

FORUM ON INFORMAL TEACHING OF GROUPS (NO FORMAL SLIDES OR PRESENTATION JUST CHAT)

[13:05] Pusser Barbosa: web 2.0 for educational purposes…that’d be interesting….
[13:06] Nemo Sittingbull: as far as I know NC ALTA is an organization that’s designed to lead simulation for educational purpose
[13:06] Pusser Barbosa: have to introduce the kids to everything but Facebook….at their stage of life, they don’t see a lot of application for wikis, blogs, SL, Twitter, etc.
[13:06] Arielion Clawtooth: I’m in the Connectivism course CCK08. Very interesting. Along those same lines.
[13:07] Profdan Netizen: Yeah, I figure it’s a matter of building assignments that will use 2.0 applications in ways that make them useful.
[13:07] Pusser Barbosa: web 2.0 is great….but it’s a solution in search of a problem
[13:08] Pusser Barbosa: we hardcore users are trying to build a critical mass to justify our fascination
[13:08] Arielion Clawtooth: Assessment seems to be the big issue.
[13:09] Profdan Netizen: Well, I’m always trying to find a way to enhance online classes, to make them more engaging, rather than simply sticking with 2d LMS.
[13:09] Pusser Barbosa: in ALL aspects of education, assessment is…important
[13:09] Arielion Clawtooth: Just tough to grade a YouTube video. 🙂
[13:09] Shorty McCullough: pusser what level student are you teaching?
[13:10] Profdan Netizen: From the early days of online ed., I always found the lack of place a problem for students, often making them disengaged.
[13:10] Arielion Clawtooth: Anyone old eough to remember American Bandstand “It has a good beat and it’s easy to dance to…I’d give it a 78!”
[13:10] Profdan Netizen: I”m thinking that virtual worlds could ameliorate that problem.
[13:10] Pusser Barbosa: well, I’m employed primarily in Extension, but I teach in journalism or ag journalism once per year….class 211 and 420 levels….mix of student levels
[13:10] Destry Dreamscape: Is anyone using any other flavor of social/virtual networking framework other than SL
[13:10] Shorty McCullough: cool
[13:11] Pusser Barbosa: i was wondering the same thing….other virtual worlds?
[13:11] Arielion Clawtooth: Active Worlds.
[13:11] Destry Dreamscape: Virtual worlds or Active worlds?
[13:11] Shorty McCullough: I’d love to get a youtube assignment
[13:11] Pusser Barbosa: active is virtual
[13:11] Destry Dreamscape: ok
[13:11] Arielion Clawtooth: A lot of companies are starting to make proprietary programs, too.
[13:12] Arielion Clawtooth: Depends on the contractor.
[13:12] Pusser Barbosa: but SL is the bull in the virtual china shop that dominates the discussion
[13:12] Pusser Barbosa: free accounts, tools built-in, etc…..they’re the Microsoft of VWs
[13:12] Destry Dreamscape: except it’s so limited
[13:12] Destry Dreamscape: any word on them opening up their licensing model?
[13:13] Pusser Barbosa: SL?
[13:13] Destry Dreamscape: yes
[13:13] Profdan Netizen: The other problem with SL the 18 year old limitation.
[13:13] Pusser Barbosa: they’re already partnering with IBM….
[13:13] Nemo Sittingbull: there are certainly aspect of virtual worlds that’s useful, is too much of such really a good thing?
[13:13] Pusser Barbosa: it’s fairly open source now, right?
[13:13] Destry Dreamscape: that will be expensive
[13:13] Liam Gunes: the OpenSim project is moving towards an open source version of SL
[13:13] Destry Dreamscape: it’s not open source
[13:13] Destry Dreamscape: openSim? haven’t heard of it
[13:13] Arielion Clawtooth: No. Very much proprietary. I think it will be like the videotape format and blue ray format issue. they have to fight it out.
[13:14] Pusser Barbosa: guess that’s right….openSIm is IBMs model, which allows SL avatars and inventory
[13:14] Pusser Barbosa: right?
[13:14] Liam Gunes: opensim is kind of a reverse engineered version of SL.
[13:14] Profdan Netizen: I often have under 18 year old students in my classes–a real problem with using SL.
[13:14] Pusser Barbosa: yeah, the under 18 thing is a problem if you have college freshmena
[13:16] Profdan Netizen: What have you not been able to do?
[13:16] Pusser Barbosa: yeah….what can’t you do?
[13:16] Nemo Sittingbull: any of you has found a way to get around the closed system issue?
[13:16] Pusser Barbosa: that you’d like to do?
[13:16] Destry Dreamscape: you can’t program into it or connect a database to it for dynamic applications
[13:16] Arielion Clawtooth: No. Ironically I tink more folks are actually going to the open model and saying screw security.
[13:16] Liam Gunes: file sharing is about the most annoying thing in terms of teaching in sl
[13:17] Arielion Clawtooth: I think the future is transparency.
[13:17] Pusser Barbosa: but you can connect to, say, google-docs, and not share files, but share links to files…
[13:17] Nemo Sittingbull: how about taking a quiz on SecondLife? how can we store the results?
[13:17] Destry Dreamscape: if you could connect a database to it, you could build applications that had intelligence and returned dynamic content rather than static
[13:17] Pusser Barbosa: have the answers entered in chat and save the chat
[13:17] Arielion Clawtooth: that’s wahy above the SL level. You’d need a private contractor for that (database).
[13:18] Nemo Sittingbull: if we are using GoogleDocs and other file sharing applications, then what’s the point of using SecondLife?
[13:18] Arielion Clawtooth: GoogleDocs isn’t immersive.
[13:18] Liam Gunes: i use a combination of Moodle, links, and then SL
[13:18] Pusser Barbosa: someone said they can’t share files in SL….someone wanted to do it…..
[13:18] Arielion Clawtooth: I can’t think of the name right now, but has anyone used the program that makes a virtual world out of any web page?
[13:18] Nemo Sittingbull: then there has to be a tool out there so one user only has to use one application
[13:18] Arielion Clawtooth: It provides an avatar and furniture, everythihing.
[13:18] Profdan Netizen: Liam, what do you use SL for that you don’t with Moodle?
[13:19] Pusser Barbosa: but SL is where the people are, and where the investment $$ are going
[13:19] Arielion Clawtooth: Moodle is just text. SL is immersive…like you’re there. A completely different type of learning psychologically.
[13:19] Destry Dreamscape: the real power of a virtual 3D world is simulation. It’s very difficult to build any kind of realistic simulation within this framework
[13:19] Liam Gunes: i use it for interactive sessions with the class
[13:19] Nemo Sittingbull: I thought Moodle only record conversation and store them in a blog
[13:19] Pusser Barbosa: you can have something on your desktop, but will others be able to benefit from it?
[13:19] Nemo Sittingbull: I have talked with a programmer who created Moodle to learned that the communication is not both way
[13:20] Pusser Barbosa: SL is great for Extension….I can do something educational and put it out there for millions of people to learn from.
[13:20] Arielion Clawtooth: Ironically I just came from a conference on Writing Labs and they are raving about the virtual reality…strange. Getting away from words in writing.
[13:20] Profdan Netizen: So Liam, you use it as a 3D chat?
[13:20] Arielion Clawtooth: And it’s intuitive. You can depict a CONCEPT as a 3D object that people can “get” in a whole new way.
[13:21] Liam Gunes: yes. I’ve been using voice more and more.
[13:21] Arielion Clawtooth: NASA is the perfect example of using SL.
[13:21] Liam Gunes: i also maintain my virtual office hours in my inworld office
[13:21] Shorty McCullough: How has nasa used sl?
[13:21] Arielion Clawtooth: Also those folks who are creating worlds from works of literature so you’re actually “there” inside a book!
[13:22] Shorty McCullough: It seems like we’re leaning to using SL as an art medium
[13:22] Liam Gunes: that is a really cool “writing” oriented method for teaching.
[13:22] Profdan Netizen: Do do students show up for virtual office hours, and do they more so than, say, virtual office hours through an IM?
[13:22] Arielion Clawtooth: NASA has created Mars and even the environment. During the explorations you can see what the rover sees in 3D.
[13:22] Arielion Clawtooth: It’s like you are there on Mars.
[13:22] Arielion Clawtooth: You really need to go visit it.
[13:22] Nemo Sittingbull: but besides from building 3D models and chat, how can we use SL as a part of teaching tool?
[13:22] Liam Gunes: they show up. they also show up at 1am if I’m wandering around
[13:22] Shorty McCullough: Thanks hadn’t heard about the Mars site
[13:22] Destry Dreamscape: cool
[13:22] Pusser Barbosa: NASA, NSF and others have connected sims
[13:22] Arielion Clawtooth: Also NOAA has a wonderful site on SL where you can experience all sorts of atmospheric conditions, swim with dolphins, etc.
[13:23] Liam Gunes: i get more visits inworld than to my real office
[13:23] Pusser Barbosa: let me know if you’d like one of my ‘educational sites’ notecard I use for demos….it has some NASA, NOAA, etc, plus more
[13:23] Arielion Clawtooth: As SL and others become more realistic and less cartoony tere will be a huge psychological shift in learning.
[13:23] Pusser Barbosa: absolutely….the interface puts people off currently
[13:24] Arielion Clawtooth: My boss laughed at my suggestion because “It’s a cartoon!”
[13:24] Pusser Barbosa: but this is like the web in 1995
[13:24] Pusser Barbosa: it will come
[13:24] Arielion Clawtooth: Yes. they already have vastly improved avatars that can emit emotion.
[13:24] Profdan Netizen: Very true, Pusser. I’ve found SL to be much like early internet.
[13:24] Pusser Barbosa: major changes the last couple of years….this is the web interface of the future
[13:24] Shorty McCullough: spoke w/psychologist who had all students be opposite for the semester. If you’re black you’re white,; tall short, etc. Got some interesting results
[13:24] Arielion Clawtooth: I can remember the early days of Active Worlds where the only avatar was a “gray” (alien).
[13:24] Pusser Barbosa: at least the Lindens think so….so do I
[13:25] Liam Gunes: even the early internet tried to do this same kind of thing. I remember VRML trying to get going back in the 90’s
[13:26] Arielion Clawtooth: the disab ilities section is great, too. People who are paralyzed are “walking”, “flying”, etc. and getting a huge boost psychologically.
[13:27] Nemo Sittingbull: but how is that going to help with formal teaching?
[13:27] Liam Gunes: the psychological boost for the disabled is very interesting
[13:27] Pusser Barbosa: how is WHAT going to help
[13:27] Profdan Netizen: Do any of you teach in SL without land owned by your campus?
[13:28] Arielion Clawtooth: Not yet. Still rying to pitch the idea.
[13:28] Liam Gunes: but, going back to rl is a bummer when I can’t run or hop up stairs anymore
[13:28] Pusser Barbosa: I know of one class at KSU taught on someone else’s land
[13:28] Pusser Barbosa: where there is already an appropriate build to rent
[13:28] Arielion Clawtooth: At one of the presentations here to day it said there are a lot of free spots to just show up and hold a class.
[13:28] Pusser Barbosa: but it’s a heckuva lot easier when you own land….
[13:29] Pusser Barbosa: there are….but those spots can have walk-by traffic and griefers, too
[13:29] Shorty McCullough: We have some folks at ECU who are working w/vets, using SL as a way to “re-alive” traumatic siituations in a safe wayx
[13:29] Profdan Netizen: The problem is there is no persistence of space when you don’t have your own land.
[13:29] Arielion Clawtooth: What do you mean, Prof? the world stays the same.
[13:29] Nemo Sittingbull: how are those classes being conducted? what kind of tools do they use?
[13:30] Arielion Clawtooth: I think you can teach in a fielld. I wish people would get away from buildings and ceilings and walls.
[13:30] Profdan Netizen: Arelion, you can’t leave stuff somewhere when you don’t have your own land.
[13:30] Arielion Clawtooth: PROF: Okay, I understand.
[13:30] Pusser Barbosa: slides, audio, video, role-playing, etc….more than the standard sage-on-the-stage approach to “formal” teaching
[13:30] Liam Gunes: but you can bring it back into inventory and just wander off.
[13:30] Profdan Netizen: That’s true.
[13:30] Arielion Clawtooth: I would use what’s already there. Art classes in the Sistine Chapel (a wonderful spot by the way)
[13:31] Arielion Clawtooth: Don’t reinvent the wheel.
[13:31] Shorty McCullough: Yes why not put a whole classroom in your inventory
[13:31] Pusser Barbosa: SL is a living art class
[13:31] Nemo Sittingbull: that’s what I figure you can do in SL, I was just wondering if anyone know what else you can do in here
[13:31] Arielion Clawtooth: And show concepts rather than sitting in a chair looking at virtual powerpoint which is silly.
[13:31] Pusser Barbosa: absolutely, Shorty
[13:31] Profdan Netizen: Kind of like freeway flyers, adjuncts who go from campus to campus with their office in their cars trunk. I did that for four years!
[13:32] Arielion Clawtooth: Apply whatever concepts you’re teaching to what already exists.
[13:32] Liam Gunes: i’ve assigned students to research businesses for the ecommerce portion of an MIS class
[13:32] Sonya Goldkey: Liam – what deliverables do you require of them?
[13:32] Shorty McCullough: If you go from sim to sim how many students can you take along before it starts to bog down?
[13:32] Pusser Barbosa: we have a business prof having students open business in SL for that same model
[13:32] Arielion Clawtooth: Talking to people for psychology classes, examining buildings for math classes, all sorts of things.
[13:33] Liam Gunes: They have to document the business (who, description of the business, etc.)
[13:33] Pusser Barbosa: i think the suggestion is that about 100 people could meet on a static sim
[13:33] Arielion Clawtooth: It’s all new but we should try to get away from the old paradigm
[13:33] Liam Gunes: then they have to analyze the business model that’s used
[13:33] Sonya Goldkey: Liam – k, thanks
[13:33] Pusser Barbosa: but for a decent prim build with some motion, etc., probably 60-75
[13:33] Pusser Barbosa: rez issues
[13:34] Arielion Clawtooth: That equality of bandwidth is another issue. All students don’t have the same connections.
[13:34] Shorty McCullough: But if i dno’t own land , how many studnts can i show up with in a public site?
[13:34] Pusser Barbosa: some schools put 4 sims together and meet at the adjoining corner, for greater prim capacity
[13:34] Shorty McCullough: Our undergrads do not have to own computers……
[13:34] Arielion Clawtooth: Anoer reason to meet in the open.
[13:35] Pusser Barbosa: in an earlier session, someone suggested 10-12 are manageable….200 are impossible, technologically speaking, at once
[13:35] Nemo Sittingbull: based on the design of SecondLife, the maximum traffic allowed within one region is 25 people, beyond that bandwidth drops drastically
[13:35] Liam Gunes: there are areas in our service region that doesn’t have highspeed internet access
[13:35] Arielion Clawtooth: As the name of tis forum suggests, the smaller the group the better anyway. I’d say 10-12 is an optimal size for a class.
[13:35] Nemo Sittingbull: so for a meeting with 50+ people, it’s generally preferred to have them sit down and not moving
[13:35] Arielion Clawtooth: the good thing is they can be anywhere in the world virtually.
[13:36] Pusser Barbosa: or in a simple build
[13:36] Nemo Sittingbull: but not everywhere
[13:36] Arielion Clawtooth: undergrads have computers at home or in libraries.
[13:36] Nemo Sittingbull: a lot of city and town doesn’t have highspeed internet provided
[13:36] Pusser Barbosa: so someplace active, pull up the map, and see how many people are there….with dance animations, music, etc., the servers start to struggle.
[13:37] Profdan Netizen: That’s one of those infrastructure investments that is sorely needed–broadband everywhere.
[13:37] Liam Gunes: i let the students stack up behind a single avatar
[13:37] Nemo Sittingbull: combining with the size of class and the number of prim on land, distance ed. students will have a hard time
[13:37] Shorty McCullough: At least 90 % of our undergrads have access to internet, but trying to hold a class we need more than “i think i can get access”
[13:37] Arielion Clawtooth: As we said about SL, the internet and wide pipes will be ubiquitous soon, like having a phone or TV.
[13:38] Pusser Barbosa: have the students meet in groups
[13:38] Arielion Clawtooth: With “smart” appliances they’ll be able to join class from their refrigerator soon. 🙂
[13:38] Shorty McCullough: small groups is our solution. but it is being use mostly by the grad school
[13:38] Profdan Netizen: Do you or anyone you know teach multiple sections in SL?
[13:38] Liam Gunes: there is always a fair number in class with access and a computer to run sl well. just like there are always people that dont’ have any of that
[13:39] Shorty McCullough: not me
[13:39] Pusser Barbosa: someone asked earlier about using this in formal education….I think we have to stop thinking about how to pry SL into an outmoded but comfortable model
[13:39] Nemo Sittingbull: so how is using SL better than what’s already available? NetMeeting combine with Flash Video can have a lot better speed than SL
[13:40] Pusser Barbosa: You can’t visit cool SL builds
[13:40] Pusser Barbosa: if you’re not in SL
[13:40] Profdan Netizen: Is there a sense of space in Netmeeting?
[13:40] Nemo Sittingbull: but I can see live shots of virtual tour on Flash in HD
[13:41] Liam Gunes: does the Netmeeting and Flash thing allow you to have a many to many form of interaction?
[13:41] Pusser Barbosa: the research suggests that webmeeting style learning doesn’t HURT learning, but that VW involvement actually ENHANCES learning
[13:42] Pusser Barbosa: We use Adobe Connect for webconferencing….but it’s a totally different tool from SL….
[13:43] Pusser Barbosa: we could do a machinema of a cool SL build and show it via video….but…that’s not the same
[13:43] Pusser Barbosa: imho
[13:43] Nemo Sittingbull: Adobe’s meeting device is actually quite nice, it’s build based on Net Meeting
[13:44] Pusser Barbosa: it it nice….but you can’t visit the St. Francis basilica nor virtual Dublin with it….or least not let each participant move through the content at his/her own pace
[13:45] Pusser Barbosa: that said….SL isn’t for everyone, nor for every purpose
[13:45] Profdan Netizen: Does Adobe Connect need a phone line, or does it operate fully on the Internet, Nemo?
[13:45] Pusser Barbosa: it’ll be interesting to see how VWs evolve
[13:46] Pusser Barbosa: fully on the internet, but Premiere Global offers a phone solution which records the Connect phone participants
[13:46] Pusser Barbosa: Connect records only the audio/video put into it via participants’ computers
[13:46] Nemo Sittingbull: I believe it’s using the Remote Assistant platform already built into Windows via available network
[13:47] Shorty McCullough: Good point. Use SL for what it’s good for, other technologies to their best advanages. At the momement i can’t find anything that is the end-all, so i use a little bit of lot of stuff
[13:47] Pusser Barbosa: Our university built one in-house—also uses Moodle from time to time
[13:47] Arielion Clawtooth: that’s what contractors are doing now. Insread of reinventing the wheel they only build what they need and use what’s on your desktop.
[13:48] Pusser Barbosa: which may become less and less as cloud computing evolves
[13:48] Arielion Clawtooth: I notice it works better, too. Instead of using Quicktime in SL use it on your desktop. It usually works better that way anyway.
[13:49] Nemo Sittingbull: Unix was a good system until people created contents that wasn’t there before
[13:49] Nemo Sittingbull: it eventually lead to the creation of Windows and user generated contents
[13:49] Nemo Sittingbull: and SL is closed system, I am just wondering what else I can do to it?
[13:50] Nemo Sittingbull: it seems chatting, displaying images, and build 3D models is good in SL
[13:50] Nemo Sittingbull: but what else can I use it for?
[13:51] Liam Gunes: simulations that require students to fill roles is a good thing you can do in here.
[13:52] Nemo Sittingbull: but that still require at least one participant with great knowledge on domain
[13:52] Nemo Sittingbull: it is infeasible to create a bot to interact with student in SL
[13:53] Nemo Sittingbull: so rather than a student interact with a computer to learn, it still boil down to peer-to-peer learning
END OF CHAT SESSION

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