At the request of my wonderful Center for Science Outreach Director Dr. Virginia Shepherd and with the blessing of School for Science and Math Director Dr. Glenn McCombs, a dozen or so staff and faculty from both institutions gathered for an hour in the School’s classroom on the Vanderbilt University campus to witness my best shot at explaining why I think Second Life (and by extension Virtual Worlds) have a great deal to offer for teaching and learning.
I started off by welcoming the assembled and introducing a guest, Digital Collections Archivist at the Vanderbilt University Library, and archivist for its DiscoverArchive.
Then I proceeded a bit unconventionally (no, not moi!) by viewing most of the ten minute ISTE in Second Life video that describes how that 85,000 member International Society for Technology in Education built a virtual community (of over 4,000 members, at current count) inside the 3D platform of Second Life, after which I launched into my Powerpoint presentation. True to Murphy’s Law, I failed to hit record on my little Olympus voice recorder until we were discussing the Peggy Sheehy slide, so I will append this dialog to the beginning of my very first “Slidecast” at Slideshare.net. This’ll be a long ‘un, so take from it what you will, and my hope is that it remains as a resource for innovative educators for a good while to come.
NEW! Here’s the Slidecast RIGHT HERE!
I’ll also be glad to travel with this show or one like it, upon delivery of a suitcase full of hundred dollar bills (just kidding).
Okay, if you want the full experience, visit the link to the ISTE video in the Episode 80 blog post at blogs.vanderbilt.edu/s4theb and watch it, then pop on into the slidecast. Settle back with a bowl of popcorn and let the ‘cast cast it’s spell.
THE LOST NARRATION
I believe that there are two kinds of people: 1) the kind who say there are two kinds of people, and 2) the others. I hope I am in set number 2. That said, I have in recent years noticed a clear dichotomy in the world between people who readily latch onto the value and potentials of online Virtual Worlds and those who pretty much refuse to entertain the possiblilty. There is also, thankfully, a broad spectrum in between those two camps. Hopefully, sharing this with you will help you sort things out for yourself and your school or business.
There is more text in this presentation than I would like there to be, but I include it because it’s important. Feel free to multitask as you will by reading as I’m blabbering.
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Finally, the lovely music that plays you out of the episode is from master guitarist David Modica, courtesy of Magnatune.com (”We are not evil!”) and just one of the absorbing tracks on his beautiful CD, available at Magnatune, “Acoustic Earth, Electric Sky.” Thanks, David!