Graduate Assistants Reflect on Second Life Experience

Each current graduate assistant has created a page discussing their second life experiences at the OT Center. See Graduate Student page or look at the side menu bar for individual pages just completed by Angelica, Bodi, and Zunie. These are first year EMOT students who have completed almost a full year working on the OT Center in Second Life project.

Final Day: SIG-VE Playground

On Wednesday I was able to attend several of the final playground events. All revealed interesting aspects of using virtual worlds for education. The 3rd rock grid presentation demonstrated an alternate virtual world that looked very similar to Second Life (uses OpenSim).

3rd Rock Preso at SIG-VE playground June 30, 2010

Naturally, I signed up for an account immediately after the presentation (or perhaps even before). Haven’t explored it yet but will do so, to see what it offers. One of my goals for the summer is to become more savvy of other virtual worlds besides SL, so this was a very timely and informative presentation.

Next on board was Ramapo Story World, presented by Bernajean Porter and Peggy Sheehy.

Playground Presentation on Ramapo Story Telling

This presentation gave me lots of ideas about how to incorporate stories into exhibits (which we are presently planning to use for an expanded Caregiver exhibit at the Garden of Healthy Aging). I don’t agree that everything should revolve around story telling, which apparently is the current bandwagon, but certainly narratives are extremely important, engaging, and useful strategies for organizing virtual world educational experiences.

Finally, April Hayman presented a “teaser” on Professional Development in Virtual Worlds.

ISTE Professional Development Planning

She revealed some of the planning for what sounds like incredible opportunities that will be available through ISTE this Fall.

Lots of good stuff! I also saw Cynthia Calongne’s presentation about the use of WOW for student learning. I can’t see how I would use WOW educationally right now, but it’s definitely something to watch for further development.

SIG-VE Playground Events

Day 2 of the ISTE 2010 Virtual Environments Playground included a great presentation by Alice Krueger (SL: Gentle Heron) on accessibility in virtual worlds. She presented different models of accessibility and made some very interesting points. One point was that many see virtual worlds as leveling the playing field for people with disabilities, when in fact this often is not true (e.g., use of voice for those in the deaf community). Alice then introduced Eme Capalini as the presentation moved into the Virtual Ability sim in Second Life. Eme discussed universal design in SL, using the example of the Sojourner Auditorium. BTW, this is a “must see” in SL if you have not already visited (or if you want to revisit with new [univeral design] eyes).

Eme Capalini discusses universal design at the Sojourner Auditorium

Yesterday, graduate assistant Bodi MacIntyre and I presented on Project Based Learning in Second Life. The expanded powerpoint (with notes and landmarks) is here:
ISTE2010 Presentation on Project Based Learning in Second Life

Technology scholars “visit” adapted home

Yesterday, a group of 55 technology scholars from across the U.S.  visited the Adaptation Home as part of an introduction to educational possibilities of Second Life provided by Gentle Heron (Alice Krueger) of Virtual Ability.  The event was part of an onsite workshop at the University of Colorado, Denver and led by innovative nurse educators and scholars from University of Kansas, University of Colorado, Denver, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, and the National League for Nursing.

Participants at the workshop were impressed by the fact that students created the exhibits under my direction and expressed interest in getting in contact with us. I hope they do.  It”s great to know that the nursing profession has such programs to foster innovation and move healthcare education to the next level. A year-long faculty development program focused on the integration of cutting edge technology into education would be a wonderful addition to other professions such as occupational therapy!

4 grad students present Second Life exhibits


From left: Jaime, Maureen, Luz, and Greg

On December 7, 4 graduate students from the occupational therapy program at Jefferson School of Health Professions presented their final Masters projects. All projects were part of the development of the Healthy Aging exhibit, covering Living with Diabetes (Greg Crawford), Psychosocial Aspects of Aging (Luz Hincapie), Healthy Caregiving (Jaime Stover), and Healthy Hearts (Maureen Coleman). Congratulations to all on their fine work!

The Healthy Aging exhibit will be part of a research study on use of virtual worlds to educate older adults about strategies for promoting health as one grows older. Recruitment of participants is expected to begin in January 2010, after further refinement of exhibit displays and format.

Virtual World, Real Learning: Graduate Students discuss Second Life® project

Thought-Provoking Slideshare

This slideshare from Judy O’Connell is well worth the view, if you are an educator who wants to be part of real learning and teaching in the 21st Century and can be open to the pardigm shift required.