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

ISTE 2010 is here!

Although we’re not traveling to Denver, we’re very excited to be gearing up for ISTE 2010. We’re presenting on project-based learning in the Virtual Environments playground on Monday at 11 am or so Denver time.
Virtual environments is one of several playgrounds or lounges set up at ISTE 2010 where passers by and others more mindfully choose to become part of the action. For the past 3 ISTE conferences, I’ve been there in person but this time, it will be virtual attendance only. The organizers do a great job and plan to stream presentations live at Scott Merrick’s ustream channel.
Bodi MacIntyre and I will be speaking from the accessible playground at the OT Center at Jefferson in Second Life after I do a brief tour of the Garden of Healthy Aging exhibit. Fun stuff!