Saturday, February 7, 2009

Reflections from 3rd period Class

Listen to our terraforming team talk about our island, the uses of Open Sim in schools, and their vision of what they'd like to see happen. Also, hear the reflections of the other students about their work in virtual worlds.

This is a great group of students and they are doing wonderful work! We're getting ready to start on their book. So, what am I teaching them, what are my objectives?

Actually, this Island building is a continuation of digital citizenship but is also part of the time management, working with people, leadership module I teach in January / Early February. Usually it is lecture based with a few student hands on exercises -- now it is a live experience full of project management and people skills work that they have to do. Totally different! (You'll see Miller talk about this.)

What is next?

Next, we're going to be learning advanced collaboration features in Word and also Excel and charting. How will we do it? We're going to write a book on digital citizenship and require each chapter to have an author and an editor and some piece of authentic research and charting in each chapter. Same objectives, but the workbook is gathering dust on the shelf.

This is a struggle to move to this method, even for me, as my assessment methods must change and I must look at the whole world differently. But, PBL - project based learning is totally different.

Just listen to Miller in the video talk about creating "lesson plans" for the island and how she is creating a lesson plan to construct a self-teaching environment in the OpenSim -- I am spending a lot of time with her developing how to do this so I can learn how to do it myself.

Boy, this is a tough transition but it is so rewarding. It is the RIGHT way to teach but I wish I could read it in a book. Oh well, it is not in a book - People like Peggy Sheehy, Kevin Jarrett, and Beth Ritter- Guth, Chris Dede and his Amazing Harvard RiverCity Project are my book. You are the book.

We are the book. I love the vision that all of these students cast for how these worlds can be used in teaching. For example, a Tale of Two Cities - a tough book to understand - one class learn to use OpenSim and create world - The Tale of Two Cities - yes it would take a month or so - but then, the students coming after would take a day or two to learn in deep ways all about the Tale of Two Cities. We share. We work together.

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