Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Second Life in the Classroom...

...or how to change a stance in 6 weeks... Yesterday, I had the pleasure of riding up to Montpelier with our district's tech director for a meeting on 1:1 devices. He asked me how Second Life was going. Six weeks ago when someone asked me that question, I rolled my eyes (such an adolescent gesture on my part) and said something that made it clear I was in this because I'm part of the Master's program. My response yesterday? "Oh, it's fun - you would not believe how much fun."

Frank thinks about this for a bit and then played "devil's advocate" in asking me of what use this would be in education. I explain the classroom concept of gathering around Esme, sitting on seats (or the ground) that are really little red disks, the challenge of keeping track of the various threads of conversation, the field trips, and the assignments that push us to learn both on our own and with the help of our new friends.  We talked about different ideas for class discussion in virtual classrooms and why this would work for teachers and students. As our conversation went on, I was a little startled at the strength of my advocacy, considering my previous opposition to it.

My position now, 6 weeks later? This is a wonderful tool, one of many that today's teachers are fortunate to have at their disposal. Just like any sophisticated tool, however, it takes some practice, creativity and commitment to figure out how to use it effectively. It doesn't satisfy every circumstance and every teacher. Find me the tool that does!


  1. Hi Sally,
    Nice blog, congrats!!!

    This journey we have started with Jane at T&LVW has really change our lives, in both of our roles teachers or students. We are learning about a new tool and how it can help and benefit our praxis. And we still have a lot to learn.

    Of course it has been great fun, we have the opportunity to meet people, make new friends, share our knowledge and learn from others.

    As you've said SL may not..."satisfy every circumstance and every teacher"...but it is of great help. I remember when I was a child, reading all those books, sometimes with black and white pictures, other times with colourful ones, and we had to imagine the rest. Other times the concepts were so abstracts and difficult to reach, and I found myself enjoying SL like a kid with all the possibilities it opens to learning.

    We have make some progress,we are not the same we were back to the day we started T&LWV. NICT have come to stay, this is just a beginning and there is no back to that point. We just have to keep updating and studying!!! Glad you're my classmate;o) Silvia/Poem O'Reilly (SL)

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