Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Transformative Day!



What a banner day this has been! I met Poem O'Reilly, my classmate in TLVW, at her SL home in EduNation.  Poem told me that EduNation belongs to Randall Sadler, a professor with the University of Illinois.

We toured around Poem's area of EduNation which her university rents from Randall Sadler. Poem told me about her students and the simulations they do to help with learning English. One of the places she took me was a hotel lobby. There they have scripts set up to help students with appropriate dialogue. We also saw a library because, as Poem put it, students attend colleges all over the world. They need to know how to access libraries.

Later, we went to the aquarium where we met up with another language teacher, Heike Philip. Poem directed me toward the scuba gear which I immediately put on. Of course, it's packed so I'm wearing a duffle bag! How many times am I going to do that? I took it off and unpacked it on the floor. Once I was wearing it (and in the process, I lost my hair!), I immediately started swimming but once I went down the hatch, the script for swimming dropped off. Heike advised me to try removing the scuba gear. Now I'm standing there in my underwear and I'm bald! Good heavens! Virtual Worlds can be humbling! I managed to get the gear and the hair back on and I'm back to swimming. It was unbelievably beautiful and so detailed. There were mantas, schooling fish, a wreck and coral reefs. Poem told me her students love going there. I can see why.

Here's the part I find amazing... Poem is from Uruguay and teaching grad students. I meet up with her in Second Life and find out about her work with students and I tell her about mine. Earlier this week, I met up with OliveTree (a classmate from Dubai) and we did a quest together in World of Warcraft. In addition to the engagement of this unique teaching/learning tool, I realize that it's not just the "virtual world" concept that's so intriguing; it's the fact that we can meet anyone from anywhere there, and learn from them as well. I am broadened by the experience and look forward to learning more!

2 comments:

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  2. Hi Tis, you're right, this has been an exciting morning. I thought Olive would be in SL by the time we met. It would've been great to be the three of us touring together. But there's always time to repeat the tour. Now, you've let all of our classmates know about your scuba diving adventure, all of them will be booking for a tour to the EduNation acquarium!!! Thanks for your company, and it's true, VW change our lives once we get to know them. I can't stop thinking if, and only if, we had the chance to have VW when we were kids and young learners, can you imagine that? But we have heard from them now and we have to take advantage of it, to keep on building, imporving and developing our teaching skills. Learning how to cooperate and contribute with our knowledge and experiences with each other. The world, the knowledge is to a hand length. Let's stick to it and keep on going and building knowledge!!! It was a great morning I hope you have really enjyed!!! My pleasure to have you as my classmate and in my place in EduNation;o)

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