Archive for April, 2012


Anti-Video Games to Compulsive Virtual Builder

When we first learned how to use SecondLife, I must say, I was a little apprehensive to even touch the damn thing the next week. Maybe it was Continue reading

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Virtual World Education

At first, I was skeptical of VWE and the power behind it to actually teach students.  Part of it seemed “too easy” and that students who participated in this type of educational experience would be taking the easy way out.  I also thought that for older students, VWE may be too hard to grasp and navigate.  I know that I had never used Second Life before, but my generation, unlike my parents, is very accepting of new technologies and eager to learn about them and use them.  Within the first two class-periods, I had a good grasp of Second Life and how to navigate around the virtual environment with little instruction.  Although I was skeptical at first, I was very excited to learn about VWE and the implications for the future.  With VWE, quality and engaging education can be available to all students regardless of where they may live.

I had never done anything with Second Life before, so at first, I did struggle a little bit.  It was a little overwhelming navigating through the virtual environment as well as having to learn how to use the elements of the Game Kit properly.  By the second class period, though, I had gotten more of a hang of using the environment, and I also realized that I didn’t have to create all of our tokens by hand, which was a tremendous relief!  I thoroughly enjoyed searching through the Second Life store and finding items to use as tokens and traps.

Creating the content was easy for me.  With my background in education, and my experience in COMM 600, I found it simple to seek out the pertinent information and then create criterion-referenced test items.  Our group focused our lesson on notorious places in privateer/pirate history.  Each member did a little research of their own and then chose a place to focus their individual questions and content.   We then divided our content and chronologically organized the layout of the information of the ship.  Jen and I were first chronologically so we put our tokens and traps on the top of the ship and then Tahini and Kelia, who were second chronologically, put theirs on the bottom part of the ship.  We felt that for the learner, this would be the easiest way to navigate through the information without getting confused.  This separation falls into the idea of “chunking” information so that the learner does not get frustrated and/or confused, while still keeping the information challenging enough to be interesting.

At the end, as we were creating quizzes and tying up loose ends, we also created a welcome board on the top of the ship to help the learner understand how to navigate the ship.  An important part in education is making sure that the learners have clear concise directions.  This helps to avoid confusion as well as build the confidence of the learners.  If the learners know what they should be doing, then navigating the VWE is less overwhelming and they can concentrate on the information.

At first, the biggest issue I had was a total unfamiliarity with Second Life, but that was quickly resolved with a little practice.  I also found it hard to use the Game Kit at first, but by the end it was much easier.  Working in a large group was also difficult as it was a challenge to coordinate each individual’s work efforts.  I learned from this experience that if we were not working in class, it was best to go into Second Life and make sure that everyone could speak using the microphones.  It made it much easier to get done versus using the “chat box” feature.  I also learned that a little more planning ahead of time, making it clear what everyone was responsible for, would have helped with some confusion as we wrapped the project up.  Other than that, things went very smoothly and I learned a lot from this experience.

Virtual World Education is an exciting setting for learning.  It is engaging and informative, which are two necessary components for tomorrow’s learners.  Although I had never used Second Life before, it was a great medium for VWE because it is free to download, so any learner with a computer can have the software.  Creating the VWE within Second Life was a little challenging, but once I got the hang of it, it was a very enjoyable experience.  I was relieved to have worked with a group, as doing all of the work would have been a very large responsibility for one person.  In the future, when working with a group on this type of assignment, taking a little more time to plan and set an individual schedule for everyone will make the whole process run much smoother.  I really enjoyed the assignment and learned a lot from the experience.  I hope to use a VWE in my classroom someday and that it engages and benefits the students.

Exploring a virtual environment for knowledge is a great way to facilitate material due to second life allowing you to pace yourself and learn information by playing games.

Before beginning my second life journey, I had many assumptions and ideas of what to expect and yet knew very little about Virtual World Education (VWE). Although upon creating my character that looked something like that mutant that Chunk befriended in the Goonies film, I was amazed at the concept of Virtual World Education and how it was operated. I never wanted to leave my computer!

My original experience with second life as an undergrad was very brief and I had learned the basics in what had gone into online education or (VWE). Such as creating objects and learning some of the different techniques in how to shape your creations properly to make them look more realistic. As a graduate using second life, I highly enjoyed being able to create educational material that for learners on the software. My second tour of duty in second life was very interesting a way that just when I thought I had learned everything the first time, I was shown different methods and approaches to designing online education. Not only does designed Virtual World Education help facilitate material for others, but for myself, I believe that it is also a great way for the designer to educate himself or herself on a given topic as well.

The process that went into creating an educational gaming world was a fun and exciting experience knowing that our research topic, or any research topic that would have used in our project, was facilitated into gaming form and could have been potentially studied by others via second life. At times it was very difficult to understand the procedures that went into the design of the second life content. But once you understand how to fully use the software, you were able to successfully accomplish your goal of creating a legitimate Virtual World Educational environment.

Personally, I believe that Virtual World Education (VWE), is solely meant for students under the age of roughly 15 or so. Why? Because the younger generation is more technologically sound than older adults in many cases these days. I feel that the older adults, more specifically, the adults that think technology is silly, will be fighting more with how to use second life rather than fighting to retain material. However, from the same perspective on both view points, I believe upon properly learning how to use second life, adults will find it to be a great hands on way to learn. With a younger student, there is also the problem that he or she may look at second life and see fun and play time, as opposed to an educational environment. Even for adults, distractions are everywhere. I’d say the most difficult problem or limitation in second life, is finding a balance in the VWE and maintaining a constant educational focus.

I highly undervalued the power of second life. If used properly, it could be a highly successful tool in the education of others from youth to adult. However, I believe the balance is still a bit off. Anytime you design a course on second life, the content whatever it may be, needs to be relevant to the topic. When I refer to content in this case, I’m referring to where your avatar is located, and in what surroundings. The feel needs to be right. In my case, we worked on Pirate trivia, therefore, we operated on a boat and an island. I think that the hardest part is creating a world that properly matches a topic of discussion. More or less, there quite possibly needs be limitations to the learner’s freedom inside of the virtual world. Like I had mentioned, an adult could immediately recognize the real reason for using second life. Which would be to learn new things. When it comes to youth in second life, they would recognize fun before they would recognize learning. Overall, however, I believe that Virtual World Education needs to be further explored and considered in our ever day world of expanding technology.

I would consider the second life educational environment to be a new and still a young idea. When a concept such Virtual World Education matures a little more, I believe it will be the future of education in the upcoming generations for both youth and adult.

Exploring a virtual environment for knowledge is a great way to facilitate material due to second life allowing you to pace yourself and learn information by playing games.

Before beginning my second life journey, I had many assumptions and ideas of what to expect and yet knew very little about Virtual World Education (VWE). Although upon creating my character that looked something like that mutant that Chunk befriended in the Goonies film, I was amazed at the concept of Virtual World Education and how it was operated. I never wanted to leave my computer!

My original experience with second life as an undergrad was very brief and I had learned the basics in what had gone into online education or (VWE). Such as creating objects and learning some of the different techniques in how to shape your creations properly to make them look more realistic. As a graduate using second life, I highly enjoyed being able to create educational material that for learners on the software. My second tour of duty in second life was very interesting a way that just when I thought I had learned everything the first time, I was shown different methods and approaches to designing online education. Not only does designed Virtual World Education help facilitate material for others, but for myself, I believe that it is also a great way for the designer to educate himself or herself on a given topic as well.

The process that went into creating an educational gaming world was a fun and exciting experience knowing that our research topic, or any research topic that would have used in our project, was facilitated into gaming form and could have been potentially studied by others via second life. At times it was very difficult to understand the procedures that went into the design of the second life content. But once you understand how to fully use the software, you were able to successfully accomplish your goal of creating a legitimate Virtual World Educational environment.

Personally, I believe that Virtual World Education (VWE), is solely meant for students under the age of roughly 15 or so. Why? Because the younger generation is more technologically sound than older adults in many cases these days. I feel that the older adults, more specifically, the adults that think technology is silly, will be fighting more with how to use second life rather than fighting to retain material. However, from the same perspective on both view points, I believe upon properly learning how to use second life, adults will find it to be a great hands on way to learn. With a younger student, there is also the problem that he or she may look at second life and see fun and play time, as opposed to an educational environment. Even for adults, distractions are everywhere. I’d say the most difficult problem or limitation in second life, is finding a balance in the VWE and maintaining a constant educational focus.

I highly undervalued the power of second life. If used properly, it could be a highly successful tool in the education of others from youth to adult. However, I believe the balance is still a bit off. Anytime you design a course on second life, the content whatever it may be, needs to be relevant to the topic. When I refer to content in this case, I’m referring to where your avatar is located, and in what surroundings. The feel needs to be right. In my case, we worked on Pirate trivia, therefore, we operated on a boat and an island. I think that the hardest part is creating a world that properly matches a topic of discussion. More or less, there quite possibly needs be limitations to the learner’s freedom inside of the virtual world. Like I had mentioned, an adult could immediately recognize the real reason for using second life. Which would be to learn new things. When it comes to youth in second life, they would recognize fun before they would recognize learning. Overall, however, I believe that Virtual World Education needs to be further explored and considered in our ever day world of expanding technology.

I would consider the second life educational environment to be a new and still a young idea. When a concept such Virtual World Education matures a little more, I believe it will be the future of education in the upcoming generations for both youth and adult.

Second Life?  Why do I need a second one when I am more than preoccupied with my first?  Well, at least that is what I was saying back in February.  I was completely new to the concept of virtual world education. Saying that I could not quite see the value was an understatement.  I had come through a school system of neatly ordered desks, books and a whole lot of, “pay attention!”  The most “immersive” learning experience I had in school was playing Oregon Trail on an Apple computer.

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Could be awesome with improvements

Hello All! My first experience with second life was in Dr. Lenze’s COMM 302 class when I was a sophomore and I wasn’t completely blown away by it, but nonetheless, I found it interesting. I thought it was cool that I could create my own character that could function in the given environment and communicate with other people. This was my primary method of communication with him throughout the course because his avatar was always in his virtual office when he said he would be. Now, let’s jump ahead to our project. I think using Second Life for learning, not just for pirate games, but for other subjects as well could have potential. First of all, Second Life should really focus on fixing the glitches in its world. After all, quality is better than quantity and Second Life has so much content, yet a character might freeze up walking through a house or other glitches. Next, if an organization decides to use Second Life, they should make sure their computers are up-to-date in order to be able to effectively run the program. This way the experience will be more effective. In conclusion, Second Life has much potential. As long as the content is within the game and with continuous improvement to the software, Second Life could become an effective learning medium.

SNAP-DOODLE FUN FISH

Simply put, the experience of working on an online/ collaborative virtual world game was quite new and like any new technology, there was some frustration.  Such as, uploading items into the virtual space, the placement of items and building site specific elements. However, I feel that the frustration did not outweigh the exciting new

make a game for under 50¢

addition to my ever growing ‘interesting things that I can now accomplish with technology’ category inside my personal skills.  Additionally, working in a group to accomplish the individualized tasks made the work more accessible and reduced project anxiety.

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Mixed Feelings

Overall I have mixed feelings about the SecondLife experience.  My initial reaction was welcoming however, not too thrilled to be using this choice of software.  Surely something like Captivate would offer more promise to a job-seeker as it is a common skill requirement on job  descriptions in e-learning and instructional design.  The lessons I've  learned in the context of creating a game, the Immersive Learning  Simulation could be a vehicle to deliver content using other industry  standard software.  Continue reading

Second Life

I was so excited to use the second life because I had high expectations to gain a new experience on how to create my own virtual world. I love video games and I have a dream to build and create my own game. Second Life just made it easy for me that I can buy items that I need for use in-game from the marketplace and have the ability to adjust those items to my liking.

Some difficulties were present while I was using Second life. For instant, this program used to run my Macbook Pro really hot although my laptop is above the minimum requirement of running this application. Inability to multitask in my laptop while the application is running, and the presence of glitches and bugs of 3D modes making people inside the application appear as if they were missing textures. All those reasons has lead me to dislike Second Life a little bit. I would have preferred to work a more popular, well-known, well-refined application of the same idea. There were also limitations that need to be mentioned. For example, there were items in the marketplace that cannot be modified, transferred, or even copied.

In this project we were asked to build a city of pirates. Students in this class were split into five groups. Our group set out from the ship and we talked here about five islands. We created quizzes about those islands.

Second Life needs more explanation on how to use it because it is not an easy program. Working with a team in second Life was a wonderful experience. However, bugs and glitches, poor support; unavailability of any kind of resources that one could benefit from might hinders the experience of enjoying the virtual world. I believe Second Life would best fit for students of younger ages as they could gain new experiences about pirates and get accustomed such teaching tool that could enable them to be more engaging and active through out the class.

Virtual World Education Review

This is the first project where I was fully immersed into a 3-D virtual world.  Since I am very involved in education with a large international company, I was looking at the experience from the business world’s perspective.  Continue reading