Virtual world being used by some educators and youth groups for teaching, socialization
By Justin Appel, Assistant Editor
Second Life, an enormously popular program that immerses participants in an online virtual world of their own making, is being used by a growing number of educators and youth organizations as a vehicle for instruction.
November 10, 2006—An online virtual world that has become one of the web’s most popular activities is also becoming an increasingly popular venue for teaching and socialization among educators and youth organizations.
Tag: Second Life
Texas schools the latest to switch from textbooks to electronic versions
Momentum appears to be growing on the use of eBooks in K-12 education:
More and more school districts are replacing traditional textbooks with electronic versions that can be accessed through a school server or downloaded onto student laptops–and a few school systems have opted to eliminate textbooks altogether.
desk – businessThe new blogging workshop with over 100 tutorials is perfect for learners of all abilities. The workshop engages learners, explaining the difference between various kinds of blogs, introducing them to some hosting solutions, and showing them how to setup their own blog using Blogger™.
Last month, Melissa Roderick, a University of Chicago professor and leading authority on school reform, arrived at a startling conclusion: The traditional measurements of the nation’s progress in improving education, which use race and income as markers, are flawed.
Why? Because boys and girls coming from the same race, families, incomes, neighborhoods and schools are turning out very differently. The girls are doing better.
Nearly half of all boys graduate from Chicago Public Schools with less than a 2.0 average, compared with a fourth of the girls. Only 8% of the system’s African-American boys have a 3.0 average – a key indicator of the ability to complete college – compared with 18% of the girls.
The numbers are jarring, which explains Roderick’s revelation that Chicago schools won’t improve without strategies that focus on boys’ achievement – the same kinds of strategies used so successfully to boost math and science skills among girls.
The moment he became weightless, Mike Hickey of South High School in Cleveland, Ohio, completely forgot about the science experiment he was to conduct.”
After the first bounce, I said nuts to the experiments,” an exhilarated Hickey said after returning from his 90-minute flight aboard G-Force One, an aircraft specially designed to simulate the zero gravity of space by making controlled free-fall descents.
Hickey and 38 other teachers took part over the weekend in the last of five “Weightless Flights of Discovery” sponsored by Northrop Grumman Corp. and Zero Gravity Corporation of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
They giggled, somersaulted, gulped floating blobs of water and pushed each other around the padded cabin of the modified Boeing 727.
“Any tiny movement shot you across the plane,” said Tracy Cindric of Lincoln High School in Gahanna, Ohio.
“It was very chaotic.”
The teachers, representing 28 schools in Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Arizona, Louisiana and Washington, D.C., are now expected to take their experience, their photographs and above all their enthusiasm back to the classroom and inspire the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers.
Test scores are not the only way to tell if a your classroom offers a rich learning environment for your students.
In fact, test scores are possibly one of the poorest ways to gauge how learning is progressing, and these test scores darken your classroom door too late in the school year to do much about learning that’s gone awry, anyway.
Here are authentic indicators of instruction that is going right in your classroom:
Useful page on Wikipedia that provides advice, examples and templates to assist in the use of Wikipedia in the classroom. “An advantage of this over regular homework is that the student is dealing with a real world situation, which is not only more educative but also makes it more interesting (“the world gets to see my work”), probably resulting in increased dedication. Besides, it will give the students a chance to collaborate on course notes and papers, and their effort will remain online for reference, instead of being discarded and forgotten as is usual with paper course-work.”
From Stephen Downes