This page is for my exploration of Quest atlantis and Open sims within my classrooms. i intent to use open sims in my Information technology classroom to create and engage students in a purposeful learning experience where self directed learning and problem solving are some of the key elements.
So far i have had some experience in QA but not yet reached a level i can bring students in. Time in the program is what i need but unlikely at this point to happen! 1 day in open sims which was fantastic but now i can’t log in using the same user name and password which is annoying. i need to make sure this is not going to be the same for the students and they are going to experience success in logging in between lessons!
I am beginning to create the ideas around group tasks and rubics to go with the tasks but it needs more nutting out- so far:
each group of students create a space in the virtual world as well as creating how to videos along the way for important concepts and skills to add to the resource centre.
Each group will be responsible for one of the following areas:
1. Warm welcoming visitor information center for RSC (including info about the college etc)
2. learning space for 21st century learning with a screen etc to show ppt/ videos and have a video playing
3. chill out area/location with a relaxing environment both indoor and out door chill out areas (zen style!)
4. Art Gallery / sculpture garden
5. Resource center – with how to videos, links, information etc (help desk with some answers to basic questions and video answers to harder issues)
6. Clothing / styling store
7. Cyber safety information center
8. ? ? Theatrette to sit 250+ with a screen for video display
that is about as much as i have brainstormed so far any thoughts or ideas most welcomed.
2 months later or 8 lessons and here is our progress:
So we have a little time in world and the students have been wonderful problem solving and using their thinking skills to think outside the square to create and use prims and textures in interesting ways to create their assigned building or structures. Here is a movie about how we went in our trial of open sims:
My students and i have created an Ultranet space called OpenSim-using virtual worlds in the classroom. In this space we have embedded a series of help tutorials on how to create, build and design in world. Students also created help tutorials on things that they problem solved like: how to make water, upload an image to create a sign or other object, create trees etc. The space is open for all interested teachers and students to join.
The video tutorials have also been uploaded to my vimeo account for people outside the department to access.
So what was the good, bad and the interesting:
Good -students were engaged, they learnt and applied new skills in working in the virtual environment, the used their problem solving skills to create water, link objects and move them as all i showed them how to do was build a block, change its texture and duplicate it. Everything else the students taught themselves and then taught the other members of their team and other teams and me! Students were immersed in their task. They had fun while learning and enjoyed passing on their skills and knowledge to each other.
Bad – Hippo browser crashed continually for some students and for others would crash occasionally we tried imprudence browser but it was worse. I should say i had no trouble with either browser! We also had issue wit lagging when in world – i think this was caused because students did not clean up prims they were creating in sandpit time. Although i stressed the importance of deleting prims they no longer were using or didn’t need and the importance of using minimal prims in creating buildings etc students still used many more prims than they needed and left prims in world which should have been deleted. These meant i needed to spend time on the weekends going in world and deleting prims which had clearly been built in sandpit time! I also discovered through twitter that if i put a ticket into reaction grid they are more than happy to assist with issues like those i have experienced. There support is invaluable.
Interesting- Students absent from school would go in world during my class time and work virtually with their team in the virtual world to build their assigned task. Students loved the freedom the virtual world gave them and enjoyed designing and creating in world. They loved that they could change their appearance and customize clothing. Students enjoyed making the help tutorials to showcase their new skills. Every student in the class was engaged and enjoyed this task. This was different, different from their other learning’s and captured their imaginations.