Got Social?

PodCampNYC 2.0

Today I had the pleasure to present with Peggy Sheehy (SL: Maggie Marat), who works as a librarian/media specialist at the Suffern Middle School in Ramapo, NY. The Ramapo Islands (originally 3 sims but now up to 6) were the first school-owned sims on the Teen Grid.

I was fortunate enough to spend a day at the Suffern Middle School observing how the students were using Teen Second Life in their classes. I left there very impressed after watching four different classes. It was at that point Peggy and I decided we wanted to do something collaborative.

When the call for PodCampNYC 2.0 came out, Peggy asked if I wanted to do a joint presentation. The title developed was “Second Life: Shift Learning” and would focus on how learning was shifting for both grade school and at the college level.

So, bright and early this morning Peggy drove down to pick me up and we left for Brooklyn, to Polytechnic University, where the Unconference was being held. We got there plenty early, which was fine since we needed to put the finishing touches on our presentation slide show. Both of us are Mac users so it was great to use Keynote and make the presentation really sharp. It’s over 30mb, which is the max for Slideshare, but I’m going to try and cut it down so we can post it. I’ll probably reduce the size of some of the graphics.

The day started with a nice opening from the organizers. We then proceed to our first session but the presenter never showed up, so we picked up and joined “Teachers Teaching Teachers”. It was a great session and I’m glad I got to catch it. The next session we wanted to see was in the same location. It was a presentation by Tabitha from Global Kids on some of the machinima their students are doing. It was very interesting and great to see that someone is engaging young people to think and act on global social issues.

During this session we met some folks from Rutgers and we all hit the Cafeteria for lunch. I know, I know…but the food was surprising good and not stupidly expensive.

I was a bit concerned that our presentation followed lunch – that is a slot that many people miss, come in late, or sleep through due to a food coma. Although it is true that a number of people came late, we had a great group. Attendance was not our problem.

The presentation was being made in a classroom and it was clearly not set up for this type of activity normally. No big deal, ya work with what you get when you go to a conference. After hooking the computer to the projector, the projector promptly died. First the bulb went and then the thing would not turn on at all.

This was a huge challenge for us but it didn’t stop us. Peg passed around the presentation on a flash drive to folks with laptops. Those without we invited to move closer to my computer. Peg has a 12” screen but mine is 15”, so we used my computer. It worked, well, and everyone seemed really engaged.

My big gripe about this was that nobody came by at the beginning of the session to see if things we okay and when the tech guys came by at the end to get the projector from the room (we were still presenting, I’ll explain that in a second), I told them the projector wasn’t working and this tech started arguing with me. Forget the fact that I know how to use a projector, or that Peg is a media specialist, or that the room was full of tech types (this is a tech conference), clearly we were wrong and didn’t know what we were doing. This is an example of why some tech types get a reputation for being rude. Fortunately, this seems to be more the exception these days, and I’m sure this guy is highly qualified, but he lacks the skills to effectively interact with people.

Anyway, there was nothing scheduled in the room after our presentation so we just kept going. We told people they could leave if they needed, wanting to get to other presentations, but that we were just going to keep going. We stayed for more than an hour overtime and there were still people there. In fact, three people actually walked out of the room with us! Needless to say, the attendees were engaged and interested.

We attended one more session after that and then decided to brave the rush hour traffic to get home, which was really not that bad.

Overall it was a great experience. Peggy is a talented and gifted individual who has more energy than most people I know combined: I’ll present with her again anytime, anywhere. What they are doing up at Ramapo is nothing short of incredible.

Anshe wins!

To those of you not in (or into) Second Life, this is not going to mean a thing. To those of you just getting in, give it 6 months and re-read this. To those who have been in for a while and/or know something about SL – enjoy a good belly laugh.

There is a Twitter account called SecondLie – they post false, and often very very funny fake updates. Here is the most recent

secondlie: Still think it’s a game? Fine. Anshe Chung is the winner! Congrats to Anshe, and we’ll be zeroing all accounts on Monday for Round 2.

OK – I have to go back to laughing now.

Students don’t think

It is so important that we teach our students to be critical thinkers. I’m not sure why, but so many of them come to us and are either apathetic, lazy, or something else I’m not sure what.

I have plenty of examples from over the years, from my classes alone – but here is just a recent one. Our college has an email address that is not really publicized anyplace. One would have to stumble across it in order to find it. It is used mostly for things like warranties, etc…

I monitor that email address and just now we got an email from a student

I need a permit for the following course:

Fall 2008
GNED-199-##
NEW STUDENT SEMINAR #####

XXXXX XXXXXXXXX

CWID: ########

So – this student writes to an email address that has nothing to do with the course, or registration, or the department – and, in fact, I have no idea how s/he even found the address. The student even goes so far as to include his/her CWID, which is MSU’s replacement for the SS#, meaning, it is not something s/he should be dropping into an email that s/he has no idea where it is going.

The New Student Seminar has an office, a phone, counselors and staff here all the time to help students, they do a stellar job and have a very high profile on our campus.

I just don’t understand. I’m sure the student had a reason, I’m just left to shake my head.

Today’s Presenation

Today I did a presentation titled “Second Life: Blending the real and virtual worlds for a hybrid learning experience”.

The slide show can be found here
http://www.slideshare.net/sorry.afk/080414-chss/

Part one is a basic overview, part two talks about my specific class, and part three is a mini-tour in pictures. I also went in-world for a real-time demonstration. There were faculty members there from Anthropology, English, ESL, History, Linguistics, Sociology, as well as a few visitors from around campus.

There are some ideas rolling around my head about what makes the “recipe” for a good hybrid model. When I do post it will be based, in part, on some of what is in the slide show.

Fell free to post any comments or questions you might have about the slide show or hybrid learning models.

Chat History Logs / Ideas for Discussion

Each week we hold the SL Education Roundtable at 2:30pm SLT on the Montclair State CHSS Island. We’ve had some incredible conversations over the last few weeks and I look forward to what the future meetings might bring.

I’m working on getting the chat history logs posted in the Dickson Hall Information Center on the Montclair State CHSS Island – I’ll let you know when they go up.

If you have any ideas for discussion at future meetings, please let me know – either here or privately by email.

UPDATE: Upcoming presentation “Using the 3D virtual world Second Life in the Higher Ed classroom”

Unfortunately, the President of MSU is addressing the campus at the same time as this session. The following Wednesday is our University Senate Meeting. Not wanting to compete with either of those, but needing to do this for faculty before the end of April, this session has been moved to Monday, April 14th from 3:00pm to 4:30pm, still in Dickson Hall 280. I have revised the text below

***

As part of my ongoing, and growing, focus on working with instructors to implement technology in their teaching, and a move to greater online and hybrid learning, I’ll be offering a presentation titles “Using the 3D virtual world Second Life in the Higher Ed classroom” The event will take place on Monday, April 14th, from 3:00pm to 4:30pm in Dickson Hall 280

The description is
This presentation will be broken down into three parts. The first part will provide a short overview of the 3D virtual world Second Life. The second part will review the actual use of Second Life as a tool for hybrid teaching in my Spring 08 ENWR 105 course (Introduction to College Writing I). The work of other CHSS faculty members who are using, or have used, Second Life will also be discussed. The last part will consist of a tour of educational sites in Second Life, Q&A, as well as hands-on (time permitting).

If you are not a CHSS instructor, but would be interested in attending, please let me know. There are only about 25 seats in the room, and we need to give CHSS instructors priority, but we’ll see what we can work out.

Need folks for a group photo

Recently the Montclair State CHSS Second Life effort added the Montclair State Library to our island. This followed a number of meetings between me and some of the folks at the Sprague Library. One of our librarians, Kathy Hughes, has taken this effort very seriously and worked hard to get the ball rolling on this project.

The building is up and “stuff” is being added over time. Aside from being a resource to all those who visit our island, the folks in our real life library have committed to putting content into the SL version of our library that will be of benefit to classes taking place in SL. An example of this exists right now, for my writing class (ENWR 105:18).

One of the Dean’s in the library is doing a presentation and would like a photo. We could take a picture of the library as is, but we thought it might be better to have lots-o-folks enjoying the environment when the picture was taken. :-)

Earlier today I send an email to the SLED and EDUCAUSE Virtual Worlds CG lists, as well as all of the groups I belong to that allow notices, and I even dropped a notecard to everyone I have a calling card (in SL) for (which numbered over 200!). I also plan to send IMs to my groups and those who are online a few minutes before the meeting. It will be interesting to see how many people we can get to show up. I currently have the max threshold on the region set to 40 – I may up that to 70, or maybe even 100! (Has anyone out there ever done that before, and if so, what was the result?) Thank goodness for the CEHS Island, I’m going to build a bridge way over the water so we can accommodate overflow if necessary.

Anyway, if you have 15-20 minutes to be in an in-world snapshot, please visit the CHSS Island tomorrow, Tuesday, April 8th, at 11:30am SLT (or 2:30pm EDT)

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Montclair%20State%20CHSS/199/242/21

or

SEARCH MAP for Montclair State CHSS

or

SEARCH PLACES for CHSS

Upcoming presentation “Using the 3D virtual world Second Life in the Higher Ed classroom”

As part of my ongoing, and growing, focus on working with instructors to implement technology in their teaching, and a move to greater online and hybrid learning, I’ll be offering a presentation titles “Using the 3D virtual world Second Life in the Higher Ed classroom” The event will take place on Wednesday, April 16th, from 3:00pm to 4:30pm in Dickson Hall 280

The description is
This presentation will be broken down into three parts. The first part will provide a short overview of the 3D virtual world Second Life. The second part will review the actual use of Second Life as a tool for hybrid teaching in my Spring 08 ENWR 105 course (Introduction to College Writing I). The work of other CHSS faculty members who are using, or have used, Second Life will also be discussed. The last part will consist of a tour of educational sites in Second Life, Q&A, as well as hands-on (time permitting).

If you are not a CHSS instructor, but would be interested in attending, please let me know. There are only about 25 seats in the room, and we need to give CHSS instructors priority, but we’ll see what we can work out.