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Monday, August 31, 2009

Starring students: Real-world projects in virtual world

Wonder how and what students are taught in virtual worlds? Watch this video (13:46) at Teachers TV, a professional development site in the UK (which has similar videos on blogs, cellphones, and podcasting in the classroom here). You'll see how middle-school student Daniel made the case for and, "in a couple of weeks," built an exhibition of the history of steam engines in Second Life, his teacher said, and how a group of students were asked to help turn a crumbling historic jetty on the North Sea coast into a tourism destination by building and restoring it virtually, again in Second Life. "Where else on Earth could you give a bunch of youngsters the space to build Skinningrove Jetty with some stairs going up to it out into the sea?" asks one of the teachers involved. Another said, "We have some students who are very confident working by themselves but they're not so good in a group.... One of the brightest students we have tends to hide his work from the others because he doesn't want them to be copying it, whereas now he's taking more of a sharing role...." Here's more on the Schome Project for 21st-century learning, whose island in the virtual world provides space for these student engineering and building projects.

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