Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Workshop at Muvenation - How to write on a Board in Second LIfe - Educational tool


Yesterday was my first experience teaching in Second Life due to my participation in Muvenation course.

Participants have to have the ability to pass the knowledge of what you feel most confident with and I decided to teach my colleagues how to manage an Educational Board in their classes. My real aim inside Second Life is to develop Language Courses for different areas: Business English, Legal English, Technical English, so I am always concerned about Educational tools that might help me delivering the content I would like to pursue.

So as I mentioned before, I decided to show my colleagues a very useful and easy to handle board to work in-world with students.

This board is : XyTextNotecard Reader, developed by Gavin Dudeney free of charge.

The workshop started at the time expected : 1.00 pm PST with many participants on show. I have carefully planned the activity and the information sending latest messages to the group announcing the event.

I have announced that way I was going to deliver the workshop was going to be using 'text chat' and voice. Unfortunately two participants could not hear my voice since for not obvious reason for me they did not appear in the list next to the 'talk' button, so I decided to deliver it through text chat.

I had carefully prepared my notecard with the content of the class with 'step' by 'step' guide towards :

following 'text chats'
editing notecards
renaming them
rezzing objects
getting the board from a ball on the floor
editing the board

Instructions started and the audience became bigger. Participants were little concerned at the beginner whether this class was going to be focused on just 'notecards' but I had to be sure that everybody knew how to handle them since it is the 'chore' of the task to manage the Educational Board and the workshop was meant for 'beginners' in Second Life.

Activities started to be developed, as picture shows

Explanation on how to manage the board was given and I had rezzed a ball where it was the board for them to get once 'touched'. The ball showed the flying text ' Touch to get content'.

Participants started rezzing but just 'one' and only 'one' could be rezzed due to
limited space at the Sandbox. The initial idea was that every pair could work with
their board exchanging notecards, but due to this limitation I suggested taking turns
and adding their notecards one by one to the board to see them written.

Participants started feeling fine, seeing what they had written on their notecards was shown on the board so therefore more enthusiasm arouse

As a follow up activity I suggested uses for the board and I tried brainstorming with them what else could be done. We realized that urls cannot be shown as well as SL landmarks, but it's a great tool for :

*developing vocabulary
*building up dialogues
*informing your students about future classes
*displaying information got on notecards, etc.

Most of the participants understood how the system worked. There were few ones who arrived late and I explained the whole process of the class to them again till they mastered the use. The original time for the workshop was accomplished though extra
explanations took longer and on the whole I was 2,5 hours explaining the use of this
'valuable' Educational resource.

As a follow up step, I gave the participants the notecard that was prepared for the class with the landmark from Edunation area where this an other free educational tools can be found as well as the landmark of my launchroom at Virtlantis, where this board is on show.

Stress and anxiety was present while giving the workshop but I think I managed myself to conceal it thanks to the previous preparation of the material for the class. There are always unexpected issues to happen, so the more you prepare your classes the better to handle unwanted situations.

So this was my prize after class....

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