Saturday, September 06, 2008

SLEDcc 2008 Best Practices in Education exhibit

Greetings from the Second Life Education Track at the SL Community Convention, held in Tampa, FL and in Second Life. The posters were excellent and as Lyr Lobo, I had a blast setting up our Colorado Technical University in Second Life booth and chatting with the educators, researchers and visionaries who made it possible for us teach and learn in a virtual world!

Sloan Skjellerup of SL's Rockcliffe University and I observed that Second Life changes rapidly, making it a challenge to stay current with the growing number of universities and educators teaching in a virtual world. Ellie Brewster shared her research in Women's Studies at Ohio State University and noted that Virtual Praxis: A Conference on Women's Community will be held in SL on Minerva island in November.

Tab Scott and Troy McLuhan came by to share their research activities in Second Life. Troy McLuhan was active with the International Spaceflight Museum in Second Life and is now prototyping several science exhibits and museum collections in Second Life. Tab's research at Montana State University blends student culture, architecture, art and music into a learning mashup that extends beyond the classroom to promote sustainable community.

Featured in this image is a panorama of educational highlights in Second Life, including the NMC Symposium, the Testis exhibit and much more. These research highlights were included in last week's Tour of Second Life landmarks.

While most of the exhibits focused on tools and SL education at universities, the K-12 community recognizes that the future is here. The USDLC offers teacher conferences, curriculum and content development in Second Life.

Interested in cool rezzers and science in education? Be sure to check out the StoryMachine and other data visualization tools by Graham Mills (scripts by Troy McLuhan). Graham distributed a copy of it and offered a session during SLEDcc on the Worlds within Worlds.

Due to the wonderful educational discussions, I did not get a photo of every exhibit, and recommend that you visit the SLEDcc 2008 wiki to see the podcasts, Flickr photos, blogs and other media that depicts the state of education in Second Life.

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