Thursday, December 2, 2010

Second Life Tour

After about a month of exploring Second Life, I started exploring educational opportunities that this could provide. Although I am a Elementary Education Major, I do understand that science can be used at these levels as well. Science is important at all levels, and exposure to more complicated concepts is not a bad idea. I can see that most of these would be usable at around 6th grade. There are definitely some complicated concepts, but the visuals are just too interesting to not show. Second Life can become a powerful tool, with the collaboration of educators as well as designers, Second Life could provide virtual field trips that would not be possible otherwise. Seeing a huge strand of DNA, is not only exciting, but also more powerful in memory.

This tour is suited for K-12 science. While there are a few islands that are more suited for high schoolers, many of the areas have interesting tours for all ages. This covers space, biology, as well as oceans and dinosaurs. The islands will cover varying units in which a student may learn about over the year. The aim of this subject would be about 6th grade general science. the ocean locations would be used with an ocean unit while the space ones would also be part of a unit.

Oceans/Prehistoric Life
Ocean Auditorium
This location is great for walking around underwater! you will see a variety of plant and ocean life!

Abyss Observatory
Take a tour of an underwater station! The ride down takes about 5 min utes, but you are given the depth and pressure as you ride. The bottom provides facts about the ocean and the station. Great representation of how we really do explore ocean life.

Dinosaur Park
Take a tour of the park or visit the museum to see 3d models of some of the most popular dinosaurs! Seeing these animals to scalewill allow students to appreciate the true size of these animals.

Monolithe Biome
Here is a location that is great for learning about the organisms that live in pond water! stand on the giant microscope to learn about the bacteria and the microscopic organisms!

Cell Island
Island that holds all sorts of facts about cells, from nucleotides to lipids, this area holds a great deal of information!

ACS West Wing
Awesome area that gives facts about different chemicals as well as a look at your second life dna! great area for chemists and biologists!

Spaceport Alpha
Great area to learn not only the history of spaceflight, but also a fun place to see scale models of some spaceships!

Science Museum
Information about black holes and the solar system are found in this area! neat place to learn about the solar system!

NASA colab exhibits

Area created by NASA! Houses models of rockets as well as a tour through a planetarium!

Part of this Island is dedicated to the rotation of the earth around the sun! Quite a few exhibits to see eclipses
or just see how the earth rotates!

This project would be used as a year long resource for the different units covere. The two bigest uses would be for cells and spcace exploration since, those are hard to explore without the use of tools like this. I am really excited aboutthe use of space within second life.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Online gaming can save our world?

MR. Rein's blog provided a look into virtual gaming in education. While watching the video of Jane Mcgonigal, it was obvious that many of the people were skeptical about some of the ideas she presented. Some of the ideas she presented ranged from collaboration, achievable success, and positive thinking. Using motivation such as feedback and challenges that can be met at each person's personal level, sounds very familiar to anyone that has been in an education class. While some of the justifications sounded stretched, they truly can work!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lincoln Elementary School Visit
After Visiting Lincoln Elementary, I was impressed at how well those young students used the technology they have been provided with. There were 3 major pieces that i found very interesting.
The first was their math programs. Students were building bridges using this program and were predicting how much weight their bridge could hold. They were likely at the 4th stage. They were using this project by themselves with little help from the teacher. The tutorials were also self led.
Each teacher had personal websites that students could use to make their own blog or share information with. Along with the blogs students had their own Google docs account which allowed them to share their information with other students in a variety of ways. This was also stage 4 because students were using the technology as part of their work.
The last piece was the video show that the students run. Students were able to create a news show that was shown every Wednesday for students across the school to see. This is also stage 4 and the teacher was likely there to guide students rather than direct. To make most of these projects go up a level, students would have to have multiple choices to show their work, and decide to use these by themselves.