Friday, August 22, 2008

GenX vs Millenials

There's been an ongoing discussion in the SLED listserve concerning students and Second Life. The gist of the discussion has been the difficulty in getting students excited about doing business, taking classes, socializing...basically interested at all in using virtual worlds. While the listserve's discussion centered around SL, it has branched out to other VW's as well (sorry...I type that shortcut for Virtual I the only one who sees it and immediately thinks "Volkswagen"?).

This article, however, puts things into an excellent nutshell. While fairly general (not much room in those nutshells), I found it to be an interesting concept. Have Gen X parents have robbed Millenials of the opportunity to create?

As I begin the school year with only a general outline for this course and a few set lesson plans, I will have the freedom to adapt the lessons as I go. Feldspar Epstein's article is one I will share with the students to get their opinions (and I already know I have some VERY opinionated students in the class who will not be shy about saying what they really think! ). Am curious about their learning process...and if the premise of the article is true...this has wider ramifications for education than just learning via a virtual world!

(edited to add: I've also done about an hour's work on the wiki for the class today...arranging pages, adding links, general clean-up).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sorry for not posting recently...I've been away on vacation. Needed to take some time away from the computer and revist the real world. :)

I've been keeping up with the assignments for my wiki summer camp, learning how to use the security features and how to invite kids to participate who don't have email addresses. Our school provides free email accounts to every single student, but I often have kids who either just don't see a need for email (with Facebook, why would you need one?), or whose parents don't want them to have one (although they will often let their child get a school one because of the stringent filters we have). Every year I have to build wait time into the curriculum before I can use whatever Web 2.0 system I'm trying out (messageboards, Moodle, wiki) because I can't sign students in until they have an email account.

But now, with this new feature of PBWiki...I can be ready to go within days rather than weeks. Once I get my list of students for the Virtual Worlds course, I can just put their names in and voila! In fact, I can be up and running before the first class even meets. A VERY cool time-saver! And, since I'm planning to post all the journal assignments there (and have students keep their journals online), being able to have access right away is a wonderful option.

Off to answer emails...


Monday, August 4, 2008


I've mentioned that I'm working over at PBWiki taking a course this summer in how to use the wiki more effectively. Well, I just want to share that the wiki I'm creating for the Virtual worlds course is one of three wikis mentioned as an "awesome completed assignment"!
Since the wiki is closed to all but those of us in the course, I've attached a screenshot as proof :).