Monday, December 8, 2008

static vs dynamic

Many thanks to Lynn Roder (in SL) for visiting with the kids inworld. We're still only five in at a time, but having an extra person there for the kids to talk with helps. Since Lynn is actually at a computer 3o miles away from our classroom, the kids have to use text to chat, a skill some of them still find challenging to initiate when the chatbar disappears. But they're learning how to get it back and move on.

I titled this post "Static vs Dynamic" in reference to my classroom vs what's happening inworld. Several times all the students, plus myself and Lynn all stand in one spot. From Lynn's perspective it looks quite static. Nothing is happening, no one is talking. Perhaps one person is editing his/her appearance, but that's all.

But what she can't see is what's going on in my classroom, with several kids clustered around each computer, calling out questions to each other about how to do this or that or, my favorite, "Hey, look at me! I made a new outfit!" or "Hey, watch me fall off this building." I'm afraid the stereotypes are holding true for several of them at this point. Several of the boys don't care what they look like. They spent one period playing with their skin and/or hair and now are ready to jump to some other activity. And several of the girls are interested only in trying on every new piece of clothing they can lay their hands on.

Yes, the majority of the kids lie somewhere in the middle -- both male and female who just want to explore and have fun. Right now I'm not really giving them structured lessons, although they do get a prize for each activity they complete (10L that they're going to need down the road). In fact, when I had them blog about whether they wanted structure or exploration, most chose exploration as their preferred learning style.

GTG-- this is fun!

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