Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Episode 20: Teaching in a Virtual World

Episode 20: Teaching in a Virtual World

Episode 20 of "Teach with Tech" features an interview with Sarah Robbins, an instructor from Ball State University. Also known as Intelligirl, she was recently featured in an Associated Press article in the Indiana Daily Student headlined "Teacher Uses Online Second Life for Classes: Students take classes, interact via cyberspace." Now students interacting via cyberspace is no big news...here at IU, we've been doing that since the early nineties, and I'm sure the same is true at Ball State. But what Sarah is doing is a bit different from just having a course website, using listservs or discussion forums, or using learning management systems like Oncourse or Blackboard. She is using something called a multi-user virtual environment, specifically a program called Second Life, which allows students to meet online in a 3D world with visual representations of themselves called avatars, which interact in a constantly evolving, user-created universe of objects and places. Her teaching and research have been featured in articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the New York Times and USA Today. In the episode, she shares her experience teaching in this unique environment and provides suggestions for other instructors, both secondary and college level, who are considering trying out Second Life.

Related Links:
The episode is now online and can be found at iTunes and the Instructional Consulting website.

As always, comments welcomed!

Chris

258 comments:

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