At the beginning of second semester in the 2012-13 school year, 19 creative high school AP Environment students, one visionary science teacher and 2 very excited IT Teachers launched an incredible project at TEC Island: The Museum of Solid Waste. This particular teacher had partnered with students in this project in previous years, but the creation of the 8 stations exhibiting research findings as part of the museum were shared as 2D representations either on project boards or in digital presentations. This time, students created the museum in a 3D environment at TEC Island in Second Life. All stakeholders worked together to provide completion through an orientation environment, active learning of building and scripting skills, providing resources as needed to create the stations of the museum and coaching throughout the process, both in person and virtually. Students worked in cooperative groups. Upon completion of creation of the museum, the class and teachers participated in a group tour of the virtual museum where the creators of each station presented their research findings, as students were responsible for knowing the content from all stations. What did we observe and learn? Students were excited, engaged and creative. They voluntarily offered assistance to one another. The process provoked thoughtful discussion about the real world issue of solid waste, especially as it affects our local area. Pre and post assessment showed a higher percentage of students scoring satisfactory and higher than in previous year. Later in the year when the teacher assigned a project where they would choose from more traditional digital presentation tools, students expressed the desire to complete the project at TEC Island.
November 16, 2012 · No Comments · Uncategorized
SLEEC had the privilege of participating in an ISTE SIGVE Connected Educator event, August 21, 2012. This 90 minute session, hosted live in Second Life and World of Warcraft, was broadcast into YouTube via Google hangout for participants to attend in-world or via the video stream. Six educational groups provided virtual field trips to their campuses introducing teachers to a variety activities keeping educators connected using virtual environments. Watch the broadcast here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXAFmqhDd5k&feature=plcp
August 20, 2012 · No Comments · Uncategorized
During summer break, on a platform high above SLEEC Island, a group of Escambia County School District teachers participated in a course entitled Teaching and Learning in Virtual Environments. During the 12 hour course, we researched, discussed and experienced how virtual environments support project based learning and facilitate authentic learning experiences. We visited educationally purposed sims such as Genome Island to learn and test ourselves on the parts of the cell, International Space Flight Museum to ride the rocket to the planets, and the Univ of Idaho CALS Isle of Financial Capability an educational simulation to learn about personal fiscal health. We experienced first hand pure immersion of projects such as The Fires of Genocide, a projected created by educators from Seminole County Public Schools. Teachers explored various communication, presentation and assessment tools they and their students may find useful in their virtual classrooms and spent time developing basic building skills. Finally, we participated in a sample curriculum project in the student role. During reflection discussion that took place upon completion of the course, teachers shared their enthusiasm and intent to develop the framework for a project their students could create as a part of their curriculum during the 2012-13 school year. We will be offering the course again soon and are excited to begin working with additional teachers and classrooms this year at TEC Island (Teens of Escambia County).
April 19, 2012 · No Comments · Uncategorized
If you are are interested in how K-12 students are demonstration understanding of curriculum standards through virtual world builds, you will want to join us for Escambia County School District’s Virtual Innovative Teaching and Technology Summit @ SLEEC Island, April 28th, 2012 from 6:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. slt. These sessions will be presented simultaneously in our
Virtual Environments Playground as a part of our annual ITTS featuring
innovative K – 12 educators:
- Keynote Address: Parenting 2.0: How to Help Parents in a Web 2.0 World – Rita Oates (aka Rita Swansen);
- Understanding the Holocaust Project – Andy Wheelock (aka Spiff Whitfield);
- Building New Realities in Virtual Worlds – Diane Lewis (aka K9 Kidd);
- Creating a Virtual Learning Environment; Mary O’Brien (aka Serena Offcourse), Blake Bourque (akaTechplex Engineer) & Paul LeBrun (aka Paul Skowhegan);
- Project Based Learning MUVES into the Classroom – A Panel Discussion of Escambia County School District Science & IT Teachers : Steve Conley, Kelly Hered, Davene Meehan, Kasi Rhyne, Lauren Thurman & Lori Weedo.
For more information visit the VITTS Website. To sign up for your free Second Life account please go to the SLEEC Blog and click on the Getting Started tab at the top!
March 13, 2012 · No Comments · Uncategorized
“Epic is being able to attend a virtual conference with cutting edge participants, brilliant bleeding edge presenters and the opportunity to explore engagement, immersion and NPIRL* education. (Not Possible in Real LIfe) Now in it’s 5th year, the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference, held in-world(s) and across many gaming platforms, is the place to learn specifically how innovative educators use virtual worlds and games to impact student achievement. The VWBPE schedule, offers a wide variety of presentation & poster sessions on various virtual environment platforms, virtual tours of educational sims, a machinima fest, as well as offering the opportunity to experience various gaming platform with a guest account. And, don’t miss the social events where you will have time to collaborate and just enjoy good time with educators worldwide. Take a minute to peruse the schedule. There is something inspiring for everyone. Hope to see you this weekend at the VWBPE 2012 Conference!
February 17, 2012 · No Comments · Uncategorized
February 2nd, 2012, we began a new four week professional learning series at SLEEC Island, “Raising Digital Citizens”, which focuses on the digital character traits we would like to see both in our teachers and students. It is an daunting tasks, choosing only four areas to focus on within such a broad topic during these digitally social times. Session #1 was a broad overview of the topic provided by Yamis Jewell, SL (Dr. Amy Fox-Billig, RL). Amy, a high school computer science teacher at Valhalla High, New York, presented how she infused the components of digital citizenship into her curriculum, which includes time in world on Jokaydia Grid. Session #2 in the series was presented by Grace Ting, Engagement Manager for Edmodo, a secure social learning network for teachers and students. Through the use of this web 2.0 tool, teachers can connect with communities of educators focusing on specific areas of interest in education. For their students, teachers provide a moderated online environment for students to interact with others in their group/classroom, providing practice in the use of etiquette and 21st century skills. Teacher created assignments, quizzes, polls, as well as the ability for both teachers and students to upload digital content to a storage backpack, make this an excellent environment for students to begin adopting practices that will create a desirable digital footprint. Session #3 in the series focused on internet awareness and effective searching techniques. Sue Stevens, Instructional Technology Teacher on Special Assignment, from Escambia County School District, brings vast experience in acquisition and evaluation of information from her background as a librarian in higher ed as well as a media specialist in secondary and elementary schools before coming to the district as a professional learning trainer. She shared strategies for teachers and students to narrow searching to locate desired information on the web as well as how to determine validity of information. We also had the opportunity to scan and discuss what we liked about recommended sites targeted for specific types of searches as well as those for specific age groups. Great resources were shared during this session. Session #4 is scheduled for Thursday, February 23rd at 6:00 p.m. SLT. It will focus on guidelines for the use of digital print, images, and sound and sites that provide resources for proper and safe use of these types of files. Come join us at SLEEC Island.
September 26, 2011 · No Comments · Uncategorized
Finally, the long awaited day arrived for educators of Escambia County School District, on August 24, 2011. Our student environment, TEC Island (Teens of Escambia County) was delivered! We have a plan! We are working with a pilot group comprised of six visionary 8th grade science teachers. After an initial informative meeting, we spent an entire day together immersing these teachers in Second Life, visiting science sims, observing various methods of delivery of information, experiencing simulations, and taking note of types of assessment tools. We will meet virtually with these teachers, with stipend provided, during the remainder of the this semester, and teachers also commit to spend an extra hour inworld following each meeting completing an assignment. During these meeting, teachers will learn skills such as terraforming, building, management of parcel and group, using Moodle/Sloodle, and using teacher/assessment tools. Beginning second semester, our teachers will engage in a project based learning class, during which they will plan their first projects prior to students entering TEC Island later in the semester. Watch for changes on TEC Island as these excited and dedicated teachers prepare to empower their students to discover and share new knowledge in a engaging new world.
September 25, 2011 · No Comments · Uncategorized
Quite some time ago, we were privileged to meet John D. Ross, while presenting at FETC about our district’s beginning professional development program on SLEEC Island. As an instructional designer with expertise in educational technology, he was looking for new trends in delivery of online PD. He had heard of educators using Second Life, but felt it was new and was waiting and watching. After our conversation, he became convinced he had to give Second Life a try. After exploring and attending SL sessions both at SLEEC, VSTE and other educational islands, we met in world to discuss our program and our future plans more in depth. Our program now includes formal PD series where teacher complete followup activities, evaluation of the program, and receive inservice points counting toward state recertification. We are excited that our program has been included in his new book, Online Professional Development: Design, Deliver, Succeed! Our thanks and gratitude to John Ross, RL/JR Quander, SL for seeing and sharing our vision, understanding the possibilities and joining the educational metaverse!
June 24, 2011 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized
Are you a Virtual Educator who can’t get to the ISTE 2011 Conference in Philadelphia on June 25th-28th? No Problem! SIGVE (Special Interest Group: Virtual Environments) speakers presenting in the SIGVE Conference Playground June 27th and 28th will be streamed into ISTE Island.
Location: ISTE Island SIGVE Playground
Take advantage of the wide variety of fantastic, talented educator who volunteer to share their experience using virtual environments in education!
Seats are unlimited, there are no traffic jams and no high hotel and travel cost! Just grab a cup of coffee and your favorite snack, put your feet up and join in from the comfort of your home!!! Hope to see you there!
February 10, 2011 · No Comments · Uncategorized
Thursday, February 10th, Second Life Educators of Escambia County (SLEEC) launched a four week professional learning series, entitled “iTeach with iPods & iPads”, at SLEEC Island in Second Life. This four week series meets Thursday evenings, at 8:00 p.m. central time (6:00 p.m. SLT). Our first session on Feb.10th was presented by Chris O’Neal, a nationally renowned educational consultant and featured speaker, as well as a former elementary and middle school teacher and tech director. Chris shared useful information including research supporting handhelds, experience and lessons learned, and the following web resources: iPod Wiki , Research on Mobile Learning, Learning in Hand, iPod Educator Ning
The second week in the series, Timm Hackett of East Carolina University, presented on the use of the iPad and it’s many apps supporting education as well as those useful for personal management and productivity. Timm shared many resources, including the Apple in Education site. I am sure the app store sales volume increased as he spoke. Week Three , ECSD IT Teacher, Sue Stevens spoke about how the iPad and it’s apps fit well with Project Based Learning. She shared examples of how specific apps were used to create student projects. of projects as described in this Learning in Hand video. During our 4th and final session, Chris Smith, Thailand Educator and creator of International Schools in Second Life, challenged us to continue networking and sharing ideas among ourselves as we lead the way piloting new programs with new technology. A panel discussion followed, comprised of educators from various Escambia County School District who shared success stories, best practices and strategies using iDevices with students.