Nine years old Second Life is the world’s largest inventory of virtual learning objects. There are more than 12 000 identified “learning places” in the virtual world. This causes the abundance of a shortage for teachers, who are looking for materials they need from this wide world.
The presentation will give a new pattern for implementing the virtual worlds to daily schoolwork. The scope is teachers in service training and the new methods to deal with the over coming information and the huge number of new learning objects.
The gallery presented is free and international so all the participants can take the gallery in use at once.
The research results of the project are also encouraging and give the experts and teachers new information of the teachers’ in-service trainings problems and practices.
In our project, we have more and more frequently confronted with teachers who are despair with time and have lack of courage. Very rare teacher has time and encourage to explore in Second Life to learn the basics (like how to move, communicate and teleport) or to find interesting places and contacts on their own. That’s why the huge ocean of potential the Second Life offers, is not used by the teachers. Yet more and more teachers are interested in to use virtual worlds in teaching, as the generation of diginatives spend much of their time there.The teachers have created worldwide networks which share for example links to lesson plans and ways of educational use of Second Life. Also, Google will easily find long lists of good places down, but who working teacher has the time to explore each link, visit the place or simulation and study, where in the learning material is curriculum suitable?
As a solution we have built the “Discovery of Another World” -gallery on our High School Island (Lukiosaari), which helps and advises teachers to work in Second Life. The key principle is to give “How-to”- like information to teachers and lower the step starting to use virtual worlds in their own teaching. Gallery consists three main parts. First, it contains the basic instructions for use, move and live in Second Life as well as prints screens and short bursts of video clips. The instructions operate self-study basis, and are simple and clear.
The second section are subject specific learning paths to Second Life’s educational offerings. Paths shown on video explanations and also contain clear examples and tips on the subject for the curriculum implementation. The teacher can find out more info about the specific learning places shown on the video from the link subject based board. Each link will also be presented with colleague’s teaching carried out experiences and the examples of the implementation instructions.
The third section is called “Campfire –area”, where one can organize meetings and training sessions. The Campfire has also an interactive guide service, where you can leave questions, or if the guide is there present the questions to him in real time. In this cosy campfire location we arrange training sessions for teachers in our area.
The “Discovery of Another World” –gallery is developed now also for the international use by using video clips and icon –based instructions. This will connect the gallery to several international school projects and give the teachers and students possibility to learn the skills of the Second life easy and meet and work virtually together.
Link to the Gallery: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Lukiosaari/231/218/24Löytöretkillä toisessa maailmassa, vol 1Lauri Pirkkalainen & Petri Lounaskorpi (toim.),5/2013, 16.5.2013