Thursday, July 26, 2007

Are Virtual Worlds the Future of Our Classrooms?

"Are Virtual Worlds the Future of Our Classrooms?" This is a fantastic article that highlights many virtual worlds used in classrooms around the globe.

Let me highlight a few from the article:

Harvard University's "River City" is a MUVE that involves a society in the late 1800s that's in political and environmental disrepair--kids must figure out why residents are falling ill. Harvard's School of Education is in talks with several urban school districts to introduce the software to tens of thousands of schoolchildren this fall. "Instead of teaching slash-and-slay mentality, 'River City' teaches kids to be scientists through the technology," said Edward Dieterle.

Quest Atlantis, a downloadable MUVE developed at Indiana University that focuses on an ancient culture, will be introduced to 50 new classrooms, or between 10,000 to 20,000 students, in New Jersey next fall, according to Indiana Associate Professor Sasha Barab, who specializes in learning sciences and instructional systems technology.

Privately held companies like Pasadena, Calif., Numedeon, makers of Whyville, are also finding it easier to lure new sponsors. In the next month, Toyota Financial Services will host a Whyville loan center to help kids learn about FICO scores and interest rates in order to borrow money to buy a virtual Toyota Scion to drive around the world, according to the site's co-founder and president, Jennifer Sun. (Driving a Scion became a popular activity when the cars were introduced in Whyville in April.) Children in Whyville earn "clams" through activities and games, and use that virtual money to buy face decorations for their otherwise plain avatars. Then, they typically socialize with peers via chat, bulletin boards and the city's mail system.

The article only lists a few and did not mention Teen SL, but is a great resource and mentions some other 3D educational worlds emerging.

Regards till my next posting,

Dembe :-)

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About Me

Cyber, World, United States
Dembe is an international educator that is a member of ISTE and EDUPODCASTING. SHe has created this blog for research and development as well as to document and make SL easier for other educators. Below, please check out the Educator's Survival Pack. It is designed to help new educators entering SL and Teen SL to Teach.

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