Masters of the metaverse!

For once I was pretty well stumped for words – that’s because I was able to spend a day seeing leading innovation in education – the future really! Myself and two CEO teachers (members of our Learnscope project), Martin and Dean, travelled to Wollongong to participate in a Second Life event. Dean’s IT trainee also attended online with his own avatar.

For me, this was a first, and a day I would not have wanted to miss.

Congratulations to NSW Learnscope for the fabulous regional event Go Virtual 07- Teaching and Learning in Virtual Worlds for VET.

This was a ‘mixed world’ event – participants in the room, mixing with participants from Australia and around the world – attending the conference in a meeting space prepared specially for the event in Jokaydia. You should teleport to Jo and Sean’s meeting and conference location in Jokaydia, and check out all the fabulous presentations available.

Of course, we met and heard from the masters of the metaverse Sean FitzGerald and Jo Kay. Their Second Life in Education Wiki is a fabulous resource. What can I say – Wow! :-)

We also had a fantastic analysis of SL work from Angela Thomas (aka Anya Ixchel in Second Life) from University of Sydney. Angela teaches English Education at the University of Sydney. Her research interests include digital cultures, new media literacies, multimodal semiotics and digital narratives. Angela has reviewed the event at Go Virtual!

 

We heard from the Learnscope e-Learning team – what an awesome job they have been doing. I certainly felt like the poor cousin from the school sector :-(

Joining us for a panel discussion, we heard from Alan Levine (New Media Consortia). Damn it! I was so gobsmacked by this stage of the day, I didn’t even realise I was hearing from CogDog, fellow blogger, twitter and general blogosphere guru pal. We also heard from Nick Noakes, Centre for Enhanced Learning and Teaching in HongKong.

Well for once we can grumble. While my schools have no access problems for anything Web 2.0 – Second Life is another thing. We have a few keen teachers ready to begin the exploration of this future form of learning. Let’s face it – it is not that much in the future. A year, two maybe? When we have figures like 15 million, and 20 million in asian countries actively involved in virtual social networking – how can we not begin to research the educational frameworks of virtual worlds?

I’ve been asking for over 12 months now to have work access and get a project going. Now we have young teachers like Dean who are adept at embracing and making best use of these technolgies. I’m not sure why we aren’t including the metaverse in our conversations about innovation – particularly now that it has been ‘voice activated’.

Yesterday those ‘in world’ saw and heard exactly the same as those in the conference room in Rydges – that’s because we all engaged via SL – and talked, saw presentations displayed, watched movies that highlighted particular points – and then socialised in that environment. OK – that part is different. I got in trouble for setting off rockets! But Dean gave me a cocktail to calm down. Thanks Dean.

Dean has already provided us with an opportunity to listen to Sean’s keynote presentation. A bit sketchy, but ideal while we wait for more. Go and listen on TeacherTube – pure gold!

Dean, Judy and Martin ‘inworld’ are asking “So when do we start?”