International Society for Technology Education’s (ISTE) Second Life space provides a venue for educators to network and learn from each other about real-life education opportunities and best practices in Second Life.
ISTE sponsors an ‘in world’ group, hosts weekly networking socials and topical events, and sponsors a twice-monthly speaker series. At their recent meeting (1 pm Sydney time on Tuesday) Jo Kay aka jokay Wollongong was the guest speaker. Jo shared information about the various projects she is involved with in Second Life, including the Islands of jokaydia, where she is supporting a growing community of educators and artists in Second Life who are exploring various strategies for the use of virtual worlds in their practice.
Yep, I’m a resident of Jokaydia – so I went along help out, and to listen to Jo, to share with the ISTE colleagues, and to learn more about educational opportunities or events held on Jokaydia.
The Unsung Heroes
What I was amazed about was the fact that I could attend this meeting – on the third day of work in my new school. In my school district role last year, I was not able to get access to Second Life on the district network. Nor can most schools seem to get this organized. But sometimes we have unsung heros amongst us. The Joeys Head of ICT – Gary Evans – had me up and connected in 24 hours ! Fabulous work Gary. As a result he had time to drop by the meeting, and join Simon and Andy who I hope will assist me in some SL work later in the year. (Normally Gary is in his shirt and tie! like all staff at Joeys- this pic was taken on a frantic non-teaching day).
Perhaps it’s the Marist School that makes a difference. Back in my district of Catholic schools, it was Dean Groom, the Head of ICT at Parramatta Marist College, who made SL access possible – so that the students could join with the TeenLife project, Skoolaborate. Brother Pat at ParraMarist is as passionate about educational opportunities for his boys as my own Headmaster is for our Joeys boys!
In all this, its our IT managers who are the unsung heroes, without whom we could not do all that we do in our schools in all forms of e-learning.
Thanks Dean for all you did to help out last year. Won’t forget to keep reading your blog and learning from your work with your boys. PLUS your hacking of technology objects are the best 🙂
Thanks Gary for all you’ve done to help me out this year already. Joeys is very fortunate to have your leadership. Can’t wait to see what else is possible. Perhaps the sky’s the limit?!!