Skoolaborate is a place for teens to create and be part of a global educational community. The Skoolaborate islands are a private education project on the Teen Grid in Second Life, having been established in 2007. Teens are the primary builders of the island while teachers and students together run, host, and organize learning and social events.
Our boys at St Joseph’s College have been invited to consider joining a small co-curricular program which will allow them to create an avatar and join the students from other schools around the world learning to work and play in this immersive 3D virtual environment. This program will integrate curriculum and digital technologies into unique collaborative learning experiences in a virtual 3D environment. This is cutting-edge technology, and represents an important development in learning technologies for the 21st century.
Several universities in Australia and around the world have established or are working to develop learning programs within the Second Life environment, and there are also a number of Teen Life projects in the education sector in the UK and the USA. Skoolaborate is the first Australia Teen Life project with partner schools from USA, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan.
I believe that our boys will have a tremendous opportunity to explore and learn to manipulate 3D virtual environments. They will develop programming and visual design skills. They will have the opportunity to collaborate on global curriculum projects, and interact with students in different cultures and different environments. Finally, our boys will also learn to create machinima – taking established techniques from traditional film-making and applying them to the virtual environment of Skoolaborate.
Creativity, technology and innovation is at the heart of Skoolaborate – providing a technology rich and very 21st century learning experience for my students.
Here is a video that is a machinima production about the creation of virtual environments, and which demonstrates the blend of technology, music and art, showing the technical scripting and 3D techniques, which makes learning so exciting and different in virtual environments.
Watch the World at Youtube, or for those who have YouTube blocked at school I have loaded the video here – let it begin to load, then play and enjoy the magic!