Formal Learning in Virtual Worlds: Affordances of virtual worlds to educators

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Formal Learning in Virtual Worlds: Affordances of virtual worlds to educators. April 7, 2010 Ann Louie Lomboy. Introduction to Virtual Worlds Affordances of Virtual Worlds for Learning User created content Design of Virtual Worlds Research in Virtual Worlds - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Formal Learning in Virtual Worlds:Affordances of virtual worlds to educatorsApril 7, 2010Ann Louie Lomboy

reflectionsApplying what we know now Introduction to Virtual Worlds Affordances of Virtual Worlds for Learning User created content Design of Virtual Worlds Research in Virtual Worlds Identity and Body Image in Virtual Worlds Culture and Communities in Virtual Worlds Embodiment and Embodied Cognition in Virtual Worlds2Applying Beals and BersPurpose provide an educational environment addressing the video game generationCommunication online chat with students and teachers internationallyParticipation classroom, after-schoolPlay quests, missions, units || time travelArtifacts avatar, online portfolio and homepagesRules structured environments || avatars, notebook

Quest AtlantisWhat does it mean to know, and how do educators best support learning?


Quest AtlantisFor more videos:

5BackgroundOriginal funding from NASA and the National Science Foundation3D Multi-user virtual environment, immersing students, ages 9-16More than 44,000 children on six continentsDemonstration of learning gains in science, language arts, and social studiesQuests, chats, weblogs, novels, comic booksProfessional developmentFamily questsBackground (contd)Quests are associated with the McREL Content Knowledge standards for education. Some cases are specific state standards such as those for New Jersey and north Carolina. Implemented in after-school as well and in the Boys & Girls Club. QA is supported by NSF, MacArthur Foundation, NASA and Food Lion. Teachers supported through these grants have access at a highly subsidized rate. NJ and NC receive services free of charge.



ResearchersQuesters3D Interface of Quest AtlantisQuest AtlantisWebsite

Compassionate WisdomBe Kind

Creative ExpressionI Create

Environmental AwarenessThink Globally, Act Locally

Personal Agency I Have Voice

Healthy CommunitiesLive, Love, Grow

Social ResponsibilityWe Can Make a Difference

Diversity AffirmationEveryone MattersTaiga National Park

Taiga is a national park in which the fish population hasbeen declining. The park is populated by several groupsof people who use and/or depend upon the river insome capacity. In an attempt to find solutions to theproblem, Ranger Bartle has asked your students to takeon the role of a Field Investigator, tasking them withgathering data, analyzing that data, and proposingsolutions to the problem.

Students will first meet with Abby, who will talk aboutwaterquality indicators as she works with her fish tanksin Cinder Creek. After this initial lesson, students willtravel to Taiga to apply their new knowledge to thecomplex problem facing Ranger Bartle They willinterview stakeholders in the park, examine water qualityin different areas of the park, and develop ahypothesis about the cause of the fish decline. Travelingto the future to see the impact of that decision, Questerscan reflect upon and reevaluate their initial hypothesisand develop a new plan that might better balance theneeds of the environment and the stakeholders.

Voices"I really like that this is 3D and you wander around and do real stuff. I also think it is cool that all these people are real and actually living in Africa right now, talking about these issues."Jody 5th Grade Student

"When asked if this was more like a game or more like school, one girl responded: "This is more like a game than school." When asked if she plays video games, No, I think video games rot your mind! This is different. This is fun because it teaches you something."Lisa 7th Grade Student

"I like using Quest Atlantis because I get the chance to explore lots of different worlds."Maurice 4th Grade Student


River cityInteractive computer simulation for middle grades science students to learn about scientific inquiry and 21st century skills.


River cityFor more videos:

13BackgroundOriginal funding the National Science Foundation for an interactive computer simulation for middle grade science students to learn about scientific inquiry.ActiveWorlds, Inc. vendor who developed the virtual world platform for middle grades (6-9). Students travel back in time to the 19th century to understand why residents are becoming ill. Access to the simulation, curricular materials, professional development and just-in-time assistance are free of charge to schools. Background (contd)Meets the National Science Education Standards in five out of seven contents. 17 hour, time-on-task curriculum that includes a pretest and a research conference at the end of the unit. River City provides support to the students as they: Learn the principles and concepts of scienceAcquire the reasoning and procedural skills of scientistsDevise and carry out investigations that test their ideas Understand why investigations are uniquely powerful

City BlogBirds Eye ViewRiver City

Kents InterestIn River City, students interact with Kent Brock, an investigative reporter for The River City Telegraph, a newspaper. Together they work together to uncover the increasing sickness in River City.

Kents interest is to find out more about the students ability to provide: Explanation accuracy Interpretation meaningfulness Application effectiveness Perspective looking for critical awareness and credibility Empathy looking for sensitivity, be understanding of Self-Knowledge looking for self-awareness; what he or she knows they know and dont know.

In addition, students are to independently write an evidence-based scientific report to the Mayor of River City of their findings that will include explanations of why so many residents are ill and recommendations of how to alleviate the problem by drawing on their River City expereinces. Understanding QASocially responsive type of design work that involves building sociotechnical structures that are explicitly designed in collabroation with, and toward the continual growth of, individuals and those communities in which they are nested. Triadic foundation design work that forges the intersection of education (designing for understanding a) experiential learning b) inquiry-based learning and c) portfolio assessment)), entertainment (engagement), social commitments (change).Understanding QA (contd)Metagame refers to a genre of play in which there is an overall structure that lends form, meaning and cohesion to collection of nested activities or games, all of which have their own identifiable rules and challenges. Flexible adaptive design processes that allow educational products to be designed in a way that strikes a balance between complete control by designers and easy reconfiguration by teachers and other stakeholders who will use the products. QA CharacteristicsAdvances a social commitment support children in developing their own sense of purpose as individuals, as members of their communities and as knowledgeable citizens of the world.Connections to standards from its inception it has been grounded with academic standards.Online metagame strategy establish a rich environment that sets up a meaningful context of participation.3D technologies create an immersive experience and to support real-time collaborations, engaging children and teachers in use of advanced technologies in a manner that organizes educational content.Engaging girls a population that too often has been ignored or overlooked in the design of computer-based environments.QA Characteristics (contd)6. Flexibly adaptive curriculum supports local adaptation that allows each participating site to customize the experience in a way that meets its local needsMultidisciplinary focus with QA being a metacontext that brings together content form multiple domains including science, math, reading, social studies, and language arts. Builds connections with most of its quests requiring that participants leave the computer to gather real-world evidence, thus helping to establish connections among children, parents, schools, after-school centers, families and communities. Transformational Play To understand how individuals and environments develop, push on, and change one another through meaningful inquiry (Connell, 1996; Dewey, 1938; Dewey & Bentley, 1960)Strategy for situating the learner and curricular content within a play context. Positions students as active protagonists who interact with game characters and virtual environments to identify and solve personally meaningful problems. Children are transformed into empowered scientists, doctors, reporters and mathematicians.Transformational Play (contd)Based on student knowledge, the game world is changed. As an example in a curriculum, children might decide to focus on erosion as the cause of water quality problem, thus remove loggers from the park. This changes the result of the storyline where it improves the river quality to some extent but leads to financial bankruptcy for the park. In design, it involves experientially situating students and concepts within a virtual world. Design Narratives (QA)Bind content with person by creating legitimate dilemmas that can only be resolved by accurately using disciplinary formalismsBind person with context by positioning players as agents-of-change whose intentional actions have impact on the context and storylineBind context with content by highlighting the consequentiality of ones actions through contexts that change in response to students decisions.

reflectionsApplying what we know now Introduction to Virtual Worlds Affordances of Virtual Worlds for Learning User created content Design of Virtual Worlds