Migrating Towards K12 in Virtual Spaces: Second Life Lessons Learned as Higher Education Meets Middle School Students
Wednesday, March 9 12:10-12:30 PM
Abstract: Working with homeschooled middle school students, the author piloted an essentially-online six-week informal-science project mediated through a private Second Life island. Seven students worked within a technology-rich, social and instructional network that included Second Life interactions, online instructional resources, a private website for sharing and networking, and a contest-like virtual final project presentation to fellow participants and to pre-service-teacher judges. This report outlines the initial Action Adventure Project which proved: to be highly engaging, often to the point of disruption; to require ongoing instructional adjustments; to generate innovative ways of communicating the complex project requirements; and, to use evaluation techniques as a form of guidance as well as assessment. The lessons learned are being integrated into next phase of the pilot that will expand to a public school population.