Preferences for Learning Spaces?

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Preferences for Learning Spaces?

John Jamison-2
Hi everyone,

A question for those SL folks who use the platform for classes and places to gather with your learners...any responses would be greatly appreciated!

If you had your choices, what would the ideal 'classroom space' be like in SL?  

For example:

- Would it be a 'traditional' space, like an actual classroom? 

- Would it be 'open' or 'closed'...meaning would there be something like walls to confine the view and distractions...even if those 'walls' were rocks, or trees, or elephants, or something?

- Would there be 'seats' of some kind, or do you prefer a more open and free-moving space?

- What kind of 'tools' might be there? Presentation board, attendance taker, notecard giver/collector, chat-recorder, 'games', etc?

- Would you want the ability to create objects there, or to have your learners create objects?

- Would you use SL voice?

- What else???


Feel free to add any other thoughts or ideas...that would help create your 'perfect learning space'.

Please reply to my email address with any thoughts:   [hidden email]


A huge "Thanks" to any who will respond!!


John/VB



--
--
John Jamison, PhD.
[hidden email]
217.416.4506

LMS
http://www.imagilearning.net

Scoop-It
http://www.scoop.it/t/imagilearning
http://www.scoop.it/t/old-time-radio

Skype: virtualbacon
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jjamison

Second Life
"Virtual Bacon"
http://slurl.com/secondlife/imagiLEARNING/187/70/22/


“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” 
― Albert Einstein



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Re: Preferences for Learning Spaces?

LeftHandWrite
Hello John,

From a student perspective:
I would say an ideal learning space depends on what the nature of the "lesson" involves. 
If it is a session that involves sharing a lot of material, passing around documents, using slideshows and whiteboards, sharing external links, then a setting where the students are sitting in a stable, minimum distraction space would allow them to keep track of all the information flow. Exploration and wandering students in that kind of situation could make it a little more difficult making sure everyone is getting the same info and experience (because of chat range and region crossings and avatar imposter rendering and trying to drop files on avs while they are walking around). And I do think the idea of a class space is more interesting when enclosures come in the form of elephants as opposed to walls! 
 
On the other hand when the session is more involved with understanding a general concept, introducing theories or exploring ideas, especially when they are highly visual or physical, an open space or even moving session can be very helpful and demonstrative, and can take advantage of the immersive nature of virtual environments. 
Tools that I have appreciated as a student are chat recorders, collaborative whiteboards (or collaborative sticky notes), mindmapping tools and followers/cam followers which can really be helpful and necessary in moving lessons. Also inventory givers and droppers, and maybe a small rezzing area. 



On Friday, November 14, 2014, John Jamison <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi everyone,

A question for those SL folks who use the platform for classes and places to gather with your learners...any responses would be greatly appreciated!

If you had your choices, what would the ideal 'classroom space' be like in SL?  

For example:

- Would it be a 'traditional' space, like an actual classroom? 

- Would it be 'open' or 'closed'...meaning would there be something like walls to confine the view and distractions...even if those 'walls' were rocks, or trees, or elephants, or something?

- Would there be 'seats' of some kind, or do you prefer a more open and free-moving space?

- What kind of 'tools' might be there? Presentation board, attendance taker, notecard giver/collector, chat-recorder, 'games', etc?

- Would you want the ability to create objects there, or to have your learners create objects?

- Would you use SL voice?

- What else???


Feel free to add any other thoughts or ideas...that would help create your 'perfect learning space'.

Please reply to my email address with any thoughts:   <a href="javascript:_e(%7B%7D,&#39;cvml&#39;,&#39;john@imagilearning.com&#39;);" target="_blank">john@...


A huge "Thanks" to any who will respond!!


John/VB



--
--
John Jamison, PhD.
<a href="javascript:_e(%7B%7D,&#39;cvml&#39;,&#39;john@imagilearning.com&#39;);" target="_blank">john@...
217.416.4506

LMS
http://www.imagilearning.net

Scoop-It
http://www.scoop.it/t/imagilearning
http://www.scoop.it/t/old-time-radio

Skype: virtualbacon
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jjamison

Second Life
"Virtual Bacon"
http://slurl.com/secondlife/imagiLEARNING/187/70/22/


“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” 
― Albert Einstein



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Re: Preferences for Learning Spaces?

Rolig Loon
As those who have been around SLED for a few years have heard me say before, I came to SL on a dare, having spent 20+ years in the college classroom and another dozen as a senior administrator.  A friend suggested that SL was the wave of the future for higher education.  I doubted her, took the dare, and came.  I have enjoyed every minute of the past 8 years, but have confirmed that I was right in the first place. SL is not well suited for college classes, although the jury is still out on college-level learning writ large.

I'm certainly iconoclastic, but I do not believe that SL is appropriate for traditional "classroom" learning.  If you are hoping for a way to lecture to students, you should stay in a RL classroom with row seating, a whiteboard, and a lectern.  In my view, SL is a world for individual learning in the style of Mark Hopkins and his log or, at the most, small groups of two or three.  Any more learners than that in an area becomes technically problematic and socially unsupportable.  There are too many distractions or, putting it another way, too many more exciting things to do than sit and listen to some professor.  A peripatetic or Socratic seminar will work, and there are excellent tutorials for individual study.  Large, static groups, though?  No.

Tools that replicate what you can do -- and do better -- in a RL classroom are a waste of time, in my view.  That includes whiteboards.  Tools that are designed for and well-integrated into the environment are terrific, or can be.  One of the great attractions of SL is that residents can shape their own surroundings.  That means both the students AND the teachers.  The more that everyone can be engaged in building, scripting, animating, and texturing, the better the experience. SL is interactive, participatory, non-static. Unfortunately, I have met far too many teachers who send a crowd of students in world to explore but don't take the time to learn basic creative skills themselves.  The idea is for EVERYONE to be learning and shaping.

What else?  Voice?  Personally, I dislike it for several reasons.  The biggest reason for using typed chat is that it leaves you a permanent written record of what people said, devoid of the "Er"s, "Um"s, and "Ya know"s.  The next best reason is that typing forces people to THINK first, or at least to slow down.  No endless rambling.  The third non-trivial reason is that people need practice expressing themselves in writing.  There are times when voice does serve a purpose, but when it becomes an invitation to lecture, it loses value, in my opinion. 

So ... an iconoclastic response.

Rolig



On Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 1:35 PM, LeftHandWrite <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello John,

From a student perspective:
I would say an ideal learning space depends on what the nature of the "lesson" involves. 
If it is a session that involves sharing a lot of material, passing around documents, using slideshows and whiteboards, sharing external links, then a setting where the students are sitting in a stable, minimum distraction space would allow them to keep track of all the information flow. Exploration and wandering students in that kind of situation could make it a little more difficult making sure everyone is getting the same info and experience (because of chat range and region crossings and avatar imposter rendering and trying to drop files on avs while they are walking around). And I do think the idea of a class space is more interesting when enclosures come in the form of elephants as opposed to walls! 
 
On the other hand when the session is more involved with understanding a general concept, introducing theories or exploring ideas, especially when they are highly visual or physical, an open space or even moving session can be very helpful and demonstrative, and can take advantage of the immersive nature of virtual environments. 
Tools that I have appreciated as a student are chat recorders, collaborative whiteboards (or collaborative sticky notes), mindmapping tools and followers/cam followers which can really be helpful and necessary in moving lessons. Also inventory givers and droppers, and maybe a small rezzing area. 



On Friday, November 14, 2014, John Jamison <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi everyone,

A question for those SL folks who use the platform for classes and places to gather with your learners...any responses would be greatly appreciated!

If you had your choices, what would the ideal 'classroom space' be like in SL?  

For example:

- Would it be a 'traditional' space, like an actual classroom? 

- Would it be 'open' or 'closed'...meaning would there be something like walls to confine the view and distractions...even if those 'walls' were rocks, or trees, or elephants, or something?

- Would there be 'seats' of some kind, or do you prefer a more open and free-moving space?

- What kind of 'tools' might be there? Presentation board, attendance taker, notecard giver/collector, chat-recorder, 'games', etc?

- Would you want the ability to create objects there, or to have your learners create objects?

- Would you use SL voice?

- What else???


Feel free to add any other thoughts or ideas...that would help create your 'perfect learning space'.

Please reply to my email address with any thoughts:   [hidden email]


A huge "Thanks" to any who will respond!!


John/VB



--
--
John Jamison, PhD.
[hidden email]
<a href="tel:217.416.4506" value="+12174164506" target="_blank">217.416.4506

LMS
http://www.imagilearning.net

Scoop-It
http://www.scoop.it/t/imagilearning
http://www.scoop.it/t/old-time-radio

Skype: virtualbacon
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jjamison

Second Life
"Virtual Bacon"
http://slurl.com/secondlife/imagiLEARNING/187/70/22/


“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” 
― Albert Einstein



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Re: Preferences for Learning Spaces?

Carol Rainbow
In reply to this post by John Jamison-2
I like to have a sandy beach with the sea creeping up on the shore, palm trees wafting in the breeze, maybe a waterfall and flowers... but anywhere with space to move around, without buildings is fine.

Like many others, I can put out seats if we need them, I want to be able to rez a media board, presentation board, artefacts as I need them and I always use voice.

Rezzing rights are critical - I prefer to have rezzing right for my students too.  I don't mind if there is an auto return in case of accidentally leaving something out. 

At times I have really needed several small sound parcels for group discussions but again it is much easier to be able to make them and rejoin the land after use but few landowners would be happy with that. So - space and freedom to use it as I need to on the day would be my ideal teaching area.
Best wishes
Carol

On 14 November 2014 17:29, John Jamison <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi everyone,

A question for those SL folks who use the platform for classes and places to gather with your learners...any responses would be greatly appreciated!

If you had your choices, what would the ideal 'classroom space' be like in SL?  

For example:

- Would it be a 'traditional' space, like an actual classroom? 

- Would it be 'open' or 'closed'...meaning would there be something like walls to confine the view and distractions...even if those 'walls' were rocks, or trees, or elephants, or something?

- Would there be 'seats' of some kind, or do you prefer a more open and free-moving space?

- What kind of 'tools' might be there? Presentation board, attendance taker, notecard giver/collector, chat-recorder, 'games', etc?

- Would you want the ability to create objects there, or to have your learners create objects?

- Would you use SL voice?

- What else???


Feel free to add any other thoughts or ideas...that would help create your 'perfect learning space'.

Please reply to my email address with any thoughts:   [hidden email]


A huge "Thanks" to any who will respond!!


John/VB



--
--
John Jamison, PhD.
[hidden email]
<a href="tel:217.416.4506" value="+12174164506" target="_blank">217.416.4506

LMS
http://www.imagilearning.net

Scoop-It
http://www.scoop.it/t/imagilearning
http://www.scoop.it/t/old-time-radio

Skype: virtualbacon
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jjamison

Second Life
"Virtual Bacon"
http://slurl.com/secondlife/imagiLEARNING/187/70/22/


“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” 
― Albert Einstein



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Twitter carolrainbow
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Skype carolrainbow
MSN [hidden email]
Of course you can always phone me…
07730604651



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Re: Preferences for Learning Spaces?

Granaas, Michael
In reply to this post by John Jamison-2
I am firmly in the "it depends on what you are trying to do" camp when it comes to spaces in SL.
 
I agree with Rolig that what is done well in a physical classroom space should be left in the physical classroom.  I have tried lecturing in SL and it was a disaster.
 
For me the traditional classroom in SL provides a transition point for the educator first venturing into SL.  It provides them with something familiar to anchor their SL experience. (See the SURL in my sig.) At least that was my experience as a newbie--I needed the familiar comfort of a traditional classroom in order to make the transition. 
 
The one good thing that came out of my lecture disaster is that I was in SL long enough to find a couple of things that did work.  (I found a way to transition.)
 
One thing that, I believe, worked very well was small group discussion held in small group chat (not the correct name) with each group including me as a member.  Not only did typing slow down discussion and add some thoughtfulness, it also seems to level the field--the quiet students "spoke" more and the boisterous ones less.    My ability to monitor the various discussions was enhanced (a bit) as I did not need to physically move from one space to another to hear, and my virtual presence appears to have been less disruptive than my physical presence.   And, as Rolig mentioned, I had a full transcript from each of the groups--no guess work involved in determining who contributed and who goofed off.
 
The goal of my ventures in SL was as part of a class on identity in virtual spaces.  Having SL residents who volunteered to discuss their experiences and take students on a "walking" tour of some of their favorite places is something I simply could not have managed in a traditional classroom.
 
I have heard gossip of  history prof who sets up visual aids such as 3D models and photographs before each lecture.  If true he is still delivering a traditional classroom lecture, but he is able to enrich the material with visual aids that he would unlikely have access to in a physical classroom. 
 
I have yet to have a reason to take students on a tour of any historical spaces in SL, but I imagine that doing so would nicely supplement some types of courses.  A course on Shakespeare should spend some time walking through the  Globe(?) Theater to get a visual sense of the setting--something that is not possible from a written description or 2D rendering. 
 
My side efforts at getting my very Midwestern students to interact with the Japanese ESL students who occasionally show up in SL was largely a flop--but the handful of students who did try it reported a positive experience interacting with their peers from Japan. 
 
I did meet someone who was going to try and set up a demonstration of operant conditioning with dogs in SL.  No idea if they pulled it off, but it has been a long time since colleges could afford rats and Skinner boxes to give students experience with operant conditioning--would be nice to at least simulate the activity in a 3D space.  (My understanding is that 2D versions of the activity have been available for quite some time, but they lack a certain realism.)
 
As for gathering spaces, if you are new I have a space just off the NCI South pavilion complete with a couple of traditional classroom spaces (See SURL in my sig).  NCI has helpers on the pavilion most of the day (helping students transition was a many hours/day effort when I tried to do it myself) and they have a large sandbox area nearby.  I also have several largely unused spaces on the mainland available for education.  Others have entire sims away from the mainland and are frequently willing to allow some use.  
 
Michael 
 

__________________________________________________________

Michael Granaas                                           [hidden email]

Department of Psychology                           SL: VRprofessor Resident

University of South Dakota

414 E. Clark St                                             Phone: 605 677 5295

Vermillion, SD  57069                                 FAX: 605 677 3195

 ____________________________________________________________

My Personal Pet Project:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Hamnida/139/62/91 

Free classrooms for educators exploring Second Life

 

From: [hidden email] [[hidden email]] On Behalf Of John Jamison [[hidden email]]
Sent: Friday, November 14, 2014 11:29 AM
To: SL Educators (The SLED List)
Subject: [SLED] Preferences for Learning Spaces?

Hi everyone,

A question for those SL folks who use the platform for classes and places to gather with your learners...any responses would be greatly appreciated!

If you had your choices, what would the ideal 'classroom space' be like in SL?  

For example:

- Would it be a 'traditional' space, like an actual classroom? 

- Would it be 'open' or 'closed'...meaning would there be something like walls to confine the view and distractions...even if those 'walls' were rocks, or trees, or elephants, or something?

- Would there be 'seats' of some kind, or do you prefer a more open and free-moving space?

- What kind of 'tools' might be there? Presentation board, attendance taker, notecard giver/collector, chat-recorder, 'games', etc?

- Would you want the ability to create objects there, or to have your learners create objects?

- Would you use SL voice?

- What else???


Feel free to add any other thoughts or ideas...that would help create your 'perfect learning space'.

Please reply to my email address with any thoughts:   [hidden email]


A huge "Thanks" to any who will respond!!


John/VB



--
--
John Jamison, PhD.
[hidden email]
217.416.4506

LMS
http://www.imagilearning.net

Scoop-It
http://www.scoop.it/t/imagilearning
http://www.scoop.it/t/old-time-radio

Skype: virtualbacon
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jjamison

Second Life
"Virtual Bacon"
http://slurl.com/secondlife/imagiLEARNING/187/70/22/


“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” 
― Albert Einstein



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Re: Preferences for Learning Spaces?

Granaas, Michael
In reply to this post by Carol Rainbow
Carol said:
 
"At times I have really needed several small sound parcels for group discussions but again it is much easier to be able to make them and rejoin the land after use but few landowners would be happy with that. "
 
One land owner has done (or at least tried) to create a permanent location just like you describe:
 
Let me know if I did it right.
 
Michael

__________________________________________________________

Michael Granaas                                           [hidden email]

Department of Psychology                           SL: VRprofessor Resident

University of South Dakota

414 E. Clark St                                             Phone: 605 677 5295

Vermillion, SD  57069                                 FAX: 605 677 3195

 ____________________________________________________________

My Personal Pet Project:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Hamnida/139/62/91 

Free classrooms for educators exploring Second Life

 

From: [hidden email] [[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Carol Rainbow [[hidden email]]
Sent: Friday, November 14, 2014 3:11 PM
To: SL Educators (The SLED List)
Subject: Re: [SLED] Preferences for Learning Spaces?

I like to have a sandy beach with the sea creeping up on the shore, palm trees wafting in the breeze, maybe a waterfall and flowers... but anywhere with space to move around, without buildings is fine.

Like many others, I can put out seats if we need them, I want to be able to rez a media board, presentation board, artefacts as I need them and I always use voice.

Rezzing rights are critical - I prefer to have rezzing right for my students too.  I don't mind if there is an auto return in case of accidentally leaving something out. 

At times I have really needed several small sound parcels for group discussions but again it is much easier to be able to make them and rejoin the land after use but few landowners would be happy with that. So - space and freedom to use it as I need to on the day would be my ideal teaching area.
Best wishes
Carol

On 14 November 2014 17:29, John Jamison <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi everyone,

A question for those SL folks who use the platform for classes and places to gather with your learners...any responses would be greatly appreciated!

If you had your choices, what would the ideal 'classroom space' be like in SL?  

For example:

- Would it be a 'traditional' space, like an actual classroom? 

- Would it be 'open' or 'closed'...meaning would there be something like walls to confine the view and distractions...even if those 'walls' were rocks, or trees, or elephants, or something?

- Would there be 'seats' of some kind, or do you prefer a more open and free-moving space?

- What kind of 'tools' might be there? Presentation board, attendance taker, notecard giver/collector, chat-recorder, 'games', etc?

- Would you want the ability to create objects there, or to have your learners create objects?

- Would you use SL voice?

- What else???


Feel free to add any other thoughts or ideas...that would help create your 'perfect learning space'.

Please reply to my email address with any thoughts:   [hidden email]


A huge "Thanks" to any who will respond!!


John/VB



--
--
John Jamison, PhD.
[hidden email]
<a href="tel:217.416.4506" target="_blank" value="&#43;12174164506">217.416.4506

LMS
http://www.imagilearning.net

Scoop-It
http://www.scoop.it/t/imagilearning
http://www.scoop.it/t/old-time-radio

Skype: virtualbacon
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jjamison

Second Life
"Virtual Bacon"
http://slurl.com/secondlife/imagiLEARNING/187/70/22/


“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” 
― Albert Einstein



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Twitter carolrainbow
Second Life Carolrb Roux
Skype carolrainbow
MSN [hidden email]
Of course you can always phone me…
07730604651



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Re: Preferences for Learning Spaces?

John Jamison-2
In reply to this post by John Jamison-2
Hello again everyone,

First, a huge "Thank You" to those who have responded already to my question about "learning spaces". I wanted to take a moment to respond to a few of those....

One person asked why I requested that responses be sent to my personal email, rather than back to the SLED group itself.  This was purely a judgement call on my part, based on the number of times other SLED members have requested that we not use the main room for individual questions. Assuming that some would not be all that interested in my question, I thought it best to take it "off-line". However, I'm open to responses either way, and am happy to share any of the feedback with anyone who might actually be interested.


Rolig and Michael both commented on the questionable value of using SL for the more "traditional" learning spaces, siting some very fair reasons. They both stress the value of using v-space to do the kinds of things we just can't do in carbon-space...a fair point.


Others have shared their personal preferences for the type of spaces most meaningful to them, along with sharing a number of personal experiences that have led to those preferences.


Again, thanks for all of the responses.

One person simply asked "Why do you want to know this?", which is also a very fair question.


For a quick explanation....

I've been in SL since 2003, and Virtual Bacon has been my digital presence there since '04. I've developed sims for 4 academic institutions I've worked at as an instructor and administrator, and have designed or managed sims for a dozen or so others.  I have created sims for businesses, non-profits, individuals...and a number of grant projects.  I've taught in SL, created a range of 'traditional' and 'very non-traditional' learning activities there. I completed my PhD in SL, researching the experiences of educators as they are first introduced to SL, and how their personal preferences influence their perceptions of the role & value of SL.


That wasn't meant to sound "WHooo Hoo, look at me!", but it was just to say that after doing a heck of a lot of things in SL over the past ten years, my view is that the "best" use of v-space (or any other space) depends ENTIRELY upon the goals of the experience you are wanting to create.

While it is true that having a 'traditional class' in SL is not as technically exciting as a full-blown simulation or game-centric activity, I have participated in many 'traditional classroom' activities in SL that have been far more engaging than just another 'webinar', or another branched discussion on some LMS.  As a few responders have said, I believe that the best modality for any activity depends completely on the goals of the activity.

Sometimes chat works best, while other times I want the more synergistic and free-flowing form of live conversation. Sometimes I want my learners to be actively 'doing' something and experiencing some emotional 'thing', while other times the best thing is for them to 'listen, look and then discuss' as we go through an activity.

In my view, the only unacceptable approach to creating learning activities in v-space is to approach each activity as if it is the same as all the rest, and to begin with any assumptions of what "should" or "should not" be included.  That...in my opinion...is when we get ourselves into trouble.


Now, why am I asking this question anyway?  Over the past 10 years ImagiLearning has operated up to 8 of our own islands in SL, along with those of our partners and clients. We still maintain two islands, and have been happy to share some of that space with a university-partner for the past two years. As I look at our future work, I would like to see about sharing more of our SL space with learning-focused groups, but don't think it is best for me to just try and dream-up what those spaces might 'be'.  So, I thought I would ask.


Thanks again for the responses...and I look forward to hearing more...

John/VB
  




On Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 11:29 AM, John Jamison <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi everyone,

A question for those SL folks who use the platform for classes and places to gather with your learners...any responses would be greatly appreciated!

If you had your choices, what would the ideal 'classroom space' be like in SL?  

For example:

- Would it be a 'traditional' space, like an actual classroom? 

- Would it be 'open' or 'closed'...meaning would there be something like walls to confine the view and distractions...even if those 'walls' were rocks, or trees, or elephants, or something?

- Would there be 'seats' of some kind, or do you prefer a more open and free-moving space?

- What kind of 'tools' might be there? Presentation board, attendance taker, notecard giver/collector, chat-recorder, 'games', etc?

- Would you want the ability to create objects there, or to have your learners create objects?

- Would you use SL voice?

- What else???


Feel free to add any other thoughts or ideas...that would help create your 'perfect learning space'.

Please reply to my email address with any thoughts:   [hidden email]


A huge "Thanks" to any who will respond!!


John/VB



--
--
John Jamison, PhD.
[hidden email]
<a href="tel:217.416.4506" value="+12174164506" target="_blank">217.416.4506

LMS
http://www.imagilearning.net

Scoop-It
http://www.scoop.it/t/imagilearning
http://www.scoop.it/t/old-time-radio

Skype: virtualbacon
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jjamison

Second Life
"Virtual Bacon"
http://slurl.com/secondlife/imagiLEARNING/187/70/22/


“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” 
― Albert Einstein





--
--
John Jamison, PhD.
[hidden email]
217.416.4506

LMS
http://www.imagilearning.net

Scoop-It
http://www.scoop.it/t/imagilearning
http://www.scoop.it/t/old-time-radio

Skype: virtualbacon
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jjamison

Second Life
"Virtual Bacon"
http://slurl.com/secondlife/imagiLEARNING/187/70/22/


“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” 
― Albert Einstein



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