Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, spoke at an educational conference two weeks ago and discussed the results of their K-12 Speak Up Survey and she summed it up with this:
frustration among students, not just with the lack of technology in their schools, but by the lack of sophisticated use of that technology.
she broke it down saying that students:
- have a growing interest in social-based learning
- want to develop a personal network of expert resources
- are looking for tools that increase untethered learning
- want a digitally rich learning environment, unencumbered by traditional rules
does that sound like anything the OpenSim community can help with?
when Kitely launches its LDAP and email/pass logins, that should open possibilities that can address the issues above! with LDAP i assume you might be able to tie into existing school LMSs like MOODLE and create Kitely access in that manner (i am clueless on what LDAP is and wiki said it was created with old time telephone books?)
budget is always a big deal for schools and OpenSim does need decent computers, but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than the current 3D projector and glasses rage in the US. the example that Kate Booth wrote about with her students in Oz speaks to how engaged students can get with OpenSim – i mean wanting to do OpenSim rather than lunch and recess? dang! =)
for every Kate, Erik, and Rich there are a dozen teachers who are interested but lack the confidence to try it
OpenSim does take a certain level of techiness and Kitely’s new access will help lower that threshold and is a big step to the exploration and adoption of OpenSim in the classroom
another vital step, or perhaps a step behind, is time. Second Life has a big advantage on the time part – people have explored Second Life for several years now and have developed great educational tools and practices (like using SLOODLE to connect to MOODLE). unfortunately, because Second Life doesn’t allow full K-12 access and is so expensive those educational developments were more geared to university
but, in time, we’ll see more widespread educational use of OpenSim and subsequent development of educational tools and success stories which will help ease entry into OpenSim by teachers. Kitely will allow curious educators a way to economically explore the use of virtual worlds (it’s truly staggering the price difference between the two)
i have to give a nod to my subQuark (and maybe i’ll get a box of chocolates today) and give him props for his vision of our Enclave Harbour – one of the suggested solutions from Julie Evans’ conference presentation:
- Virtual labs and lessons that include video, access to real-time data, games, animations, and 3D renderings.
ha! not just 3D renderings – 3D worlds! w00t-a-t00t-t00t! happy Valentine’s! =)