Virtual Worlds – Best Practices in Education

I attended the Virtual Worlds – Best Practices in Education conference – which was held in Second Life.  No registration fees, no hotel rooms to book, and I could attend sessions while sitting on the couch next to my cats.   Not that I don’t love in-person conferences (I’m lucky enough to be attending two this year).  But for a lifelong-learning junkie, this was just more icing on the cake.  Besides, I only found out about it two days before it began, and I was still able to attend – how many times does that happen?  🙂

In one session, I learned about the “Stories of Conne River Project,” a collaboration between Memorial University’s (Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada) and the Miawpukek First Nation.  Their website describes it as “an innovative project aimed at preserving and sharing the history and culture of the Miawpukek people of Conne River.”  The project includes resources and activities available on their website, a DVD, and also a virtual recreation of a historic Miawpukek community, every detail of which was researched and built in the 3D environment of Second Life (clothing, artifacts, dwellings).  The VWBPE presentation focused on how the participants used Machinima (a way of “filming” in Second Life) to create a film (story written by Chief Mi’sel Joe) called Muinji’j Becomes a Man.

The project will launch on March 31, 2010, but if you want to see some clips from the Machinima film, go visit their page here.  The “world” where it was filmed exists in SL (and on the Teen Grid as well).  Think of it – how many times do you get to see a documentary or a film, and then go to the set and interact with all of the elements?  What a way to learn!

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About Paula Montrie

I am a Middle School Librarian at Friends School of Baltimore. I have been a librarian for 11 years, serving 6 years with the Howard County Public School System before arriving at my current school. I teach two classes: SpeechCraft (a combination of information literacy, public speaking and theater), and Media Literacy at the middle school level. I also collaboratively co-teach with a number of teachers at the school, including Music, Geography, and U.S. History. I love it! My professional interests are: information literacy, multiple intelligences and learning styles, teaching through movement, curriculum-writing, technology integration, and bridging the gap between digital natives and digital immigrants. My personal interests are: dancing, singing, knitting, sewing, art, living history, writing and of course - reading!
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2 Responses to Virtual Worlds – Best Practices in Education

  1. ktenkely says:

    As a fellow lifelong learning junkie I totally understand the appeal! Once again, I am feeling pulled to Second Life, I am so intrigued. Time is still an issue, maybe come summer?

  2. Paula Montrie says:

    I agree that it takes a substantial commitment of time at the beginning! If and when you do decide to delve in, let me know and I’ll help you through. I let everyone know what I was doing and discovered lots of friends who really held my hand through the initial learning curve. There are also lots of groups in SL (ISTE, Librarians of SL, Info Island, EduIsland, Distance Educators, Teen Educators, etc.) that have programs and mentors who are a tremendous help. It took me a large chunk of time over our “snow days” to get the hang of it. But once I had the basics down, whole worlds opened up to me.

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