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#8103066 Jul 08, 2013 at 10:56 AM · Edited 6 years ago
Guild Officer
354 Posts
Initial Impression - especially if you haven't already taken a look at the Anne Frank MOOC. From this Machinima, what are you expecting from this course? Do you believe you will have an immersive experience?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOirebeKziQ&feature=youtu.be
twitter @kzenovka
www.center4edupunx
Games MOOC Instructor and Designer
Google + gamesmooc@gmail.com



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#8104358 Jul 08, 2013 at 02:44 PM
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Wow. I have dipped my toes in SL before, but I never got as far as Professor Illuminati did. I think this MOOC guides the participants through the building process, probably ending in a final building project of each participant's choosing (I haven't looked at the MOOC yet, so this really is my initial impression).

I loved the music he used in his trailer. Its quirky quality fit in well with the professor's "wild and crazy idea." I think this MOOC could ONLY be totally immersive.
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#8106764 Jul 08, 2013 at 10:55 PM
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That's awesome! I didn't know you do that in SL!
Al Gonzalez
Middle School Science Teacher
educatoral.com
Twitter educatoral
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#8109499 Jul 09, 2013 at 12:24 PM
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This I found fascinating, I originally expected a single topic from the name and instead found a world of possibilities being recognised, the student building zone may reveals pupils own interests which could then be used to create or enhance teaching experiences in the future. Brilliant idea.
Steven

There are no stupid questions and mistakes are opportunities to learn in disguise
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#8109784 Jul 09, 2013 at 01:20 PM
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You can look at the full website here for this project, it is not in Second Life, Island of Enchantment You cannot go into the world (I have been) but you can see videos, screen shots, lesson plans, the, as we say in the southwest USA, "the whole enchilada!" However, you could buy some lessons through iTunes U.

I don't think you necessarily have to be immersed in a virtual world to have an immersed experience. One of the definitions of immersion is that of "absorbing involvement, and an example would be to go to Russia and only speak Russian to learn it, secondarily, it is defined as, "instruction based on extensive exposure to surroundings or conditions that are native or pertinent to the object of study."

I would hope our members feel that they are having an immersion experience, they are "in the middle of" a collectivist MOOC, where there is information literally coming from all sides, and focuses on gamification, games, and education. So the answer is, "Yes, I expect an immersion experience."

This Games MOOC has not created a virtual world for all of us to enter, of course there is the Second Life island for FRCC and a few other educational providers, but not everyone will choose to go there, and they don't have to do so. What I think this Games MOOC offers is the opportunity to do it hands-on and go to Second Life, but at the same time, through YouTube they offer the opportunity to "tour" several virtual worlds.

Sometimes those tours reminds me sometimes of the movie titled, "If this is Tuesday, it must be Belgium," referring to the fast paced of one of those "ten days, ten countries tours" that were so popular in the 1950s-1960s. However, we really all don't have the time or the computers to download say, two dozen MMORPGs or sites like Second Life, so "If this is Tuesday it must be World of Warcraft." ;) What those snippets or tours do, in real life and in virtual worlds is to let us know where we would like to re-visit for a longer stay where we choose the itinerary and can wander as we please when we want to travel.

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#8109894 Jul 09, 2013 at 01:39 PM
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#8104358 Texan78 wrote:



I loved the music he used in his trailer. Its quirky quality fit in well with the professor's "wild and crazy idea." I think this MOOC could ONLY be totally immersive.



I thought the music worked well too. And, we all need wild and crazy ideas! :)
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#8109908 Jul 09, 2013 at 01:41 PM
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#8109499 Aescrof wrote:

This I found fascinating, I originally expected a single topic from the name and instead found a world of possibilities being recognised, the student building zone may reveals pupils own interests which could then be used to create or enhance teaching experiences in the future. Brilliant idea.



I also agree there are no stupid questions, no one wants to ask a question if they don't want an answer, generally, I defer to two-year old's who say "What's dat," for sport. :) I liked the student building zone too. Nice that this was funded, difficult to get funding for innovative ideas, even though it shouldn't be.
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#8109981 Jul 09, 2013 at 01:55 PM
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Wonderful immersive builds and a great sandbox space for students to test their building skills! I love the fact that to explore Amsterdam you have to read the book first in order to know where to go. That is a great tie in to all media involved in the course.

I am very involved in my university's presence in Second Life where we have two public immersive learning experiences (The Intrepid Healthy Lifestyle Hunter and The Financial Prosperity Quest). Click here for more info. I also use our classroom space for live discussion in my online courses. We view the virtual spaces as another tool in the instructor's tool box. You can do things in the virtual (i.e. travel back in time, solve a historical mystery, eat poorly, or spend your money wildly) that would be difficult or unethical to simulation in a real life simulation.

We have found that students really enjoy learning about nutrition or personal finance in an environment that is interactive rather than from books or lecture. We have this question on our post experience survey. Participants can also try out their knowledge in the simulation without incurring a poor grade or worse damaging their credit score in the real world. Another advantage is the ability to repeat the simulation over and over with the participant learning and applying more knowledge with each iteration. This is something that Salman Khan from the Khan Academy discovered as well with digital instruction videos.
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#8110072 Jul 09, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Guild Officer
354 Posts
I should also share another Machinima that Andrew did last year on the Understanding the Holocaust Project.

http://quietube2.com/v.php/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea4L3iVnTh8
twitter @kzenovka
www.center4edupunx
Games MOOC Instructor and Designer
Google + gamesmooc@gmail.com



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#8112352 Jul 09, 2013 at 10:31 PM
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This looks quite interesting. I would be interested to know what it's being built in (I though I saw some Unity-like screens in the "building area", but can't say for sure). I like the idea of tying the game-world to both a historical time, and a paper book (in the case of Anne Frank), that's really cool. I'm curious how much control students have in building their avatars and in the sand-box. Having worked with 3D, I know how difficult these things can be, and I'm always interested in how people make them simpler so they're more approachable.

As for what I'd expect, I guess I'd expect a history based game. Something where your could explore and, in a limited way, experience part of that bit of history. I'd hope you could have an active experience, and not just be a bystander, but having not played them I'm dubious. I'd expect that the "backstory" was historically correct, so if there is a conflict between people/cultures, that would be a historical fact. I'd also expect environments to be, more or less, historically accurate so if I saw something (a castle of a certain design or materials) those would be something you'd actually find at that time.

I think that, within the games, they could be quite immersive. I can't say that they are, but there is potential. I don't know how these "islands" are framed, as far as what other materials the students use to learn about these time periods. I'd hope there was more than just the games, and games are better at teaching some things than others.

All and all, interesting. I love to hear what they're results are, and what students think about these.
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#8112387 Jul 09, 2013 at 10:49 PM
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I also liked the tie-inn to the book and how you can explore within the city. This must have taken some time to put together. This bring history to life for students and makes it current.
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#8114966 Jul 10, 2013 at 12:08 PM
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#8109981 Diantha_Petrov wrote:


We have found that students really enjoy learning about nutrition or personal finance in an environment that is interactive rather than from books or lecture. We have this question on our post experience survey. Participants can also try out their knowledge in the simulation without incurring a poor grade or worse damaging their credit score in the real world. Another advantage is the ability to repeat the simulation over and over with the participant learning and applying more knowledge with each iteration. This is something that Salman Khan from the Khan Academy discovered as well with digital instruction videos.



I totally agree that immersive learning is the best, and especially when there is zero risk for the participants. You mentioned the Kahn Academy, and for those who don't want to sign in to see all they have, Wikipedia (gasp, yes, Wikipedia) has a nice history and shows the idea of earning badges Kahn Academy on Wikipedia
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#8115076 Jul 10, 2013 at 12:26 PM
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#8112352 blueAppaloosa wrote:


I think that, within the games, they could be quite immersive. I can't say that they are, but there is potential. I don't know how these "islands" are framed, as far as what other materials the students use to learn about these time periods. I'd hope there was more than just the games, and games are better at teaching some things than others.



You have made a valid point. Not ever thing that we can convert into a game is necessarily a teaching tool for the content of the lesson. As an example, and I have been given this by another instructor, "horseback riding," which is actually a totally online class at some colleges. Would a virtual reality game really teach you to walk up to a horse, put on the saddle and go for a trot? I doubt it. However, I expect you could learn the terminology (the focal vocabulary for working with horses) and could be more experienced in putting on the bridal for the first time, and learning to get on from the left, for example, but the actual riding experience could not be duplicated.

Some virtual experiences are really amazing, I am thinking about the Sistine Chapel tour, Sistine Chapel Virtual Tour and Lascaux Cave Paintings, Lascaux Cave Paintings in France both are more experiential and immersive than say seeing the pictures in a book, but they cannot duplicate the experience of standing up and looking at the Chapel ceiling or walking close to the actual cave painting.

I think what these virtural educational worlds can do is encourage couriosity and increased exploration of the materials on the student's own time, after all the goal is really to encourage lifetime learning.
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#8115177 Jul 10, 2013 at 12:47 PM
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#8112387 miggy wrote:

I also liked the tie-inn to the book and how you can explore within the city. This must have taken some time to put together. This bring history to life for students and makes it current.



I don't think any of these projects take a short time, and one is always "tweaking" the program, we see that "wanting to fix that last little thing" or expand, in just doing Power Points. I start working on my presentations several weeks ahead and must spend an hour a day the last five days just reviewing and making very small adjustments.

Something so simple on the face can get complex really quick. I do some contract game testing for a company for iPod apps, and it is nice to see my name in the credits, for testing, rules, etc., but few know how many hours are spent reviewing a game that is in Alpha or Beta testing. I was 50+ hours in the pre-release (past Beta testing) of one game. You need to be sure that all instructions are clear and correct, that if you say that if you click "here" and it will take you "there," it needs to work. The hardest part is when you get a random error that can't be duplicated easily.

I remember in one island in Second Life I found myself waist deep in a platform that was suppose to stop my forward progress, annoying. I think that happens as the blocks are being put together. . . but it detracted from my enjoyment of the game, even though I knew I was "in a virtual world" when something happens like that it halts your immersive experience.
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#8115509 Jul 10, 2013 at 01:52 PM
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"You have made a valid point. Not ever thing that we can convert into a game is necessarily a teaching tool for the content of the lesson. As an example, and I have been given this by another instructor, "horseback riding," which is actually a totally online class at some colleges. Would a virtual reality game really teach you to walk up to a horse, put on the saddle and go for a trot? I doubt it. However, I expect you could learn the terminology (the focal vocabulary for working with horses) and could be more experienced in putting on the bridal for the first time, and learning to get on from the left, for example, but the actual riding experience could not be duplicated. "

I ride horses, and I can't really image teaching someone to ride entirely online. You can learn a lot from reading and watching videos, but dealing with actual live horses never really matches what's in the book.

I've also heard of massage classes taught entirely online. I can't imagine that's really a "full" education there.

I love the idea of using games to teach, but I feel like they're often over-used or used poorly. Games can be great teachers, but they shouldn't be the only teacher for a given subject.
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#8115598 Jul 10, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Guild Officer
354 Posts
#8112352 blueAppaloosa wrote:

This looks quite interesting. I would be interested to know what it's being built in (I though I saw some Unity-like screens in the "building area", but can't say for sure). I like the idea of tying the game-world to both a historical time, and a paper book (in the case of Anne Frank), that's really cool. I'm curious how much control students have in building their avatars and in the sand-box. Having worked with 3D, I know how difficult these things can be, and I'm always interested in how people make them simpler so they're more approachable.



Andrew uses the open source version of Second Life known as OpenSim.
twitter @kzenovka
www.center4edupunx
Games MOOC Instructor and Designer
Google + gamesmooc@gmail.com



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#8122836 Jul 11, 2013 at 09:38 PM
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#8109981 Diantha_Petrov wrote:

Wonderful immersive builds and a great sandbox space for students to test their building skills! I love the fact that to explore Amsterdam you have to read the book first in order to know where to go. That is a great tie in to all media involved in the course.


I agree! I would definitely expect an immersive experience and I also love that it ties the experience and the book together. I think the element of mystery would also engage students - it would certainly get my attention! I agree with the presenter in the video that helping students develop an interest in historical topics can be especially difficult. An immersive simulation would go a long way towards helping them connect with the past.

Last year was the first year that our sixth graders studied ancient history and I would love to have simulations that would introduce them to ancient China, Egypt, Greece, etc. Part of me always gets put off by how much work I think it will be, though! I probably need to look for simulations that other people have started, but I'm not really sure where to begin. I would think that these types of things have been created in Minecraft or OpenSim, but I don't know how to find them.
Kristina Thoennes
Media Coordinator (a.k.a. Library Teacher)
Mooresville Intermediate School, NC

"Never give up, never surrender!" Commander Taggart, Galaxy Quest
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#8125649 Jul 12, 2013 at 12:51 PM
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"Andrew uses the open source version of Second Life known as OpenSim."

Cool, I will add that to my list of "things to check out when I actually have some free time". :)
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#8179667 Jul 23, 2013 at 12:50 PM
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#8125649 blueAppaloosa wrote:

"Andrew uses the open source version of Second Life known as OpenSim."

Cool, I will add that to my list of "things to check out when I actually have some free time". :)



Ha, me too, with four classes for fall in the late processes of being mapped, this MOOC and an online class, and other ankle biting little jobs, I will have to wait for some free time. When I was working in a rapid-ramp start up company, second person hired, mid 1980s, we were working 18 hour days seven-days a week, and we use to joke that the word was "freetime" and we would say it really fast as in "What? I have no freetime for that!" Standing joke.

I do have a Second Life Avatar, "Mouze Warwillow" but only go into it when it is connected with the MOOC or when I take a class in for a special event. Kae did work with one class to create a Day of the Dead Island and then we all went there to see how it turned out, tweaked it a little in real time. She had avatars ready for the students because we didn't have time to build them. It was fun and they did get to see what they had studied, designed and had built.

I will look for the screen shot of the class photo in Second Life, not sure I can find it, but will post here if I do.
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