Suffern Middle School in Virtual Worlds

A running account of the process of the proposal, acquisition, development and integration of a virtual presence for education at Suffern Middle School, Suffern, New York, USA.

Suffern Middle School in Virtual Worlds

A Special Ed Class Takes the Leap…

January 28, 2010 · No Comments · Musings

I must say…this Second Life experience is great! My 6th grade special ed students are learning this virtual world much quicker than me. Not only are they hands on, they are learning critical thinking skills, navigation, cooperation, attendance is almost perfect (big thing for us) among many other skills. The students are teaching me and the confidence that gives them is beyond great. I have one student with major speech issues. He has a very hard time communicating.. so he doesn’t. But on Second Life, this kid becomes alive, I’ve never seen him smile so much and get so excited about school. My whole class has asked for library passes during lunch, who gives up lunch? Kids that are having fun while learning in Second Life..all teachers should get their students on..make the time, it won’t be lost.
Proud Special Ed Teacher

One of my teachers has brought her 9 special ed students into Second Life this week.  Understanding the special needs of these students- I was prepared to slow down the pace, deliver chunks of content in a model/execute model/execute method -and it was a good way to begin.  But, true to the virtual landscape, it wasn’t long before the kids felt the confidence to extend their knowledge through self- discovery and peer mentorship!  We have been working together for a week or so now- and the kids are truly remarkable.  Every discovery in world is met with delight and the kids have been cooperative, focused and just plain fun to be around!  They are now building simple objects and next week we will be starting a literature project.  More to come but in the mean time I asked the teacher for a reflection…

“I must say…this Second Life experience is great! My special ed students are learning this virtual world much quicker than I. Not only are they hands on, they are learning critical thinking skills, navigation, cooperation, among many other skills, and attendance is almost perfect (a big thing for us).  The students are teaching me and the confidence that gives them is beyond great. I have one student with major speech issues. He has a very hard time communicating… so he doesn’t. But in Second Life, this kid becomes alive!  I’ve never seen him smile so much and get so excited about school. My whole class has asked for library passes during lunch. Who gives up lunch?  Kids that are having fun while learning in Second Life!!  All teachers should get their students in..make the time, it won’t be lost.”

Proud Special Ed Teacher

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