OK – Thursday we gave the kids their accounts, assigned a few minor “housekeeping ” tasks for them and – what eles but the grid was down for updates! I heard one frustrated student exclaim “Well, I hate Second Life already!” I explained the nature of the grid to them, the frequent updates, and the reasons for them. We watched some very cool machinima – and they left.
Regardless of the fact that I remember going through similar days last year – it was very distressing for me to watch the kids lose their sense of excitement and anticipation – but, nonetheless I started out today with a positive outlook – and we began again.
This time , they all logged in successfully and this year the kids seemed to grasp the basics in half the time that it took the kids last year! Within ten minutes I had kids who were changing textures on clothing, using gestures and animations – and the best part of the day was when the same student who complained that he “hated Second Life” yesterday – was actually building and had changed his avatar completely! I asked him how he knew so many things and he said – “Oh, last night I logged in from home and figured it all out” Now he is a peer mentor and one of SLs biggest fans! Another bright spot was when one of our students who was absent today logged in from home – the evidence is already emerging; they just want to be there —-All four classes today wer full of laughter and a sense of wonder – loud for sure, and Diane and I just toured the desktops in awe –Build it, and they will learn.
Monday we begin the project and all they know about it so far is that they will need to have the skills to alter their avatar’s appearance. Hehehe – wait till they get going –
The skills they will be asked to apply on Monday:
- joining a group,
- creating a note-card and delivering it to the teacher’s inventory,
- taking and saving a snapshot,
- managing their inventory
- changing their appearance
All this will happen while they begin their exploration of “body image” and self-worth”. From wat I witnessed today in terms of exploration and participation – we are on our way.