Saturday, December 13, 2008

pondering metaverse learning

Reading through a few blogs of others interested in math education, I came across the pioneering efforts of the cool cat teacher to promote online citizenship in a 3d web world (something like second life) among her students. In particular, this blog post outlines some of her key thoughts on the idea. I'll copy of her list of possible advantages teachers can promote for students who learn through an online 3d world:
  • You can go places that can't be visited today.
  • You can overcome stereotypes.
  • Student collaboration
  • Project-based learning possibilities
  • Role playing [think: trying out possible future careers]
  • Potential for group synergies
  • Storage, legacy, and global audience
  • Scenario simulation [think: virtually perform dangerous chemistry lab experiments]
  • Digital storytelling
I don't see mathskool starting out with a major role in the 3d web, but I think these are great ideas towards the evolution of technology and teaching. I expect that many of these possibilities can't come to full fruition until some aspects of the 3d web have improved, such as better bandwidth for the average student, better graphics processors in the average computer (that is moving along nicely, thanks partially to video games :), better user interfaces for online interaction (right now I feel that there's a too-huge gap between how natural it feels to "be" online vs reality), and better systems to enable safe yet open environments for young people.

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