Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Literary exercise in SL

I was reading an account of an exercise by an educator (who teaches English in Real Life) carried out in Second Life (SL, the virtual world). Students had to draw a literary term (from an object called "Pete the Spider") and then find a definitions for that term on the web, rewrite them in students' own words and cite the original sources, then hide the definitions for others to find. The aim was to get students acquainted with the terminology and also to encourage good practice as regards avoiding plagiarism and citing correctly. This is obviously similar to Real Life (RL) exercises but with a playing-with-objects etc. side to it. The exercise is described in: Levine, A. (2007) "An Overactive Teachers Buzz!" NMC Campus observer, 27 June.

There is a transcript of the session at; you can easily generate a transcript in SL by setting it to record all chat and messages to a file. This session is actually a transcript of some other educators joining in and learning about the activity. It is interesting to read, though it also reminded me a bit of Joyce Grenfell (in her famous schoolteacher sketch with the catchphrase "George - don't do that"), in this case "No Chauney, not yet" or "it is ok to Google, but you must always at least place in the URL of where you got it".

Thank goodness there aren't transcripts of all my teaching sessions. However, when I do things in SL it will be a valuable tool in reflecting what went well or not so well. There is information about the Literature alive project here. The NMC (New Media Consortium) home page is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: A view of the New Media Consortium (NMC) Second Life campus, taken from the skylift to the Boardroom - that's me sitting on the left.

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