COMMUNITY - About our Community and how to Join In
We are just starting out, with a mission to address the current trends and needs of educators who are adopting and pioneering virtual spaces in education.
V-LEARN MISSION STATEMENT
The CCon V-Learn Initiative seeks to:
We invite you to join our listserv, send us links and descriptions of your projects, whether they be in the experimental prototyping stage or deployment to student populations, attend our conferences and events or co-author papers with other members of the community. You may also be interested in the Related Special Interest Groups of the Contact Consortium.
A Mailing list has been established for the VLearn community. You can join this list by following the instructions at the list signup page. Once you you have joined this new list, please introduce yourself by answering the following (very general) questions:
As an educator and a new Board Member of the Contact Consortium, I have stepped forward to help initiate this non-profit endeavor to encourage more support for educators and students who use virtual spaces. I strongly believe that virtual 3D environments - interactive and immersive shared online spaces -- offer a new model for online education. This model addresses the need for collaborative, constructivist education, and a student-centered, instructor-mediated curriculum. Online learning has shifted the role of the teacher from expert/controller to the role of facilitator/coach. Students need to have a higher level of motivation for successful computer-mediated learning. Thus, an important challenge of distance learning is the need to develop higher order thinking, problem solving, communication, presentation, and collaboration skills. Online learners need project-based learning opportunities that bring together many skill sets and help students teach other students by example. The "Virtual World" environment is already demonstrating its strength as an effective medium for this richer online learning experience. Many educators worldwide are now exploring the potential of this environment in educational settings. The question is, who are they? What are they learning about this medium? and ... How do they know what others are doing?From my point of view, the most urgent challenge of the V-Learn initiative is to generate a community of educators who can provide a
public forum of interest and experience in the application of these new technologies. Our shared experience will help ensure that others will
not have to "re-invent the wheel" and will have easier access to the resources we hoped were available when we began our own pioneering
efforts. In this young field, the need for evaluation and assessment is also critical. I hope that this list will become an important step in
this direction, providing a forum for discussion and reflexivity that will encourage a faster rate of collective growth as we explore the strengths and limitations of the educational use of virtual spaces.