The V-Learn Track of Avatars '99
Saturday, December 4, 1999 - 10:30am to 1:30pm PDT


KevinR: Hello!
Hypatia: Welcome folks
queenbee: Hi Kevin! welcome. I am greeting folks
Hypatia: Since the VDR world is down, we will start the track in here
queenbee: Hypatia! welcome! I am telling folks to click on the poster sign to warp over to the building
KevinR: Well, this is a nice setting. The weather seems nice.
Lucrezia Borgia: :) Hi queenbee: always nice in AW, unless of course you don't want it to be...
queenbee: Hi Lucrezia.
Hypatia: hello folks -- we have the virtual poster session in here
Hypatia: but will start out here on the grass
"dominic": queenbe, i'm
Hypatia: Could everyone just say hi so I can see your names?
virtualmike: hello...still loading here.
KevinR: Hello!
"dominic": studying technology in education right now so this is a great way to explore the tool!
Luna: Hi all Hypatia: please feel free to browse the gallery
Hypatia: while I begin -- if the vdr world works later we will reconvene there
"dominic": my name is dominic sagolla, i'm at Harvard Graduate School of Education studying music educatio nand technology
queenbee: Hi there, thanks for joining us
Hypatia: Welcome Dominic
queenbee: dominic, did we meet at CILT?
Patrick McK: B
Hypatia: Good morning, afternoon and evening. I am pleased to welcome you to the V-Learn Track of Avatars '99. The V-Learn Track is presented by the V-Learn Initiative of the Contact Consortium.
"dominic": yes!
Hypatia: I am Bonnie DeVarco, and although I dislike using "handles" I have finally given up to the practice as Hypatia. I would like to introduce you to the next couple of hours of talks and discussion.
Hypatia: We are privileged to present today a talented and committed group of leaders in the field through short presentations, two panel sessions and a virtual poster session today
Hypatia: including Murray Turoff, Mandee Tatum, Kevin Ruess, Michael L.W. Jones, Margaret Corbit, Susan Mackey, Carol Kerney, Michele Dickey and Kyle Daigle. Our theme this year is "Virtual Worlds in Education - Evaluation and Assessment"
Hypatia: And it is not as boring as it sounds :0)
Hypatia: As we approach the year 2000, the World Wide Web is leaping headlong into 3D. VRML can be found in every chemistry or biology lab site on the web,
katkitty: thank you, queenbee
Hypatia: Shout Interactive features 3D models that allow you to try on clothes from your home, Superscape has its own 3d World Wide Web.
Hypatia: And even through today's CNN story on the Mars landing sound broadcast from Planetfest '99, you can bring up and manipulate 3d versions of the polar lander, Viking, and explore Mars in Cult3D.
Hypatia: Multi-user 3D spaces include Onlive Traveler, BLAXXUN and Active Worlds hosting hundreds of thousands of users regularly.
Hypatia: Educators are now beginning to take 3D more seriously in the delivery or support of online and distance learning. Some of us have been "living" in these worlds for quite some time. But the question is…
Hypatia: Is desktop 3D "worldware" yet?
Hypatia: Using Stephen Ehrmann's term for applications that might not have been developed for education but have become ubiquitously used for it (tools such as e-mail), worldware is software that has come of age.
Hypatia: And if it has, how do we determine how much of it and which to use for education? How do we determine its effectiveness and value? This will be the driving force behind our discussions today.
Hypatia: 1) How can these influences on learning outcomes be measured?
Hypatia: 2) How can we adapt existing evaluative models to the assessment of the role virtual worlds plays or may play in the educational environment?
Hypatia: 3) How can we harness the usefulness and efficient distribution of such learning tools?
Hypatia: 4) How can we develop them together to address the needs of the learning communities of the future?
Hypatia: 5) How can we use these tools for the synchronous and asynchronous cross-fertilization of ideas and objectives that address the needs and potentials of next generation of learners in our global community?
Hypatia: The V-learn Initiative was begun out of necessity. People need resources and they need to find them fast - and find each other in this pioneer field.
Hypatia: Through V-Learn we hope to build this body of resources so these tools can more rapidly serve the learning communities of today.
Hypatia: I would like to introduce my co-conspirator, Margaret Corbit of Cornell Theory Center to talk a bit more about V-Learn. Queenbee?
Luna: *applause*
queenbee: Thanks Bonnie
Daphne: Hello queenbee... *applause applause*
queenbee: Thanks again for joining us today. And thanks especially to Bonnie for all the time and effort she has put into today's sessions. [cue: crowd goes wild]
OrangeBoy: claps
katkitty: claps
Luna: *cheering*
KevinR: [cheering] virtualmike: ditto Grendel:
selda: clap
Hypatia: humble bow
"dominic": yay bonnie!
Allegra Geller: hello
queenbee: our numbers are growing. up to 16 now.
queenbee: I would like to introduce myself. I am Margaret Corbit, science writer and science outreach coordinator at the Cornell Theory Center in Ithaca, NY.
queenbee: The Theory Center is a high-performance computing and research center at Cornell University. I am coming to you today from the woods of Spencer, NY, 15 miles south of campus via my family desktop Dell
queenbee: so now for a bit of logistics, which I have already encountered...
queenbee: --Let me digress here for a minute and point out that many of us here today may come and go at the whim of technology: crashes, lost connections, bumps and bruises in cyberspace.
KevinR: [bracing for the inevitable]
digigardener: hi all
Wolfman: *Wavies*
OrangeBoy: [looks around in fear for his virtual body]
queenbee: --Let me digress here for a minute and point out that many of us here today may come and go at the whim of technology: crashes, lost connections, bumps and bruises in cyberspace.
Luna: [grabs her first aid kit just in case] :-)
digigardener: Hello all
Goodness: Hi bruce!
Goodness: campbell here
Hypatia: Hi bruce
queenbee: digi!
queenbee: I joined up with Bonnie about a year ago in the earliest days of V-Learn and we have been working together as members of CCON to build this consortium focussed on using virtual worlds for education.
digigardener: welcome to the vlearn track
queenbee: My interests lie with desktop VR and especially virtual multi-user worlds as a medium for informal science communication and science education in general.
Speaker04: Hi everyone -- it's Carol Kerney from the BorderLink Project in San Diego California
queenbee: I want to make real data and simulations for fun and games. Or should I say I want people to make them for me? In reality, I depend on programmers and developers who range in age from 12 to 22.
queenbee: Our main project, SciCentr, focuses on research supported by the Theory Center. We have homesteaded both in AW and in AWEDU universes thanks to the vision and generosity of Mandee Tatum.
Goodness: Hi Carol
Speaker04: Hi Goodness
Luna: Yay Mandee!!!!
Lucrezia Borgia: :)
Speaker04: Hi Bonnie
queenbee: We are exploring the use of Active Worlds, VRML, and other interactive multi-user 3D media for making engaging interactive resources on the Net.
queenbee: I believe that the multi-user aspects of these media will allow us to found create places in cyberspace that are unique: for example a virtual science center with no physical analog.
queenbee: Perhaps more important, we are learning how to work in distributed interdisciplinary teams that span ranges of skills, education, ages, and interests
Speaker04: Hi Kevin.
queenbee: At this point in time V-Learn is building community and trying to come up with ways to share our experiences, the workshop last May at Cornell being one of our first efforts.
queenbee: You can access the proceedings of the workshop at
queenbee: Please contact to join and to share your ideas for other activities.
queenbee: Bonnie wanted me to let you all know that I am currently working on a poster for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in February.
queenbee: I will be representing both SciCentr and V-Learn at the AAAS meeting, talking about applications of this emerging and, I believe, converging technology for science education.
queenbee: This will be a great opportunity to meet with science educators and policymakers and introduce them to virtual worlds by presenting a snapshot of the current technology and a variety of applications.
Goodness: I represent the Learning Center at the Center for Environmental Visualizations at the U of Washington today.
queenbee: Great! welcome Goodness. Nice name too!
queenbee: Did I mention the AAAS meeting is in DC this year? Should be a great opportunity...
queenbee: Now, I should hand the baton back to Bonnie :>) ……
Goodness: We work on a virtual Puget Sound and a virtual Juan de Fuca Plate (in NE Pacific Ocean)
Luna: *applause*
Goodness: Great Luna...
Hypatia: Thank you Margaret!!!
queenbee: great Goodness, we should talk about inworld topography, a special challenge
queenbee: So welcome Bonnie
Hypatia: I think we can see that there are already a lot of great things happening in here
Hypatia: I would like to introduce Mandee Tatum
Goodness: Clued in now!
Hypatia: Vice President of Education, Active Worlds
KevinR: [cheers . . . ]
Luna: [whistle, cheer, applause] YAY!
Hypatia: She will give us a little talk about the highlights of the new AW
Hypatia: Education Universe, Mandee?
Lucrezia Borgia: :) thank you Bonnie and Margaret
Lucrezia Borgia: Hi Everyone :)
Dmc2u o: Greetings & Salutations
Internal Affairs: hey all Dmc2u o: {{{{{{LU}}}}}
Lucrezia Borgia: The world you are standing in is a replica of the home world of the Active Worlds Educational Universe...
Dmc2u o: busy day in AW ....:)>
Lucrezia Borgia: A rather unique cluster of worlds aimed at bringing VR into the classroom :)
Simba1: :) Lucrezia Borgia: The Universe came to life out of the urging of groups like V-Learn, and dedicated educators like Bonnie and Margaret
Lucrezia Borgia: who have held steadfast to the belief that VR is a valid educational tool.
queenbee: :-)
Luna: AMEN!
Dmc2u o: Hi queenbee :)
Luna: :-)
Patrick McK: Howdee!
Lucrezia Borgia: The goal of the AWEDU is to provide a space - at a minimal cost - to educators so that they can get their feet wet
Lucrezia Borgia: and get some hands on experience in using Active Worlds in their classroom.
Sajinka: hi qb! :-)
Lucrezia Borgia: Right now we have over 80 participants worldwide - teaching courses and working on projects in something close to 15 languages and 30 different disciplines.
Lucrezia Borgia: And this is just since we opened our doors in August :)
Lucrezia Borgia: Our hope is that by our first anniversary we will be at least 200 strong, and be firmly entrenched in curriculums both K-12 and Higher Ed.
Luna: [whistles, more cheers!]
Hoda: Hi Everyone. This is really exciting.
Lucrezia Borgia: One of our goals for this year, is to begin the arduous process of gathering data, and proving the hypothesis that VR can work in education.
Lucrezia Borgia: And it is our hope that through some of the discussions today, we will begin to find some ways, and spark some interest in getting that process started :)
Lucrezia Borgia: I hope that you will all take the time to download the AWEDU browser, and come take a tour of our universe, take a look at our projects
Speaker04: BorderLink is making plans to establish a world in the Eduverse. It's called LinkWorld.
Lucrezia Borgia: and perhaps join us :)
Lucrezia Borgia: Any questions? Rayman: where do we get the awedu browser
Hoda: I want to participate at my institution but I can't believe the resistance.
Speaker04: Since it's for students, what steps have you taken to provide a secure environment?
Lucrezia Borgia: has the download and application information
Rayman: thanks
Lucrezia Borgia: Good question Speaker 04 :)
KevinR: Who's cataloging the results of research to minimize reinvention of the wheel?
Luna: How do you define "secure" Speaker4?
Lucrezia Borgia: The AWEDU is set up so that there is restricted access to most of the universe, save for a few *public* demonstration worlds.
Rayman: no bucks no buck rogers ....Luna
Speaker04: Only permitted people, no broad access from the public.
Lucrezia Borgia: This way access to the worlds where the students are requires an application to us - which makes each insititution accountable for the conduct of their participanst - and makes it possible for us to easy track problems.
Luna: *nodnod* Just curious, security means different things to different people. :-)
Grendel: have you had many problems to date, LB?
Lucrezia Borgia: Right now Kevin we are looking at ways in which we can centralize the data collection process and make that knowledge available to everyone through one avenue
Hoda: Any suggestions for colleges with firewalls?
Lucrezia Borgia: with V-Learn's help :)
Lucrezia Borgia: Nope Grendel - so far it's been quiet and everyone has been great :)
Speaker04: Yes, QB. How do I do that?
Grendel: super :-)
Lucrezia Borgia: There are ways to work around some firewalls - our tech team can help with that.
KevinR: Great! duc de bretagne: The people who control the firewall can configure it to allow AW to go through it
duc de bretagne: They just have to allow traffic on certain ports
Lucrezia Borgia: Anything else? :)
Hypatia: where do you want to see the Education Universe go in the next few years?
Hoda: I was told that too many ports had to be open and they couldn't accommodate that. Am I being snowed?
Lucrezia Borgia: Into every classroom in the world :)
Grendel: how long does it take to get a world in the Eduverse once an application is received, LB?
Allegra Geller: if its an education establishment, their network person should sort a firewall prob out
duc de bretagne: No. A range of ports have to be opened. It scares security folks :)
Lucrezia Borgia: I want to see us become a thriving community, much like the entertainments ones that you see here....
Lucrezia Borgia: and I want to see our beliefs vindicated and proven by research founded in the early days of the AWEDU .
Lucrezia Borgia: About a week to 10 days :)
"agi": hi duc de bretagne: What kinds of subjects have been taught in AWEDU?
curlytop: hey everyone, this is dominic. i just bought this name-- my first citizenship -- cause this event is so cool
Lucrezia Borgia: There are a range - several k-12 schools are working on class projects to explore world building
Allegra Geller: can you study for real certificates via this?
"agi": hi
Lucrezia Borgia: several architecture programs....
Lucrezia Borgia: Cornell's got great science programs under way
duc de bretagne: What about mainstream subjects such as math or geography?
Lucrezia Borgia: and there are a bunch of foreign language classes being taugh.
duc de bretagne: Ah...
Grendel: I've got a couple of irons in the fire for worlds, LB...we'll be in touch. :-)
Hypatia: desktop vr -- in its best use -- is not a standalone -- even for course delivery
curlytop: right now, i'm trying to convince people at Harvard that virtual worlds are fun for kids
Hypatia: Could you mention something about the uses of hearme Lu? with the worlds?
duc de bretagne: Combining AW with web voice radio should help with foreign languages
duc de bretagne: Right Hoda: I want to use it to humanize my online teaching.
queenbee: Well I have a few anecdotal references for you dominic
Lucrezia Borgia: We aren't offering *courses* on our own, we're allowing schools to experiement and adapt the tools to their present curriculums, and encouraging them to adapt their curriculums to include VR.
Lucrezia Borgia: Well, tools like Hear Me, offer a web-based way for one-to-one or one-to-many (even many-tomany) voice chat, which can enhace the virtual expereicen
curlytop: hook me up "agi": thats what we do too but without the VR yet...
Lucrezia Borgia: Again, please come visit us :)
Hoda: My school is worried about building curriculum around AW and then having to pay a big fee.
Hypatia: a lot of today's sessions can be heard with hearme
Luna: LB, do you think that the voice technology has reached a sufficient level for language learning online?
Lucrezia Borgia: Thanks! queenbee?
Luna: [applause. Thanks LB! *cheer*]
Hypatia: clap clap Lu, will you be available for further questions by email?
queenbee: Cheers for Lucrezia, as usual
Tckaija: I for one can see extremely great possibilities for using voice... there have been many times I wished I could talk to the students in AWU
curlytop: oh, by anecdotal references, you mean ABOUT me?
"Patron Enenmy18": how r u
"Patron Enenmy18": what is ur name
duc de bretagne: I think that there is good potential when you hook up text chat with a good synthesis program
katkitty: Can you follow up on Hoda's concerns?
queenbee: Hahahahah . no dominic, about kids going wild over AW.
"Patron Enenmy18": i dont understand
Luna: even older kids QB *grin*
"agi": hi birdy
katkitty: Can AW technology browse outside content? Will using AW commit the user to AW ?
curlytop: oh, heh heh. yeah, i just know it's going to wow some of my students. the best thing would be to make some games.
"Patron Enenmy18": im not sure
queenbee: Ok, lets proceed into the building and on to the panel discussions
queenbee: you can follow me or just join me in a second
KevinR: I think games are crucial to using VR worlds effectively in education

PANEL #1 -

queenbee: Before we start, I would like to point out the images of our speakers.......
queenbee: Bonnie is digitally dancing in hers, I believe.
Mandee is here somewhere being coy.
"Patron Enenmy18": hi how r u queenbee: for any of you using your 3rd person viewpoint, you may seem to be on the roof.
queenbee: simply switch to the eyeball and you will feel more comfortable.
"aero": pretty good.... when do the speakers start
virtualmike: ah, that's better...
queenbee: took me by surprise, too
queenbee: ok, Today, our first panel is comprised of communication experts who will share their thoughts on the use and value of avatar inhabited virtual worlds in education.
queenbee: I think we should start with Carol Kerney. Ok, Carol?
queenbee: Carol currently leads programs through the San Diego County Office of Education in California.
queenbee: Carol's most recent project is "BorderLink," which will implement innovative technologies including virtual worlds into a network of online support and mentoring for high school students in rural schools taking AP courses online.
queenbee: We are very pleased that she could join us today to update us on her plans for putting virtual worlds to work in the teaching trenches.
queenbee: This session is intended to be informal. Would each panelist please let us know how you would like to work things when you start.
queenbee: I think we have about ten minutes for each speaker and then 15 for open discussion.
KevinR: OK
queenbee: after Carol we will hear from Kevin Ruess and Murray Turoff.
curlytop: i may have missed something... where are the presentations? duc de bretagne: Did you bring visual aids? :-)
queenbee: Well, I am not sure that Carol is online right now, so can we pass the baton to you Kevin?
KevinR: OK. KevinR: I don't have a presentation per se.
KevinR: But I do have some general throughts to share.
"kiko": Maybe you can elaborate on your comment about Games?
KevinR: By way of brief intro. I'm a doctoral candidate at George Mason U.
KevinR: In Instructional Technology
KevinR: "Well, Kik, games are a good place to start.
KevinR: It's been often observed that games are a natural thing to do with computers.
KevinR: Witness the early playfulness on ARPAnet
KevinR: The way kids sit down and get caught up in computer games, Gameboys, etc.
KevinR: The attraction, and flow, stem from the challenge of some sort of mastery.
KevinR: But the fun is what gets kids going. KevinR: To me a lot of the fun is the presentation of an alternate self KevinR: a persona, or avatar
KevinR: [takes a deep breath]
KevinR: Any thoughts, questions, comments?
Luna: I agree about the challenge and mastery being a large factor for students.
Luna: It's great to see a group of students focused on communicating when they are normally shy in the classroom.
KevinR: [nods]
queenbee: kevin, do students acquire content at the same time that they master technolgy?
duc de bretagne: But don't people get enough of that when they engage in recreation outside the classroom?
KevinR: One of the lessons of VR is that it offers an advantage to some students simply by being a different medium
duc de bretagne: What is so special about this technology for learning?
Luna: "that" being communication, Duc?
KevinR: I think mastery of content needs to be treated in the context of the whole learning experience, and (at least for K-12) VR is never going to be the whole learning experience
duc de bretagne: "that" = whatever they master in playing games
KevinR: Thus the educational experience starts in the classroom, journeys to the VR, and returns for a full cycle.
Hypatia: Do you think that 3D is better suited to this type of thing than more text-based environments like MUDs or MOOs?
duc de bretagne: I have the feeling that this environment tends to distract as much as it instructs.
KevinR: Tough questionk Hypatia. I'm a big fan of MOOs..
KevinR: I find text (natural language) to be very rich.
KevinR: for communicating
queenbee: Kevin is a master of expressive chat and has some deep insights into the use and potential of avatars in the educational experience.
curlytop: what i like about moos is that they stretch the imagination and encourage verbal expression exclusively.
KevinR: The 3D will be better for certain kinds of learning, such as those where the content requires a topography for it to be meaningful
duc de bretagne: One of the wags at work calls AW "chat with handpuppets" :) Cute, but a bit unfair.
Schattenjager: Hmmm, but sometimes visual support is a good thing... If not overdone...
"kiko": plus, if kids spend so much time playing games, it may be very useful to take those interactions and apply them to learning. it may be possible that kids respond more to content presented this way, don't you think?
KevinR: and MOOs have been called CHAT with furniture
curlytop: although, for folks who have spent alot of time in text chat, AW can be a real kluge.
Rayman: could u elaborate your last coment Kevin
KevinR: Rayman, if you're studying anything having to do with geography or real 3D objects, then a representation of them should be 3D.
KevinR: This is where a picture is worth a thousand words.
katkitty: There are different ways of organizing thought, related to how thoughts are organised. Visually, Text based, sound based.
KevinR: If you're doing role play simulations, as I do, then MOOs may be better.
Rayman: thanks
KevinR: I have another general comment, unless someone wants to follow this thread more.
queenbee: go for it
KevinR: [looks around]
Luna: just about the text based advantage.
curlytop: i wonder what would happen if you gave text chat some sounds? would that be an interesting medium between VR and moos (pardon the pun)?
Patrick McK: I would have thought that 3D wd enhance role play, as it allows one to get into character easier, by getting into world?
KevinR: Hmmmmm. . . .
Luna: We have a limited amount of gestures in a graphics based environment. In text, we can be more expressive.
duc de bretagne: I think that voice synthesis would be helpful--allow you to turn your attention away from the screen
KevinR: I think the VR has a higher requirement for action, for movement.
Luna: *nodnod*
queenbee: I agree about 3D avs, they just need to be richer.
KevinR: I, for one, find standing here talking rather boring, as if the graphics are really unnecessary
queenbee: right, in some ways. this can be a place for doing things together
KevinR: Changing the topic a bit, I think the biggest challenge is adoption.
Allegra Geller: no voice.. too shy.. if people only wanted voice i'd leave :/
Speaker04: hi queen i am back
katkitty: Yes. Greater virtual control over the VR objects
KevinR: As usual (with all respect for the programmers) the challenges are organizational more than technical
KevinR: A typical K12 teacher has a very tight school year planned in advance and is held more and more accountable to external measures
KevinR: such as state standards of learning, etc. Hoda: My distance students tell me that a virtual session helps them feel like they are in a class. They liked that.
curlytop: ok, i'm sort of a newbie to aw, but i do find messing around with the location and orientation of my av a bit distractng. i keep missing important
chat duc de bretagne: Kevin, what about the use of this environment to teach things like geography and different cultures?
queenbee: Kevin, you have a good point and I heard this same argument 6 yrs ago about the Web.
KevinR: VRs don't have a chance unless we can demonstrate that they dovetail neatly with existing classrooms.
Grendel: the sense of community and shared experience seems to be key, to me
KevinR: Duc, I think it's excellent for geography.
queenbee: I find it easier to approach nonformal educational venues, computer clubs, etc.
katkitty: 2nd, Grendel.
Luna: We have an advantage in Post Secondary education of generally having more access to computer class rooms.
duc de bretagne: We shouldn't forget the great advantage of communication over long distances
queenbee: second Duc
KevinR: I've approached middle school teachers and had them tell me that the VR has to fit into the class time so that kids w/o computers at home won't be disadvantaged
queenbee: and across kinds of institutions
KevinR: There's a lot of concern about the digital divide.
curlytop: ok, that was cool, queenbee
curlytop: [we waved]
KevinR: These issues will pass with time . . .
virtualmike: i wonder if they will though?
KevinR: It takes time for infrastructures to catch up
KevinR: and for people to achieve "fluency" with them.
katkitty: Tech will always be advancing. Where on the advance is it fair to ask kids to be?
Hypatia: During our pilot for the UC College Prep courses, we were surprised at how many of our rural students had better computers at home
queenbee: Kids are achieving fluency before teachers
virtualmike: esp. with respect to standards-based edu, though - standards, IMHO, kill innovation in educational practice...
KevinR: For example, I see my three year old nod her head while talking on the phone. It makes sense to her. We're still doing similar things in our VRs.
Hypatia: Since computing is becoming less and less expensive
KevinR: . . o 0 (don't get me started on standards)
Hypatia: and the new technology supports desktop vr quite well
Luna: *some* kids are, but, others may NEVER have a computer in their home.
Hypatia: The divide is huge, of course but is changing
curlytop: personally, i don't see VR as a plug-in to classrooms. i think of VR as a new classroom that could help to displace the current socialized model of ed
queenbee: Yes, and Carol Kerney will give us an example of using Internet tech to bridge the gap.
Luna: I think it's important to remember the kids who are lucky just to have a home. The digital divide is very real.
Speaker04: I see VR as a natural part of distance education. KevinR: I agree somewhat. And many of the lessons that will best inform those efforts come from research on distance education.
Speaker04: I'm working with a project called BorderLink.
Speaker04: This is a project in two counties in So. California.
Speaker04: The focus is to increase the number of kids who qualify for college.
Speaker04: The students are in 9-12 grade in rural, remote, and isolated high schools.
duc de bretagne: I also see a great potential for subjects that benefit from simulation--e.g. geometry, math
Speaker04: We're using on-line courses, particularly in AP courses, to increase the students' chances to go to college.
Speaker04: ...including support services such as tutoring mentoring, counseling, and links to univerities.
KevinR: [nods]
Speaker04: Our 3D web site (in the Eduverse) is under construction.
Luna: Sorry Speaker... "AP"?
Speaker04: It's called LinkWorld. queenbee: advance Placement curlytop: what use is VR to college prep?
Luna: thanks.
Speaker04: AP means Advanced Placement. That means that high school students do college level work.
Speaker04: They will get college "credit" if they pass the AP test.
Luna: *nodnod* Thank you.
Grendel: do you find that high school students stay on task in VR, or do they simply chat?
virtualmike: who engages in the mentoring/tutoring process? students? faculty?
Speaker04: The advantages of AP are that they provide the students with rigorous course work. Plus they are weighted grades.
Speaker04: Weighted grades means that an A is worth 5 rather than 4 points.
KevinR: Grendel, that's a good point. The students must have a task. . . then they can pursue the goal.
Speaker04: The tutors will primarily be college students.
virtualmike: college students tutoring HS students is a fine educational experience for both parties...
Speaker04: The mentors will also be college students who will engage the high school students in conversations about college.
Grendel: do you have them do much of their own building as part of the learning process? Or do you present pre-fab environments/experiences?
KevinR: That's important because it makes the student's feel like part of a community.
Speaker04: The mentors will share their college experiences and encourage the high schoolers to "imagine" college.
curlytop: aaah, yes, now i m seeing it... VR as extrinsic motvation
Speaker4: do you have a website where we can read about your project?
Speaker04: It's really not about building the worlds -- the content within the world is the focus in our project. Speaker04: Our web site (under construction) is
queenbee: Yes, curlytop, these space and the associated Web sites can be very effective in presenting content
Grendel: I think there is a lot of power in collaborative building...really could get kids involved...and learning
"aero": canwe talk a bit about what components are needed to make a successful educational experience in a VR setting?
Hypatia: since your students are widely distributed, it gives them all a locale in cyberspace to frequent, yes, Carol?
Speaker04: Our 3D site (LinkWorld) is in design stages and will be up in April. It will be housed in the Eduverse.
Hypatia: Kids can learn to use these spaces in the same way as they do the web for webquest and thinkquest style projects
Speaker04: How do you define webquest?
Hypatia: A webquest is a project where students research and analyze web-based information
Hypatia: and present it to other students via the web
Hypatia: the model was designed by Bernie Dodge
queenbee: Well, folks, I am not sure Murray is going to make it, so I think I will throw in some of his ideas here, ok?
Grendel: go for it
Hypatia: sounds good! Thanks Carol
Patrick McK: Will Borderlink have college and high school teachers collaborating on course creation?
Speaker04: Welcome.
Luna: [applause]
queenbee: Thanks, Carol so much. We look forward to hearing and seeing BorderLink in action.
Speaker04: Yes, experienced and exemplary teachers are the starting point for the classes.
queenbee: Maybe even getting repesentations from your students on their experiences?
queenbee: I would never dare to presume to present Murray's ideas. But I can give you some of my reactions to the talk that he provided us for reference.
queenbee: If you click on the image over here by his picture, you will get it.
KevinR: Go for it!
queenbee: I also recommend you review his Web site
queenbee: I was taken by his view that distance education, which includes use of VR
queenbee: is a mode of delivering education. Its quality still depends on the quality of the educators.
queenbee: The avatar is only as good as the human behind it.
queenbee: Although the agents talk offers an interesting twist on that idea..........
queenbee: Ok, thoughts?
Hypatia: important concept!!!
KevinR: Agreed!
Hypatia: these worlds are just expanded tools that can be used in myriad ways
Patrick McK: QB, pls elaborate on agents KevinR: Interestingly this is a primary reason to use Avatars: they offer the complexity of human interaction that can't be convincingly presented (yet) through AI
queenbee: Well, the bots that run trivia games are agents. They respond to you, but they aren't human.
queenbee: I don't think humans can be replaced. The push on the Net is to enhance human/ human interaction, making the computer transparent as possible.
queenbee: Agents are helpers, facscinating ones.
virtualmike: these worlds should be infrastructure for education, no more
Luna: *nodnod* QB, it's been a long haul in education convincing many teachers that we (tech folk) aren't trying to replace them with boxed.
KevinR: AGents are a good way to conduct tours and such where there is little variability in the interaction
Luna: That there is a need for GOOD educators and always will be.
"ritaroqueira": cant move
Luna: [boxed = boxes]
queenbee: Yes, and for presenting content, like games based on achieving mastery.
KevinR: Technology changes the demands for teachers, but many of them realize that it extends their capability rather than replacing it.
"ritaroqueira": thanks, it seems to work ... a bit
Luna: *nodnod* Changes the demands for them AND on them.
duc de bretagne: We also need to think of classrooms differently--not as physical locations.
queenbee: This is why I think it is so important to reach out to the community that is teaching the next generation of teachers.
duc de bretagne: This technology makes more sense for *distributed* classes
"aero": agreed kevin but most teachers i have spoken with don't have the time to learn or the inclination to add technology into their classrooms.
Luna: It also works well for a physical class, Duc.
queenbee: Well, we have a few minutes to wind up. and I think Luna just made a great point.
Luna: *grin* That's what keeps tech folk like me employed. *lol*
duc de bretagne: True. But the technology must do something better than substitute for what we already have, otherwise, it will be ignored.
Hypatia: I think students tend to be far more technologically savvy than teachers, unfortunately -- and they love this stuff, aero
KevinR: Part of the challenge for the ed tech community is defining which components of the accepted curricula are best enhanced by technology and then present sound pedagogical models for them.
Luna: And I'll make that point in the next Panel. *grin*
KevinR: Too often tech is just handed to teachers with no guidance at all.
queenbee: What we do inworld is closely related to what we do in rl and duc makes the point that we can build on that.
Hypatia: much agreed on those points, Kevin
queenbee: moving on to DJ and tinkerbell
Luna: *nodnod* And that's SO unfair to them.
Speaker04: Technology can provide access to resources that are not available any other way.
"aero": true, and giving the teachers some control (allowing them to become avatars) is also crucial.
Luna: Then their administration says "See, it doesn't work".
"ritaroqueira": Do you think that the emotional relationship between teacher and students can be realized in the same way in the cyberspace?
virtualmike: probably a big part of the no significant difference phenomenon...
queenbee: Well, I would like to thank you all for this great discussion and invite you to join us in AWedu
"ritaroqueira": where is AWedu?
duc de bretagne: Thanks to the organizers. Very interesting session
Luna: [applause, cheers, whistles]
KevinR: Rita, in many ways the emotional relationships are much more intense emotionally in VRs than in RL.


queenbee: Now I would like to introduce DJ Party and tinkerbell, two 12-yr-old world developers who will give you a quick idea of their project.
queenbee: DJ, Take over,
DJ Party: Thank You Everyone
"ritaroqueira": KevinR, Im not sure about that.
Hypatia: perhaps because it is more mind to mind?
DJ Party: I am also working on something like Education
katkitty: hi dj, t.
Hypatia: clapping for DJ!!!
DJ Party: I am a 7th grader who believes in online education.
"ritaroqueira": You cant see the facial expressions ...
Luna: [cheers! whistles, applause]
DJ Party: Since many people are looking at the different ways to educate, we decided to take it a step further
"ritaroqueira": Do you think it is possible to offer psychotherapy in VR?
DJ Party: Who everyone can come over my way, I can show you the posters
tinkerbell: hi DJ Party: I am working with queenbee who is a great mind with science
Grendel: hello tink
tinkerbell: hi
DJ Party: I would like to introduce tinkerbell
Luna: [applause]
DJ Party: Well, What we are working on is a way to make a online science fair
DJ Party: A place where students can come make a science fair project in AW as have it totally interactive with bots and web pages
DJ Party: This project is a way how we are trying to show how kids can change the way we think and live "kiko": what do you think having it in a 3D vworld adds to the project?
DJ Party: We couldn't just make reports with pencil and paper, we should experience them
DJ Party: Well, the way we can all look at each other and show how it is emersive.
Luna: *nodnod*
KevinR: [nods in agreement]
DJ Party: This way we can get a project going all around the world not just in our area
tinkerbell: in a 3d world u can interact with a project rather than just look at it
Hypatia: and immersive --- so true!
"kiko": and you can be by your project and answer questions and explanations,,,
DJ Party: Yes, such as Av99 with the booths.
tinkerbell: right
nomad: Plus it would seem that you have the chance, at least at this new phase of vworlds, to get some amazing experts in on the action
DJ Party: Since you can spend lots of time in AW and not do anything
DJ Party: Why not make it education
katkitty: lol
DJ Party: True, we have gotten a lot of people interested in helping out
tinkerbell: so they can learn rather than just gab
DJ Party: Some companies are also interested in helping
Hypatia: I second that!!!
tinkerbell: really????
DJ Party: Yes,
DJ Party: Any questions so far
tinkerbell: college students w/ the more difficult parts
Hypatia: You two represent the source of the future
DJ Party: Thank you
Patrick McK: What kind of science projects have been done?
Hypatia: in some ways you can mentor the educators
katkitty: DJ, what sorts of 'bots' would you have. What would they do? What would you want them to do, that they can not, now?
DJ Party: Well, the projects will be on plants, plant DNA, and genes
tinkerbell: breeding plants for food is the topic
DJ Party: The more complicated the older the people are
DJ Party: Well, Cornell students, have just finished working on a bot that can make a atom
katkitty: =^.^=
DJ Party: You can move the different parts around and then see what they mean
nomad: Have you tried linking with other youth projects, such as nation1?
Buffy S: Hi! :o)
tinkerbell: one of our first participant groups is gonna be from a computer club for underpriveleged kids
DJ Party: Right now we are in the development stages, but yes we will be putting together a advertisement
nomad: great
DJ Party: But, we are also trying to get local schools involved.
Grendel: exciting stuff :-)
nomad: your 'local' means where exactly?
DJ Party: Many schools, such as mine, are getting into VR, getting VR clubs and the teachers are very interested in many ways
tinkerbell: not mine
DJ Party: Local as of now, means New England including parts or NY
Luna: What's your situation tinkerbell?
tinkerbell: i'm in rural upstate ny and our school doesn't have a whole lotta money
DJ Party: We will also hopefully be giving away prizes to the people and computer parts and things to the schools if the school enters a project
Luna: *nodnod* Yup, that's a problem. *nodnod*
Hypatia: do you both know each other physically or just virtually?
tinkerbell: i'm working mostly w/ friends from around the country
nomad: There seems to be a big emphasis on using virtual worlds for science. Has anyone here heard of VW for the arts? DJ Party: Well, I got to go on a little field trip to NY to go to Cornell
Hypatia: yep
DJ Party: But most work is in VR
DJ Party: But I did meet tinkerbell in RL
mjson: besides ACCD world you mean Nomad?
key: I have seen worlds that base projects on art work
Hypatia: Derrick Woodham of DAAP world has a sculpture world -- four years strong in AW.
nomad: exactly, thank you mj
DJ Party: We are hoping to make this a great event and possibly make this an annual thing as well possibly giving education in AW
nomad: thanks H, I'll go look
Hypatia: ACCD world in here is from the College Center of Design Pasadena
nomad: I am from there myself, it is very fun
Hypatia: Wow DJ and Tinkerbell -- your work is fascinating and your enthusiasm very catching!
tinkerbell: thanks
Hypatia: thank you for your presentation -- how can folks contact you?
Luna: [applause]
DJ Party: e-mail everything to
nomad: applause!
tinkerbell: my e-mail
KevinR: DJ and Tinkerbell, can you compare your motivation in the VR to the classroom?
tinkerbell: yes
KevinR: What are some of the differences?
Luna: How would you compare the two, tinkerbell?
DJ Party: I feel more motivated in VR because if you don't like where you sit, move your seat but the ways to teach in VR have more possibilities
tinkerbell: i like vr but hands on can be better too
DJ Party: The fact that in the RL you write a report on paper
DJ Party: But in VR you could make the tomb, explore it and have bots play animals :)
DJ Party: There are a lot of ways we could do things that can't even compare to the real world
KevinR: Do you know any students who dislike the VR? If so, do you know why?
DJ Party: Everyone that I have came in contact with likes VR
DJ Party: You can do "about" everything and more in VR as you can in RL
KevinR: [nods]
Hypatia: Okay folks
tinkerbell: some of my friends think it's weird but everyone here seems to like it
Hypatia: We are ready to move on to the second panel, already a bit late sorry
Luna: Congratulations. Good luck with your DNA project! [applause]
Hypatia: yes applause for our great young presenters - Stuart Gold has informed me that the VDR1 world is open
Grendel: bravo T and DJ!
DJ Party: Thanks "Eldark": [applause]
virtualmike: very interesting... tinkerbell: :o)
KevinR: [cheers enthusiastically]
Den: What is "On Line Traveler" for?
Luna: Nicely done!
Hypatia: If everyone would like to go to their world menu and click AV99vdr1
DJ Party: Thanks
Hypatia: we can begin our next session in the pod proper
2ndChildhood: hi dj Party
Hypatia: is everyone ready to move forward?
Hypatia: great panelists coming up
"ritaroqueira": Move? Where to?
Hypatia: either teleport to the world or join hypatia
Hypatia: AV99vdr1

PANEL #2 -

Immigration Officer: Welcome to Avatars99 VLearn Educators Track (1)
Daphne: Hello mjson...
Hypatia: Welcome Welcome Welcome!!
mjson: hiya daphne
Daphne: Hello.. ppl
Hypatia: We have a new panel starting up now
Grendel: ok, so you are on my contact list...who were you before you became Hypatia? :-)
Hypatia: selda? luna?
selda: yep
Daphne: Hello selda.. :o)
Luna: here. Hypatia: Michael?
virtualmike: hello
Hypatia: virtualmike that is
Hypatia: okay
FatalError: hi Dephne
virtualmike: all here, i think
Hypatia: well welcome to the official AV99 pod
Hypatia: for V-learn Hypatia: new digs
Hypatia: same theme
Hypatia: exciting people...
Hypatia: I would like to introduce
Hypatia: the panel on Lessons from the field
Hypatia: with
Cupcake: Hiyas pepps :p)
FatalError: im here
Hypatia: Michelle Dickey
Hypatia: Susan Mackey
Hypatia: and Michael LW Jones
KevinR: [cheers wildly]
Hypatia: a brief background on each and then we will have Michele lead us with some highlights of her latest research
Hypatia: into virtual worlds in education
Hypatia: Michele Dickey recently completed a doctoral program at Ohio State University in Instructional Design and Technology where she also served as an instructional designer, web-developer, and instructor for the College of Education's first web-based course.
Hypatia: Her dissertation entitled "3D Virtual Worlds and Learning: An Analysis of the Impact of Design Affordances and Limitations
Hypatia: in Active Worlds, blaxxun interactive, and OnLive! Traveler; and a Study of the Implementation of Active Worlds for Formal and Informal Education" focuses on the use of 3D virtual worlds for learning.
Hypatia: She is currently working as an instructional technologist for several distance education initiatives at Otterbein College.
Hypatia: Susan Mackey works for the University of Victoria's Computing User Services. Over the course of the past 10 years Susan has pioneered the use of virtual worlds in language education on her campus.
Hypatia: During her 9 years at the Computer Assisted Language Learning facility she moved from IRC to MUSH then to Active Worlds in search of Internet tools for second language acquisition.
Hypatia: Susan is a member of the International Association of Learning Labs (IALL) and has presented several workshops at their biennial conferences.
Hypatia: and Michael Jones is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication, Cornell University and is a research assistant with the Human Computer Interaction Group.
Hypatia: His current research investigates how IT systems can be designed to support effective collaboration and communication in educational settings. He is actively involved in research and design groups investigating digital libraries,
Hypatia: mobile and ubiquitous computing systems, and collaborative virtual environments. sally: hello mjson, Christina here
Hypatia: Each has found out interesting things that are critical in our understanding
Hypatia: of the value of these environments in education.
Hypatia: Michele, would you like to start?
selda: sure... As Hypatia said, I recently completed my dissertation on 3d virtual worlds
GolderUK: Hi:)
selda: I did a two part study looking at both how the design impacts the user
selda: and how one world AW was used for formal and informal education
"corsbie": Hello everyone
GolderUK: Hi corsbie
selda: for the first part of my study I looked at design elements of three 3D virtual worlds
"corsbie": what is the protocol for this session?
selda: AW, blaxxun, and Onlive! Traveler
KevinR: MOOSE crossing is run out of Georgia Tech by Amy Bruckman. Just search for those on the web. I use the LambdaMOO core for my MOO.
KevinR: OOOps, wrong page.
selda: While each has roughly equivelent design features, they offer very different environments for learning
selda: AW offers an environment more supportive of personal autonmy
selda: blaxxun provides an interesting environment for looking at the development of communites
selda: and Traveler provides many interesting options in terms of user embodiment
selda: The second part of my study focused on formal and informal learning in AW
selda: I had two case studies. For informal learning, I used an RWX object modeling class
selda: This class was offered by Magine (A'tuin) through AW University:)
selda: The second case study was of a course offered through the University of Colorado Boulder's selda: College of Business: ucbcob01 is where you'll find it
selda: What was most interesting about both case studies is the strong evidence of situated learning that was taking place
Scouser: hiya
GolderUK: Hi Scouser:)
selda: in both cases, learning was contextualized within the learning environment.
selda: In the case of the RWX object modeling class, learners had the chance to learn about 3D concepts "within" a 3D environment.
selda: Learners learned about the x,y,z axis by standing on it:)
selda: The same is true of translation and rotation....
"kiko": what kind of class was the UCB one? business? and what did being in 3D add to the exp?
selda: Instead of having concepts explained, learner could construct their own understanding by experiencing the information and interacting with new concepts and ideas
selda: kiko: first, the UCB course was a distance or distributed learning course for beginning business students
Den: Can OnLive Traveler be used within AW?
queenbee: sounds like a job for fluidiom
selda: The 3D environment in many ways served as the interface to the course
"ritaroqueira": Are you equating distance course with distributed learning course?
selda: Each building represented an application students were learning
selda: for instance, there is a MS word building, and a Powerpoint building.
"ritaroqueira": When someone explains a concept, the listener also is interacting with a new idea.
selda: students move from building to building completing assingnments.
Luna: OH! Great ideas selda! *applause*
curlytop: what do you mean by distributed learning course, ritaroqueira?
selda: isn't this great! check it out.
"ritaroqueira": Its some expression selda used.
"corsbie": hurrah
selda: In each building are resources for student to learn in
"ritaroqueira": I dont know why s/he equated that with distance education.
Hypatia: you noted, michele, in your study that there were new and unique opportunities provided in the virtual environs that were different than in physical environs -- could you elaborate?
selda: at the back of each building is a patio for group projects
"ritaroqueira": I'm still not convinced that the opportunities are better than in the physical environs.
selda: Some of the unique opportunities have to do with technology features, such as the ability to log every class.
Hypatia: good point
selda: there are also opportunities to view information from a variety of perspectives.
Hypatia: this session will be posted immediately after the AV99 -- the lovely thing with logging and text....
"kiko": rita --the point isn't that they're better -- the VR just provides now opportunities for immersion in virtual spaces, or for people not in the same geographical place to communicate...
Luna: *nodnod*
"ritaroqueira": Kiko, ok
selda: true and in a setting with both "space" and "Place".
"ritaroqueira": But I'd like to know whether a concept taught using virtual 3D is really better understood or more easily grasped than otherwise.
Den: Thank you. I wonder wow it is supposed to be used?
"corsbie": I have made digital videoclips of my interactions in Cybertown as a way to log both the visual and textual interactions
selda: Information is not necessarily time locked as with video conferencing or tradition classrooms
"ritaroqueira": For instance, learning about rotation ...
"corsbie": no, Lotus Screencam, Premier and Soundedit 16 with a little help from Media cleaner pro
selda: other unique opportunities include provisions of multiple tools for multiple learning styles.
"kiko": I'm curious about having the space as an "anchor" for distance learning students. does the 3D v-space as home base really help?
Hypatia: Selda, thanks for your overview -- do you have your dissertation online yet?
Hypatia: and where?
"ritaroqueira": There are two points here, one about the improvement or new opportunities of interface/interactions
selda: I'll have it up tomorrow...or later today.
queenbee: :-)
"ritaroqueira": And the other whether the 3D environment is really better as a support to teach some concepts.
Hypatia: wonderful....
Hypatia: and Michael Jones, you have been studying VW also, how does your work coincide with Selda's?
selda: (kiko) it *can*, it depends on how it's being used:)
"corsbie": I argue that it provides wonderful contextualization for language learners, with a hyperlinked glossary and color coded gender reference for the names of things in the scene
selda: I don't mean to say I think 3D VW's are better, but they do provide some interesting options
selda: that we should explore.
"ritaroqueira": It would be better to get rid with gender reference in words once and for all.
Luna: good luck rita. *lol*
"ritaroqueira": right, selda/Michele
Luna: but I agree.
Hypatia: I'm glad you have seen some interesting things in 3d
shard: How I would love to be a guinea pig in explorations of language learning in 3d environs. your points sound wonderful corsbie!
Hypatia: because I think people with background in Muds and moos tend to be more suspect of 3d
virtualmike: i agree with the idea of creating immersive environments that offer distinct advantages over other mediated forms of interaction...
"kiko": (sorry, what's Michael's avatar's name, please?)))
virtualmike: here i am kiko
Hypatia: virtualmike is Michael LW Jones
"kiko": thanks!
"corsbie": I would love to. I just fininshed a M.A. thesis on the subject of its potentiality and now Im ready for some exp. case studies
"ritaroqueira": I still think we should think about the limitations of 3D environments when conveying certain concepts.
virtualmike: that's right...and i agree with your last point ritao... virtualmike: i approach these worlds from the perspective of an optimistic Luddite, I suppose.
selda: yes, there are's not a utopia for learning...but an interesting addition
Luna: *lol*. Nice comparison Mike! *lol*
DasseVego: 32meg ram and 183 mhz is not funny to use in AW... ;-)
selda: i think being critical of technology particularly when it comes to learners is very important:)
"ritaroqueira":you may want to use them as a complement to other approaches.
shard: [it's an addition not nearly fully explored in its potentialities, of course, as it seems repeatedly to be designed around traditional concepts of space, time, place, etc. but I'll hush and read now. :) ]
"kiko": mike, what's your webpage, so we can browse as you speak?
Hypatia: why don't we think of these applications as acting in concert? It seems so many think of them as standalones.
KevinR: [laughing, here's coming at you on 133MHz and 32 MEG RAM!]
"corsbie": I see the lack of traditional conventions for turn-taking as a distinct challenge in these environments
shard: touche?
"ritaroqueira": what are traditional conventions ... each culture has different conventions.
"ritaroqueira": In those environments you have people from different cultural backgrounds meeting ...
KevinR: "over and out" -- the conventions will come with time. Remember CB Radio?
"corsbie": yes, they are culturally specific, In fact when learning a language you must learn these, but the lack of facial expression and real time audio make s this text based chat difficult to take turns in
"ritaroqueira": the conventions may come ... but they may still be local and not "universal"
Hypatia: Mike, what is the highest value you see in 3D versus all other types of realtime communication in cyberspace?
selda: there are probelms with turn-taking in any classroom
virtualmike: i'd suggest the use of worlds that emphasize the fantastic and inherently unreal...
Hypatia: why?
queenbee: my kinda guy
shard: aye the conventions will come in time; perhaps a cuing and a rotation of what's able to appear, that is, the technology can allow only the one whose turn it is to post within a spec of time.
"ritaroqueira": why so?
virtualmike: i.e., worlds that cannot easily be replicated in other meidated forms of communication
"corsbie": touche Selda, muting functions can be used
Hypatia: even the unreal is real in the micro or macro-scale, though
"kiko": yeah, I agree w you Mike -- I'm so sick of all these realistic worlds all the time...
virtualmike: part of the issue, I think, is that we attempt to re-construct worlds that probably function better in their original form
virtualmike: like this room, for example. :-)
KevinR: We already have a convincingly rendered real world. I agree that VWs should strive to be something new, not replicas.
Luna: *lol* Then don't frequent them, kiko. :-)
"kiko": true dat!!!!
"ritaroqueira": but muting functions may be tuned to some local convention, e.g., american and not brazilian, european and not african ...
virtualmike: Or, better, the "virtual spaces" in the left menu...Virtual Canada is nice and all, but I like the real thing better.
queenbee: actually, there are some very good arguments for recreating reality. It is one option, not the only answer.
"ritaroqueira": it would make those environments more comfortable to americans than other peoople ...
virtualmike: if we recreate reality to the end of augmenting certain elements of it, it may be useful...but...
"Pinaskie": Is there a session going on?
Hypatia: Luna, aka Susan Mackey -- you have been working with all forms of multiuser communication, what about the language and cultural divides? How are they bridged in cyberspace?
KevinR: Rita's touching on an interesting issue, the neocolonialism of cyberspace by the Internet haves --mostly Americans and Northern Europeans, predominantly English-speaking, etc.
virtualmike: ...for the purposes of education, these augmentations should have some pedagogical purpose, else it's all just edutainment
NewWorld1: I think recreating discreet historic timeframes within actual historic places is more effective as an educational tool.
NewWorld1: On the other
"kiko": I say use virtual spacest to take people to places they could never go otherwise. Our group here at ITP used a v-world to model a virtual Egyptian tomb for students to explore (
Luna: Thanks Hypatia...
"Pinaskie": Is it only an exchange of text or do you also use audio?
Luna: Folks, I'd like to move back to a slightly more North American traditional style for a moment...
Hypatia: okay
"ritaroqueira": I would not.
"corsbie": text only
Luna: I'd like to make some comments and give you some background of my work, then take questions and comments.
"ritaroqueira": ok ... for the moment ...
"corsbie": Luna has the floor
Luna: Thank you.
Luna: My work has been primarily with post secondary students.
Luna: These people have been working on learning a second language.
Luna: Text based virtual worlds were great to start with.
Luna: What did they have that the class room didn't? They had a forum for shy students.
Luna: They were a forum for peer teaching.
Luna: Earlier one of our presenters made a typo... someone else modeled the correct typing in their response.
Luna: People *learn* from that sort of interaction.
Luna: You don't learn writing skills from speaking *grin*.
Luna: Then you move to the graphical world.
Luna: Sure, a text book can spell out that "The bird is on the roof".
Luna: But what does that mean in a second language?
Luna: It helps if the student can *see* it.
Hypatia: ahhhhh epiphany here...
Luna: spatial relationships are more real in this medium
Luna: *grin*
Luna: When you say to someone in AWEDUVERSE... "move the blue wall to the left" it *means* something
Luna: So... that's how I've been using it.
queenbee: terrific
Luna: There's so much more, but, time is limited today... questions?
Luna: comments?
Luna: thanks for your patience.
Luna: I'm not a teacher. I'm not a researcher.
"ritaroqueira": It doesn't seem that an expression in some language is transparent, so that you can see the relationships expressed by prepositions, for instance.
queenbee: Do you set up mentors in the space?
"corsbie": Yes, are you familiar with the work of Mellissa Holland of the US army. If so how would you compare your language teaching with what she has done in her microwrlds
Luna: My function has been to find these things and bring them to the teachers. It's been fun.
"Pinaskie": How are the teachers reacting?
Luna: Woah, sorry, I'm a little slow...
Luna: QB, usually it's a teacher or two with a group of students. sometimes two classes in different locations.
virtualmike: a friend of mine is looking at language learning in ICQ - comparing synchronous and quasi-synchronous communication, language learning, and anxiety levels...
queenbee: does it require a server like real?
Luna: The teachers are nervous initially, but, they love the reactions of their students.
"ritaroqueira": A visual depiction in phrases like "the bird is on the roof" is not a figuration of the preposition meaning.
Luna: I'm sorry corsbie, I'm not familiar with Mellisa's work.
Patrick McK: Can you say more about students teaching students?
"Pinaskie": Are the teachers taking it seriously or is it more a laughing matter?
Luna: Sorry rita, like I said I'm not a teacher and have an average adult grasp on grammar.
"corsbie": it just sounds familiar. Have you linked students with native speaker's in other countries?
"ritaroqueira": ok,
Luna: Pinaskie, seriously.
"ritaroqueira": ok Luna
shard: Luna: any settings yet with two classes of two different native languages tutoring each other? Eg., a class in California tutors English and a sister class in St. Petersburg tutors in Russian?
"ritaroqueira": I would say that graphicals may help, but are not enough to convey preposition meaning.
Luna: rita... if a student is having a rough time getting the concept of "on" versus "in"... it can help them to see it in action on the screen, talk about it and manipulate it.
Luna: shard, Yup, I've had a group of Canadian English Speakers learning German and their counterparts in Germany.
"ritaroqueira": ok, but the spacial relationships expressed by prepositions may be a little more complex sometimes...
Luna: Time zones are a real pain in the back though.
"ritaroqueira": you may like to see what Lakoff says about that
Luna: prepositions are "in" "on" "over" etc? Right?
virtualmike: i'd imagine - what time did they have to interact with each other?
"ritaroqueira": right
"ritaroqueira": there is an interesting study about the meaning of "over" following Lakoff tradition.
"corsbie": I linked ESL kids in Argentina with Spanish students in Austin Texas
Luna: Well, it works in English and I'm afraid that's been my main body of students... non-native English speakers.
"Pinaskie": Are you referring to Lakoff's work on metaphors?
"ritaroqueira": you may have lots of different spatial representations, depending of the sentence in which "over" is used ..
Luna: The other advantage it has is that students who are normally too shy to communicate in class *will* communicate on line.
"ritaroqueira": I'm referring to a work that is a continuation to that work.
Luna: Someone earlier said that they would get that during recreational time. I think it was Duc...
queenbee: I think that is fascinating are there references for this? Hypatia: I think this is a key point Hypatia: people open up in cyberspace in an unusual way "corsbie": this last point about it promoting more equal participation has been confirmed by research over and over selda: I found that was true when i taught ESL, particularly with some cultures "ritaroqueira": That was about the meaning of "over" in English ... Luna: For the most part, in my experience, when I turn 10 native Japanese speaking students loose, they speak Japanese. *lol* "ritaroqueira": You can apply those analysis to your approach ... KevinR: Students will find a "voice" in whatever medium suits them best. For some it's F2F, for others CHAT, for others async discussion lists. The point is to provide and support various media.
Luna: A comment from a student in my last group was this...
Hypatia: yes, just expanding the options in cyberspace is important
"ritaroqueira": [depending on ... ]
"corsbie": has anyone done voice to voice in the new Worldschat worlds
Luna: "There was something for all learner types. visual, movement, text ect"
virtualmike: multiple media are important - poor writers will probably find this environment daunting, not liberating
KevinR: [nods]
Hypatia: can someone address Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences in relationship to desktop VR?
Luna: I looked at voice a few years ago and found that subtle differences weren't adequately conveyed.
Luna: Mike? Michelle? That's way out of my league.
Hypatia: kinesthetic and visual learners really thrive here
"corsbie": was it synthisized voice or telephnic voice interaction, Luna?
Luna: *nodnod*
selda: VW's should make points in spatial intelligence
Luna: telephonic, corsbie.
"corsbie": what subtle differences were not conveyed?
Hypatia: and Luna's reference to shy students really speaks about the better understanding of what serves as "emotional intelligence"
selda: but virtual worlds lack a lot of the kinesthetic cues you get in f-2-f learning
Luna: Before we wind up, I'd like to thank Hypatia/Bonnie and QB/Margaret for their facilitation today.
virtualmike: especially since people just tend to stand around anyways
KevinR: Great job, Bonnie and Margaret!
"corsbie": here here, I second that thanks
virtualmike: yes, great great job
Luna: My final comment about this sort of communications is that none of you can see me shaking like a leaf as I try to keep up *rotfl*
Hypatia: hahahah "corsbie": I actually got quite a clear mental image upon reading that, Luna Hypatia: We have a lot to teach each other ---- all of us
selda: great job
Luna: I feel way out of my depth with the academics among you and look forward to collaborating with some of you in the future!
Hypatia: I am gonna have to wind up this session
"corsbie": yes, Ihope I can stay in touch with you all my address is
Hypatia: and want to thank all of our panelists
Hypatia: and speakers today
shard: brava!
"ritaroqueira": This was a nice session
Hypatia: Kevin, Margaret, Michele, Susan, Michael, Carol
queenbee: orme with a country music station on and a cat on my lap :>)
"ritaroqueira": even with the cross-cultural eventual clashes ..
Hypatia: Tinkerbell and DJ Party
"corsbie": I just finished a thesis on this subject UT Austin and most people look at me like I'm from VR whin I try to explain it
NewWorld1: I am curious if other people here have been able to obtain grants for hosting avatar worlds and implementing them in the classroom.
Hypatia: and all of you who have stayed with us
queenbee: nice to find a community corsbie?
Hypatia: I will post the log by Monday (?!)
Hypatia: Yes indeedy
Luna: Congratulations to corsbie on today's graduation from UT!!!!
KevinR: Dare I make a final iconoclastic remark?
virtualmike: clap clap
"corsbie": I'm working on the grant
Hypatia: and want to recommend
NewWorld1: where will the log be posted?
selda: clap clap
queenbee: Cheers again for Bonnie and all her dedication and hard work
"corsbie": Thanks Luna, whats next I wonder
Hypatia: Michael Heim's session in about 10 minutes - "Is Cyberspace Soul Space?"
Hypatia: in AV99VDR2
shard: Cheers to Bonnie!
NewWorld1: thanks
shard: Cheers to Margaret!
virtualmike: where's...oh thanks
"corsbie": who are you queen bee? Luna: grants? There's an outfit in Vancouver BC Canada working on one.
KevinR: Hip, hip, hooray!
"ritaroqueira": where will the log be posted?
"kiko": yeah,thanks Bonnie and everyone -- great conference!
queenbee: If you aren't all members of V-learn yet, expect to get tapped.
NewWorld1: what kind, Luna?
Hypatia: eveyone can stay here and gab as long as you like
NewWorld1: I would like to become a member. What is the process?
Hypatia: though and head back to the poster session in AWedu
"corsbie": sure, I'll be expecting it Luna: *cheer, applause, whistle* Great morning folks!
"corsbie": morning?
Hypatia: It has been a great and virtual privilege being here... queenbee: v-learn right Bonnie?
Hypatia: yeppers
NewWorld1: that's okay Luna.
Hypatia: please contact us if you want more info
Hypatia: and send us your work!!!
Hypatia: we will bring it to the virtual masses
Hypatia: all in our spare time :0)
NewWorld1: I have found that grant people get very excited when you describe this kind of distance learning to them.
Luna: g'day everyone, I have a farm to get back to, animals to deal with etc. It's been a real honour to have been invited to play.
GolderUK: bye Luna:)
"corsbie": who are you hypatia?
Luna: thanks again!
Luna: bye for now!
icey: to play?
NewWorld1: I'm curious. Are there other high school teachers here?
virtualmike: bye luna icey: bye luna
Hypatia: I am Bonnie Devarco
queenbee: Boy NewWorld1, I have come up on a set of blank stares and references to the Web so far.
"corsbie": yes I recently taught highschool Spanish and linked classes in Texas and Argentina in worldschat
NewWorld1: How so queenbee?
"corsbie": bye luna
"corsbie": Nice to meet you Bonnie, Chris Corsbie
"Pinaskie": How many of you are academic teachers?
NewWorld1: That's great corsbie. I've linked my science fiction class with art classes at another high school through a grant.
Hypatia: Hello Chris
"corsbie": Hello, Bonnie
Hypatia: my email is
Hypatia: Oh one more announcement!!!
"cadre": i!
Hypatia: V-Learn will host another conference in Cyberspace in 2000
Hypatia: let us know if you are interested!
"corsbie": sign me up Hypatia. NewWorld1: sign me up too!
KevinR: Count me in!
Hypatia: did you jsut give your email address Chris? queenbee: GREAT!
"corsbie": yes here it is again
curlytop: hee hee!
queenbee: Committee forming in January :o)
Hypatia: okay we have our keynote speakers then... ;-)
NewWorld1: If I give you my email address will you put me on some list for vlearn activities, hypatia?
Hypatia: you betcha
NewWorld1: great.
OrangeBoy: (bows in exit)
"kiko": we can all join the V-learn list-serve, too, to continue these conversations...
shard: Where is MHeim's talk?
"ritaroqueira": [also would like to be in the vlearn list]
Hypatia: in VDR2 KevinR: I'm at Hypatia: right about now
Hypatia: on to Michael Heim's talk in AV99vdr2 now
Hypatia: (to KevinR) okay kevin, thanks so much for coming!
"ritaroqueira": how do we go there/
"ritaroqueira": what is the talk about?
Hypatia: just look on your teleport menu
"ritaroqueira": hard to find that
Hypatia: this is an overview Hypatia: hot people, hot topics


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