Learning At The LRC

Reflections on Educational Journeys

Virtual Field Trips

March 9, 2010 by mrsjgarcia · 4 Comments · Trials and Successes

Second Life
Image via Wikipedia

I have long been fascinated by the potential that Second life and other virtual worlds hold for educational activities including virtual field trips.

Whyville is great for the younger kids. It gives them the chance to get used to virtual worlds, in a safe teacher manageable environment and provides plenty of educational activities for students and teachers to engage in. Many of our 6th grade students took to  it so much last school year, that they would log in from home when it wasn’t a homework assignment and meet up to work on different activities with their friends.

Quest Atlantis is another virtual world that offers students carefully scaffolded learning quests to embark on as they work their way through different teleport locations. I’ve done the required courses and am excited about taking a group in. We are hoping to begin with a class of teachers who we think will be inspired enough to build quests into their curriculum.

I came across Reaction Grid very recently and have only begun to investigate its potential for working with students, but there are already a lot of great destinations to visit. My impression from my very limited experience of it, is that many teachers at present are using it for learning about construction in virtual 3D worlds. I would love to hear from people who are using it successfully with their students.

Second Life (including the teen grid)!  Wow comes to mind every time I think of it. I have been using Second Life on and off for the last 2 years, mostly as a way of learning how to get around on the grid, attending workshops and investigating what is available. I left it for about 6 months and when I returned Wow had become WOW!!! There are so many new places to discover, meet at and learn from. I tend to fixate on applications that wow me and Second Life has certainly stolen a  large chunk of my attention lately.

Once hooked anew, I decided to continue with my previous quest of searching out destinations with field trip potential. I soon found that the grid had expanded to the point that I needed to begin cataloging in some shape or form the many destinations I came across. Enter wikispaces, my all time favourite for wikis. Its nice to know that whenever you need to bring content together in one place you can quickly create yourself a parking lot using a wiki.

My hope is that the wiki will become more than a parking lot however. I would like to see it grow, and am hoping that others interested in virtual worlds will help me with that.  So far I have put everything together on this page, which is expanding  so quickly,  I might need to begin linking off of it soon, to new pages for housing content. If you are at all interested in virtual worlds in education and virtual field trips in Second Life, please take a look at the links I have gathered and request access to the wiki, so we can build the collection together.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tags: ·····

4 Comments so far ↓

  • Noreen Strehlow

    If you are looking for sites on the Reaction Grid, you can go to a Holocaust Memorial and a Lincoln Memorial on the sim PESD. There is also a student art gallery near the memorials which houses art work ranging from K-12 along with some support materials located in information buttons. In addition there are 4th grade created solar systems on the PESD sim.

    I would also suggest touring the rustic village on MyMichigan, the Dewey Decimal village on Doran’s Domain, and a WWII build by one of the students on the Spring Forest sim, and a student art gallery on Scottsperiment. Wonderful things are happening right now thanks to some great educators on the Reaction Grid. Far too many to name so go over there and take a look for yourself!

  • mrsjgarcia

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly Noreen. This sounds great. I am definitely going in tomorrow and checking these destinations out. I am so impressed that students are the ones doing the building here. They have amazing teachers! This is an area I plan to pursue with the students at our school.

  • Term Papers

    I have been visiting various blogs for my Term Papers research. I have found your blog to be quite useful.Keep updating your blog with valuable information… Regards

  • mrsjgarcia

    Thanks for your comment. I am glad you have found it helpful.

Leave a Comment