Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ISTE event with Tim Magner

I just finished at the ISTE event where we had a chance to tell Tim Magner (Director, Office of Educational Technology, US Department of Education) what we, as educators are doing in Second Life and what potential we saw for education. There were over 70 people on ISTE island for the event and individuals discussed what they were doing in SL with their students and about the professional development that is taking place in SL.

I had a chance to represent the Teacher Networking Center and talk about informal and formal professional development. Tim Magner asked a great question about what type of professional development opportunities are meaningful in Second Life. My experiences have been that simulations (because you are engaged) and informal collaborations (because the topic is relevant to those involved) are the most meaningful but it started me wondering what others think. What has been the most meaningful professional development, in Second Life, that you have taken part in? Please comment below.

I do want to say that I found Tim Magner to be very supportive of all of us and of educational technology. He is very well spoken and listened to each of us. It feels good to know that we have a voice in Washington that is on the same page as the classroom teacher. I believe that ISTE will be posting the video of the event soon. Once they do I will post the link for everyone to listen to.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A new week!

It is time for a Teacher Networking Center Update. This Saturday Faythe Fouroux gave a presentation on WebBlender and ePal’s SchoolBlog. If you have not attended a presentation by Faythe she does an outstanding job. Faythe is a DEN star educator and presents at the DEN. She discussed the benefits of having a classroom website and how a website has impacted her classroom.

I often hear people talking about ways in which to use Second Life with their students and I think they are missing something important. Second Life doesn’t need to be used with your students to be valuable. It is a wonderful professional development tool. There are so many educators with a variety of experiences in Second Life and everyone is willing to share. The knowledge base is HUGE! Why just focus on using Second Life with your students? Save it for yourself and your own learning.

With this in mind the Teacher Networking Center wants to hear from you. We are looking for people to present others. Presentations can be on Second Life topics or on other topics that classroom teachers benefit from learning about (previous presentations included WebBlender, Webquests and activities for the first day of school). What are you doing in your classroom that works? How are you using technology? What classroom management strategies have you started using? These are things we want to hear about.

Upcoming Events:

I have also seen notices for a Wed. evening DEN event. If you are a person "avatar" that is new to SL this Wednesday night at 5:00 pm SLT JessieMarie will be presenting a Second Life tips and tricks at the DEN on Eduisland II.

I also want to share that I was able to attend the Discovery Educators Network Streamathon and I learned so many new things. I hope to share these over time but, if you were not able to attend, the archives are suppose to be posted soon. I believe these will be posted on the blog http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/3rd-annual-streamathon/ and I am anxiously awaiting them. Hopefull we will here something soon!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


After taking a break for SLEDD last week we had a presentation on Machinima by Pia Klaar. She has also provided a slideshare of the presentation for anyone that missed it (see the left side of the blog).

Pia discussed camera controls, lighting, speech gestures, lip moving and the environment editor. She also provided us with important “hot-keys” to use when doing machinima since you use “Ctrl –Alt F1” to take away the menus.

M = mouselook
E = jump up
C = come back down
Escape from mouselook
Alt + clicking on something to focus to center of the screen
ALT+Dragging the mouse zooms the camera
ALT-CTRL + drag orbits the camera
CTRL-0 = Zoom in
CTRL – 8 = Zoom out
CTRL – 9 = Resent Zoom

Another thing you don’t want to miss this week is the PBS series that starts tomorrow (9/15) called “Where We Stand: Amercia’s Schools in the 21st Century” (http://www.wviz.org/index.php/WVIZ/features/13948/) . Check your local listings for times. On Thursday evening at 6pm SLT the ISTE will have a fireside chat discussing this program. http://slurl.com/secondlife/ISTE%20Island/181/144/23