Posts Tagged "second life in k-12"
For educators not completely comfortable with immersing themselves with their own avatar in Second Life, there’s good news. Teachers can maintain their teaching preferences for traditional online course management and still monitor student progress while students actively participate in 3D worlds.
Right now, since most teens can’t access the main grid – and I certainly wouldn’t suggest allowing any teens on the Second Life main grid until there’s better content filtering – this may not be as relevant as it will be once the Teen Grid closes and youth are accepted onto the main grid.
SLOODLE is a free plug-in for the web-based virtual learning environment, Moodle, and integrates Second Life with Moodle. Moodle courses supplemented with SLOODLE enhance the existing support for teaching and learning by providing Moodle with more visual appeal via Second Life.
What Does SLOODLE Do?
This is an excerpt from SLOODLE’s website:
- Web-intercom. A chat-room that brings Moodle chatroom and Second Life chats
together. Students can participate in chats in Second Life using the accessible
- Moodle chatroom. Discussions can be archived securely in a Moodle database.
- Registration booth. Identity management for Second Life and Moodle. Link students’
avatars to their Moodle user accounts.
- Quiz tool and 3D Drop Box. Assess in Second Life – grade in Moodle. Set quizzes
or 3D modelling tasks in an engaging 3D environment. Review grades quickly and
easily in the standard Moodle gradebook.
- Choice tool. Allow students to vote (and see results) in Second Life as well as in
- Multi-function SLOODLE Toolbar. Enhances the Second Life user interface. Use a
range of classroom gestures, quickly get a list of the Moodle user names of the
avatars around or write notes directly into to your Moodle blog from Second Life.
- Presenter - Quickly author Second Life presentations of slides and/
or web-pages on Moodle. Present in Second Life without having go through lengthy
processes to convert or upload images.
Are There Any Examples of How It’s Been Used?
A case study was done in early 2008 demonstrating the power of integrating SLOODLE. Two institutions across Korea and Dubai used it to illustrate how teaching and learning could be enhanced with this plug-in. You can read about it by clicking the link below:
What are the Downsides?
In my opinion, the setup for both Moodle and SLOODLE is a little complicated, along with the navigation of both. I suggest that educators flirting with the idea of using SLOODLE make sure they have adequate technical skills, because some background in coding and file uploading is required. Also, I’ve never been a fan of Moodle’s navigation – it seems excessively difficult to navigate through. SLOODLE doesn’t rectify any of this and plays into the cumbersome navigation.
That being considered, the SLOODLE community is very active. Should you happen to get stuck on establishing the proper settings, there are many people in the SLOODLE community willing to help. In fact, many SLOODLE developers are active contributors towards the discussions and seek insight and opinions from its community of users.
The biggest issue most educators will have with anything Second-Life related are cost and age-related. With the closing of the Teen Grid later this year, that might fix the age-related issue; however, there are other Second Life alternatives available (Reaction Grid) in the meantime that might give you a way to “get your feet wet” with virtual worlds. Second Life has the upper-edge over the virtual world companies in terms of clients and support, but the (understandable) maturity level required for Second Life access does bottleneck potential users, like students.
How I’ve Used It:
Because of age limitations, I’ve only been able to set up SLOODLE and have mock trial runs by having help with other SL users. Here are some pictures displaying my current setup:
This is the SLOODLE Presenter – you can use this to display videos, slides, websites, etc.
This is the SLOODLE Quiz Chair – students can take quizzes in this chair, and then receive “rewards” based on their response.
One user also has offered this entire SLOODLE setup for sale on the SL Marketplace, but for the steep price of almost $320.00. I don’t think it’s that hard to set up, but if you have the money, by all means, it would be the easier route. You will still have to configure your server settings, however.
Best of all (in my opinion) is that I can monitor student progress in my web browser through Moodle.
How Do You Set it All Up?
There are several guides available that will help you integrate SLOODLE, Moodle, and Second Life. The links below should help get you started. If you’d like to follow my classroom’s progress in Second Life, I post updates in this category anytime I make changes.
- Where Do I Download Sloodle?
- What’s Needed to Install Sloodle?
- How Do I Install Sloodle?
- How do I Configure SLOODLE?
Here are some other ways you could implement Second Life in your classroom.
Do you have any ideas, suggestions, or feedback? Please leave them in the comments section below.Read More
What I did:
- Stripped out majority of second floor to allow room for larger instructional TV Screen
- Installed NetConnect Panel, which replaced other TV
- NetConnect Panel allows users to have more choice when selecting content to display on the TV Screen
- Teacher can pre-load specific content to display
- NetConnect Panel also offers a much more interactive web browsing experience on the TV when compared to other TVs I’ve tried
- Had the chance to visit with educators in the SLOODLE Community
- Speaking from my experiences, the SLOODLE community offers the most well-balanced bank of resources relevant to educators and students. By “well-balanced,” I mean that that their resources allow a comfortable experience for both “traditional” teachers and students and students/teachers embracing virtual education.
- SLOODLE integrates Moodle within Second Life. Please check out their website, Sloodle.org, for more information.
What I did today:
- Downloaded and installed Moodle Presenter. Along with the preceding link, this article helps understand what you need to do to get this to work properly. Moodle Presenter must be installed and activated before you can create a presentation in Sloodle.
- If you want to stream video into Sloodle, you must install software called Yamdi, which allows you to stream video from your Moodle account into the Second Life Presenter Module
- I didn’t install Yamdi because I couldn’t figure out how to install the archive on Windows. It is UNIX-based. I’ll have to look into this more.
- Replaced TV inside with a TV called “Netconnect.” It has Social Networking options, and provides more user interaction with the television than other models.
What I did today:
- I viewed and took notes on this this great video that will help me implement ways to integrate many features into my classroom.
- Set my land rental to auto-renew monthly because I received a notification that if I didn’t renew in two days, I run the risk of losing everything. Rate is $3.23/ a week, and that’s acceptable with me.
- Discovered and browsed SLOODLE, which stands for “Simulation Linked Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment.” SLOODLE integrates Second Life with Moodle. SLOODLE will allow me the ability to provide quizzes, drop boxes, voting tools, and other classroom-related features in the Second Life environment.
- Created an account at SLOODLE.
- Installed Moodle on k12mobilelearning.com (Registrations for others are currently disabled on my site, but if you’d like an account to experiment with, contact me and I’ll see what I can do).
- Downloaded and installed the SlOODLE mod.
- Configured SLOODLE to integrate with Moodle.
- Created a sample quiz to try out. Created a “Quiz Chair” where people could sit to take quizzes on course content. It successfully worked.
- The installation, configuration, and navigation of Moodle and SLOODLE was a little bit cumbersome, but once I understood how to navigate through the installations, it wasn’t too bad.
What I did:
- Learned how to upload content into Second Life. Costs 10 Lindens per upload, which equates about a nickel in US dollars.
- Modified blackboard to reflect a message I want to use to greet people with
- Changed TV border to look like a digital chalkboard
- Learned basic scripting guidelines; learned how to script a specified object to play a sound upon touching the object
- Placed a few documents into my filing cabinet for people to access
- Put up inspirational classroom quotes in frames around the room
- Put up Texas Tech pictures in frames
- Current lighting situation in the house/school is less than ideal. Need to figure out how to make it bright all the time.
- Need to determine what I intend to do with the 2nd floor, patio, and the top level.
- Need to place more documents into filing cabinets
- Need content-related manipulatives
- Determine a way to have TV generate a Youtube playlist based on pre-selected criteria, or have it display all videos based on username
- I’d like to learn how to integrate chalkboard animation
- Figure out how to do a slideshow
- Place relevant content on walls and remove non-relevant content