e-Learning Forum

with thanks to Jo Kay for letting me use this image

I have prepared a whole lot of images to be flickering past in the background as I speak about Second Life – hopefully meaning will be made in some third space between my spoken text and the images :)
(thanks to Jo Kay and Alja for letting me use some of their great images!!).

In addition I may refer to Jo Kay and Sean Fitzgerald’s wiki on the Educational Uses of Second Life.

I also like the following very well constructed video, which provides a wonderful glimpse into different educational spaces and possibilities in SL:

ARC Linkage Grant Success!!

OMG the best news ever today – the ARC grant I have been working on for a long long time was successful! I am very very excited as this means I will get funds to help me research younger children’s machinima, game-making and 3D digital storytelling. I have been working on the grant application with colleague and co-chief investigator, Professor Len Unsworth, and we are collaborating with our industry partner, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, specifically with Peter Maggs, who is the Head of New Media at the ACTF. If you are interested in the long process of getting an ARC grant, please read on. Continue reading

Book Review of Youth Online

An otherwise bright light in a stressful semester – a very complimentary review of my book, Youth Online. The review is from the Education Review Journal and can be found here. Here is an excerpt:

Conclusion

This work is extremely important for educators in understanding the state of current students, and as a call for changes in the future educational process. This is an accessible work that explains the theories and their applications in a very clear way. Through Thomas’ case studies, it also offers a picture of the world of the modern and future student. This work is useful for those in academia, in teaching, or those looking to understand what it is that students do online. However, it only offers a glimpse. Thomas opens the reader’s eyes, but it is up to the reader to proceed down the rabbit hole.

Can the institution of education proceed in the traditional manner? Students spend most of their lives outside of school. What they are learning outside the institutional environment is not replicated inside it. Certainly students need to learn about mathematics, language, and science. But is the medium currently used the best, or is the world that Thomas is showing a better one to model for educators? This is something that Thomas calls for in Australia, and around the world. Online literacy will be important for success in the future. It is a travesty for schools not to integrate these areas of literacy into education

Thomas is not the only voice urging these ideas. Her work resonates with that of Gee, Hawisher, Selfe, and Steinkuehler. Some of this work focuses on videogames and how they can be used in education, but also on how videogames form an important part of learning literacy. Reading and writing are not enough – other literacies are important in education.

As Thomas has shown, students will spend the time learning them, and they can learn from each other as a community of experts. This work also attempts to understand identity creation of students in online environments, equally echoing the call from Gee. The problem with utilizing these works is not educating the students, but educating the educators.

Lovely words, my thanks to this reviewer!! :)

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