TLVW, Day 7

Well, it was the last day of class. We assembled at the MCGC sandbox for, officially, the final time and presented our term projects.

I’ve waited almost 24 hours to write about it because I’m very sad to see the end of this thing of ours. But more on that later.

We had many different kinds of projects presented, both group and solo. My project was in two parts: the first part was an assignment I’ve created for a college-level English course that I’ll be teaching next year; the second part was my argument that SL isn’t, at the moment, a particularly attractive tool for English education — specifically when it comes to teaching literature. In fact, I feel the same way when it comes to teaching writing; although some like Sara Robbins use it integrally, what she’s doing is in fact just generating content. This is very important in a writing class, but it’s not something that is special about SL; a creative teacher can use any of a number of things, either technological or not, to help students come up with things to write about. In fact, taking best advantage of what SL has to offer may actually be more trouble for an English teacher than it’s worth right now. Though I hope that becomes less true in the future.

Pamet’s project was actually the planned timeline for a much larger project, something like a year and a half to create a full-scale presence on the Teen Grid. The timeline is pretty big, and she managed to import the whole thing from Inspiration into SL and lay it out so we could see it. It was a pretty impressive visual aid.

I also really enjoyed the two group projects: Bigpick and Tiernan’s Fantasy Island project, which had us following clues around the island to learn about the plight of the local boxfish; and the geocaching project, which Eru tells me will become something bigger thanks to support and assistance from other organizations.

Shailey’s work was the continuation of an article she’d been writing, and she informed us yesterday that it’s been accepted for publication! That’s pretty exciting — the practical or applied nature of these and the other projects we created really showed how far we’ve all come during these 14 weeks. I’m proud of all of us, and I look forward to seeing where we go from here.

Then class was officially over, and we had a party. I know there were lots of pictures taken, so hopefully we’ll have more on other blogs or on Flickr to showcase our party outfits and the general fun and festivity. As you can see from this one shot, though, it was quite the party atmosphere. Someone said it reminded them of their prom — which, with the great ’80s music, was probably true for many of us.

Of course, after a while, other duties called, and people started taking their leave. It really did remind me of graduation day — lots of goodbyes all around, along with “Stay in touch” and “See you soon.” A handful of us lingered as long as we possibly could; we were down to five for quite a while until Tiernan left. Then four: myself, Eru, Esme, and Shailey. Eventually, though, we too had to call it a day.

This was the best course I’ve taken since I started graduate school. I got what I expected from it, but I also learned much more than I imagined I might. I met new people, made friends, and saw parts of SL I might never have heard of. I was exposed to an ordered view of education in SL, as opposed to the aimless wanderings I’d been making on my own and through the SLED. And through it all, I did not lose my enthusiasm for SL; not only that, but I also (earlier comments notwithstanding) feel more enthusiastic about education in SL.

Even though I’ll now have every other Saturday morning free again, I’m going to miss this. I’m glad to have been a part of it, and I hope all of us — and the course itself — enjoy a great and productive future.

Song of the Moment: "California Sun," The Ramones

One Response to “TLVW, Day 7”

  1. The last class was sad for me, too, TT. It was such an enjoyable experience sharing adventures, trials and tribulations with classmates. I miss having the objectives laid out and structure implied (of course, being a Sag, I know well how quickly I can run amuck without them!). I was very touched that you felt the need for a little time and space before posting about Day 7. Silly me, I logged into Moodle earlier today just to see if there were any new posts…

    On a lighter note, Esme and I are co-presenting a 3-hour workshop for educators (primarily newbs) in November. The focus is on using SL for professional development. It’s part of larger 2-day ed-tech conference called VT Fest – VT for Vermont. We’ll be physically and virtually present with the participants and I keep thinking, “How weird is that?”. It would be wonderful to have friends and colleagues join us in world. See you there?

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