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[HSGC] /clap for Ms.Rebe's class
If you look at students' responses below, you may say "you don't need to say much why you congratulate/cheer the students in Ms.Rebe's class", but I do want to talk little bit about what I have seen in Science through Second Life.
Students in Ms.Rebe's class had a quite unusual science class in Spring semester. Unusual because they had laptop computers instead of text books, because they were a click away from tons of information on any topic they want. They did not have hands on lab sessions which they liked in the fall semester, but they had many activities to do via their avatars in Second Life. They dug into garbage in virtual Naples without getting dirty, they were able to communicate with their classmates without walking into the class and were able to work without teasing them in the class. Most of the students pointed out that the group work they have done in Second Life was more productive than the group work in traditional class.
They looooved building even thought they thought it was the MOST challenging thing they did in SL. The fact is that they were able think beyond what they did in Second Life and come up with other possible ways to use SL is one of the great ways to understand that students did learn new ways of thinking in SL.
Motivation is such a crucial part of learning. It affects the amount of time that people are willing to devote to learning. Although extrinsic rewards and punishments (like grades) can effect people's behavior, the major motivation of students were intrinsic. By looking at the extra time students spent working on computers after school and attendance of the class, I feel very comfortable saying that learning with Second Life was motivational for student.
Another big issue for learning with games or in game-like environments is transfer. If students will be able to transfer the knowledge to use in their real life is asked all the time. Student in Ms.Rebe's class used real life information most of the time;went to virtual learning sites and did research and collected the data extracted from real life situations. It is much easier to transfer the knowledge into practice when it is already learned as a practice - in this case simulations in Second Life.
I,again, want to congratulate Ms.Rebe and her students, to Barry (the program director), and curriculum developers Cathy and Beth, and Kate...And want to thank all of you....