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[SL] Farewell to Eye4You Alliance in TSL 

This past week saw the closing of a fellow long time organization running programs in TSL, Eye4You Alliance, which was run by the Charlotte Public Library

Through the years, there has been a lot of crossover between teens in our programs in Teen SL and those at Eye4You, and in fact I learned of it's closing from the prolific teen blogger Daniel Voyager, who took part in both GK Island and Eye4You.

We are sorry to see our friend's and collaborators leave this virtual worlds space and wish them luck with future projects.

They have end of project update on their site at http://eye4youalliance.youthtech.info/.

Chris at final exhibit area for IDZLast Friday was the conclusion of the "I Dig Zambia" virtual summer camp, co-organized by the Field Museum and Global Kids. I Dig Zambia was a two-week camp that brought together 19 teens from Chicago and New York to learn about paleontology, biology, and Zambian culture and politics in the virtual world of Teen Second Life.

Now that our teens have solidified their Second Life skills and learned how to work with their teams across cities during the first week, we ramped up our activities to be more intensive and collaborative.  It was by no means an easy week for our virtual campers, but I think it was engaging, surprising, and often fun.

This blog entry follows up on my previous post about Week One of IDZ. What follows is a recap of some of the main activities during Week Two of I Dig Zambia and an overall summary of IDZ. Read on...

Fossil Exhibit Creation and Presentations

[IDZ/Teen} Last Blog Entry 

The first thing I learned was what paleontology means, the second thing I learned was what it means to be eco-friendly to your environment, and the struggles that the kids have to go through with AIDS/HIV in Africa.

My favorite experience was when we learned the games that the played in the Grassroots football team in Africa, like how they used games to teach kids about AIDS/HIV, how you can't just tell from how a person looks if they have AIDS/HIV or not.

Learning in second life has been really awesome for me because I can't physically go to Zambia and dig for fossils and doing it on second life sped up the process because I don't think I have the patience or the skills to get the fossils out safely. But some of the bad things about doing this on second life was the lagging it was a disaster having to wait and kept getting booted of the site, other than that it was a really great experience and I'm looking forward to joining more second life programs.

This program has been a good learning process for the past two weeks. I think its different from regular programs because we actually do stuff but when we are in second life we can do and become anything we want, it's like we are starting over brand new and fresh.

[IDZ/Teen] Day 9 

Three things I learned about paleontology that I didn't know about before are that:
that the same fossils can be found on several different continents because of the the continents split of millions of years ago leaving animals spread up from each other. I learned that dinosaurs are not the only type of fossils that are left on the earth today. There are a lot of others that can be found but can look similar. And that when digging up the fossils they can break very easily just because they have become very fragile due to the different weather conditions and because of how they were exposed above the earth so the animals that were alive could have easily have access to it and could have done things to make it break and spread all over the earth or they could have eaten it .

My favorite experience in IDZ would most likely be just how we worked in second life. I say this because I have never been involved in second life before and just the thought of working as a character of myself have been very interesting. Also just because we got to socialize with other people it felt more comfortable doing it in second life than if I had to do it in real life.

[IDZ/Teens] Day 9 

Paleontology is the study of fossils and the process of digging up fossils. in the past week i learned that paleontology requires a lot of hard work, during fossil digging there is a method used to get a fossil, and a lot of group work and communication is needed to complete a task.

My favorite experience with IDZ was taking our bits of fossil bones to create the animal. This was fun because our team work was perfect and this made us finish up first and be recognized as the leading team.

Over the past 2 weeks, I learned that group work helps complete a task in a shorter amount of time and participation and concentration results to a nearly perfect exhibition. Participation and focus will help me in the future because it will help me understand the work and raise accurate and educated points.

Learning in second life was a totally new and interesting experience. Although it was difficult at first, I got used to it and learned through the images, chats and blogs. Some pro's in learning with second life are: you get to see your task and show it according to your taste, we get to chat with our groups in pretty cool tents, we get to fly :), and we get to possess cool items which help us learn. Some con's are: our characters some times lag which makes it frustrating when we are in the middle of a task and the graphics need some improvement.

[IDZ/Teen] PARTY 

YAY!! Last blog!! Not that I don't like blogging, it's just that it becomes more of a chore than something fun to do after.

I learned a lot about Zambia and paleontology. I learned how fragile fossils are and how long it takes to find and carefully extract it from the earth. I also learned that this is not a future career for me. Way too much school and a life time of hard work.

MY favorite part of IDZ was our letter from Jeff and Alta. They let us know what was going on and how closely our lives can be related to the lives you youth in Zambia. Zambia looks like a very beautiful place and I would love to visit some day.

I don't think I learned new skills but i did find out some new computer and second life short cuts. Second life is great. I have a personal second life account but using second life to learn about first life things is really cool and way better than boring books. It can be a little tricky if it is your a first time second life user but once you figure out how to move about and move things it become enjoyable. Second life is cool because you can create the material need to fully understand what ever is being taught. But there are those annoying lag issues.

I had a ton of fun and hope I can do something like this again. Made some new friends too. This may be the last thing I do with GK :( I enjoyed every moment. :)

[IDZ/Teen] Day 9- Wrap Up 

I have learned many new things about Paleontology. The most interesting thing that I learned was the process of preparing. Before, when I walked into a museum, I thought that the bones were extracted as complete artifacts. Now I know that people called Preparers actually make the bones look worthy of presentation and that the process of preparing bones is very difficult. I also learned more about how the shape of a fossil can determine different things about the way that they lived their lives. I learned many things that surprised me. For example, I finally learned how scientists determine where to dig when they are in search of fossils.

My favorite experience in I Dig Zambia was participating in the soccer and AIDS activity. I didn't like the soccer part so much, but I loved the effect that the program was having on local communities in Zambia. AIDS relief is an issue that is near and dear to my heart. This year I wrote a thesis paper on the U.S AIDS relief program PEPFAR and the paper didn't exactly portray the program in a great light. I thought that it was awesome that a small group of people could start such an effective program. I liked the fact that we discussed political and social issues in Zambia instead of only focusing in on the paleontology.

[media] Beth Noveck talks about Wiki Government in Second Life on July 20th! 

wikigovernment.gif

We are excited to announce that on Monday July 20, the MacArthur Island will host a simulcast of the book launch of Beth Noveck's new book: WIKI GOVERNMENT: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful!

Beth Noveck, now the deputy Chief Technology Officer at the White House responsible for Open Government, will present her book, and this presentation will be simulcasted into Second Life on MacArthur Island. Ms. Noveck will then take questions from the virtual and real audiences.

Head to the Foundations sim (click here to teleport.) on July 20 to participate!

Date: July 20
Time: 12:00pm - 2:00pm EST/9:00am - 11:00am PST
Location: MacArthur Island (click here to teleport http://slurl.com/secondlife/Foundations/109/231/34).

WIKI GOVERNMENT: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful

In the digital age our lives are constantly being transformed by the way in which we connect and collaborate with one another, affecting the way we make decisions - on a personal level, an institutional level, and a national level.

[RezEd] www.RezEd.org is recognized by the American Library Association 

RezEd was named by librarians to be one of the best websites for teaching and learning, alongside Facebook, Ning and Skype

RezEd is delighted to be recognized by the American Library Association as one of the top 25 "Best Websites for Teaching and Learning" and honored to be on a list which includes Facebook, Ning, Skype, Twitter, Wikispaces, and Second Life.

According to their site:

The Best Websites for Teaching and Learning honors websites, tools, and resources of exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning as embodied in the American Association of School Librarians' Standards for the 21st-Century Learner.

The Top 25 Websites foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. They are free, web-based sites that are user friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover.

 

Specifically, they had the following to say about RezEd:

Learn about virtual worlds in a safe, supportive environment with other educators. RezED is the hub for learning about virtual worlds, providing practitioners with access to the highest quality resources and research in the field.

Tip: Check out RezEd’s monthly podcasts, online webinars, virtual chats, and discussion groups.

 

In addition, RezEd met their following Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

[IDZ/Teen] Blog #7 (Day 8) 

During the entire process of digging up fossils there were many different times the green team had to problem solving. Like when we were digging we had two people to each fossil one brushed and the other watered that way retrieving the fossils was faster. Where if i was by myself doing it it would've taken a longer period of time.

The research I had to do was to find out the type of habitat the Dicynodont lived in and to find out what type of food did eat. Considering it's a herbivore it only eats plants (trees, grass, bushes, flowers, etc.). The important facts that I put in was that it was cold when it was living, and what I left out that it only ate plants close to the ground because it cant climb trees and it is to short to reach anything higher than that.

I don't think if the U.S. went to a different country they will have the same power but they probably will have a big influence on the other countries, if we give them good advice to help out with their country's problems (aids, food, global warming, etc.).