Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Learn 2.008 : Shanghai Pre-Conference Meetings

(education/technology/k-12) conference is about to happen in Shanghai, visit Ning at Learning 2.008 for specifics.
The three Sundays before the real life meeting sees three pre-conference sessions being hosted on International Schools Island. Two of those sessions have been completed, for images search Fickr for the TAG learn2cn.  
Specifics of these sessions can be seen on Google docs.
Educators from several continents attended including some of those invited to present at the real life conference, David Warlick, Alan Levine and Ewan McIntosh

These have been brilliant events ... Second Life has performed technically well and allowed discussions using voice and text chat (phew)  ... many of these discussions focussed on questions being raised at the main conference and I certainly found them interesting,relevant and stimulating ... especially when being shared across the world in real time.

One of the principal learning experiences for me was that for the second meeting we were joined by two anonymous "griefers" ... griefers are avatars who wonder virtual worlds determined to be disruptive ... and this was the first time I'd been involved in an event that had become their focus ... possibly attracted by our large attendance.

I should have guessed an attack was underway when someone kept changing the slide presentations or when the Daleks  appeared.  Only after weird materials started to rain down from the sky did I realise this was for real (or should that be "for virtual'?) ... switching off the ability to run scripts stopped most of the distractions .. and then I ejected the griefers from the venue ... which land owners have the ability to do.
I also accidently ejected a USA teacher ... but a polite request in the text chat from their colleague let me know and I opened their permissions to come back in (I'm still slightly embarrassed about this) ... classroom management has taken on a whole new perspective for me even after all these years of experience ... with new tools and strategies to be learnt or invented.

If you are attending in Shanghai and meet Ewan McIntosh ... then please do not mention the naked female streaker that broke his concentration ... I do suspect he's still recovering.

Virtual Worlds in Education ... the future is going to be fun ;-)
Venue International Schools Island

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