Posts Tagged ‘muve’
The Straits Times online reported how anyone in the world can visit Singapore’s Orchard Road from Aug 9. It’s no coincidence that Aug 9 is also our National Day.
Unlike Second Life (SL), Twinity aims to mirror actual places. While you can also do this in SL, the point of SL is being able to think and create outside this box.
Nonetheless, I think that there is a place for providers like Twinity. Folks who might argue that they would rather visit the real Orchard Road are missing the point. The virtual Orchard Road is not targetted at them primarily. Think of Singaporeans abroad or potential visitors of Singapore, folks who cannot leave home for various reasons, people who would rather shop virtually… the list goes on.
While virtual Orchard Road seems to have been designed for commercial purposes, I think this example has lessons for us in education: 1) just because you can do something with technology does not mean you should, 2) you must understand the needs of your audience, 3) you must know the affordances of the technology, and 4) the use of technology should be meaningful to your audience.
I introduced readers to Second Life in my third article (pp. 26-27) as a guest writer for iknow magazine.
This week marked the start of my introduction to my preservice teachers to what I call 21st Century Learning Environments.
They will be exploring Second Life* as a multiuser virtual environment and NIE’s very own Classroom of the Future as physical realisation of what learning environments might look like in the not-too-distant future. I am also requiring them to watch the iN2015 video, the vision of what Singapore might look in seven years time. Then they must read one of Prensky’s articles on digital natives.
Why do this? I’ll cite the example that our Education Minister gave today. A child born today will enter the primary school system in 2014 and probably the work force around 2030. What was the context for his example? We are preparing our future and we cannot use irrelevant strategies from the past.
I want my trainees to look into the crystal ball, fuzzy as it may be, so that they can prepare themselves now for the future. To do this, they must visualise what the future holds and they must understand the ways that digital natives might think. They must fulfil the needs of their learners, not the need to complete syllabi or their need to teach the way they are comfortable.
*I am looking forward to the videos that they might find about the educational possibilities of Second Life. It is serendipitous that Karl Kapp attempted to answer some common questions about the educational aspects of Second Life. I couldn’t agree more with his answers!