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  1. Blending Learning: Real experiences with virtual worlds John G HedbergSchool of EducationMacquarie University Saudi ArabiaFebruary 2011

  2. Textbooks and representationof ideas

  3. High quality use Performance Disruptive technology Low quality use Time Digital technologies disrupt! • Disruptive technology — a new technological innovation that displaces an existing dominant technology (Christensen, 2003)

  4. Digital technologies disrupt content delivery Now In five years eg Web 2.0 Social networking

  5. Putting technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge together

  6. Earlier lessons of Blending • Dependence on student-driven learning strategies • Need to understand how teachers and students communicate between and among • Students need to take the initiative, and to judge and interpret • How the technologies underpin the learning activities • Lefoe & Hedberg (2006)

  7. Web 2.0 O'Reilly, 2005

  8. Characteristics of Web 2.0 • open content (creative commons sharing) • microcontent—focus on small relevant elements • user generated • collective intelligence • social construction of knowledge

  9. ICT in the next 5 years • One Year or Less • Mobile computing including geo-aware applications • Open content • Two to Three Years • Electronic Books • Simple augmented realityincluding mashups • Four to Five Years • Gesture-based computing • Visual data analysis Educause2010 horizon report

  10. http://www.go2web20.net/ in Wordle and again …

  11. Choice of representation

  12. Shared creation of content http://voicethread.com/

  13. Dialogic digital content http:/www.xtranormal.com/

  14. Annotation for scaffolding and personal reflection • Using other content you can overlay a set of your own resources with your own folksonomies Video and dialogue linked

  15. Digital representation and engagement

  16. Quest Atlantis —3D MUVE

  17. Virtual versus Real contexts • Virtual worlds offer unique opportunities for authentic learning contexts • Simulated social phenomena • Represented by dynamic characters • Learners can explore concepts and ideas in safe and scaffolded learning contexts • Experience can transfer to the real world • Possible to explore assessment options • Need to choose a course of action to achieve a goal

  18. Virtual versus Real contexts • Real worlds require flexible, non-linear narratives with uncertain outcomes • In the virtual context the verisimilitude of the context will determine how closely the learner achieves goals, chooses representations and interacts with objects

  19. Design Characteristics of the Virtual world

  20. 3D Worlds • Designing and creating not just playing

  21. Multi-User Virtual Environments “electronic environments that visually mimic complex physical spaces, where people can interact with each other and with virtual objects, and where people are represented by animated characters” (Bainbridge, 2007)

  22. Situated knowing and learning • People learn and solve problems by: • reflecting on their previous embodied experiences, and • using the resources that are situated within their current context.

  23. Situative embodiment • Students need to: • Enter into a situation narratively and perceptually • Be goal-directed • Have a legitimate role • Perform consequential actions Barab, Zuiker, Warren, Hickey, Ingram-Goble, Kwon, et al. (2007)

  24. The Challenge of Construction

  25. Opportunities • Engagement with problems through the manipulation of spatial artefacts. • Adifferent set of conceptual tools may be applied by students to solve these problems. • More flexibility for student-generated narratives. • Opportunities for links to the ‘real’ world and for collaboration.

  26. Challenges • Learning the construction tools. • May require different approaches for students of different ages. • Aligning the learning outcomes to the problems/activities. • Need to reconsider the types of activities within the constraints of the MUVE platform.

  27. Project Overview • Explore how using virtual world construction tools for modeling impacts student design processes and development of spatial awareness. • Student objective: Create site-specific artworks within the school • The virtual world is a modelling tool for students to individually model their ideas for the final artwork. • Final (physical) artworksare constructed in groups.

  28. 3D Worlds A picture of the real world wall and the same wall inside the 3D world

  29. Activities 1 & 2Learning the Construction Tools

  30. Activity 4Modelling the Site-Specific Artwork

  31. 3D Worlds designed for students to practice within and some ideas for how to build a sculpture within them

  32. Activity 4Modelling the Site-Specific Artwork

  33. Teacher Feedback "This is truly innovative! The limitations of working in a real world/site space are now defunct as the virtual world has negligible limitations on what you can create. The spin-off is that concepts can be realised quickly allowing for creative solutions.""The whole program has been very positive in building the kids self confidence.I feel they are more empowered and have stronger initiative. Wonderful to see."

  34. Mobility and meaningful learning contexts

  35. Designing for mobility • Pedagogical decisions often include: • positioning field work within the teaching sequence of the topic being studied, • the content and structure of the day’s activities, • selection of appropriate technologies to support student activities, • organisation of student groups and student roles within the group.

  36. Mobility, social learning and geographical ideas • How do students help each other explore and navigate unfamiliar environments • What is the nature and quality of non-mediated, real-time, text-based debate between students, and how they might use multimedia recorded in situ to augment their views • How students transpose their conceptions of locations into two-dimensional representations, and how these transpositions can be successfully communicated to their peers

  37. Structured academic controversy • Team A explores an area, gathering evidence to support a given point-of-view • Team B explores same area, gathering evidence to support a different point-of-view • Engage in a Structured Academic Controversy regarding the optimal land-use of the given area

  38. Preparing arguments

  39. Results — Structured Academic Controversy

  40. Outcomes • Structured Academic Controversy in the context of a field-based mobile-telephony learning environment does result in a worthwhile contribution to practical inquiry and increased written output. • High number of messages sent during the integration phase can be accounted for by the structure imposed by the Academic Controversy. • Garrison et al (2001) suggest integration appears to be “more challenging than exploration” for learners, • As a consequence, “students will be more comfortable remaining in a continuous exploration mode”

  41. Pedagogies in the networked digital age • Re-creation of narrative • Transduction especially visualization of ideas • Dimensionality — virtual worlds • Re-use and re-mix of resources • Annotation in a variety of media • Mobility — changing place and time, screen size, cloud computing • Social construction of knowledge — locus of control and group participation

  42. Contact John G HedbergProfessor ICT and EducationSchool of EducationMacquarie University NSW 2109Australia e: john.hedberg@mq.edu.au