Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Learning in WoW & Second Life (Simultaneously!)
Very interesting morning learning World of Warcraft. Had to leave WoW to work my reference desk shift in the Karuna Resource Center in Second Life (SL) in my position as Consumer Health Librarian. I spent a few minutes in both simultaneously and that's what this screenshot shows (shocked it didn't crash my computer to run both).
Also posted a screenshot of my first hour in WoW on flickr
The following explains a little about what I'm doing & why:
A bit of an experiment - was asked by a faculty member teaching at UCSD to assist with a research component for his course being taught primarily in WoW with some parts in SL. As an academic librarian working in SL, how could I say no?
ICAM 120 Virtual Environments
Winter 2010, Visual Arts Dept., University of California San Diego
Lecturer: James Morgan / Rubaiyat Shatner (Second Life)
So as in SL, I am a blue female in WoW (albeit a troll). Should be interesting comparing these two environments. I have a fair amount of experience teaching and learning in SL for my university and have been involved and following educational developments in SL, including the work and roles of librarians, for some time. I'm interested in learning how the WoW environment is being used for educational purposes. And of course, where does the librarian fit when courses are being taught in these environments. What is our role? More to come as I explore and learn in WOW.
Update: Jan. 9, 2009 -
I'm only at the beginning of my research on WoW but for anyone wondering about educational applications, I recently found a blog by an Open University faculty member, titled, E1n1verse – WoW, Learning, and Teaching by Michelle A. Hoyle. I especially enjoyed reading this post on why she plays World of Warcraft and the excellent references and links she included.
Final Update-Jan 22, 2010: Great group of students in the ICAM 120 Course, I enjoyed presenting on grant writing tips and researching a few articles for them. I observed one of their three hour-long classes and found it pretty fascinating. We all started in SL with introductions and then my presentation then took a short break and afterwards the instructor facilitated an interesting discussion on their reading for that week, Jean Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulations. After the discussion everyone headed over to WoW. A lot accomplished in one class really especially since some had never been in SL before and a few were also new to WoW. Here are a couple of snapshots I put up on flickr.
World of Warcraft is something I would be interested in investigating further if I had more time. I just don't at the moment so unfortunately I can not continue on with the group. Even though I was only in WoW four times, I think I understand why some in higher education are using this platform with their students. I also think you would need creative faculty advanced in using the program to be successful. UCSD has a talented faculty member teaching this course in James Morgan. I was impressed with the level of engagement and discourse he managed with a class of 18 students participating in this adventure. I expect they will learn a great deal.
Another little nugget I learned about was something we all used for voice called Ventrilo(kind of like Skype but more stable with larger groups), it worked very well and really helped make the process between SL and WoW more seamless.