Reel Learning in Virtual Spaces


Machinima (creating video using 3D virtual worlds) holds real potential for developing several 21st century media literacy skills as well as proficiencies in communication, collaboration, creativity, and problem solving. Beyond making movies, these unique spaces allow us to step out of the constraints of our traditional brick & mortar classrooms, step into environments that allow us to stretch our imaginations and design learning that truly encompass skills that are relevant to today's learners.



Why?


Before we adopt any new technology, we ALWAYS must ask ourselves:

  • Why are we using this technology?
  • What does it allow us to do better?
  • What does it allow us to do that we have never done before?

The Elisabeth Morrow School in NJ initially adopted virtual world technology (Teen Second Life and Quest Atlantis) because we perceived it as a unique & engaging tool for building visual & media literacy skills. However, once the program was in place, it quickly became clear that the learning taking place in this space far outreached our initial expectations.



Literacy: Interpreting the world in which we live


To truly understand, we must go beyond consumption & discussion. We must deconstruct, and reconstruct to fully develop our understanding.
It takes us years to teach students written language. We understand they need to read in order to learn writing and write to learn how to read.
Why then do we expect kids to use these new digital tools and magically know how to produce content that is rich and meaningful?

Political Commercials for Greek Gods

Collaborative Asynchronous Project Between 6th & 8th Graders

View Entire Project Here



We deconstruct our past ~


Step into our future ~








Problem Solving: Suspending OUR fear of NOT knowing the answers


ToMorrow Island First Day Dance (Archive)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s8GgmFZ7Uo

Tidal Wave Clip – Behind the Scenes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_FG22na0NM

Poseidon Commercial

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L53lQzzmyYw




Communication: Students as teachers


Virtual Worlds (Assignment)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hhUF1EmEUc

What is Machinima? (Employment Opportunity)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n17uJJJgods

How to Perfect Your Look (Assignment)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=389Y8tOubjk

Fantage Tutorial (Independent)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxbmPTO4yJg





Collaboration: Beyond brick walls


The Vet (Project SMS)

http://www.knowclue.com/movies/VetWeb.mov

No Future Left Behind (Project SMS)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kra_z9vMnHo





Creativity: Giving students tools they value


Sample Commercial (Independent)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwf8rQGOH7E

Fan Tribute - Glee (Independent)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8_K2KPJquM





Community: Putting citizenship into practice







Documentation


First Day (Archive)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oefgoqgo0yQ

Identity (Play)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kZH06TChyc




Virtual Worlds @ Elisabeth Morrow School



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Teen Second Life

13 - 18 year olds
Private Estate
8th Grade (We have a handful of 7th graders who have turned 13)
Objectives: Machinima, Community & Commerce

ToMorrow Island Machinima

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ToMorrowIsland
Wiki: http://tomorrowisland.wikispaces.com

Greek God Project

2010: http://emsgreekgods.wikispaces.com (Work in Progress)
2009: http://thedogatemyhomework.pbworks.com/Overview

Future School

http://tomorrowisland.wikispaces.com/Future+School

Camp TechKnow

http://tomorrowisland.wikispaces.com/Camp+TechKnow



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Reaction Grid

Private Estate
No Age Restriction
7th Grade (plans to expand to 6th)
Objectives: Begin a dialogue on what it means to be "Smart Online"

Teen2Teen

http://teen2teen.wikispaces.com

The Gnome Project

http://teen2teen.wikispaces.com/Gnome+Home




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Quest Atlantis

Schools Only
9 - 13 years old
5tth Grade (plans to expand to 4th)
Objectives: Global Socialization, Citizenship, Online Safety

Student Congress

http://quest-atlantis-teaching.wikispaces.com/Student+Congress


Machinima Resources

http://knowclue-machinima.wikispaces.com/Resources