Thursday, December 13, 2007

OMG! Poinkey's Pods!/Ramapo Teachers Rock

Let me tell ya - Decka has done it again! Her latest and greatest teaching tool, "POINKEY'S PODS" are transforming learning on Ramapo! Here's how they work:
Like Decka's Decks, they are enabled by the facilitator and are used to accommodate discussion, only this time, rather than supporting 5-7 avatars the pods are designed to accommodate 1 to 1 discussion and --- here's the clincher---- they are timed so that after a set amount of minutes the chairs reset themselves into a new pod with a new avatar automatically. Kind of like "speed dating!" LOL!

NEWS ALERT!!!! As I was writing this post (SNOW DAY GUILT----MUST DO WORK! :-) What happens to arrive in my inbox - but a complete write up of the experience from Gayle Yodowitz -. This has inspired me to rename this post - from "POINKEY's PODS ROCK" to "RAMAPO TEACHERS ROCK" I will writie more later about the technology - but let's look at what is really important-- THE LEARNING! Here it is (yes - Ramapo teachers are amazing!)

Gayle Yodowitz, FACS educator
Darby Wind, SL Avatar on Ramapo Islands

While middle level students are too young to choose a career, it is a great time for them to begin exploring careers. Career planning is a lifelong process, with self-knowledge being the beginning of the journey. The Family and Consumer Science curriculum for 8th graders at Suffern Middle School consists of Career Exploration and Financial Literacy. The career exploration unit addresses three questions: Who am I? Where am I going? and How do I get there? The first question involves many self-assessments taken by students from a variety of sources that help them identify aptitudes and particular aspects of their personality. The assessments generate lists of potential careers. Many students are surprised to see some of the jobs on their list. However, when they compare and contrast their personality characteristics with the responsibilities of the listed jobs, they begin to see that although the jobs may be worlds apart, the types of people geared for each job share similar interests and characteristics. A quote I like to discuss with the students is “Do what you love and love what you do.” and how they have the ability to find a career that makes them happy, successful and financially supports their lifestyle.
At this point, the students select a career they would like to learn more about. This is just some basic research- job responsibilities, advantages, stressors, related jobs and job outlook for the future. We discuss how technology might impact their career in the future. The students also research a college or vocational school that will provide them the education needed for their researched career using an online post secondary search website. Embedded in this search are understandings about admissions expectations, expenses and ways to finance their education. Lastly, I have the students examine the high school curriculum book to become familiar with, not just the required courses for graduation, but also all of the electives available. If students have an interest in engineering, film directing, sports broadcasting, writing or being the next top chef, they should know what electives might be offered that could give them a snapshot of a career in that area. Students also check out the high school activities book to see what clubs or sports they can join.
Okay, so here is where SL comes in!
As part of their assessment, students (avatars) play the role of interviewer and interviewee “in world”. Before the interviews take place, students spend the first week in SL developing the following skills: changing their avatar’s appearance (be unique but appropriate- like in the real world), be able to navigate around the islands by flying, walking and TPing, join the Group, make friends, communicate in world (via instant message (no problem Ms. Y!), chat and creating a note card), using the camera to take a snapshot of themselves and uploading it to their profile.
Now, they are ready to be interviewed about what they learned through class activities and research. Students have learned about Costa’s Levels of Questioning and have developed interview questions for all three levels. I have taken their questions and put them on a note card that is sent to the Group to be used during the interviews. While developing these skills in the virtual world, students must work on being good listeners so they can follow directions, use their critical thinking skills to troubleshoot and solve problems and work in a collaborative atmosphere.
Chaser Brody, my SL guru and mentor, offers me the opportunity to use these awesome pods that allow avatars to interview each other in pairs. Every five minutes the pairs automatically swap to new avatars. Being one who thrives on cutting edge opportunities, I accept!

Chaser facilitates Poinky’s Pods with my class of avatars- and they’re off into space to complete their assessment…in their favorite mode of conversation- Instant message style! Before the class ends, students create a new note card (naming it with their class period and real first name); copy and paste the “IM interviews” into the note card and drop it in my inventory. Now, using a rubric, I will grade their work based on two roles- the interviewer and the person being interviewed. As a result of this process, students have had to take what they have learned and share that knowledge with others. They have had to “think on their feet”- not knowing what questions they will be asked, but being able to address each question because they prepared for the interview by creating the questions and practicing interview techniques. Using Costa’s Levels of Questioning challenges students in higher level thinking skills.
As an aside, there were some glitches. The pods in one class initially went up, leaving some avatars without an interview partner. Someone, by accident, stepped on a power cord and turned off an entire row of computers. Two students were off task. However, just like in the real world, we addressed each issue, resolved it, learned from it and moved on.
Wait a minute! Isn’t everything the students accomplished and learned considered transferable skills for the future? You bet they are! A recent survey of business leaders identified the top qualities that employers look for in potential employees are- communication skills, a capacity to learn, critical thinking skills and ability to work with others. Didn’t this project enable students to learn how to map their way to success using 21st century literacy skills? Absolutely! I hope they think of me and Chaser someday when they are in SL being interviewed by a college admissions person or at a global conference representing the company they work for!

(Students will soon be writing their reflection about the career project. Then, they will start their entrepreneur project in SL. I can’t wait- and neither can they!)

Peggy's note: Reflections will be posted ASAP and photos are coming as soon as we get back into school!

Monday, December 10, 2007

With gratitude and promise...

Ramapo Islands was a dream that started as just a "tip of a thought" when my daughter, Meghan, hounded me to enter Second Life to take a look around. After all, she was a Linden Lab Liaison at the time - and she was so excited about this emerging Metaverse. I thought I had no time for a "Second Life" but succumbed, and seeing this new frontier through the eyes of a teacher - I was startled, and intrigued. After a very short time, I became determined to bring my students in world to be a part of it.

However, all of the determination in the universe was not going to make this happen without the support of a visionary administration, a community of believers in world, a solid staff of volunteers, and ultimately, a teacher who said yes. My teachers did say yes. Some said it tentatively; "I don't understand it, but I believe it is important for my students," while others were eager and excited; “I don't care how deep the water is--I know how to swim!"

It was never going to happen without the help of people like Fred Fuchs of Firesabre Consulting who spearheaded the volunteer effort, and Barry Joseph of Global Kids, ushering the way - sharing hope and experience... All of you who wrote, or visited, or spoke to me at a conference and cheered us on -- All of you who spread the word, and most importantly all of you who followed soon after - validating the work and extending the horizon. All of you share this award.

When I first began my "crusade", shamelessly soliciting your help and your talent and energy, I used the worn out adage, "It takes a village." I am a dreamer - a visionary if you will--but first and foremost, I am a teacher. So perhaps the old adage is still true, and those who object to its overuse may perhaps digest its latest incarnation a bit more easily. With that, I respectfully submit, "It takes a Metaverse."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanks KJ!

Kevin Jarrett passed along this great tool for putting together a quick video --This one is to get some of the 8th grade kids interested in the Tech Club! ANIMOTO is an awesome tool! Perfect for 'puter phobics!


A picture says a thousand words?

Is that an inappropriate sentiment for a blog ?!?!!?

Thanks to all who are with me along the way.

What an exciting time to be an educator! VOTE HERE!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Saturday, November 03, 2007

An Entrepreneur is Born...

OK - I am logged into Ramapo trying my hand at Flexi PRIMS - working quietly over on Airmont Island and I get this IM:

[13:19] Bokontor SMSTrekker: Hi ms Shehe! Im making a fortune! I made 30 L by making products! I put a jetpack script in two slippers!
[13:20] Chaser Brody: WHOOT! THAT'S TERRIFIC!
[13:20] Chaser Brody: come and show me OK? May I TP you?
[13:20] Bokontor SMSTrekker: one sec, Im in the middle of a sale right now!
[13:20] Chaser Brody: LOL OK
[13:24] Bokontor SMSTrekker: ok, im done
[13:24] Bokontor SMSTrekker: can you tp me?
[13:24] Chaser Brody: Ready for a tp?
[13:24] Bokontor SMSTrekker: yup
[13:25] Chaser Brody: May I take a pic for the blog?
[13:25] Bokontor SMSTrekker: ok
(Bokontor then passes me a free pair of the slippers!)
[13:26] Chaser Brody: Wow! thank you - I will still pay you!
[13:26] Bokontor SMSTrekker: thank you so much!\
[13:27] Bokontor SMSTrekker: I made more things!
[13:27] Bokontor SMSTrekker: want to see them?
[13:27] Bokontor SMSTrekker: ok
[13:27] Chaser Brody: So - How did you get people to know about your product?
[13:28] Bokontor SMSTrekker: It was pretty easy, I just found and avatar, and offered!
[13:29] Chaser Brody: Was there anyone who tried to negotiate a lower price?
[13:30] Bokontor SMSTrekker: Well, yes, I did have someone have 5L$ instead of my normal price, 10L$, so I didnt refuse! 5L$ is better than nothing right?
[13:30] Chaser Brody: that's right
[13:30] Chaser Brody: it is a good beginning
[13:30] Bokontor SMSTrekker: Yeah
[13:30] Chaser Brody: Now what are your plans for the future?
[13:31] Bokontor SMSTrekker: I plan to know about more scripts, and keep creating things, better and better!
[13:31] Bokontor SMSTrekker: But I am not working alone!
[13:32] Chaser Brody: Tell me about it please..
[13:32] Bokontor SMSTrekker: Zelian SMSVoyager, came up with all of the ideas
[13:32] Chaser Brody: Ahhh so you are collaborating?
[13:32] Bokontor SMSTrekker: I make and sell them
[13:32] Bokontor SMSTrekker: Yes!
[13:32] Chaser Brody: Very cool
[13:33] Chaser Brody: Well keep up the great work and let me know about any other creations you have for sale
[13:33] Bokontor SMSTrekker: Oh, I have pleanty for sale right now!
[13:33] Bokontor SMSTrekker: and thank you!
[13:33] Chaser Brody: Remember to keep them original and perhaps you may want to open a small shop and advertise
[13:34] Bokontor SMSTrekker: Good idea! I will work towards that!
[13:34] Chaser Brody: remember you can make a sign on the Ramapo Work and Play Area that will TP residents to your shop in the air!
[13:34] Chaser Brody: Think of a good name and a slogan
[13:34] Bokontor SMSTrekker: that is awesome! thank you!
[13:34] Chaser Brody: Your welcome
[13:35] Chaser Brody: Have fun!
[13:35] Bokontor SMSTrekker: Hmmmm.....I'll get on the slogan! I have a name already
[13:35] Chaser Brody: Want to share ?
[13:35] Chaser Brody: What is the name?
[13:35] Bokontor SMSTrekker: The name is (G-H) The letters stand for our last names
[13:36] Chaser Brody: OK
[13:36] Chaser Brody: So think of a catchy slogan - look at successful marketing in the real world
[13:36] Chaser Brody: NIKE = "Just Do IT" etc.
[13:36] Chaser Brody: I will post this in the blog now
[13:36] Bokontor SMSTrekker: Ok! Thank you for your support!
[13:36] Chaser Brody: People will get a real kick out of it
[13:37] Chaser Brody: and by the time you are ready for the Main Grid you will be an established business!
[13:37] Chaser Brody: Bye now! I'm back to trying to make this flag flexi
[13:38] Bokontor SMSTrekker: ok bye!

How cool is this? I got Bokontor to come over to me for a photo opportunity :

Friday, October 19, 2007

So Many Avatars--So Little Time...

I really do try to resist those corny titles in this blog but they seem to just slip right off my fingertips ...perhaps this may seem a poor excuse for neglecting to keep up here - but it is none-the-less true. At this point we have about 800 active student accounts and about thirty teacher accounts working on Ramapo Islands (not simultaneously --but I feel the ultimate band-with test may be right around the corner!) So, rather than sending readers back a year to the archives all the time - this second year anniversary may be a good time to try to encapsulate the history of this project - You see, I receive inquiries bout the inception of Ramapo Islands almost daily as educators begin their journey and seek advice and answers. I read on the SLED list this morning (To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit ) that a FAQ concerning Education in Second Life is emerging on the SimTeach WIKI ( ) and we are looking to include a portion specific to the Teen Grid - as that hurdle seems to be the ultimate "catch 22" for educators ( they want to explore Teen Grid- but can't get on Teen Grid ----want to Teach on teen Grid - can't explore Teen Grid -- want to promote work on Teen Grid - can't access Teen Grid to demo )

While we are waiting for that resource to develop - though - let me provide a brief time-line entry to sum up our history:

1. August 7, 2005: After being bugged incessantly by daughter, Meghan Deanna who was then a Linden Lab liaison, Peggy Sheehy creates Main Grid account; Maggie Marat--- yes, I succumbed to almost her full year of "Mom- you have got to see this!"

October 8&9,2005:Peggy Sheehy attended the 1st Annual Second Life Community Convention which took place on October 8th and 9th in 2005, happening in tandem with the State of Play III conference at the New York Law School in New York City. Over 150 residents, Linden Lab employees and other industry professionals attended the conference, packing the room. Linden Lab CEO Philip Rosedale gave the keynote address dressed as his Second Life avatar.

2. November 2005: First of many drafts of my proposal to Ramapo Central School District for purchase of 3 islands on Teen Grid is developed and submitted to James Yap (head of instructional technology and data management for the district) who proved to be an incredibly knowledgeable and patient mentor!

3. May, 2006: Proposal presented to Dr. MacNaughton and explanations and investigations ensue. Safety issues are paramount as well as demonstration of educational validity.

4. June, 2006: Proposal is passed, Ramapo Islands are purchased and named Ramapo, Suffern, and Rockland.

5. August 2006: SLCC moved to the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, home of Linden Lab: the creators of Second Life. The event was held on August 18th, 19th and 20th and sold out with 500 residents, Linden Lab employees and other industry professionals.
At this convention, Peggy Sheehy shamelessly begged all avatars to help "raise this schoolhouse" The amazing thing is that not only did the persons she approached agree to contribute their time and energy, but others who heard about the project all stepped up and offered their assistance. The demonstration of good will, vision. and the overwhelming sense of community was astounding.

6. August - October 2006: Islands are moved from Main Grid over to Teen Grid with the invaluable assistance of FireSabre Consulting and some tireless Linden Lab folks!

7. September 2006: Enter the Peer Mentor group and training begins effortlessly - the excitement bubbles through the school - Live accounts are numbered at about 35. they are building and scripting in no time!
8. October 15th - first classes at Suffern Middle School enter Second Life. Social Studies, Math and Family and Consumer Science are first content areas to enter and work.

the rest is history ...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

One of the more interesting examples...

I am posting this chat example from this year's body image unit - as I promised to share the real deal and this represents where a chat could go, an how being VERY clear about rules and expectations seemed to keep it cool! The kids are taking care of business, and have begun to establish their sense of community in world wile discussing very real issues-peritinent to their lives. Toward the end of hte chat a very interesting turn of events transpires where the kids are actually "laying down the law" themselves -- pretty cool - Here's the chat:
[9:33] Natascha SMSJourneyer: can i do the questions
[9:33] Siva SMSJourneyer: I'm seeimg to top of the pod!!!
[9:34] Disa SMSJourneyer: 1. i think weve to learned to accept our selvess!
[9:34] You: whats the main message that you learned about body image throught SL
[9:34] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: YES I AR=GREE DISA
[9:34] Disa SMSJourneyer: 2. because of magazines and technology...
[9:34] Natascha SMSJourneyer: um that you can look the way you want if you want that way but its wut u want
[9:34] Siva SMSJourneyer: right
[9:34] Granada SMSJourneyer: yea
[9:34] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: i think you cN WORK TO GET THE body the way u want it but noooooo anorexia
[9:34] Disa SMSJourneyer: 3.yeah i think girls feeel peer presure...
[9:34] You: yup
[9:34] Kobolda SMSJourneyer: ppl might make themselves look like wut theyre not
[9:35] Natascha SMSJourneyer: y3@h
[9:35] Disa SMSJourneyer: 4.idk
[9:35] Natascha SMSJourneyer: l0lzzz
[9:35] Siva SMSJourneyer: Same you don't need to look like everyone else
[9:35] Disa SMSJourneyer: 5.ummm
[9:35] You: next question
[9:35] Natascha SMSJourneyer: y3@h
[9:35] Natascha SMSJourneyer: everynes pretty
[9:35] Natascha SMSJourneyer: no matter how you loook
[9:35] Disa SMSJourneyer: was different because it wasnt aquward
[9:35] Siva SMSJourneyer: nobody's perfect
[9:35] You: what can teens do to deal with the pressures they get to be perfect
[9:35] Natascha SMSJourneyer: i agree with colleen
[9:35] You: ??
[9:35] Siva SMSJourneyer: lol M
[9:35] Disa SMSJourneyer: :)
[9:35] Siva SMSJourneyer: HM
[9:36] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: yes just because celebs look skinny does not mean u need to learn that everyone is pretty in their very own way
[9:36] Natascha SMSJourneyer: even if my head was shapped like a cohn id still be atractivee
[9:36] You: yaa
[9:36] Granada SMSJourneyer: yea i agree
[9:36] Disa SMSJourneyer: whos siva?
[9:36] Kobolda SMSJourneyer: sure. idk
[9:36] Siva SMSJourneyer: Megan
[9:36] Disa SMSJourneyer: oh hii
[9:36] You: teens should just b who they r and not wut the media says they should b
[9:36] Disa SMSJourneyer: loolllll:)
[9:36] Siva SMSJourneyer: hii
[9:36] Natascha SMSJourneyer: yeahh man
[9:36] Natascha SMSJourneyer: true dat
[9:36] Disa SMSJourneyer: hahaa
[9:36] You: whos natascha
[9:37] Natascha SMSJourneyer: nicole lo
[9:37] You: lol
[9:37] Siva SMSJourneyer: Next QUESTION!!
[9:37] You: ok gosh
[9:37] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: i think that the girrls have more prrreesss
[9:37] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: a
[9:37] You: do u think that only girls feel the pressure or do boyss do to
[9:37] You: ??
[9:37] Granada SMSJourneyer: yea sure
[9:37] Siva SMSJourneyer: Both! Girls want to be pretty and Boyz like... buff
[9:37] Kobolda SMSJourneyer: botu
[9:37] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: GIRLS FOR DEF.
[9:37] Natascha SMSJourneyer: bothhh
[9:37] You: bothh
[9:37] Kobolda SMSJourneyer: both*
[9:37] Disa SMSJourneyer: :)
[9:38] Natascha SMSJourneyer: y3@h lolzzzz
[9:38] Siva SMSJourneyer: botthhh guy wanna be all muscular and stuff
[9:38] You: b/c grls wanna b pretty and guys wanna b muscula
[9:38] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: yeah
[9:38] Siva SMSJourneyer: yeah
[9:38] Disa SMSJourneyer: yeppp
[9:38] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: but they can achieve that if they belive~
[9:38] Siva SMSJourneyer: NEXT
[9:38] Natascha SMSJourneyer: i D0n+ r3Ad m@g@zin3zzzzz
[9:38] Granada SMSJourneyer: nicole ure fat and pregnent
[9:38] Granada SMSJourneyer: hahahhaha
[9:38] Disa SMSJourneyer: haha
[9:39] Siva SMSJourneyer: lol ummm what were we just talking about
[9:39] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: THATS NOT NICE TO SAY
[9:39] You: what role do peer groups play with this issue
[9:39] You: ?
[9:39] Liz Lowe: hi yellow
[9:39] Natascha SMSJourneyer: WHOS GRANADA
[9:39] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: thats very very hurtful
[9:39] Liz Lowe: Thanks Kira
[9:39] Siva SMSJourneyer: QUESTION PEOPLE
[9:39] Kobolda SMSJourneyer: she said it already
[9:39] Liz Lowe: I missed it. What's hurtful?
[9:39] Kobolda SMSJourneyer: sam was joking around i tyhink
[9:39] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: tHat u can be whatever u want to bee
[9:39] Kobolda SMSJourneyer: think*
[9:39] Siva SMSJourneyer: Somone said nichole was fat and preg
[9:39] You: !!!?!?
[9:39] Natascha SMSJourneyer: :(
[9:39] Natascha SMSJourneyer: wah
[9:40] Natascha SMSJourneyer: wahhhh
[9:40] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: now thats not nice
[9:40] Kobolda SMSJourneyer: we're trying ro do the questions
[9:40] Siva SMSJourneyer: Ok ANYWAYYYYY
[9:40] Natascha SMSJourneyer: you lowered my self esteem
[9:40] You: seriously lets just get them done
[9:40] Natascha SMSJourneyer: now im gonna have to go on a diet
[9:40] Natascha SMSJourneyer: ight lets do this
[9:40] Liz Lowe: Tht is saved in your chat. That is when people get permenantly removed form SL
[9:40] Siva SMSJourneyer: Yeah so no Bullying
[9:40] Natascha SMSJourneyer: ok
[9:40] Natascha SMSJourneyer: sam
[9:40] Natascha SMSJourneyer: lol
[9:40] Kobolda SMSJourneyer: hts why we're trying to do the questions
[9:41] Liz Lowe: good idea
[9:41] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: bullying is not nice and it hurts ppls self esteem
[9:41] Natascha SMSJourneyer: yeah
[9:41] You: what has this unit taught u about the media
[9:41] Kobolda SMSJourneyer: thts th next question
[9:41] Siva SMSJourneyer: OK QUESTION 4
[9:41] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: now back to the qs
[9:41] Disa SMSJourneyer: idk the question
[9:41] Granada SMSJourneyer is Offline
[9:41] Liz Lowe: especially when we're working on a project that is supposed to promote body image
[9:41] You: omg guys seriously
[9:41] Liz Lowe: OK, back to the questions
[9:41] Liz Lowe: brb
[9:41] Disa SMSJourneyer: ok
[9:41] Natascha SMSJourneyer: 4) what role do peer proups play with this issue ???????
[9:42] Natascha SMSJourneyer: answer it
[9:42] Siva SMSJourneyer: The unit has taught me that body image is not everything and you should be happy the way uyou are
[9:42] Kobolda SMSJourneyer: they make people do things they dont rly want to do
[9:42] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: friends help u reach your goals and boost up your self esteem
[9:42] Natascha SMSJourneyer: truee datttt
[9:42] Disa SMSJourneyer: yeahhhh lol
[9:42] Siva SMSJourneyer: oh woops yeah tru
[9:42] Natascha SMSJourneyer: but why do people followthe things in the magaziness
[9:42] You: because of the media.. our generation is very unhelthy ( question 5)
[9:42] Siva SMSJourneyer: Beacause thatt's pretty quote
[9:42] Disa SMSJourneyer: okk questin
[9:43] Disa SMSJourneyer: 6
[9:43] Granada SMSJourneyer is Online
[9:43] Disa SMSJourneyer: it was different because um...we werent shyyy?
[9:43] Natascha SMSJourneyer: um i dont think everyone likes each other in a clasrooom so you try to be somehting your not
[9:43] Siva SMSJourneyer: It's better because like you don't see the people you see the avatars
[9:43] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: i think it was different bcos we rnt actually looking at the person
[9:43] Natascha SMSJourneyer: but when you can be whoever you are
[9:43] Natascha SMSJourneyer: your comfortable
[9:43] Siva SMSJourneyer: I mean what I'm wearing 2day is pretty crazy
[9:43] Kobolda SMSJourneyer: was yur interaction with eachother different in SL then it would've been in a regular classroom
[9:44] Granada SMSJourneyer: im bak
[9:44] You: its easier to tlk to ppl in SL
[9:44] Disa SMSJourneyer: yeahhhhh
[9:44] Kobolda SMSJourneyer: yup
[9:44] Granada SMSJourneyer: yea sure
[9:44] Sternberga SMSJourneyer: true
[9:44] Kobolda SMSJourneyer: its the same thing as online
[9:44] Siva SMSJourneyer: exactly you're not afraid to say anything
[9:44] Natascha SMSJourneyer: deff
[9:44] Siva SMSJourneyer: yeah so... we done

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Need More EVIDENCE ? ? ?

If you are having your doubts about the level of engagement and investment our students experience while working in SL check out this chat:
[10:40] You: ARe you home?
[10:40] Atami SMSJourneyer: yeah i stayed home sick today
[10:41] Atami SMSJourneyer: wat time does 8th period start
[10:41] You: How cool is it that you're able to attend class form home?!
[10:41] You: Are you feeling better?
[10:41] You: We start in 10 minutes
[10:41] Atami SMSJourneyer: a little. i will b in skool 2morrow, though
[10:42] Atami SMSJourneyer: ok, i'll come back cuz i was working on my house
[10:43] You: Right. Thanks for coming to SL today!
[10:43] Atami SMSJourneyer: ur welcome
[10:43] You: I'll be back in about 5 minutes. Do you remember your pod from yesterday?
[10:43] Atami SMSJourneyer: i g2g work on my house. i'll b back 4 class
[10:43] Atami SMSJourneyer: i'm on blue
[10:43] Atami SMSJourneyer: i remember

Monday, September 24, 2007


OK OK - I know I brag about these kids a lot--but thise is what one of my students (ehehem--a GIRL) did last night from home:

Today the kids in Whiting's classes were pretty amazing - they have managed to change their appearance pretty authentically, create and deliver a note-card, join a group, all the while whale riding and driving all over the sims! There was a lot of peer mentoring and collaboration but most of it took place in the real world - not in SL. They still don't have the "in world communication only" thing down yet. Many of the students told me they have logged in from home (a lot more than last year) and as I mentioned earlier in the past, most of them have already experimented with the building tools. My hunch is that this year's class had a much greater senses of anticipation since they watched the 8th grade class last year and drooled....

Saturday, September 22, 2007

First day chaos~

OK - Thursday we gave the kids their accounts, assigned a few minor "housekeeping " tasks for them and - what eles but the grid was down for updates! I heard one frustrated student exclaim "Well, I hate Second Life already!" I explained the nature of the grid to them, the frequent updates, and the reasons for them. We watched some very cool machinima - and they left.

Regardless of the fact that I remember going through similar days last year - it was very distressing for me to watch the kids lose their sense of excitement and anticipation - but, nonetheless I started out today with a positive outlook - and we began again.

This time , they all logged in successfully and this year the kids seemed to grasp the basics in half the time that it took the kids last year! Within ten minutes I had kids who were changing textures on clothing, using gestures and animations - and the best part of the day was when the same student who complained that he "hated Second Life" yesterday - was actually building and had changed his avatar completely! I asked him how he knew so many things and he said - "Oh, last night I logged in from home and figured it all out" Now he is a peer mentor and one of SLs biggest fans! Another bright spot was when one of our students who was absent today logged in from home - the evidence is already emerging; they just want to be there ----All four classes today wer full of laughter and a sense of wonder - loud for sure, and Diane and I just toured the desktops in awe --Build it, and they will learn.

Monday we begin the project and all they know about it so far is that they will need to have the skills to alter their avatar's appearance. Hehehe - wait till they get going -

The skills they will be asked to apply on Monday:
  • joining a group,
  • creating a note-card and delivering it to the teacher's inventory,
  • taking and saving a snapshot,
  • managing their inventory
  • changing their appearance
All this will happen while they begin their exploration of "body image" and self-worth". From wat I witnessed today in terms of exploration and participation - we are on our way.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Whiting First at Bat!

Our health teacher, Diane Whiting, was first in line this year to return to teaching in Second Life. She has her students for 10 week semesters and is anxious to revisit her experience with the Body Image Unit. We briefly discussed last year's experience and what perhaps we would approach differently this year. One thing that is a bit different is that the student accounts are completely unique this year. Although they will all share one of three new last names, SMSJourneyer, they will have Second Life first names generated from a list of the minor planets. This led to some lengthy but quite interesting names! As a result of this method of generating names, the students will have a greater semblance of anonymity as their teacher and I will have access to their real life identity but it will be totally up to the individual student if and when they will or will not choose to disclose their real life identity. If you have been following the blog, you will remember that last year all of the students shared the last name of Hillburn, and their real life last name became their second life first name. For this reason it was often easy to recognize an avatar in world by their name (assuming you knew their last name in real life). Whew - Did you follow that?
So why am I going into this lengthy explanation of the avatar account name creation process? Simply to set the stage before the students enter, and to acknowledge at the start that we have a greater potential for true anonymity this year- Let's see where that might take us...

Monday, September 03, 2007

SLCC 2007

Here is my badge from SLCC 2007! Being my third community convention, the enormity of the growth in the Education Track is nothing short of amazing! Besides having great fun, I made invaluable contacts, renewed precious friendships and added an abundance of ideas and practices to my education inventory! Thanks to all who have supported Ramapo from the inception, and to those new believers...
Met many Ramapo Volunteers in person, and even grabbed a photo opp with Philip Rosedale:

Here we go ...

First off, I apologize for my absence theses past weeks, and I hope to catch you up on the latest innovations on Ramapo Islands. We now have acquired three new sims - to be named Airmont, Indian Rock, and Harriman, and Firesabre Consulting is working with Ramapo to create these engaging learning spaces for our students.

Our kids from last year will be keeping their accounts this year and will serve as mentors for the incoming class. The three new sims will be dedicated to 1. Math, Science, and Technology 2. Multimedia (machinima) and 3. Foreign Language.

So far the plan is to leave a great deal of land for the kids to create as that was one thing we learned last year; they want to build! In fact, left to their own devices, they will use up every prim we have! So another focus this year will be to learn how to build with "prim efficiency".

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Maggie Marat and Chaser Brody SL NECC Badge

Maggie Marat2.jpg
Originally uploaded by Know Clue
Here is an image of my SL at NECC Badge! Thanks so much to KnowClue Kidd for great energy and results! Coreina and I are sitting in Stewart Airport waiting for flight to Atlanta (I can't get Little Feat out of my head!) - Following email closely for updates from KJ on Machinima Project - Talk about cutting it close!!!!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Body Image Class Discussion Samples

Diane Whiting (Liz Lowe on Ramapo Islands) has sent me some of the chat logs from her Health classes in Body Image (please see past postings for lesson outline and procedures) Basically, using the pods, each day the kids designed their avatar differently - to reflect their perceptions of self, of beauty as it is porttrayed in the media, as cross-gendered impressions, and finally as their desired appearance in the virtual world. They explored many important issues relevent to adolescence and self-image. I think they were nothing short of brilliant and that these transcripts truly reflect the power of the virtual world to stimulate discussion on a more meaningful level, and to provide visual stimuli, interraction and immersion in otherwise unaavailable realms of experience. They are completely unedited and rather lengthy - as they reflect a full 45 minute cllass period. Tell us what you think!
R[6:22] Rawiszer Hillburn: yes use avater name
[6:22] Mormile Hillburn: everyone thinks i am prettiy
[6:22] Mccormick Hillburn: Stop laughing. Don't hate me cuz u aint me
[6:22] You: Stop messing around McCormick
[6:22] Mccormick Hillburn: ok
[6:23] Remmell Hillburn: lets start talking people
[6:23] Mccormick Hillburn: ok
[6:23] Chinkan Hillburn is Online
[6:23] You: I didn't receive the discussion questions so somebody else start off
[6:23] Remmell Hillburn: who wants to start
[6:23] Mormile Hillburn: i rather stay with my own image because i feel that i am beautiful in my ow way
[6:23] Remmell Hillburn: samee here
[6:23] Remmell Hillburn: i could care less what the media says
[6:23] Rawiszer Hillburn: dud you want to change your avater or would you rather stay with your own image?
[6:23] Mormile Hillburn: same
[6:23] You: I had no problem with my old image, but I have to admit i like the new one
[6:24] Mormile Hillburn: if they compare themselves 2 the meadia they would be ugly
[6:24] Remmell Hillburn: i want to put my person back to the way there were cause it looks like mine is like gunna die from being to thin
[6:24] Mormile Hillburn: lol
[6:24] Mccormick Hillburn: I really don't care. They are both different.
[6:24] Rawiszer Hillburn: I like my new avater but my old one represents me. My new avater is too "perfect"
[6:24] You: Ya there's no way I could be this jacked in real life
[6:24] Mccormick Hillburn: me 2
[6:24] Mormile Hillburn: yea i know the media is stupied for the way they show yound women they way they look
[6:25] Remmell Hillburn: yeahh thats right
[6:25] Mormile Hillburn: they should show real women not skinny all the time
[6:25] You: The people don't even look that way, anyway
[6:25] Mccormick Hillburn: men don't have to look like captain America
[6:25] You: it's all makeup and editing
[6:25] Rawiszer Hillburn: yea very stupid, they change the aperrances and other stuff to make them look deathly skinny
[6:25] Remmell Hillburn: i no it i sso stupid
[6:25] Mormile Hillburn: Fat isnt good but ppl gotta face the facts tht were not all beauty modls
[6:25] You: But to is, it's still attractive
[6:25] You: *us
[6:26] Mormile Hillburn: yea but thts wat the media is showing
[6:26] Remmell Hillburn: who cares
[6:26] Remmell Hillburn: what the media says
[6:26] Mormile Hillburn: so wat fat ppl have to alone the rest of there lives
[6:26] Mccormick Hillburn: Let's face it, only JZ get Beyonce
[6:26] You: The reason they portray beauty that way is because people like that
[6:26] You: Why do you think everyone shops at Abercrombie or Hollister?
[6:26] Liz Lowe: I'm here. How's it going?
[6:26] You: They want to look like the models
[6:27] Rawiszer Hillburn: Good Low
[6:27] Remmell Hillburn: i like going there cause i liek how thr cothing looks
[6:27] You: It's going good
[6:27] Mormile Hillburn: yea but if the media shows more meat on some of the gurls it wouldnt be so bad
[6:27] Rawiszer Hillburn: Yes people shop there because they care about there apperance
[6:27] Mccormick Hillburn: I don't. I get my clothes from sporting events, and bar mitzvas
[6:27] Remmell Hillburn: i think that would be good
[6:27] Remmell Hillburn: oohhh
[6:27] Liz Lowe: Excellent! Your chat looks very interesting. Good work!
[6:27] Mormile Hillburn: thanks
[6:27] Rawiszer Hillburn: Yes we are good at "chatting"
[6:27] Remmell Hillburn: :p
[6:27] Rawiszer Hillburn: :D
[6:27] Mormile Hillburn: LOL
[6:27] Mormile Hillburn: =)
[6:28] Remmell Hillburn: ::pp
[6:28] Rawiszer Hillburn: :>
[6:28] You: So what did you guys change about your avatars to make them look good?
[6:28] You: In the media's POV
[6:28] Mccormick Hillburn: I am taller now
[6:28] Remmell Hillburn: i put my person way o skinny
[6:28] Rawiszer Hillburn: I added muscle, taller, and blonda hair
[6:28] Remmell Hillburn: to*
[6:28] You: I'm taller, thinner, more muscular, have less hair
[6:28] You: My clothes are different
[6:28] Mccormick Hillburn: I have a gotee
[6:28] Rawiszer Hillburn: me 2
[6:28] Remmell Hillburn: im taller and skinnyer
[6:29] Rawiszer Hillburn: lol mccormick :P
[6:29] Mccormick Hillburn: I look like tom cruise
[6:29] You: My cheekbones are higher and I have a more defined face
[6:29] Mormile Hillburn: When the media shows thin women (SUPER THIN) they are showing tht there is no way in the world that ppl who dont have there ribs are attracttive
[6:29] Rawiszer Hillburn: ll
[6:29] Rawiszer Hillburn: *lol
[6:29] Rawiszer Hillburn: True mormile
[6:29] Mormile Hillburn: thanx
[6:30] Rawiszer Hillburn: Next question is were you surprised with what some of your classmates defined as beuty? explain
[6:30] You: Are you more "cpmfortable" with the way you look, or did you have no problem before?
[6:30] Mccormick Hillburn: No. Everyone sees the same commercials every day.
[6:31] You: I knew what basically everyone would look like
[6:31] Rawiszer Hillburn: skinny.... etc
[6:31] Remmell Hillburn: they all want to be thin
[6:31] Remmell Hillburn: well for girls
[6:31] Mormile Hillburn: Tenore wat would your dream women b
[6:31] Rawiszer Hillburn: lol
[6:31] Rawiszer Hillburn: good question
[6:31] You: I like tall blondes
[6:32] Rawiszer Hillburn: :P
[6:32] Rawiszer Hillburn: no comment
[6:32] Remmell Hillburn: why tall
[6:32] You: 'Cause I'm tall
[6:32] Remmell Hillburn: so
[6:32] Rawiszer Hillburn: true dat
[6:32] Remmell Hillburn: it does not matter
[6:32] Mccormick Hillburn: He doesnt want a munchkin
[6:32] Rawiszer Hillburn: lol
[6:32] Rawiszer Hillburn: :P
[6:33] Remmell Hillburn: =]
[6:33] You: What about you guys?
[6:33] Mormile Hillburn: louis wat type of gurl do you like
[6:33] Rawiszer Hillburn: no real names
[6:33] Mccormick Hillburn: Crmen Electra is hot
[6:33] Rawiszer Hillburn: avater names
[6:33] You: Yes!!!!
[6:33] Rawiszer Hillburn: true dat
[6:33] Remmell Hillburn: woooww
[6:33] Mormile Hillburn: BRAD PITT IS HOTTT
[6:33] Remmell Hillburn: oh yes
[6:33] Rawiszer Hillburn: ewww brad pitt
[6:33] You: Stop using the word hot
[6:33] Mccormick Hillburn: brad pitts a loser
[6:33] Remmell Hillburn: okay
[6:34] Rawiszer Hillburn: what word hot?
[6:34] Rawiszer Hillburn: hot hot hot
[6:34] You: And brad pitt is a terrible role mdel to have
[6:34] Mccormick Hillburn: hotness
[6:34] Rawiszer Hillburn: true dat
[6:34] Mormile Hillburn: how could u say tht
[6:34] Mormile Hillburn: okay
[6:34] You: Thatnk you
[6:34] Mccormick Hillburn: hot
[6:35] Aronoff Hillburn is Offline
[6:35] You: What about your dream people?
[6:35] Mccormick Hillburn: warm
[6:35] Mccormick Hillburn: chilly
[6:35] You: It's ok to have preferences
[6:35] Mccormick Hillburn: Ill stop
[6:35] Remmell Hillburn: okay good
[6:35] Remmell Hillburn: lol =]
[6:36] Mormile Hillburn: my dream people have to nice to me knda tall loveable n cute brown hair playes sports...
[6:36] Mccormick Hillburn: stop with the -}
[6:36] Remmell Hillburn: mine would be nice loves to talk and just being them selfs
[6:36] Remmell Hillburn: i could care less aout how tall they are or how short
[6:36] Mccormick Hillburn: me 2
[6:36] Mormile Hillburn: yea i agree
[6:36] You: It's ok to have a dream person. The question is, is the media affecting that vision?
[6:36] Remmell Hillburn: not at all
[6:37] Rawiszer Hillburn: Yep
[6:37] Rawiszer Hillburn: lol
[6:37] Mormile Hillburn: yea some of it
[6:38] Mormile Hillburn: great talk everyone
[6:38] Mccormick Hillburn: yea

[6:05] Liz Lowe: Please switch your headings so they say "looking good", not literary analyst, etc
[6:08] Liz Lowe: Your images should still look human. It's what you would see in a magazine or on TV
[6:10] Rodriguez Hillburn is Offline
[6:10] Aronoff Hillburn is Offline
[6:12] Rodriguez Hillburn is Online
[6:13] You: rodriguez u wanna race
[6:13] Rodriguez Hillburn: im guessing thats what i like
[6:14] Rodriguez Hillburn: with what
[6:14] You: i dunno just fliying up to the podium thng and back
[6:14] Zabler Hillburn is Online
[6:14] Rodriguez Hillburn: ok thats here right
[6:14] You: Ya
[6:15] You: go
[6:16] Cancelled Sit
[6:17] Aronoff Hillburn is Online
[6:17] You: ok whos a three, im leader
[6:17] Rawiszer Hillburn: lala
[6:17] Malm Hillburn: whos the leader
[6:17] Bernstein Hillburn: im leader for 5
[6:17] Liz Lowe: all leaders, please announce yourselves
[6:17] Malm Hillburn: ok
[6:17] Bernstein Hillburn: jon b is leader
[6:17] Remmell Hillburn: help me i cant sit down
[6:17] Zysman Hillburn: no ima 1
[6:17] Rubenoff Hillburn: who is the leader 4 group 5
[6:17] Lynch Hillburn: im a leader
[6:17] You: i am leader of 3
[6:17] Mcenery Hillburn: lets go up
[6:17] Malm Hillburn: jon
[6:17] Rubenoff Hillburn: for wht group
[6:17] Rawiszer Hillburn: who is the leader of 4
[6:18] Malm Hillburn: 5
[6:18] Tenore Hillburn: im leader of 4
[6:18] Rubenoff Hillburn: RYYYANNNNN
[6:18] Ryan Hillburn: hueeeellllooo
[6:18] Carew Hillburn: i'm so alone
[6:18] Subhedar Hillburn: which pod am i at
[6:18] Rubenoff Hillburn: RRYYYANNNN
[6:18] Subhedar Hillburn: Clifford
[6:18] Malm Hillburn: ryan
[6:18] Ryan Hillburn: heeellooo againm
[6:18] Rubenoff Hillburn: heyyyy
[6:18] Ryan Hillburn: whatss goiinn on
[6:18] Rubenoff Hillburn: we r in the same pod haha
[6:18] Mormile Hillburn: hello sam
[6:18] Rubenoff Hillburn: idk
[6:18] Bernstein Hillburn: is everyone here for pod 5
[6:18] Remmell Hillburn: hheyyy
[6:18] Magliano Hillburn: where is everybody?
[6:19] Rubenoff Hillburn: idk
[6:19] You: ok is every1 in the pod
[6:19] Liz Lowe: please go up as soon as you're ready
[6:19] Magliano Hillburn: we need to go up
[6:19] Rothmann Hillburn: i don't knoe
[6:19] Rothmann Hillburn: w
[6:19] Rubenoff Hillburn: lets go
[6:19] Subhedar Hillburn: yes
[6:19] Remmell Hillburn: who else is in group 4
[6:19] Ryan Hillburn: i dont knoe ether
[6:19] Mcenery Hillburn: if you are in group 3 get to the pod
[6:19] Tenore Hillburn: should we go up?
[6:19] Magliano Hillburn: no ones here
[6:19] Malm Hillburn: lets go
[6:19] Rubenoff Hillburn: ok\
[6:19] Rawiszer Hillburn: if you are in group 4 come sit
[6:19] Bernstein Hillburn: were going up
[6:19] Mcenery Hillburn: who is the leader of group 3
[6:19] Subhedar Hillburn: should we go up
[6:19] Mccormick Hillburn: Can anyone see me, because Nick can't
[6:19] Ryan Hillburn: lets flyy awaayyy
[6:19] Platform-Three whispers: Platform-Three now ascending.
[6:20] You: ok guys
[6:20] Mcenery Hillburn: okay
[6:20] Subhedar Hillburn: descend the pod
[6:20] You: we are full so i assume every1 is here
[6:20] Zabler Hillburn is Offline
[6:20] You: im not descending
[6:20] Subhedar Hillburn: no go down
[6:20] Mcenery Hillburn: why
[6:20] Song Hillburn: who is the leader
[6:20] Subhedar Hillburn: please im at the wrong one
[6:20] You: we have a full pod
[6:20] You: then get up and drop down
[6:20] You: it wont crash
[6:20] Subhedar Hillburn: go down i should be at one
[6:20] Keppler Hillburn: w/e just start discussing
[6:21] Rodriguez Hillburn: I would rather stay with my regular avatar, i coul;dnt change much except for fat
[6:21] You: ya subhedar just go
[6:21] Keppler Hillburn: what about fat ?
[6:21] You: OK guys
[6:21] Mcenery Hillburn: subheda stand up
[6:21] Rodriguez Hillburn: how skiny you are
[6:21] Nasar Hillburn: i made myself alot skinnier and taller
[6:21] Subhedar Hillburn: im staying
[6:21] You: yeah just go to your group
[6:21] You: ok thats fine
[6:21] Nasar Hillburn: and put alot of makeup on
[6:22] Keppler Hillburn: everybodu stand up so that we can see
[6:22] Mcenery Hillburn: i made myself muscular
[6:22] You: Ya i made my guy alot more thin, and muscula
[6:22] Subhedar Hillburn: i made mt ears smaler
[6:22] Rodriguez Hillburn: me too
[6:22] Song Hillburn: did anyone want to stay with their regular appearance
[6:22] Keppler Hillburn: i made myself thinner and taller
[6:22] Nasar Hillburn: me too
[6:22] Keppler Hillburn: and changed my hair
[6:22] Rodriguez Hillburn: yeah i still look kinda the same
[6:22] Nasar Hillburn: i changed my eyes
[6:22] Song Hillburn: i made myself taller and muscular
[6:22] You: I didnt keep my regular appearence, because by media definition, im pretty gross looking
[6:22] Subhedar Hillburn: me too
[6:23] Mcenery Hillburn: i changed my hair a lot and made it longer in the back and the front
[6:23] Mcenery Hillburn: same here clifford
[6:23] You: lol
[6:23] Keppler Hillburn: i wanted to change because its funner to be what everybody thinks is beautiful
[6:23] Keppler Hillburn: you cant be self consious
[6:23] Rodriguez Hillburn: yup
[6:23] You: No, i thin that beauty is not a truely expessionist thing
[6:24] Mcenery Hillburn: it depends on what everyone thinks is beautiful and what you think is beautiful
[6:24] Keppler Hillburn: explain
[6:24] Keppler Hillburn: never mind
[6:24] You: You dont find it etertaining, you just arent comfortable with who you are
[6:24] Mcenery Hillburn: they can be totally different
[6:24] Subhedar Hillburn: beaty is just not shape and looks
[6:24] Nasar Hillburn: ok wut do you think we get all of our ideas of beauty from?
[6:24] Keppler Hillburn: but nobody is totally comfortable with how they look
[6:24] Subhedar Hillburn: rom the media/advertisments
[6:24] You: if, you make an avatar like yourself, it sas alot about youre character
[6:24] Mcenery Hillburn: magizines and movies
[6:24] Nasar Hillburn: yeah
[6:24] Rodriguez Hillburn: true who do you see on tv?
[6:24] Nasar Hillburn: but beaty is in the eye of the beholder
[6:25] Song Hillburn: magazines, tv and movies
[6:25] Subhedar Hillburn: models and actresses
[6:25] Nasar Hillburn: skinny tall ppl
[6:25] You: not nessecarily "just like you" but containing some of your faults
[6:25] Keppler Hillburn: were teenagers and expecially girls are all self consious right now
[6:25] Nasar Hillburn: yep
[6:25] Rodriguez Hillburn: the only time i see fat women is on the street or on comedies made fun of
[6:25] Keppler Hillburn: it says nothing about your character
[6:25] You: people just dont care about health anymore
[6:25] Liz Lowe: Looks like having good discussion!
[6:25] Nasar Hillburn: i knoww
[6:25] Mcenery Hillburn: i would say yes but it depends on what they feel is self concious
[6:25] Nasar Hillburn: woo! lol
[6:25] Nasar Hillburn: yeah
[6:26] You: aot of what people do can kill them, but they do it because it will make them look "better"
[6:26] Rodriguez Hillburn: heck yeah
[6:26] Liz Lowe: Could someone please TP Chinkan?
[6:26] Keppler Hillburn: i think overweight people like try to tell themselves that its okay but its not
[6:26] You: I will
[6:26] Liz Lowe: YOu guys are great!
[6:26] Keppler Hillburn: like really overweight i mean
[6:26] Keppler Hillburn: its unhealthy
[6:26] Nasar Hillburn: yeah
[6:26] You: Well, im overweight, however am healthy so yes, it is okay
[6:27] Keppler Hillburn: yes it is but you arent obese at all
[6:27] Subhedar Hillburn: its not bad to be overweight really
[6:27] Keppler Hillburn: i meant obese
[6:27] Subhedar Hillburn: robs not obese
[6:27] Nasar Hillburn: no, its worse being underweight in most cases
[6:27] Keppler Hillburn: i know i said hes not
[6:27] You: well obesity is just another kind of disorder, which stems not really from poor body image, but lack of will
[6:27] Rodriguez Hillburn: obesse is 200pds and over
[6:28] Mcenery Hillburn: but the reason why people who are overweight, like really overweight, not like clifford but bigger, is because that people tell that person that they need to lose weight when that person really dosen't need to because they feel good about them selve
[6:28] Keppler Hillburn: and you keep hearing about famous people with eating disorders and stuuf but somehow it doesnt discourage girls from undereating
[6:28] You: thats because they still admire those people
[6:28] Subhedar Hillburn: the truth is their not healthy at all(actresses/models)
[6:28] Song Hillburn: maybe it is about stress
[6:28] You: if they jumped off a bridge
[6:28] Keppler Hillburn: yes they think that its not a big deal but it really is
[6:29] You: yeah i mean its not healty to "diet" but people always do it
[6:29] Mcenery Hillburn: the thing that i hate is that when girls are undrweight and they say that they need to lose weight
[6:29] Keppler Hillburn: the media should help us feel more confidant bt they really just do the opposite
[6:29] Rodriguez Hillburn: actually some people commit to diet but say they go to to the dr. again , if he losses weight that person will think he can take breaks and eat bad food more
[6:29] Subhedar Hillburn: its ok to diet but not for bad reason
[6:29] Song Hillburn: were you more or less comfortable in second life
[6:29] You: well, thats like a sigh of anorexia
[6:29] Mcenery Hillburn: \yea
[6:30] Rodriguez Hillburn: i know that
[6:30] Nasar Hillburn: yea
[6:30] Subhedar Hillburn: next q
[6:30] Keppler Hillburn: yeah i know girls who are really really thin and they always complan about how fat they arefor attention
[6:30] You: well dieting, is not okay, but you should be a little constrictive of how much junk you eat
[6:30] Nasar Hillburn: yeah i knoww
[6:30] Chinkan Hillburn: ya
[6:30] Subhedar Hillburn: its not ok for children but it is ok for adults
[6:30] Keppler Hillburn: but almost all 13 year old girls secretly want to lose weight if only in their minds
[6:30] Subhedar Hillburn: clifford
[6:31] Chinkan Hillburn: its not ok for anyone
[6:31] You: not really either tho, it creates a bad inflence for children
[6:31] Song Hillburn: i agree
[6:31] Chinkan Hillburn: ya
[6:31] Nasar Hillburn: yeah
[6:31] You: and is just really not good for you
[6:31] Subhedar Hillburn: no it doesnt
[6:31] Song Hillburn: i think it is for adults
[6:31] Keppler Hillburn: but its not a sign of anorexia if you think youre fat
[6:31] You: how s
[6:31] Mcenery Hillburn: yea, that is what really scares me about how an 80ilb girl needs to be skinnier
[6:31] You: Well if you r skinny, and think youre fat it is
[6:31] Subhedar Hillburn: dieting is just getting in shape...its ok if you dont go to extreme levels
[6:31] Rodriguez Hillburn: thats scary
[6:31] Nasar Hillburn: ppl r so obsessed w/ beng thin tht they dont eat even healty stuff anymore
[6:31] Keppler Hillburn: because then three quarters of the girls i know would be anorexic
[6:32] You: maybe thats the medias fault now isnt it
[6:32] Mcenery Hillburn: yea it is
[6:32] Rodriguez Hillburn: theres rather overweight and underweight people
[6:32] Keppler Hillburn: maybe its normal
[6:32] Keppler Hillburn: up to some extent
[6:32] Subhedar Hillburn: yeah pretty much
[6:32] You: not really a healthy thing none the less
[6:32] You: just because its normal doesnt make it right
[6:32] You: its like nazi germany
[6:32] Mcenery Hillburn: people now think that being skinny is being healthy
[6:32] Keppler Hillburn: yeah but im saying that almost every girl wants to lose a little weight
[6:32] Subhedar Hillburn: its right if u dont go to extreme levels
[6:33] Keppler Hillburn: its not a big deal
[6:33] You: ppl didnt care that they were kkilling others, because it was everyone else was doin to
[6:33] Nasar Hillburn: oo i have a question
[6:33] You: it makes it seem okay
[6:33] Mcenery Hillburn: if you are overweight by like 10ilbs that your fine
[6:33] Keppler Hillburn: it is okay up to some extent
[6:33] Nasar Hillburn: do u think avatars looked better today or yesterday?
[6:33] Mcenery Hillburn: but if you underweight by like 50ilbs than there is something wrong
[6:34] You: you actually, should have a little more weight in many cases
[6:34] You: especially women
[6:34] Nasar Hillburn: yeah
[6:34] Keppler Hillburn: and it really bothers me when people just complain about their weight for attention
[6:34] Rodriguez Hillburn: tyeah
[6:34] Chinkan Hillburn: a
[6:34] Subhedar Hillburn: its good for them
[6:34] You: because you need extra weight to bear children
[6:34] Song Hillburn: i think too much of one thing is bad
[6:34] Keppler Hillburn: and too little
[6:34] Nasar Hillburn: do u think the avatars looks better today or yesterday?
[6:34] Mcenery Hillburn: yesterday
[6:34] You: i dont really
[6:35] Chinkan Hillburn: i think ppl schould be who they r
[6:35] You: I would rather be me, than some media robot which perpetuates steriotypes
[6:35] Aronoff Hillburn is Offline
[6:35] Nasar Hillburn: nicely worded
[6:35] Subhedar Hillburn: agreed
[6:35] You: ty
[6:35] Mcenery Hillburn: yuppers
[6:35] Keppler Hillburn: yesterday they were more varied and today they just look like a bunch of models that we see in the media almost every day
[6:35] Nasar Hillburn: super skinny
[6:35] Chinkan Hillburn: ya
[6:35] Song Hillburn: were you less comfortable in second life in this new image today
[6:35] Rodriguez Hillburn: yeah skinny and muscular
[6:35] Nasar Hillburn: its better to look like us with naturl bodies
[6:36] Keppler Hillburn: no im more comfortable because no one can judge
[6:36] Subhedar Hillburn: id rather be fat than the apperences of models
[6:36] Keppler Hillburn: why ?
[6:36] Song Hillburn: really
[6:36] Nasar Hillburn: just because the media thinks super sknny is the def. of beauty doesnt mean we should all try to starve to achieve tht loiok
[6:36] Mcenery Hillburn: i would rather not try to lose the weight but try to maintain the weight im at insted of gainning or losing weight
[6:36] You: ya why would i want to be me to
[6:37] Keppler Hillburn: im not saying that it should be this way but being attractive does make life easier
[6:37] Subhedar Hillburn: i agree w/ rob m
[6:37] Song Hillburn: who is the leader
[6:37] You: I am
[6:37] Mcenery Hillburn: yea who is
[6:37] You: i got ic
[6:37] Mcenery Hillburn: okay
[6:37] Subhedar Hillburn: the media portraits bad things on people
[6:37] You: yep
[6:37] Chinkan Hillburn: yeah
[6:37] You: okay lets stop
[6:37] Subhedar Hillburn: kool
[6:37] Subhedar Hillburn: good job
[6:37] Mcenery Hillburn: yuppers
[6:37] Chinkan Hillburn: kk
[6:37] Keppler Hillburn: good job guys :)
[6:38] Nasar Hillburn: :)
[6:38] Chinkan Hillburn: bye
[6:38] Nasar Hillburn: tht went good, byez
[6:38] Song Hillburn: who is the leader
[6:38] Rodriguez Hillburn: yeah
[6:38] Subhedar Hillburn: cliffors
[6:38] Keppler Hillburn: goodbye :)
[6:38] Keppler Hillburn is Offline

Ryan Hillburn: so take it awy burnstein bear
[6:20] Rubenoff Hillburn: would you guys rather have the avatar tht looked like u or the one tht definrd beauty
[6:21] Ryan Hillburn: i would like to be prettyful
[6:21] Malm Hillburn: i like are avatar looking like me
[6:21] You: i would want mine to look like me
[6:21] Rubenoff Hillburn: me 2 i think i looked ugly as me
[6:21] Rubenoff Hillburn: who is malm
[6:21] Ryan Hillburn: how no one even loos like they rele di...all he avatars bascly looked the same
[6:21] Malm Hillburn: me
[6:22] Ryan Hillburn: and thats robert
[6:22] Ryan Hillburn: the big guy who dont rele do anthin haha
[6:22] Rubenoff Hillburn: i know its soo weird
[6:22] You: were any of you surprised with what other kids defined as buety
[6:22] Malm Hillburn: yes
[6:22] You: i was to
[6:22] Rubenoff Hillburn: yea some people looked a loittttle strange to wht is ee beauty as
[6:22] Malm Hillburn: yea
[6:23] Rubenoff Hillburn: soooo
[6:23] Rubenoff Hillburn: do u like this activity
[6:23] You: wat activity
[6:23] Ryan Hillburn: so does ur avatar define what u think of beauty as
[6:23] You: kind of
[6:23] Rubenoff Hillburn: well its as closse as its gonna get
[6:23] Malm Hillburn: yea
[6:23] Ryan Hillburn: yup.....
[6:24] Rubenoff Hillburn: yea yea
[6:24] Malm Hillburn: si
[6:24] Rubenoff Hillburn: heyy
[6:24] Ryan Hillburn: heyyyy tht was random were in the midle of a convo and ur like heey
[6:24] Rubenoff Hillburn: heyyyyy
[6:24] You: where do you guys think our images of buety come from
[6:24] Rubenoff Hillburn: i mthought it was cool
[6:25] Rubenoff Hillburn: i think they come from the magazine and tv
[6:25] You: me oo
[6:25] You: to
[6:25] Malm Hillburn: same here
[6:25] Ryan Hillburn: yupp
[6:25] Rubenoff Hillburn: some might come from billboards too
[6:25] Malm Hillburn: i guess so
[6:26] You: were you more comfertable or less in second life in this new image today?
[6:26] Ryan Hillburn: i thuoght it was finee
[6:26] Malm Hillburn: same
[6:26] Rubenoff Hillburn: i think i am morte comfortable with this i image
[6:27] You: it is easier in second life cause you can always change
[6:27] Malm Hillburn: yea
[6:27] Rubenoff Hillburn: yea u can make you lookj like whtever u want
[6:27] Rubenoff Hillburn: hii ryan
[6:27] Rubenoff Hillburn: hehe
[6:28] You: what did you do today to change your avatar
[6:28] Ryan Hillburn: hmmm
[6:28] Liz Lowe: I'm here. How's your discussion going?
[6:28] Malm Hillburn: good
[6:28] Rubenoff Hillburn: its goig pretty well
[6:28] Ryan Hillburn: yess going well indeed
[6:28] Malm Hillburn: great
[6:28] You: i made my avatar taller and more muscular
[6:28] Liz Lowe: Great! Any comments or questions for me?
[6:28] Rubenoff Hillburn: i made mine skiiner ad more defined
[6:29] Malm Hillburn: i ghanged his cloths
[6:29] Rubenoff Hillburn: i like this project
[6:29] Malm Hillburn: me2
[6:29] Ryan Hillburn: i made mine taller and stronger, made his face beteter
[6:29] Liz Lowe: I'll be back. Keep up the great work! I'm really glad you like this project!
[6:29] Rubenoff Hillburn: okey dokey smokey bear
[6:29] Rubenoff Hillburn: haha
[6:30] You: do you uguys think the avatars look better today or yesterday and why
[6:30] Rubenoff Hillburn: i think it looked better today because i thought i looked soo ugly and gross yesterday
[6:30] Ryan Hillburn: to be honest its really the same to me becasue i dont really care of wat people think of me
[6:31] Malm Hillburn: not so much me i only changed the cloths
[6:31] You: they all look pretty similar to each other from the day before
[6:31] Malm Hillburn: yep
[6:31] Rubenoff Hillburn: i care about wht people think of me
[6:31] Ryan Hillburn: thats becuz im a guy nd i dontt
[6:31] Rubenoff Hillburn: true true
[6:31] You: i dont care much either rob
[6:32] Ryan Hillburn: like how much tmie does it take u to get ready in the morning
[6:32] You: 5 minutes
[6:32] Rubenoff Hillburn: sometimes it 1.5 to 2 hours
[6:32] Ryan Hillburn: seee
[6:32] Ryan Hillburn: for mee
[6:32] You: sometime 10 minutes
[6:32] Ryan Hillburn: its like 30 seconds
[6:32] Ryan Hillburn: for me
[6:32] Malm Hillburn: 3 mins to 11mins
[6:32] You: very acurate
[6:33] Rubenoff Hillburn: haah well i have to look good when i o out of the house
[6:33] Ryan Hillburn: yahhh and i dont care wat i look like
[6:33] Rubenoff Hillburn: i nknow u dont
[6:33] Malm Hillburn: haha
[6:33] You: me either
[6:33] Ryan Hillburn: hahah oh thanks alot
[6:33] Rubenoff Hillburn: well thats cause u guys r boys
[6:34] Ryan Hillburn: soooo
[6:34] Ryan Hillburn: hahah
[6:34] Rubenoff Hillburn: hahha
[6:34] Ryan Hillburn: at least im beautiful in the insidee :)
[6:34] Ryan Hillburn: hahahah
[6:34] You: very nice ryan
[6:34] Rubenoff Hillburn: do u wish u could look differnt than u look in real life
[6:34] Malm Hillburn: yea ryan
[6:34] You: not really
[6:34] Rubenoff Hillburn: me either
[6:35] Malm Hillburn: same
[6:35] Aronoff Hillburn is Offline
[6:35] You: im fine the way i am
[6:35] Ryan Hillburn: i dont caree realll
[6:35] Ryan Hillburn: stop clapping
[6:35] Ryan Hillburn: hahah
[6:35] Malm Hillburn: ?
[6:35] Rubenoff Hillburn: hahaha
[6:35] Ryan Hillburn: try to wrap this up now theres only 4 more minss
[6:36] Malm Hillburn: k
[6:36] You: do you guys think were done
[6:36] Ryan Hillburn: prety muchh
[6:36] Malm Hillburn: yes
[6:36] Ryan Hillburn: coppyy thttt
[6:36] Ryan Hillburn: but jills still typinn
[6:36] Rubenoff Hillburn: ok so some of us do like the avatars tht look like u are better right
[6:36] Malm Hillburn: si
[6:36] Ryan Hillburn: sure
[6:36] Rubenoff Hillburn: coool
[6:36] You: ill take us down
[6:36] Platform-Five whispers: Platform-Five now descending

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Teachers Speak...

I asked Julie to write down a reaction- including any observations she had gleaned from her experience teaching in SL this year--I asked about the pros and cons. Knowing how busy my teachers are, especially at this time of year, she (once again) dazzled me with this very thorough response:

From Good Intentions to Best Practices: My Dream English Class in Second Life

From the time Peggy Sheehy (our library media specialist at Suffern Middle School in Suffern, New York) introduced me to Second Life last May, I was hooked. I was working on my Masters Degree through Walden University's online program, so I knew the value of virtual communication, at least at the university level. The idea of applying this platform to our elementary/secondary curriculum (and adding it to the old "teacher's toolbox") was quite enticing. I could do everything I was doing in my class AND MORE. I immediately signed up for the free download of this program at home and began to make my way around the incredibly user-friendly main grid. As I explored this new world and adjusted to my new lack of physical limitation, I was inundated with flashes of inspiration regarding the classroom application of this powerful tool. By the time September rolled around, Peggy had convinced the district to purchase three islands on the Second Life teen grid that were completely inaccessible from the main world. She also had a group of in-world volunteers who worked to design the orientation section, classrooms and buildings, and various games and activities around the island. This was shaping up to be quite a campus!
This method of instruction and assessment seemed the most applicable to the English teacher and "best practices" nut in me. Lessons could be standards-based, authentic, easily assessed, and geared to any learning style or level. The method of communication is one that students are already familiar with, and are likely to continue to use in business and personal life in the future. That meant a real-life/authentic application of standards-based curriculum for them. All communication is done in-world, so it would be simple to assess students' writing and communication of ideas. In the case of online discussion, students' grades would be contingent on participation. Students who might not normally participate in person might feel more comfortable speaking through an avatar. This "student accountability" aspect was the most enticing for me. The fact that I could save these communications also seemed incredibly valuable. These student histories could be used as evidence of student progress that they could apply to reflective pieces, and that I could use in progress reports. This medium would give me the physical evidence to back up grades or steer the course of a lesson to ensure student understanding. Performance assessments like presentations and plays could be more enriching for the same reasons. Literature is easily accessed and uploaded in this world, as are videos and music - we would literally have the world at our fingertips. It is an educator's Nirvana. All of these literacy-based applications made this venture seem like a no-brainer to me.
Peggy had obtained online names and passwords for most of the eight grade students; the sixth and seventh grade students did not make the established age limit. But as thrilled as I was with the educational potential of the program, I was not the first English teacher to use it. Kristy Ann McGrath's English classes obtained their passwords first, and did some work with John Steinbeck's novel, Of Mice and Men on Second Life. They even held a trial for George and Lennie, with a judge, defense and prosecution teams, witnesses, and a jury! This required a court house, of course, but that is exactly the kind of ordinarily imaginary classroom prop that is easily obtained in this world. Gail Yodowitz, our Home and Careers teacher, was next. She had students using online research to design presentations that could be displayed in-world, at the island's gallery. She also had students design resumes and conduct mock job interviews in-world, to prepare them for their upcoming real-world work experiences. Then, Teresa Ivey's classes worked online in groups on literature circle discussions and group presentations. The presentations were PowerPoint based, and her students came together in the virtual auditorium to share them. I was amazed at the depth of the academic and social results, especially when Diane Whiting brought her Health class in for a unit on body image. Students used their ability to adjust their avatar's appearance to reinforce the ideas of "popular" and "real" beauty. It turned out to be quite an interesting behavioral study.
I finally made it to Second Life with my classes when Teresa was almost done with her unit. It was great to be able to learn from Kristy Ann's experience with performance assessment and Teresa's experience with literature circle groups in this world. I was able to take my existing literature circle unit, adapt it for use by avatars, and design a "virtual-communication-friendly" rubric for discussions. My classes were as immediately comfortable working in Second Life as I was. There was absolute silence in the room during discussions, except, of course, for the sounds of furious typing. When they had a question or a problem, they could send me an instant message. They were so intensely involved in this new program that students who stayed home sick were downloading the program at home and coming to discussions anyway! It almost seemed like less work to them because they were doing what they normally do with their friends after school, plus I didn't have to ask them for a handwritten summary of what their group discussed every day. Students cut and pasted their discussions (which include time stamps and names next to each and every response) into note cards that they sent to me when their discussion ended. It was all right there for me to grade. I could easily see who was participating, who had read and done their role for the day, who had misunderstandings that needed clearing up, and who was showing incredible insight into the reading.
If they needed help getting their discussions going, I could sit my own avatar down with their group and help them out for a while. Or, I could transport my avatar from one group to another to check in on them from time to time, just like I would normally have done during real-world literature circle discussions. Students who had never spoken to each other were finding commonalities and discovering each others' talents. In their final reflections, many of them astutely remarked that if they had been in groups with their friends, they would not have gotten as much work done - a level of self-realization that astonished me. Several commented that they now knew who they could go to when they wanted peer help with certain English skills. They also noted that, when they were in groups that included their friends, they formed deeper friendships through their discussions, many of which ended up being much deeper than the normal classroom discussions. They were all quite good at keeping each other on task, and they used their daily roles (a carry-over from our normal literature circle unit) to keep the conversation rolling.
My English classes had more academic and social success using this program than I have ever seen in a literature circle unit. Their final reflections show that the students agree, and that they would LOVE to spend more time learning in Second Life. Other educators may disagree, but given my own experience as a graduate of an online university, I could see easily converting all of my existing units and conducting my entire year's worth of English classes online now.
--Julie Nicholson Bujtas

My Experience Using “Second Life”
Diane Whiting: Health Teacher

As an eighth grade health educator, I believe that one of the most important things that I can teach is self-acceptance, self-esteem, and the development of a healthy body image. I want my students to examine the factors that influence body image and how they can create a more positive regard for themselves. The following are excerpts from conversations that happened in one of my classes. Discussions were led by students without direct instruction from a teacher.
Discussion #1
Did you want to change your image?
Girl 1: I’d rather stay with my own image because I feel that I am beautiful in my own way. The media is stupid for the way they show young women and the way they look.
Girl 2: Yeah. That’s right!
Girl 1: They should show real women, not skinny all the time.
Boy 1: The people don’t even look like that anyway. It’s all makeup and editing.
Boy 2: Yeah. Men don’t have to look like captain America.
Boy 3: Yeah. Very stupid. They change the appearances and other stuff to make women look deathly skinny.
Girl 2: I know. It’s so stupid.
Girl 1: Fat isn’t good, but people have to face the facts that we’re not all beauty models.

Discussion #2
Did anyone want to stay with their regular appearance?
Girl 1: : I made myself thinner and taller
Girl 2: Me too.
Girl 1: and changed my hair
Boy 1: Yeah I still look kinda the same
Girl 3: I changed my eyes
Boy 2: I made myself taller and muscular
Boy 3: I didn’t keep my regular appearance, because by media definition, I’m pretty gross looking
Boy 4: Me too
Girl 1: I wanted to change because its funner to be what everybody thinks is beautiful
Boy 1: No, I think that beauty is not a truly expessionist thing
Boy 3: It depends on what everyone thinks is beautiful and what you think is beautiful
Girl 1: Explain
Boy 2: Beauty is just not shape and looks
Girl 3: OK. Where do you think we get all of our ideas of beauty from?
Girl 1: But nobody is totally comfortable with how they look
Boy 3: From the media/advertisements
Boy1: If you make an avatar like yourself, it says a lot about your character
Girl 3: Yeah
Girl 2: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Girl 1: But you keep hearing about famous people with eating disorders and stuff but somehow it doesn’t discourage girls from under eating
Boy 1: That’s because they still admire those people
Boy 2: The truth is they’re not healthy at all (actresses/models)
Boy 3: Maybe it is about stress
Girl 1: Yes. They think that it’s not a big deal but it really is.
Boy 1: Yeah I mean it’s not healthy to "diet" but people always do it
Boy2: The thing that I hate is that when girls are underweight and they say that they need to lose weight
Girl 1: The media should help us feel more confidant but they really just do the opposite.

Although I go to great lengths to foster an environment that encourages honest and thoughtful discussions in my classes, I must point out that this discussion did not occur in my regular classroom. It happened in my Second Life classroom. Students were asked to create avatars that resembled their actual appearances as much as possible. After they created their realistic avatars, they were put into groups to discuss how comfortable they were with these images in Second Life. The next day, they changed their avatars to resemble what they thought was the media’s representation of perfect beauty. Again, they went into groups to discuss how they felt about that process. This allowed students to discuss how the media portrays beauty, how realistic those images are, and how they personally felt in these different images.
Since this was my first experience with Second Life, The first day of the project was less organized than a normal lesson would be for me. Once I became comfortable using the messaging systems and note cards, I was amazed to see the learning that was happening in the discussion groups. At first it was difficult to predict what the students would get out of this process. I expected them to enjoy the process of creating avatars, but I had no idea how profound their discussions would become when they formed groups in the “pods”. When we cover body image in a traditional class, it’s easy for most students to discuss how they fell about the media, but it’s more difficult for students to discuss how these messages affect them personally. As a health teacher, it was incredibly rewarding to see my students examine these issues frankly and support one another in the goal of self-acceptance. I do not believe this level of communication could have happened in a traditional classroom. Second Life is a tool that has allowed my students to explore feelings and concerns that I know would not have happened otherwise. Not only did they discuss their concerns, but they were able to provide each other support. Second Life is a forum that easily lends itself to teaching body image and self acceptance. I look forward to using this tool in the future and to exploring new ideas to apply it to other units as well.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

A little visitor, and a big lesson....

During our class presentaions the other day, the windows in the library were open, as warm weather has finally arrived in Suffern. During our work, a pigeon landed on the window sill, and proceeded to step down onto the computer tables and stroll across the keyboards. Naturally, the kids were initially distracted by the arrival and entrance of our fine feathered friend. But the lesson is - the first thing they did - ON AUTO PILOT- was whip out their cell phones (which they are supposed to keep in their lockers) and start photographing the event! So here's my question: When are we, as educators, going to harness this technology instead of banning it? Teachable moment? Yes, especially for us, the teachers!

PS: We had some good laughs coming up with a caption for the pic of the pigeon on the keyboard. My favorite was "Pigital Native"!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Snow Crash Presentation...

Clifford Hillburn: this obviously, is a new addition to the show
[10:17] Clifford Hillburn: this is the cover of the book
[10:17] Clifford Hillburn: ok so liu will start us off
[10:18] Liu Hillburn: hiro begins the story as a pizza deliverer
[10:18] Liu Hillburn: working for the mafia
[10:18] Liu Hillburn: he's the wrold's greatest swordfighter and the last of the freelance hackers
[10:18] Liu Hillburn: now, he meets Y.T. when he gets into an accident
[10:18] Liu Hillburn: that's when their relationship begins
[10:19] Liu Hillburn: they decide to work together in the information sharing business
[10:19] Liu Hillburn: they become partners
[10:19] Liu Hillburn: in that business, they discover the narcotic, snowcrash
[10:19] Clifford Hillburn: now, obviuosly
[10:19] Clifford Hillburn: snow crash is a drug
[10:20] Clifford Hillburn: the difference between it and conventional narcotics
[10:20] Clifford Hillburn: is that it is distributed using a computer
[10:20] Clifford Hillburn: ok next slide
[10:20] Snow Crash project: Touched.
[10:21] Clifford Hillburn: unless you have anything to say tenore
[10:21] Ivey Zeami: Nice work so far...very interesting
[10:21] Tenore Hillburn: they basically introduced the plot
[10:22] Tenore Hillburn: as the story continues, there are several "antagonists", such as Raven and L Bob Rife, who are involved in snowcrash
[10:22] Tenore Hillburn: Hiro's friend David is the first affected by this narcotic
[10:22] Tenore Hillburn: that we see in the book
[10:22] Tenore Hillburn: ok next slide
[10:22] Clifford Hillburn: ok
[10:22] Snow Crash project: Touched.
[10:23] Clifford Hillburn: ok, so the majority of snow crash takes place in the realm of reality
[10:23] Clifford Hillburn: however the world is broken up much different thn today
[10:24] Clifford Hillburn: the world is a consumerist liveing environment
[10:24] Clifford Hillburn: where there are no nations, only franchises
[10:24] Liu Hillburn: there is no more government
[10:24] Liu Hillburn: as clifford said, the majority of the book takes place in a realm of reality
[10:25] Liu Hillburn: but the virtual reality - this is called the metaverse
[10:25] Liu Hillburn: the metaverse is actually an alternate computer generated reality
[10:25] Clifford Hillburn: much like a videogame
[10:25] Liu Hillburn: it's a new way of communication, much like the internet is today
[10:25] Clifford Hillburn: and *second life*
[10:25] Tenore Hillburn: not unlike second life
[10:26] Tenore Hillburn: you read my mind clifford
[10:26] Ivey Zeami: interesting
[10:26] Clifford Hillburn: ok next slidde
[10:26] Snow Crash project: Touched.
[10:27] Tenore Hillburn: Neal Stephenson is an author who started most of his work in the mid-80's
[10:27] Tenore Hillburn: he's most remembered for his invention of the cyberpunk genre
[10:27] Tenore Hillburn: yesterday we mentioned what cyberpunk is, but just for recap
[10:28] Tenore Hillburn: it basically is a modern reality with much more advanced technology
[10:28] Tenore Hillburn: anything you want to add
[10:29] Ivey Zeami: Definitely sounds like a challenging but engaging read.
[10:29] Clifford Hillburn: well, stephenson also had many political undertones in his work
[10:29] Liu Hillburn: many dealing with religion
[10:29] Ivey Zeami: We should stop for questions
[10:29] Tenore Hillburn: yes he made many criticisms of religion
[10:29] Clifford Hillburn: he trys to poke at american consumerism
[10:29] Ivey Zeami: We need to move in (sorry!!!!)
[10:29] Tenore Hillburn: specifically protestant christianity
[10:29] Clifford Hillburn: ok so ill stop for a mnute and open for questions
[10:30] Clifford Hillburn: I would say the book, as a read, is definitely a ten!
[10:30] Liu Hillburn: i'd rate it as a 8-9
[10:30] Liu Hillburn: we're not done
[10:30] Liu Hillburn: nvm
[10:30] Clifford Hillburn: yes we are
[10:31] Clifford Hillburn: ok good
[10:31] Liu Hillburn: let's finish.
[10:32] Liu Hillburn: that is neal stephonson
[10:33] Clifford Hillburn: ok so this book
[10:33] Clifford Hillburn: created a high influence
[10:33] Clifford Hillburn: for many of my favorite game designers
[10:33] Liu Hillburn: "videogame
[10:33] Clifford Hillburn: for example, a man named will wright has cited it as his main influence in creation
[10:33] Clifford Hillburn: as, does philip rosedale
[10:34] Clifford Hillburn: the founder of second life
[10:34] Clifford Hillburn: ok so, who has any questions
[10:34] Liu Hillburn: questions?
[10:34] Shanahan Hillburn: wat did u thin of the book?
[10:34] Shanahan Hillburn: *think
[10:35] Liu Hillburn: anyone?
[10:35] Clifford Hillburn: well, as ive said it was definitely a fantastic read
[10:35] Shanahan Hillburn: ok
[10:35] Hertzman Hillburn: did u learn anything from the book
[10:35] Clifford Hillburn: tenore
[10:35] Hertzman Hillburn: (Y)
[10:35] Hertzman Hillburn: (-.-)
[10:36] Tenore Hillburn: um, well i found it interesting how he wrote this book so long ago and described the metaverse very closely to second life
[10:36] Hertzman Hillburn: c((-)(-)
[10:36] Liu Hillburn: i think it puts together a lot of the ideas and fears we have today of technology in thought
[10:36] Ramon Hillburn: c((")(")
[10:36] Clifford Hillburn: well, second life is built around it
[10:36] Tenore Hillburn: our technology is heading toward what he described
[10:36] Shanahan Hillburn: (-.-)
[10:36] Clifford Hillburn: like its made for that purpose
[10:36] Tenore Hillburn: exactly

Ivey Wednesday...

Here are more pics of slides and a transcript of the chat for one presentation:
[5:47] Roberts Hillburn: should we start
[5:48] Hammershlag Hillburn: Other books that H.G. Wells wrote that he is well known for are The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau.
[5:48] Hammershlag Hillburn: H.G. Wells along with Hugo Gernsback and Jules Verne are referred to as "The Fathers of Science Fiction"
[5:49] Hammershlag Hillburn: When H.G. Wells was a child, his family was very poor. He had to think of a way to make money. He started out drawing because it was an easy way to express his feelings. He then tried writing and it hit him that he can make a lot of money by his science fiction writing. The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau.
[5:50] Broder Hillburn: In the time machine the time traveler travels to the future and needs to solve the mystery of where his tme machine went. it takes place in england in 1895 and 802'701. the central conflict is that the time traveler loses his time machine and needs to get it back. the main protaginist is the time traveler and he learns to adapt to the future. the central theme is survival of the fittest and the Eloi cant defend themselves against the morlocks while the ime traveler can
[5:51] Ivey Zeami: Cool pictures
[5:51] RokN Hillburn: time machine and what it looks like when it is heading to a different time
[5:51] RokN Hillburn: there are also some pix of the book cover and movie advertisements these are the mesmerizing pictures of time machine
[5:52] Roberts Hillburn: The time machine was written in 1895 by H.G. Wells.
[5:52] Roberts Hillburn: He believed that the future would be potrayed as mutants, and aliens.
[5:53] Roberts Hillburn: Today, the people of 2007 believe the future will be a bunch of hovering buildings and flying cars and disintegrating guns.
[5:53] Roberts Hillburn: H.G. Wells makes the future seem less technological
[5:54] Mcinerney Hillburn: Everything is'nt what you expect. The Time Traveler thought that the future would be technologically advanced. H.G Wells decided to show the future as a simpler time with simpler needs. Different is'nt bad. Just because the future wasn't technologically advanced didn't mean that it was a horrible future. Their needs were supported and there was no conflict. It was as close to perfect as possible. Nothing is perfect though. The Eloi may have been supported, but there was a problem. The Morlocks eat the Eloi during the night. The Eloi are to peaceful to fight back. This book was written to entertain the reader.
[5:54] Mcinerney Hillburn: The main purpose is to entertain
[5:54] RokN Hillburn: he pictures here are of the morlock an eloi which is what Weena is
[5:54] RokN Hillburn: Weena is the female next to the morlock the elderly man is a picture of the Author H.G Wells the rest are some interesting pix of the book and movie
[5:55] Puncar Hillburn: The Time Machine has many aspects that make it such a great book to read. These aspects include suspense, action, futuristic plot and conflict, vocabulary, science fiction and the characters. Throughout the main part of the book, suspense fills your mind. The reader is constantly wondering if the Time Traveler will ever return home or end up living in the future forever.
[5:57] Puncar Hillburn: While he is looking for his time machine, the Time Traveler becomes very frantic. What he does to get it back makes for a huge amount of action. Also, as you can imagine, the whole concept of time traveling and being in the future makes the book full of science fiction.
[5:58] Puncar Hillburn: This book has some of the best vocabulary I have ever seen before. Words such as endowed, repugnance, convulsively and pallid really help paint a picture in the reader’s head as if you are really there.
[5:58] Puncar Hillburn: Characters in this book are so mysterious and there are so much not told about them. For instance, the Time Traveler, the main character, never reveals his name. He always is acting strange and mysterious.
[5:58] Puncar Hillburn: Characters in this book are so mysterious and there are so much not told about them. For instance, the Time Traveler, the main character, never reveals his name. He always is acting strange and mysterious.
[5:58] Puncar Hillburn: This book is able to entertain the reader all within 38,000 words, which is apparently a small amount of words for a novel.
[5:59] Hammershlag Hillburn: the end

This comment was left by LArry Steckler, but had to be deleted due to the link not showing up properly: Thank you LArry for this great info!
COMMENT: Here is a link to a new book – (un-attributed autobiography) of Hugo Gernsback. Long lost manuscript edited by Larry Steckler, was found in the company files when they stopped publishing in January 2003.