Monday, February 26, 2007

Winter Break - Presentation Hibernation

Hi All - I have been in "Presentation Hibernation" this week - as school is closed and I am slated to present at NYSCATE in Wappinger Falls this coming Saturday, March 3, as well as at LHRIC's Tech Expo 2007
March 15, 2007 (7:30am-4:30pm)
Location: Edith Macy Conference Center
Audience: Teachers, Directors of Technology, Administrators

Funny, a year or so ago, when I was researching information for my proposal for Ramapo Islands I really had to search down resources that were few and far between. Now, I am hard-pressed to limit my presentation to one hour as there are so many incredible articles, papers, movies and research reports that support MUVEs and virtual worlds for education. Finding a succinct definition for 21st Century Literacy is a major hurdle! Any suggestions? I will be posting a working version of the presentation ASAP and welcome input and critique (I know I know - be careful what you ask for - you may get it!) *winks*

Friday, February 09, 2007

Trial - Closing Arguments and Jury Deliberation

Judge Tannebaum Hillburn presides over Trial

PA + Prosecuting Atorney DA= District Attorney All other roles are stated as Judge, Juror, etc.
Official Court Transcript:
[5:24] Jonathan Hillburn: Judge: will the prosecuting attorney please start your closing statement.
[5:25] Chaser Brody is Online
[5:27] Glassman Hillburn is Online
[5:28] Jonathan Hillburn: Judge: will the prosecuting attorney please start your closing statement.
[5:28] PA: If you ask me, i belive that George is guilty of killing Lennie Small in cold blood. He killed his best friend without any provoction or warning in an execution style- shot to the head. George is guilty of first degree murder and should go to jail for longer then the Da says which is 2 years. There is no such thing as killing a man out of love and George is a murderer.
[5:28] Jonathan Hillburn: Judge: will the defense attorney please give your closing statement.
[5:28] Chowdhury Hillburn: "N, Lennie. I ain't mad. I never been mad an' i ain't now. That's a thing i want ya to know". These are the words of Geeorge Milton, which were said to make sure that Lennie knew that Geoge loved him, no matter what he got both of them into. From this your honor, and people of the jury, i would like you to know that George is not a bad person and that he loves Lennie very much and only killed him to give him a happier ending to his life due to curley's intentions. So, in conclusion your honor and people of the jury, do you find it is fair and appropriate to send a good, sympathetic, well rounded man to jail for more than two years, because he was only guilty of giving a friend a better ending to his existence and giving nothing but love and keeping him far away from any harm for years? I certainly know that it is wrong to send George to jail for more than two years for not even going to an extremist position, which he could have done but due to being a kind hearted person he didn't do a cruel thing like that.
[5:28] Chowdhury Hillburn: DA:that is ll your honor , thank you
[5:33] Jonathan Hillburn: Judge: ladies and gentlemen of the jury it is now time for you to convene and determine a verdict...
[5:33] Jonathan Hillburn: judge: please be sure to base your decision on the evidence presented and any questions that you have can be answered by referring to the court transcript
[5:35] Rodriguez Hillburn: juror:well i think the Defense attorney had the better of us in the closing statement but George is still guilty
[5:35] Chinkan Hillburn: jury: i think he sould go for 2 years
[5:35] Tuchman Hillburn: George is definately guily-- we dont know what really happened but what I do know is normally you do not kill a man out of love no matter what, no one should be able to take someone's life and get away with it especially admittedly. George is guilty
Juror:Look we do not know what really happened in these people lves. But what I do know is you do not take somones life out of love no matter what! We are not immortal and we should not be let free of murder especially admittedly! GEORGE IS GUILTY
[5:35] Penny Hillburn: jurer: I beleive that George is not guilty, i believe from what the DA said about being it out of love is true
[5:36] Tuchman Hillburn: Penny you dont kill a man out of love that doesnt happen
[5:36] Penny Hillburn: from what ive heard i do not think he did it out of hatred
[5:37] Tuchman Hillburn: Juror:the defense attorney even thinks that he is guilty so how am I to believe he is not!
[5:37] Manganiello Hillburn: juror: i feel that you just cant take a mans life so i feel that lennies sentence is 15 years in jail
[5:37] Penny Hillburn: jurer: she never said that
[5:37] Tuchman Hillburn: juror:I agree maginello
[5:37] Tuchman Hillburn: 15 years in jail is a good term
[5:37] Rodriguez Hillburn: in the trial george said he used curleys gun to kill Lennie, so he attempted both murder and stealing.
[5:37] Tuchman Hillburn: juror:EXACTLY!
[5:38] Penny Hillburn: thats way too long. dont you think he's already done sort of a sentence with having to deal with lennie most of his life. george said they were like brothers
[5:38] Tuchman Hillburn: juror:you do not kill a man out of love! thats it! we are not God we do not have the right to do that! the DA is wrong and I think confused! george is guilty!
[5:39] Manganiello Hillburn: juror: george should go to jail for 15 years
[5:39] Chinkan Hillburn: he sould go for 2 years beceuse he killed him out of love and curly would have killed him worse
[5:39] Tuchman Hillburn: juror:15 years
[5:39] Penny Hillburn: jurer: yeah but george felt it would be better instead of lennie being tortured.
[5:39] Manganiello Hillburn: juror: yes
[5:40] Rodriguez Hillburn: juror: "he is guilty of killing Lennie" That was said by the Defense attoney at 5:22
[5:40] Tuchman Hillburn: "I killed Lenny" once you kill a man and admit it your guilty
[5:40] Tuchman Hillburn: 15 years final agreed?
[5:40] Penny Hillburn: jurer: less
[5:41] Manganiello Hillburn: juror: i also say 15 years
[5:41] Penny Hillburn: if we all agree he should go to jail from what the DA said that changed my mindd. i think he should do some time but not 15 years
[5:41] Chinkan Hillburn: he is gulity of killing lennie for love
[5:41] Penny Hillburn: yes
[5:42] Tuchman Hillburn: The DA is confused and is not right she also doesnt know exactly what happened penny and chinkan you dont kill a man out of love majority wins 15 years
[5:42] Penny Hillburn: jurer: i think he shuold do some time now, because he did take someones life but i think he ment well and that he relaly loved lennie and i dont think he should do 15 years
[5:42] Rodriguez Hillburn: In the George trial the defense attorney changed her plea."I would like to change it to that george Milton is guilty but should go to jail fo two years" It was like she gave up on her opinion
[5:42] Tuchman Hillburn: juror:well majority wins
[5:42] Chinkan Hillburn: he sould go fo 2 year ONLY!!!!!
[5:43] Rodriguez Hillburn: He should do time
[5:43] Tuchman Hillburn: okay okay SAY "I" FOR 15 YEARS
[5:43] Rodriguez Hillburn: 3-5years
[5:43] Anaya Hillburn: no
[5:43] Chinkan Hillburn: FOR 2 YEARS!!!!
[5:43] Manganiello Hillburn: juor: you have to sink very low to kill someone
[5:44] Tuchman Hillburn: yes maginello
[5:44] Penny Hillburn: jurer: less than 15 years. i think more then 15 years its not fair. i think that 10 years would be fair.because i think it was out of love but that doesnt matter when you take someones life
[5:44] Chinkan Hillburn: 3-5 years is fine
[5:44] Tuchman Hillburn: okay penny 14.5 years
[5:44] Penny Hillburn: no
[5:44] Rodriguez Hillburn: 7years tops
[5:44] Tuchman Hillburn: 10 years
[5:44] Penny Hillburn: 10
[5:44] Chinkan Hillburn: 3-5 years
[5:44] Manganiello Hillburn: juror: NO 15 years
[5:44] Rodriguez Hillburn: 10 years

[5:45] Penny Hillburn: ok
[5:45] Rodriguez Hillburn: why 15
[5:45] Penny Hillburn: thats too long.he really did love lennie
[5:45] Penny Hillburn: but he still killed him.
[5:45] Manganiello Hillburn: juror: fine 10 years u happy
[5:45] Penny Hillburn: ok. so we all agree on George goes to jail for 10 years
[5:45] Tuchman Hillburn: Judge: ready to read your verdict?
[5:45] Rodriguez Hillburn: juror:yeah were READY
[5:46] Tuchman Hillburn: The lead juror is ready to read our verdict
[5:47] Tuchman Hillburn: juror:we the jury think George Milton should serve a term of 15 years in jail
[5:47] Tuchman Hillburn: 10 years*
[5:47] Manganiello Hillburn: juror: milton
[5:47] Jonathan Hillburn: judge: george miltion is sentenced to 15 years in prison
[5:47] Jonathan Hillburn: 10 years***
[5:48] Manganiello Hillburn: juror: amen
[5:48] Tuchman Hillburn: to that
[5:49] Tuchman Hillburn: dan won
[5:49] Manganiello Hillburn: juror:NO
[5:50] Jonathan Hillburn: Judge: court is adjourned

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Trial ~ Day 3

Our day began with the News Reporters giving their summary of yesterday's proceedings. (Of course the jurors were sequested during the new report!). Then day 3 began with the Judge calling the court to order and the DA calling up a new witness. Cross examination was scathing! Jurors needed to be reminded to stay alert (move now and then to avoid the "away" display *smiles*)
Some students were experimenting with the built in movie tools and others were taking snapshots. Court reporters have taken chat logs and delivered them to Ms. McGrath. A copy of one transcript from todays proceedings is below:

[5:26] Jonathan Hillburn: Judge: court is in session. Attorneys please bring up your witnesses
[5:26] Manganiello Hillburn is Online
[5:26] Chowdhury Hillburn: DA: your honor i would like to call SLIM
[5:26] Jonathan Hillburn: judge: slim please come up to the bench
[5:28] Chowdhury Hillburn: DA:my first question is what happened in Weed according to what George told you that one day?
[5:30] Feeley Hillburn: slim:well in weed george told me that lennie felt the material of the womens dress and riped it so they had to run away
[5:30] Castaneda Hillburn is Online
[5:31] Chowdhury Hillburn:DA: After what happened in Weed do you think you would have left Lennie after that inccident
[5:32] Feeley Hillburn:slim: no i probaly would not have left him
[5:32] Chowdhury Hillburn: DA: How do you think George had felt after killing his Best friend, Lennie?
[5:33] Feeley Hillburn: slim:he had felt very bad about that
[5:33] Chowdhury Hillburn: DA: can you explain in detail
5:35] Rodriguez Hillburn is Online
[5:35] Jonathan Hillburn: Judge: juror tuchman please stay seated
[5:35] Feeley Hillburn: slim: he had told me that he should not have killed him but he said that if he didnt kill him than carlson would of make it worst by tourtureing him until he dies
[5:35] Jonathan Hillburn: judge:STay DOWN0
[5:35] Jonathan Hillburn:judge: order in the court
[5:36] Chowdhury Hillburn: DA: Why do you think the main reason was that George had killed Lennie?
[5:36] Feeley Hillburn:slim: to save him from an even painful death
[5:37] Chowdhury Hillburn: DA: Do you hink what George had said was wrong or was it right? if it was right please explain why and if it was wrong please stay silent after saying n.?
[5:38] Wodwoo Hillburn is Online
[5:39] Feeley Hillburn: slim: i think he was right because carlson wanted to kill lennie because lennie killed his wife
[5:39] Jonathan Hillburn: judge: can you be more secific george
[5:39] Feeley Hillburn:Slim: curly sorry
[5:39] Jonathan Hillburn: judge:slim
[5:40] Chowdhury Hillburn: DA: what kind of relationship do you think George had with Lennie
[5:41] Feeley Hillburn: slim: well when they came george looked like they were pals but lennie didnt talk much and george was talking for him
[5:42] Chowdhury Hillburn: DA: explain in detail please how much Geoorge love Lennie, please.

....[5:44] Feeley Hillburn: slim: ok george loved lennie a whole lot and i know we all miss him probaly not curley but the one who misses him the most is george because george had him for like his life
[5:44] Chowdhury Hillburn: DA: that is all your honor, thank you
[5:44] Jonathan Hillburn: Judge: prosecutor attorney please come to the stand for your witness
5:46] Feeley Hillburn: slim: no i have never, george was very kind to lennie
[5:46] Wodwoo Hillburn: PA;how well did george and lennie work togther?
[5:47] Feeley Hillburn: slim: they were very good workers and lennie was buking barley fast and george helped out a lot
[5:47] Wodwoo Hillburn: PA:were yiu there when lennie fought curly
[5:47] Wodwoo Hillburn: PA:were yiu there when lennie fought curly
[5:48] Feeley Hillburn: slim: yes i was there lennie broke curley's hand
[5:49] Wodwoo Hillburn: PA:how did george act while lennie broke curlys hand?
[5:51] Glassman Hillburn is Offline
[5:51] Jonathan Hillburn: judge:sit down tuchman
[5:51] Feeley Hillburn: slim: george was trying to stop lennie but he finally told him to stand up for yourself and lennie did and then george got scared and told lennie to stop
got scared and told lennie to stop
[5:51] Wodwoo Hillburn: pa; what were you doing when lennie killed Curlys wife
[5:52] Jonathan Hillburn: judge: court is adjourned for today

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Court is in Session!

There aren't adequate words to describe just how amazing our students were today when they began their mock trials in Second Life! Therefore, let me just show some chat logs from the opening statements today:
Trial One: The State of California V. Lennie Small
Bender Hillburn: Judge: Court is now in session
[7:29] Kim Hillburn: Prosecuting Attorney: I will initiate my part of this trial by saying that Lennie Small is guilty of the crime of strangling a young woman to death, who would also be unnamed. This is an act of second degree muder because Mr. Small intentionally murdered the young woman. He wanted the pleasure of touching something pleasant that he would do anything to fulfill this urge. On a Sunday afternoon, Mr. Small was in a barn on the ranch that he was employed on. All the other male workers, except the African American stable buck, were enjoying themselves from a very far away distance from Lennie's barn here his puppy was once living (he also murdered his pup). Why he decided to be all alone in a mischievous barn all alone you ask? I am not very sure, but soon enough Lennie's boss's son named Curley will receive grave news that his wife has just been mudered. Curley's wife steps into the barn and Lennie tries to hide the puppy that he kills just by holding it! Curley's wife, in much danger, allows Mr. Small to feel her velvety soft...
[7:31] Kim Hillburn: hair. Depriving of something soft to caress around his fingers, Lennie takes advantage of this wonderful opportunity and grabs Curley's wife's beautiful hair. He becomes so entangled in the wonder of it all that he slowly becomes more violent and vicious with his stroking actions and eventually strangles the poor woman to death. This is truly a horror story.
[7:32] Bender Hillburn: Judge: The PA has just given her statement. The DA will now respond.
[7:33] Butler Hillburn: Defense Attorney: There would be absolutely no point in Lennie being locked up in jail when he can't even understand what he did wrong. The two major incidents that Lennie has done were both by accident, he was nervous and afraid. Touching the woman's dress in Weed was just a matter of being scared. He is a poor mentally challanged man who did not know to let go of the dress after she screamed. The death of Curley's wife was also not done intentionally. Lennie doesn't know right from wrong and he absolutely doesn't know his own strength. He would never guess that by holding someone's mouth closed so they don't speak, he would kill the person. Once Lennie started to hold her neck, he didnt know what to do so he didn't let go. Lennie's brain does not think like we do and it is hard for him to understand certain aspects. Could you ever imagine putting a young second grader behind bars? Well, that's what you would do if you put Lennie in jail. He has the mind of an elementary school child."

Trial Two:
Of Mice and Men -- Lenny

[8:44] Brooker Hillburn: Judge: everyone please be seated if possible.
[8:46] You: Bailiff instructions: To sit, use your cursor on a pillow, right cilck and select Relax
[8:48] Brooker Hillburn: Judge: Is everyone here that needs to be here?
[8:48] Rawiszer Hillburn: Yes I believe so
[8:49] Brooker Hillburn: Judge: Court is now in session. Would the Prosecutors like to make their statement?
[8:49] Sackler Hillburn: Prosecuting attorney-Opening Statement: Lennie has a second grade mind with the power of ten men. Those two don't mix! Lennie is a murderer and a danger to society and everybody around him. Lennie should be locked up for first degree murder or even the electric chair. It's just like a drunk driver. You don't mean to hurt/kill someone but it happens. Lennie needs to take responsibility for wht he's done and learn from it. Lennie should not be trusted alone or near everyday soft items. How is Lennie supposed to remember not to do this again if he can't even remember a simple command to keep quiet. He is a major threat, especially to women!

[8:51] Brooker Hillburn: Judge: Thank you for presenting your opening statement. Does the defense have anything to say?
[8:51] Kostrinsky Hillburn: Da-opening statement In the case of Lennie Small verse The State of California, I will be able to show to the court of law that Lennie is unaware or incommptance of his actions. His low IQ gives him the intelligence of a second grader. His unawareness of these violent actions are reasons to let go of these charges. Lennie is a non violent person and he didnt mean to commit these actions. I beg the jury to drop all of these charges on the case of Lennie Small.
[8:52] Brooker Hillburn: Judge: Thank you to the defense, Would the prosecutors like to explain what has happened leading to today?
[8:54] Sackler Hillburn: Prosecutor- I would like to call up George your honor
[8:55] Brooker Hillburn: Judge: Permission is granted. George milton is called to the stand. Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
[8:56] Mccormick Hillburn: so help me God
[8:56] Brooker Hillburn: You may begin your account.
[8:57] Sackler Hillburn: Prosecutor- So why did you leave Weed?
[8:58] Mccormick Hillburn: George: Lennie had ripped this girl's dress because he liked the way it felt. He was accused of rape by her.
[8:58] Sackler Hillburn: Prosecutor; So Lennie is a wanted man?
[8:58] Mccormick Hillburn: George: You could say that.
[8:59] Sackler Hillburn: Prosecutor; Has Lennie ever killed anything like animals?
[9:00] Mccormick Hillburn: Yes. He squashed some mice by accident. He never ment any harm though. He just pet them too hard
[9:00] Sackler Hillburn: Prosecutor: What did Lennie want to do more than anything?
[9:00] Mccormick Hillburn: Tend the rabbits on our little house that we dreamed of getting.
[9:01] Sackler Hillburn: Prosecutor: That's all he talked about so to reach his goal he would do anything even if it means hurting someone?
[9:02] Mccormick Hillburn: George: No. Hurting someone doesn't have the same meaning to him as it does to someone like you or me. It wasn't something he thought about.
[9:02] Brooker Hillburn: Judge: These things seem to have no relevance to the issue in this discussion. Would the Prosecutors like to ask a relevant question instead of beating around the bush?
[9:02] Sackler Hillburn: Prosecutor: Do you think Lennie only thinks about himself? He was willing to gag someone to get what he wants?
[9:03] Kostrinsky Hillburn: DA: Thank you, your honor
[9:03] Mccormick Hillburn: No. in fact, he's offered to leave me before and live in a cave by himself so that i would be happy/
[9:04] Sackler Hillburn: Prosecutor: May I please call this witness again tomorrow?
[9:04] Brooker Hillburn: Judge: Was the defense permitted to make a statement? Kostrinsky?
[9:04] Kostrinsky Hillburn: DA: i agree to return tomorrow your honor
[9:05] Califano Hillburn is Offline
[9:05] Brooker Hillburn: Judge: All right. Court is adjourned for this evening
[9:05] Villari Hillburn is Offline
[9:05] Kulbaba Hillburn is Offline
[9:05] You: All Rise

These are just two of the chat transcripts (taken in world by our Court Reporters) We have four classes conducting these trials and each class is divided into 2 separate trials. One is putting George on trial for the murder of Lennie and the other is (changing the ending of the book so that Lennie lives) putting Lennie on trial for the murder of Curly's wife. So, in total there are eight trials going on and I will publish the daily accounts and verdicts as I can.

On a teacher management note: My big goof was that while building the initial courthouse I made a huge building with two separate courtrooms within. I realized just in time that the wall I built dividing the two courtrooms would not prevent the two trials to be included in the same chat ! DUH! (I was applying "real life" rules to SL - thinking a wall would block out sound! LOL) So, I hastily built a second courthouse in another area of the islands (20 meters away to prevent the chat from being seen by both groups)
Also - the kids had a great deal of pre-trial preparation and they did it in earnest! The opening statements were prepared beforehand (as I imagine they would be in a real trial) and the witnesses were interviewed by the attorneys prior to the trial as well. The court reporters prepared some notecards in order to drop the day's transcript into the teacher's avatar's inventory (after editing them for spelling and grammar!) Can't wait to see what happens today!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Pics of Courthouse

Of Mice and Men

Yikes! So much going on - on Ramapo Islannds, on SLED list, inworld on Main Grid - I am daunted by those of my colleagues who seem to manage to "do it all". Thanks to Claudia Linden for a great afternoon tea meeting Friday - at which I promised to update this blog~ and since tomorrow we are beginning a new project, there is not time like the present! Ms. McGrath's 8th graders have finished reading Of Mice and Men and are going to be conducting a (actually two different) mock trial(s). Let me try and a outline the plan for you here:

1. The classes (4 of them) have been divided into two groups. One group will participate in a trial wherein the character, "George" is tried for the murder of Lenny. The second group will address a different scenario where they will re-write the ending of the book in order to have Lenny be tried for the murder of Curly's wife.

Each student has been assigned a role in their group. The roles are:
1. Judge: (one for each of the two different trials)
2. Jurors: the number will vary according to class size but will be anywhere from 5-9 students
3. Witness: Each trial will have two students assigned to the witness role and each of these students will be responsible for representing three dor four different characters from the book as witnesses
4. Defense Attorney: One for each of the two trials in each class
5. Prosecuting Attorney: One for each of the two trials in each class
6. Court Reporter: one for each trial who will be responsible for recording a complete chat transcript and have it available for reference by jurors
7. News Reporter: One for each trial who will be responsible for reporting to the classes the 'news" of how the trials are proceeding and also to blog the daily events.
8. Bailiff: One for each trial to keep order and report any inappropriate behavior.

The roles were assigned by the Ms. McGrath on Friday - and an outline of the project was distributed to the students in order that they understand their roles and responsibilities. The excitement in each class was contagious! These kids have all had some experience in Second Life prior to this project as they have already completed a Social Studies project (immigration and Ellis Island) and a math project (The Geo Gallery)

Ms. McGrath distributed this notice to the lawyers in the cases:

Prosecution and Defense Lawyers:

CONGRATULATIONS on being chosen for the exciting job a criminal attorney. Please join me on Monday during period 4 with food at Zeta’s ATTORNEY LUNCHEON J.

You have homework due for Monday…
· Before we can start with each attorney’s opening statement…Look up the difference between a 1st degree murder and second degree murder-If you are prosecuting, you must have a good argument for the Judge why we should convict George or Lennie. If you are a defense attorney, you should have a good argument why your client (Lennie or George), should have the lesser of the two charges (less time or more time behind bars if convicted).
· Please make a list of evidence you would like to use as evidence from the book either to prosecute or defend your client-we can talk to Mrs. Sheehy about creating the evidence in “second life.”
· Using the novel, take notes on specific quotes that can support your arguments that you are going to use in trial-the more you have, the more interesting the trial will be. On Monday, you will meet with three other people from other periods who have the same role as you in the trial & you can share your strategies at lunch.
· Decide which character witnesses you would like to ask questions to help prove your case: Slim, Curly, Crooks, George, Lennie, Candy, Carlson, The Boss (Curly’s Dad), or any expert witnesses you can think of? You must let the opposing attorney know what witnesses you will question, so they can prepare to question them too.

We have also explained to the Jurors that they must leave their personal viewpoints in the real world and that the verdict must be decided based upon evidence presented ONLY!

The witnesses must be dprepared to present multiple characters and again must only present information from the book.

So, I spent a good deal of this weekend creating our courthouse, worrying about the potential lag - and if the actual space is big enough to support 25 avatars at a time - my doors only open one way, and the ceiling is a bit slanted, but it was my first build. We could have let the kids create the courthouse, but we wanted the bulk of our very precious class time to be dedicated to the actual proceedings rather than the construction of the setting.