- Building the "backbone" for this offering to my learners is important. How do I communicate with parents regarding this venture? How do I ensure learners understand expectations? What structure should the learning have? Should I go completely constructivist and tell them to make meaning on their own with minimal guidance...or should I "hand hold" the first time through?
- For many of my learners, this will be their first experience with a virtual world and perhaps even interacting with others online. I want to spend the time to figure out the best ways to teach them digital citizenship before entering and during participation in world.
- Looking at security. I want to ensure learners are safe online. There are plenty of online environments for learners but not all provide the level of security to make me feel comfortable.
Lately, I have returned to a book I read years ago, Learning to solve problems with technology; A constructivist perspective by Jonassen et al. Although the graphics have really evolved in many virtual worlds and simulations the basic principles still seem applicable in my circumstance.
In their chapter relating to microworlds and virtual realities they include seven general uses for vitual environments in education:
- to explore typically unaccessible situations and environments
- to explore objects
- create places, things and events
- interact and collaborate with others
- interact with others in unrealistic ways (thought this was interesting and maybe a future blogpost)
- create and manipulate abstract concepts
- interact with avatars (e.g. historical figures and individuals that may represent different races, religions and viewpoints
So with my feelings of how valuable these environments can/could be for learners remaining intact...onward I go... at a snail's pace.