News, views, working documents, and happenings around the SLENZ project can be found in these pages. Please check the site map of pages on the left to look for particular information. Documents relating to the current projects are available from the Project Development page.
SLENZ in-world meetings
Every Monday, 11 am (New Zealand time) at the Kauri Grove on Koru.
The Second Life Education New Zealand in-world group regular weekly in-world meeting is open to anyone interested in how our work is progressing. Please be warned that we use voice (local chat) and record the meetings. We would appreciate it if your audio equipement is working properly before you attend.
THE SLENZ PROJECT
The New Zealand virtual world education group, Second Life Education New Zealand (SLENZ), has set up a research project in the on-line virtual world of Second Life for New Zealand educators to pilot at least two projects into determining how multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) might benefit New Zealand education and how this can best be done.
Using the multi-user virtual environment Second Life, the project aims to delineate and demonstrate to New Zealand educators and students the educational strengths or otherwise of learning in a virtual world.
“Multi-user virtual environments, in which individuals create avatars, digital representations of themselves to ‘live’ in a 3D virtual ‘world’, are offering a revolutionary view of how individuals and educational communities may interact and learn in the future,” joint leader Terry Neal said.
Originating from multi-user online games, the virtual landscapes created in virtual worlds like Second Life, are already natural playgrounds for many younger, adult learners.
Joint leader Dr Clare Atkins said that virtual world environments are considered, anecdotally, to have a number of strengths which differentiate them from other online learning environments.
These include the increased engagement of learners with a familiar game-like environment where learning may intentionally be a product of serious ‘play’ ; the ability to create experiential learning situations not available in “real life”; the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to operate socially, technically and ethically in an online global virtual world; and also the opportunity to experience and practice collaborative, cross-cultural problem solving in social networking environments.
“These multi-user virtual environments offer the opportunity to provide innovative delivery to New Zealand learners and to encourage collaborative development and the sharing of learning resources,” Dr Atkins said.
The project team has chosen two groups of educators to work with the project team on two pilot projects, one in foundation learning and the other in midwifery.
The project team plans to provide support “every step of the way” with funding available to release a participant in each group from some teaching responsibilities so they can commit themselves to the project as well as travel costs associated with the training.