Teen Services in Second Life
David’s avatar actually looks like him. I’m jealous… He’s talking about how Jean Gardner from TSCPL was actually supposed to present, and how she got excited about the possibilities to reach teens through SL. They want to ultimately support teens and schools and educational goals… to support KS state standards in literature and technology. They hooked up with Hope Street Academy… hoped they would read a book and then create an environment that they read about. But they ran into some obstacles… Linden Labs (they people behind SL) haven’t billed them for their island or touched base with them. They did background checks with staff and 18+ participants. It took a lot of lead time to get everything set up and to get everyone trained, etc. Changes were afoot! They switched gears and then planned a new landscape for the school using SL as a modeling device.
Lessons learned: The classroom teachers need training and in-world experience beforehand. Same with the teens – they need to know the basics before going to the next level. One semester is not long enough for a project of this sort. They ultimately completed three projects, in got more than 20 kids exposed to the new world, and had 2 older kids open up main grid accounts… AND some were working on their SL outside of class, a major accomplishment in an alt school. So far: they have 65 teens complete the project, 2 SLMS’, and 5 middle and high schools wanting in on the action. They have gotten more interest in collaborating with other schools even out of the area! Hard to keep money straight as the banks in SL aren’t like banks in RL 😉 Lots of tech expertise needed to get it all straight on the computers.
It appears like this has been a great partnership with the schools thus far with lots of room to grow. An excellent outreach partnership that promises more progress and involvement. Next up: Kelly’s portion of the presentation where we go into TeenSL and see what’s going on.