Dissertation includes Mi casa study

Richard Bair recently completed his Ph.D. dissertation which includes a study of Mi casa es su casa.  He writes:

This study established that students have three broad types of engagement with 3D VR. First, in the daily classroom students are engaged with participations, such as queries sessions, assignment discussions, and collaboration in and out of class and for distribution of class materials to colleagues. The second broad category of engagement with 3D VR was to prompt mental activities for knowledge recall, innovations and utilization of ideas, analysis of study phenomenon and contextual theories, synthesis of information and correlation, laying common value debates and analysis and pragmatisms. The third broad category of engagement with the 3D VR was projecting knowledge, skills and personal development. In this case, the learners gained career skills; improved their writing clarity, accuracy and effectiveness; thought critically and analytically; self-tutored; researched and accomplished tasks and built cohesions with colleagues.

This study confirms that 3D-VR is engaging and powerful in stimulating the leaners’ participation for various tasks both inside and outside the classroom. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that 3D VR technologies support the mental activity of the learner’s skill development, knowledge recall, idea formation and synthesis, and theoretical linkages under varied environments. The strengths of 3D VR technology to enhance writing, thinking, learning, and personal knowledge development are significant developments corroborated by current and past studies. The merits of 3D technologies that make it popular among learners and instructors include affordability, flexibility, access, and timeliness. The impact of 3D VR to reconstruct pedagogy in learning institutions is objective and essential for sustainability of the model. Both primary and secondary data and information corroborated in answering the study questions that 3D VR is effective in learning material designs and disseminations.

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OpenSimulator Community Conference 2013

My presentation, entitled “El Secreto de Ek Balam: Building an Immersive Experience for Language Learners, has been accepted at the First OpenSimulator Community Conference 2013.  I will be presenting on Saturday, September 7 at 12:30 PDT.  In the presentation, I will “discuss and demonstrate El Secreto de Ek Balam, an OpenSimulator project for Spanish language learners. Although in the preliminary build stages, the project incorporates open-educational resources, game-based learning and virtual worlds to create a language platform that engages students in a more active method of language acquisition. The session will engage attendees in a discussion of virtual worlds for languages and education in general.”

Please let me know if you would like to attend and I will give you all the details.

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New Activities Added

I’ve just added two new activities to Mi Casa.  The first works on GUSTAR.  The correct usage is modeled with color-coded clues.  Then the pieces are mixed up and students must put together sentences using GUSTAR.

The second activity practices verb conjugations.  Students must conjugate verbs in order to squash creepy spiders that walk toward them.  The activity keeps the student’s score and keeps a continual total of right answers and wrong answers.

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Mi Casa Wins SLPro! Content Creation Challenge

I entered Mi Casa Es Su Casa in the SLPro! Conference sponsored by Linden Labs.  The conference, billed as The premier conference for Second Life content creators, brought together serious content creators from around the world for learning sessions and competition.  One of the competitions judged full sim builds, "from buildings to landscaping to scripted interactive objects, you’ve got it all."  I am very proud to announce that Mi Casa won a prize of L$10, 000.  I enjoyed spending almost an hour walking through the space with top nmc designer CJ Carnot.  He gave me great insights that will find their way into Mi Casa in the coming months.  It was a great conference capped off by remarkable recognition from the SL building community. 
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Video of AZLA Presentation

I presented a session at the annual conference of the Arizona Language Association (AZLA) entitled, "My Virtual Sabbatical: Building an Immersive Environment in Second Life."  Here are my abstract and a link to the video:

This session will be a tour of my sabbatical project entitled, San Miguel de Glendale: A Virtual Study Abroad Experience for Students of Spanish.   This project shows the potential of Second Life for creating an interactive, immersive environment for learning Spanish or any other discipline.  Attendees will leave with an awareness of the creative potential of virtual environments and their potential in the educational toolbox.

Video in Windows Media format

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Final Sabbatical Report Published

As part of the sabbatical process, a final report must be submitted.  I’m pleased to say that mine is completed and has been accepted by the Vice Chancelor of Academic Affairs.  The report sumarizes what I was able to accomplish during my semester working in SL.  It also includes images of the spaces I created.  To read the full report, see Abraham Sabbatical Report.
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Spanish 101 Class Visits Campeche & Palenque

On Tuesday night, our class visited the Mexican city of Campeche and the Mayan ruin of Palenque.  First, we did some preliminary reading and looked at some RL pictures.  I found one that looks almost exactly like the SL location.  The colors are fantastic.  After arriving in the main plaza, we ventured into the small chapel (RL photo/SL photo).  Next, we had a race to the top of the Temple of Inscriptions in Palenque.  Lorin won.  We took several photos.  Finally, we had a race to see who could find the ship in the harbor.  While we were there, Don Quixote came to visit.
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