Thursday, May 7, 2009

Who Has the Top Design?

Today most of the class worked in the mall area which we are calling Lowell Center until someone comes up with a different name. I had an assignment in a notecard giver and the students had to follow the directions for Who Has the Top Design. They had to create a prim floor, ceiling, and three walls, so there was a lot of shift copying and rotation to be done. When you watch the video, you will see an entire building disappear. Not a single student mentioned it but were so into what they were doing that they just kept on working. You have to love that kind of engagement!

A Day at the Museum

Things are starting to take shape at the Museum. We just don't have enough time to do everything we want with this project. This pullout class was going to compare visually in 3D the WWII era, Vietnam, and Iraq. They could have done music and art from the period, but chose uniforms, airplanes, and construct a timeline. Uniforms proved to be too time consuming and difficult. Hover text scripts could easily be used for each event, so I taught Ms. Rodriguez how to use the hover text script and she in turn taught the boys working in her room. It took a bit longer for them to catch on. I keep forgetting that I know adults who have never done any programming and so for young teens, these kids rock! You have to love their fleet of aircraft!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Journey of Louiz Longfall

Hello, my name is Louiz Longfall and I am in Mrs. Baron's advanced computer elective. When we started Second Life, we filled out a survey about our interests. Castles was something that I had interest in so Ms. Strehlow assigned me the job of chief architect. The castle reflects the medieval days. There were six assigned to work on the castle. We first built the floors then added the walls. We used bricks because bricks were used in the original castles. We then added the 2nd floor and built ladders to connect the two floors. We created the walls on the 2nd floor and added another platform so it could be longer on top. We tried to use plants that were common in Europe. As we completed parts of our castle some of our workers were reassigned to different areas in Second Life. I think the castle was difficult to build but it was the most fun. As the chief architect I had to give directions to students so they could build the ladder, put the textures on the walls, and on the floor. This experience will help me in my future because this is something that was new for me and now I know how to work with other people.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Lowell Students Build Bridges

The other day I decided to dredge a river gorge that would bisect the island. In an effort to give some students an extra chance to earn Linden dollars (points), I had them work on a footbridge problem that had to span the gorge. They could not just build a flat plank and the most successful remain on the island and acquired the most points. They could work with a partner if they wanted to.

More Kenilworth Newbies

Today we had technical difficulties with computers that worked fine previously. One of our specialists had to change the display settings to 32 bit color which prevented the students from getting logged in and they really had just a brief time to be inworld. Next time they will have more time to get acclimated. The virtual world environment is not unknown to this gaming generation but I need to add more constraints initially until the students understand this is not completely playtime. Having worked in instructional technology for over 20 years, I understand the impulse to look at every computer as a source of amusement, which is fine (because I do the same thing), but the students need to understand that what they learn through play is also connected to so much more. (See video below)

Edison Group - The Museum Starts to Take Shape

Today more students worked on specific items for the Museum they are building. There is a timeline of events for which students will learn more about scripting prim objects. They will use a Hover Text script and learn how to edit it for content and color. A few girls tried using Vint's skirtmaker and my tutorial. I have to admit that skirts are not easy but if they are going to tackle historic uniforms, they will have to master this skill. Students are not just making the super easy "system clothing." They will be using Gimp and the avatar templates. (See video below)