Friday, June 5, 2009

Taking a look back...

These student screen captures give a fairly good overview of the past trimester. Students came back from Spring Break and we just plunged right in with our deserted island and made it our own one prim at a time. This work supports the latest STEM initiative (science, technology, engineering & math) and also the new NETS student standards in technology. Check out a job application for engineering these days and you will see that they want people who are self-starters who can collaborate with others. Those are just some of the 21st Century skills Phoenix Elementary students have learned during this brief time on PESD Island.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

An Unexpected Vacation

At the end of a school year, elective and special classes get interrupted for all kinds of reasons. Kids go on field trips, have to perform at assemblies, or...a school may just get closed down due to Swine Flu! Our kids got an unexpected weeklong vacation from school while the health department made sure everything got wiped down with disinfectant. This week was followed directly by the long Memorial Day Weekend so there wasn't much left to do but party when the kids came back. I provided all sorts of party supplies, a dance area and vehicles which could be used in the raceway. One teacher arranged to borrow her kids at a different time so they could meet kids from one of the other schools which was fun.

Here are some thoughts from a few of the students participating in this pilot project:

Hi, My name is Sammie Steamer. I am a Second Life user from Lowell School. What I like about Second Life is that you can almost build anything that you want. What I also like is that you can work with others from different schools or from the same school! I like when it comes down to working with others that you can learn many different things and have fun. I like that we get our own rooms and we get to pick what we want in our room and edit how we want it. I like building things for my room. That's fun to do for me. Second life is just like real life but in the computer. I like that you can change clothing and have different hair and shoes etc. I learned some math by building things with the numbers that you have to use. You also learn how to work with other people on Second Life. I think that working on Second Life is a good educational world and at the same time it is very fun. You should try it and find out.

My name is Vann Vyper. I’m in 7th grade and I go to Edison School. I am 14 years of age. My experience in Second Life was absolutely amazing. I could not get enough of it. There was so much to do. We had some set backs, like not having enough time. It took a long time to make my plane. It is a Japanese Mig. I plan to go to college and graduate. I don’t know what I want to do yet.

Hello, my name is Silvano Serenity and I attend Edison Elementary. What I like to do is use the internet and play sports. On Teen Island I learned a lot of different shapes and what they look like if they are hollow.
To build a plane was an easy process, just stretching ovals. When I grow up, I want to be in the Navy and fly planes. I also want to attend college so in case I get hurt I have a back up plan.

My name is Adreean Arrowmint and I go to Kenilworth School. This has been a learning experience for my friends and I. It's fun to build my own home and to be able to hang out with my friends and play games. There is a large Scrabble game which I played with my teacher. There are also chess tables and hangman games. I would like to continue this during the summer because it would be great to interact with friends as well as learn to build all sorts of things on a day to day basis during the summer. I would have fun making cars, playing on the ferris wheel, and dancing crazy. Being able to take the flash drive home over the summer will help me keep busy instead of goofing off or being bored, plus I would rather be doing something educational.

My name is Filiberto Firehawk and I am a student at Kenilworth. It is the last day of school and I really want to keep on working on Second Life during the summer. Here are some reasons why I want to continue it. I learned some computer skills for example my typing skills have increased. I learned what a flash drive is. I learned how to talk in a chat room. I need to continue because I need to finish my room. It will give me something to do during the summer break. Most of my friends are in it and I can chat with them over the summer. Second Life is really cool and fun and lots of other kids and teens agree with me. This may take a bite out of your summer but you can choose the hours we log on.