Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Getting Ready for the Reaction Grid

I have been spending my vacation prepping for 4th graders at Lowell School and their first visit to the virtual world called the Reaction Grid. I have strengthened my friendships with teachers from Michigan, etc. who have already brought students in to work. It is very much like Second Life, but focusing heavily on elementary education. Since our classes are larger than can be accommodated by the grid, students will be sharing avatars unlike the middle school students who have their own avatars on our Second Life Teen island. This means that students will learn how to collaborate more closely, be resilient when there are technical issues, and be creative with the tools within the grid. We will use the same tools that the middle school kids use, but will expect a different level of sophistication at this grade level. (See videos below)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Winter Wonderland in the Desert

Since it's really only sweater weather here in Phoenix, I thought it might be fun for the students to build virtual snowmen today. They also got free skates so they could skate while building, but none of them really noticed all the WORK they were doing while they were having FUN!! As always, the kids took snapshots and then sent them to me via their epal accounts. (See videos below)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Early December Building

We ran into a couple of snags this week when both classes ended up losing an entire class period due to bus evacuation drills. We get less than two hours a week, so this didn't help. Some students had to start over on the tables because they did not clone the prims, or they cloned them and then moved them to the side which makes it difficult to align them again. Getting a bird's eye view helps line things up with the grid on the workspace, but kids are only using a touch pad and it is more difficult to build without a mouse. Things too far out of alignment do not get the full 10L for the day's building. A few curricular projects began this week too. (See videos below)