Virtual worlds and Literacy

I am reading What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy by James Paul Gee.  The author believes that video games encourage high level thinking and learning by immersing the learner (just as I am immersed in my experience in Second Life).  Literacy is more than reading and writing, but also viewing images, graphics, listening to sounds, etc.  How will this change learning for children?  Check this article:

Virtual Playgrounds

Will children find Immersive Learning Environments a way to learn in the near future?

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originally uploaded by validator.

So I spent the summer learning about Second Life- exploring, finding educational sites, and meeting fellow librarians. The ISTE Island is a really cool place for educators to meet and learn what is happening in virtual reality. I found helpful individuals who taught me the ropes and I feel right at home now! Some summer highlights: the Bookbinder’s Ball (up in the air over Caledon) and a fireworks show.

My Second Life

valavatar Over a year ago I heard, through another librarian’s blog, that the American Library Association held a meeting in a conference area of Second Life (a virtual environment).  I was intrigued but could not get the program to download on my laptop.  This summer, after a year of trying to keep up with ever-changing technology and maintain my school library, I finally got on Second Life.  I had to download it at home, since access at school is blocked by a firewall.

OK, I will admit it. I am hooked! First, the virtual world is fascinating- beyond what I dreamed.  Second, my avatar is so cute- I even have a fur hat & muff.  Third, the possibilities for creativity are endless.  How am I going to add this to my list of things to learn and do?  I barely had enough time for my first life and then…