Tuesday, November 06, 2007

BlogHud and Reflection, and More Learning Curveballs

I spent a long time tonight preparing a learning assessment package for Teaching in Second Life. When considering which assessment tool or strategy I would share with classmates this week, I recalled the blogHUD, a device that allows avatars to post to create blog posts inworld, posts that then appear on web.

Educators Kolb (1984), Brookfield and Preskill(1999) stress the value of reflection as part of the learning process. Journals have often been used for this practice, and blogs now allow for that reflective expression. Now mobile applications allow the learner to post in proximity to the learning context that may well be away from the confines of the traditional brick and mortar class or library or study desk (Trafford, 2005). Bloghud has such portability for learners in Second Life. The blogHUD allows the learner-avatar to post from any SL location, sending the post to the web: http://www.bloghud.com/

Dear RadEd Statowski was the first avatar friend to ever mention BlogHuds. There are two types of Bloghuds, free or PRO(paid). Both publishe to bloghud.com, though the PRO is supposed to allow cross-posting to variety of blogs you may already have. I bought the PRO, but at this posting have not been able to set it to cross post to my blogger blog. Also, when I tried to cut and paste this lengthy post with my BlogHUD inworld, there was just too much text to fully appear in one post.

On a more general note, I’ve been thinking about data gathering and research about learning activity in SL to date and thinking that these questions look similar to earlier stages of research about online learning: How many are engaging in online learning; why do some people like online learning, what irritates learners about online learning, how many people are participating in online learning, and is there a relationship between online learning participation and certain online practices?
TLT (http://tltgroup.org) asks the questions why SL and how does it compare to other options for delivery.

Nonetheless, there's encouraging evidence that more sophisticated questions and data gathering tools are coming into play to ask and answer research questions about learner patterns and persistence in SL. Mali and our Eric Hackathorn, guest from NOAA and Maya Realities so vividly modeled for us in class the other night.

Kolb, D. (1984) Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. Englewood-Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1984.

Brookfield, S., & Preskill, S. (1999). Discussion as a way of teaching: Tools and techniques for Democratic Classrooms. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Teaching and Learning in Second Life. November 6, 2007, class session at EdTech Island.

Trafford, P. (2005). Mobile blogs, personal reflections and learning environments"
Ariadne 44 . Retrieved on November 4, 2007, from http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue44/trafford/intro.html

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