Language Learning and Teaching with the aid of Technology

Diary of a Second Life English Teacher … Part 5

It was a busy end of week last week, which is why it's taken until Monday to write this post. On Wednesday we had two very successful Meeting 4/Assessment 2s, once again, one for the far Easterners and another for the people based in Europe. Everyone had done their homework and downloaded the role play cards, and they all took to the activity directly. This was the first time I'd used this particular role play situation on the course, but everything went smoothly. One of the factors I had to take into account was that we might not get neat groups of four people, so I had to build in the possibility of at least one of the roles being discarded with a particular group (the Managing Director's role went first - they could be having a preliminary meeting - and the Sales Director's next).

I was up until midnight, though, writing up my feedback and sending it to the students with their mark (I had a daughter to pick up beforehand which is why it took so long). I like to do this done straightaway, partly to aid my own memory (i.e. I'd probably forget!) and partly as a means of promoting the cohesion of the group. It's a lonely business being an on-line student and the more direct contact and feedback you get, the more likely it is you'll want to continue on the course.

Then, on Thursday, the Swedish university teachers' union had a workshop in Stockholm to which I contributed 'Lunch with Davric Rinkitink' - first from Kalmar and then from Växjö, which is 100 kms away (it was actually afternoon coffee in Växjö). You can read more about it on the Kamimo Islands blog:

I was in Växjö to help demonstrate both Adobe Connect and SL to our new colleagues there (we're merging with Växjö on 1st January). The SL demonstration just went on and on - they didn't want to go home! Bryan Carter from Missouri and Mats Deutschmann from Härnösand (both also connected with Kamimo and Avalon) participated in the demonstration in Växjö, with my laptop connected up to their wireless internet and to the speaker system in the hall (I set up Voice Chat so that the outgoing sound went through my headset mike and the incoming sound through the speakers in the hall). People were really impressed (as usual) at the ease with which people in three different locations in the world can just chat casually in world.

The net result of all this PR work came in on Friday - there are now teachers of all sorts of subjects in Halmstad, Växjö and Stockholm who're now raring to go.

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