Language Learning and Teaching with the aid of Technology
The development on EduNation is now complete and I am happy to introduce you to the newly refurbished EduNation. About one year ago, Gavin Dudeney announced that he will discontinue EduNation I and III but that he would maintain EduNation II. It has been a long process since then to make sure that what Gavin built, namely a community of educators would continue. The new owners of EduNation I and III are Randall Sadler of the University of Illinois, Paul East of the Pyramid Group and myself, Heike Philp of LANCELOT School. We moved EduNation I next to EduNation III in order for both islands to form one long island in the same design and we were happy to see that Gavin also refurbished EduNation II which has turned into a stunning tropical paradise. Allow me to introduce you to the three islands and their characteristics.
The main website too is new and it is http://edunation-islands.wikispaces.com/
This is what it looks like. Paul East of the Pyramid Group (IATET founder) and myself are the owners of this sim. EduNation I is for custom builts.
The tower which you see in the middle is CAMELOT, my new home. It is hopefully also our next EU funded project and since visualization helps realization, CAMELOT had to be. What I wanted though was a few old ruins and the vague idea of a castle, never did I actually think of having this beautiful tower. The tower was a lovely present of my friend and colleague Randall, who now owns EduNation III.
Both islands form one long island and they are designed in the same look and feel.
This is what EduNation III, our neighbour and partnering organisation looks like. Owner is Randall Sadler of the University of Illinois who is also head of the Virtual Worlds SIG of CALICO (Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium) and book author on Language Learning and Telecollaboration in virtual worlds.
And right next to EduNation III is our seaside resort, EduNation II, owner Gavin Dudeney. Breathtakingly beautiful. Stunning and utmost gorgeous.
So, what is it actually that is on offer for language teachers on these islands?
The most noteworthy service is certainly the holodeck which has been provided by Randall. With more than 40 scenes for language teaching and learning activities. On each of the sandboxes, there is a disk and if you click on it, you get a choice of a menu. The scenes rezz within seconds and once you are done with it, all you need to do is to type clear and the holodeck disappears.
What scenes are there?
Seating and meeting settings
- open air lecture seating
- mega temple
- a Greek temple
- a Roman hall
- conference area
- pyramid with mummy
- bus stop
- farm with animals
- dining hall
- village square
- hunter's block house
- forest seating
- Winter globe
- Halloween graveyard
Fun and entertainment
- jazz club
- star trek
- moon station
Panocubes are large scenic areas with pictures on walls simulating a scene such as
- on the moon
- inside a church
The sterling work by Gavin when he founded the islands in 2006 was that he helped to establish a community.
With the change over from old to new and also with the renewed focus from general educators to language educators, we lost a number of residents and then gained a number of new residents.
The up-to-date list of residents can be found here
EduNation residents include:
How is EduNation island different from AVALON Learning?
This is still far from being set in stone but Randall, Paul and myself think that AVALON Learning plays a central role for the professional development of teachers, who start their career in Second Life. After their AVALON training, EduNation can then provide a number of services for teachers by providing facilities so that they can be supported in their running their courses. This may include technical support, help to find paid work (agency), telecollaboration projects, space to rent, hosted events and conferences, holodecks for teaching and learning activities etc. These services are also outlined on AVALON if you go to the Service Point for Language Educators there.