Sunday, 18 October 2009

Module 9 - from C64 to Second Life

I feel like the octagenarian who's seen the changes from horse and buggy to man on the moon.

I confess to having used a commodore 64, graduating to a C128...and onwards and upwards. Having a brother and husband both 'computer nuts' from the beginning I even go as far back as using 'bulletin boards'. So to see things with the complexity of Second Life where users are involved in the creation...well it's a long way from text based - turn left. You see a cave and an axe. What do you do?

We are so used to condemning social networking sites for the negative impact they have on people (and mostly I guess we are talking about young people) - and I see it myself, as I try to limit my own children's hours in front of facebook, msn and networked games. It is refreshing to see the positive side of tools such as secondlife being used for educational purposes and engaging students with the sort of technology that interests and engages them.

This is the first time I have looked at Scootle. I am amazed by the quantity of information and the detail that is there for each topic - from size of the files, to who has copyright. It's very easy to navigate around and has a huge range of topics to choose from. It is also interesting that there is information in video, audio and image format as well as a variety of interesting interactive games that are relevant to the topic.

I am quilte familiar with Facebook and Twitter and have accounts with both sites. I find them fun, but would not see the educational advantages of either of them.

It all comes down to a balance between using technology in the classroom to aid learning. It's no good if you can find all the information in the world if you don't have the skills 
  • to read it, 
  • keep what's useful,
  • discard the irrelevant, 
  • order into a logical sequence and then 
  • present it 
so that your audience (teacher, boss, client) can understand what it is you are presenting. 

(Yes - in case you were wondering - I did search Scootle for Quilts and found 5 there!)

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