At first while I was watching the videos about using 2nd Life a an educational tool, I was a bit worried. My initial fear was that young people are not getting taught the social skills they need; and I mean face-to-face social skills. I think there could be some fun things done with 2nd Life, but as long as it wasn’t everything.
I initially couldn’t really see what great benefit Twitter would have in the classroom, even after getting my own account. I thought It could only be used as a fun activity, but I can’t see myself using it to hand out homework (my school has no homework anyway) or whatever. After a bit of further exploration and trying to pry my mind open with a crowbar, I think that it could have some useful applications. I like some of the suggestions in the presentation linked to from the Module 9 page. Some of them are:
- 5: Collate classroom views
- 6: Let parents see what you are up to
- 8: Short but Sweet
- 15 Word play
- 22 Scavenger hunt
- 23: Track with Twitter
- 24: Teach bite-sized information
So there you go. I might try some of those things in my class. You never know.
Unfortunately I was unable to get access to Scootle at the time of writing this blog post. I look forward to checking it out in the future though.
Something that has come up for me while writing this post is the issue of communication particularly in its traditional forms. I think it is of vital importance that we teach our young people how to communicate in these ways. 90-something percent of communication between two people face-to-face (or over a video link I suppose) is non-verbal: communication is achieved mostly through body language. Body language is simply non existant on any form of e-communication. Sure, there are such things as emoticons and all-caps for shouting, but I think they can never capture the infinite subtlety and nuance that a certain tone of voice, look, or posture can. What if the whole Internet came crashing down. It won’t, but what if it did? It would be interesting to see how we would cope.