January 10, 2019: Open Forum

Transcript of the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable: January 10, 2019

2019-01-10 VWER - Open Forum_002

Topic: Open Forum

Pictures by Beth Ghostraven

The topic for this week’s meeting will be: Open Forum! Come join us to talk about whatever’s on your mind about education in virtual worlds.


Sheila Yoshikawa: Hi everyone, and welcome to the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable. We meet on Thursdays at 12 noon SLT for an hour. 8pm In UK, 3pm EST. VWER is a forum to educate and inform the community about issues that are important and relevant to education in virtual worlds. This is a public meeting, so we will be keeping and publishing a transcript.

Sheila Yoshikawa: The transcripts can be found at https://vwer.info/ The VWER continues to develop a community of educators from around the world. Please join the VWER group here in SL. If you are on Facebook please join our group there http://www.facebook.com/groups/159154226946/  I am moderating today. The topic for this week’s meeting will be: Open Forum!. Let’s start as we normally do and introduce ourselves. As usual we will be in text chat for the whole session.

Marly (Marly Milena): Niela Miller, M.S. Education/Communications, www.peoplesystemspotential.com .  Educator, trainer, facilitator, coach, Gestalt/Jungian therapist, composer, multi-media artist, writer and some other stuff….

Sheila Yoshikawa: So I teach and research in the Information School, University of Sheffield, UK, and I am lead organiser of VWER.

ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): Selby Evans, Blogger

The pecan pie murder. A 3D story in first draft for the writer’s workshop

The Hero’s Journey and Guided Pathways–Peninsula College

Jamie and Selby introduce a 3D writer’s workshop on the web

Why am I talking about MUVEs when I am really talking about virtual worlds?

Why a reading assignment is like a treasure hunt. And why it is not.

Beth Ghostraven: I’m Beth Ghostraven, middle school teacher-librarian in RL and owner of the Book and Tankard Pub in Victoria City, Caledon in SL; owner of Ghostraven Professional Attire, classic clothing for educators in SL (http://bethghostraven.com ); Communications Chair for the VWBPE Conference; Communications Chair and Focus Sessions Producer for the ISTE Virtual Environments Network; and unofficial liaison between education groups in SL. For information on events for the educational groups that I work with, see the ISTE VEN Massive Open Online Calendar at http://venetwork.weebly.com/calendar.html ; Twitter: @booklady9 I’ll be taking photos to publish with the transcript and recording this session on video; if you have any objection, please IM me.

Josain Zsun: Josain Zsun aka Budd Turner: currently recurating Expedition Central in VSTE & Chilbo, and recruiting new Chilbo residents, when not yelling at kids to get off my lawn.

Nova Saunders: Nova Saunders aka Marion Smeltzer Practicing Public Archaeologist and Consultant, Content creator and administrator. URL: nova.bio-se.info:9000.

Beth Ghostraven: Hi Qvintvs!

QVINTVS PETILIVS SECVNDVS (SeverusAlexander): hello all

Marly (Marly Milena): Should mention that I am planning to do a training in Symbolic Modeling (how to use it in your projects) this spring and would love for you to let me know if you might be interested.  Limited registration.

Nova Saunders: waves to Qvintvas

QVINTVS PETILIVS SECVNDVS (SeverusAlexander): hey nova 🙂

Nova Saunders: 🙂

Sheila Yoshikawa: I will just mention – I found a location with very nice quality mainly Japanese clothing freebies and dollarbies (mesh) – mostly for men and some women – kimono, ninja outfits and so forth http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Pals%20meadow%20Clover/103/17/501.

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Marly, Nova, and Sheila

OK so to move to more educational topics. Thanks Marly for reminding of of that opportunity again. I thought I would start the ball rolling by highlighting


Marly (Marly Milena): I would be interested in having us talk about our Philosophies of Education. We are mostly so caught up in the Doing that we don’t give ourselves a chance to reflect much.

Sheila Yoshikawa: Good idea Marly. I will just ask if anyone else had looked at that blog post from the Lindens and then come back to that excellent discussion topic of Marly’s. I thought there were some useful statistics for those who say “Second Life – surely no one uses that anymore”. It shows clearly how it IS used and the concurrency rates actually don’t seemed to have dropped much over 2 years. However they don’t have that much SPECIFIC to say about 2019 “Stay tuned for even more improvements, including progress on our migration to the cloud, Linden Home updates, Gridwide experiences, and the much-anticipated ability to change your name! “

Beth Ghostraven: I’m looking at the two sharp downward spikes on the concurrency graph;  I guess those are Christmas?

Second Life Traffic Over Two Years
Second Life traffic over two years, from the above website

Marly (Marly Milena): I think the two could be related. ie How much do we get caught up in the technology advances and forget the basics of why we teach, what we want to accomplish for ourselves and for our students, what gives us deep satisfaction re the learning/teaching process  etc

Beth Ghostraven: (useless factoid). Hi Stranger!

Nova Saunders: waves to Stranger.

Stranger Nightfire: hello Beth, hello Nova.

Sheila Yoshikawa: @Beth yes I would guess that is what it is

Beth Ghostraven: When I think about educational philosophy, I think more in terms of *how* I teach, not goals or reasons, although I’m sure reasons underlie the *how*.

Sheila Yoshikawa: I have had to write statements about my teaching philosophy, for various things, have others?

Beth Ghostraven: I haven’t.

Nova Saunders: nope, not I.

Sheila Yoshikawa: I would say that I aim to facilitate change and development.

ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): But goals are essential — if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there.

Marly (Marly Milena): Craft (1984) noted that there are two different Latin roots of the English word “education.” They are “educare,” which means to train or to mold, and “educere,” meaning to lead out. While the two meanings are quite different, they are both represented in the word “education.”

Sheila Yoshikawa: I think it’s easy to see when you HAVEN’T got there. lol.

Beth Ghostraven: here are some examples from the Web: https://www.thoughtco.com/teaching-philosophy-examples-2081517 . Selby yes, goals are essential, but I see them arising from philosophy, not part of it.

Marly (Marly Milena): I feel closer to <educere> ie to lead out….What is already inside the learner that wants to manifest? How can I guide the learner so this can happen?

Beth Ghostraven: part of my philosophy is “children are people, and deserve to be treated with respect and caring”.

Nova Saunders: nods

Sheila Yoshikawa: I think that also part of my philosophy is that the learners have to make a bit of effort, though part of my role is to help them get to the stage where they accept that, if they don’t already.

Beth Ghostraven: Sheila, definitely–I try to design lessons so the students are working harder than I am.

Sheila Yoshikawa: I have encountered a huge range of motivations and attitudes, as well as a wide range of cultural backgrounds and range of experiences of previous education, so part of my philosophy is to assume that I will have to think about these diverse attitudes and backgrounds and not make assumptions.

Nova Saunders: hello Esteban

Marly (Marly Milena): I have never thought of learning as work but more, an advanced form of play, discovery, being a detective.

Esteban Voljeti: (Hi)

Sheila Yoshikawa: we’re talking about our teaching philosophies & thanks Beth for the link.

ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): I agree Marly.

Marly (Marly Milena): So when I teach (mainly adults although I did a lot of high school teaching years ago, I like to engage them in an adventure of discovery.

Sheila Yoshikawa: ah Marly, I must say that when it comes to marking assignments it feels like work, also when I am in a 2 hour teaching committee meeting like this morning though the meeting was actually useful.

ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): Marly is speaking from the learner’s viewpoint.

Nova Saunders: nods to Marly…..discovery is a key factor to learning.

Sheila Yoshikawa: Do people find that anyone in their school/university/institution (where you have one! I know not everyone works in that framework) talks about why teach, teaching philosophy etc.?

Beth Ghostraven: Sheila, sometimes we do at the beginning of the school year.

Marly (Marly Milena): @Sheila, one reason I quite formal classroom teaching in a traditional school environment was that I was spending more time with determining grades, writing assessments, doing a lot of stuff that wasn’t teaching.

Maggie Larimore: Hi folks.

Nova Saunders: waves to Maggie.

Sheila Yoshikawa: @Beth and what sort of thing comes up?

Marly (Marly Milena): I was much happier doing training and adult ed in many different environments.

Esteban Voljeti: Hi Maggie

Beth Ghostraven: Hi Maggie!

Marly (Marly Milena): quit, not quite!

Nova Saunders: I would like to be more involved in adult ed.

Maggie Larimore: “-) Hi Beth.

ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): So one view of the goal of “teaching” is to induce in the learners the rediscovery of the joy of learning/

Marly (Marly Milena): I agree Selby

Sheila Yoshikawa: yes that is a good goal @Selby

Beth Ghostraven: another goal is to awaken (or re-awaken) curiosity

Nova Saunders: YES

Marly (Marly Milena): Another is to <teach them how to fish> if you know what I mean!

ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): I say rediscovery because it is natural in young children.

Sheila Yoshikawa: learning to learn @Marly?

Marly (Marly Milena): Yes, Sheila.  My approach is to offer ways of generating data beyond thinking and talking (such as arts-based processes which I used in schools and also in corporate and non-profit environments).

Sheila Yoshikawa: we are obliged to send out anonymous questionnaires to our students about every module, student satisfaction, this next time we are going to include a question about how much THEY (the learner) think they contributed to their own learning.

Maggie Larimore: we do that too at NCU.

Sheila Yoshikawa: BTW if anyone has further questions or topics for discussion, do suggest them for when this thread of conversation dries up ;-))

2019-01-10 VWER - Open Forum_012.png

Marly (Marly Milena): @Sheila, it would also be interesting to find out what they felt were the most effective ways they were engaged in the learning process (& what they think will be useful to them going forward)

Sheila Yoshikawa: though sometimes they only realise things are useful a year or so later when they find it useful in a job or whatever.

Marly (Marly Milena): Often, when I ask learners about stand-out learning experiences in their lives, they happen OUTSIDE of school.  That should be a clue…

Sheila Yoshikawa: @Maggie is that connected to the student engagement survey as well?

ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): Another goal of  “teaching” — for high school and adults might be to lead the learners to take responsibility for their own learning.

Maggie Larimore: it’s a student eval that’s after each course, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was engagement in there because that’s the big thing now

Nova Saunders: yes agree

Sheila Yoshikawa:Though taking responsibility and talking responsibly are both good goals!

Maggie Larimore: they have student/faculty focus groups working with the teaching and learning folk on measuring engagement — because we teach one study at a time, so how welcome and tucked up we make them feel really impacts on their sense of what’s happening to them, on motivation and all that one student at a time I meant, it;’s a one-on-one classroom and engagement in the classroom plus opportunities for the students and faculty to build community outside the classroom is really key.

Sheila Yoshikawa: “welcome and tucked up” nice 😉

Maggie Larimore: we just went not for profit and joined a national consortium of schools.

Marly (Marly Milena): See my comment above, Maggie re learning OUTSIDE of school environments.

Maggie Larimore: it’s important 🙂 I think I picked up “tucked up” while at Edinburgh 😉

Sheila Yoshikawa: though sometimes they have to be shaken out of bed (metaphorically)?

Maggie Larimore: well that’s true too, us and them.

Nova Saunders: wb Qvintvs

Sheila Yoshikawa: Do you think it’s a good idea to discuss with learners directly what they think learning is, what they think their role in learning is?

QVINTVS PETILIVS SECVNDVS (SeverusAlexander): grazie

ஓgαввίαภσஓ (gabbiano Turbo): Hello everyone, forgive the trouble. good continuation.

Marly (Marly Milena): @Sheila, an excellent idea. It’s a buy-in to their engagement

Beth Ghostraven: Sheila, I do–it’s part of their reflection process, which is an important part of learning.

Maggie Larimore: I agree with Beth and Marly, that buy-in is so important.

ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): Shiela — Great idea!

Marly (Marly Milena): But we can also ask ourselves the same question. After all, this is our <laboratory>!

Sheila Yoshikawa: One thing I do is use the approaches to learning questionnaire – it’s actually in the Information Literacy class (for librarians) which is partly about TEACHING information literacy, so it both helps them reflect on their approach and also they can critique the survey.

Marly (Marly Milena): For me, learning involves being able to understand, do or realize something I didn’t know or understand before and to feel pleasure.

Sheila Yoshikawa: @Marly, do you mean – what is our idea of learning?

ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): my role in learning is to determine what I want to “know” and then figure out how to know it.

Maggie Larimore: 🙂 Selby, that’s good.

Nova Saunders: I learn from others as well

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Marly (Marly Milena): I mean, we are students as well as teachers so I put that question to us>>> What is learning? What is our role? How do we know it has taken place?

Sheila Yoshikawa: I suppose I just think of learning as being part of life.

Maggie Larimore: me too, Sheila.

ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): Of course one way I find out things is to ask questions and listen.

Sheila Yoshikawa: I mean, I know some theory about it and could talk about that, some of which applies to me, but I mainly just feel that I am in “learning on” mode all the time.

Nova Saunders: nods

Marly (Marly Milena): YES, we are constantly learning. I am referring more to the conscious realization that we have learned something useful, interesting, applicable, etc.

ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): l ask others often show me what I i want to know.

Marly (Marly Milena): After all, we expect students to demonstrate this so why not recognize it in ourselves?

Sheila Yoshikawa: though that is tied up with a weakness and strength i.e. I’m interested in lots of things and can end up darting all over the place to find out about the interesting things.

Josain Zsun: “Learning” to me, is a change in one’s perceptions and actions.

Sheila Yoshikawa: @Selby yes, others and also practical circumstances.

Marly (Marly Milena): @Josain, I wonder if learning always leads to action or whether it is sometimes its own satisfaction.

Maggie Larimore: Josain’s right, I think. How we see learning and how it impacts on us in our hearts and in our actions.

Sheila Yoshikawa: I am just pondering whether I always do or see something differently after I’ve learned.

ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): One of the values of writing blog articles is that the completed article represents what I think i know at the time of completion.

Sheila Yoshikawa: @Selby, do you also find that writing the article in itself can help develop or crystalise learning?

Marly (Marly Milena): Learning can also involve intuition and noetics (ways of knowing that are not linear).   Maggie?

Maggie Larimore: well I think that’s try, there’s a context some of which we feel and can articulate and some of which buoys us up or weighs us down even if we can’t articulate it

ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): Sheila– Writing an article almost always causes me to develop my thinking in some way.

Sheila Yoshikawa: @Selby – that is the same for me

Marly (Marly Milena): What we have here are many different kinds of learners! LOL

Nova Saunders: 🙂

Maggie Larimore: I’ve gotten old enough that I’m basically acting as an intellectual grandmother to my students, even those that are older than me, making them feel welcome and tucked up and nudging them to do better.

ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): I have to think the topic through in ways that will fit other people.

Sheila Yoshikawa: @Marly – one can learn through using intuition – and learn something which develops intuition?

Maggie Larimore: I used to get more grumpy about folks who couldn’t see the point (even when they were paying their own tuition).

Marly (Marly Milena): Good to keep that in mind when dealing with students in a school.  I hate the cookie-cutter approach to institutional learning as though specific curriculum designs are meant for every student.

Sheila Yoshikawa: although I like the “tucked-up” idea, I think my approach to teaching isn’t really tucking-up. Though I have students saying I’m supportive etc. I hasten to add, but it has to fit comfortably with our personality and style I think. I mean teaching style has to be personal to us?

Marly (Marly Milena): We all know how many brilliant people (Einstein included) flunked out of school or left because they just did not fit the mold of how teaching/learning was <packaged>

Nova Saunders: yep

Sheila Yoshikawa: yes the “in ways that will fit other people.” aspect is important

ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): The cookie-cutter model derives from the era of mass production–which required(s) the cookie-cutter model for making parts.

Marly (Marly Milena): I love the idea of students being encouraged and supported to take responsibility for how and what they want to learn.  There were early experiments like Summerhill which operated on that philosophy

Sheila Yoshikawa: indeed!

Maggie Larimore: I agree there Sheila, that’s why the grandmother thing comes in, my Grandmother’s had different, targeted relationships with us, maybe because they had just us to think about, but that’s what I try to do to hear them, to figure how they learn, have that conversation about my students goals, their learning preferences, their feeling about the courses relationship to their goals and make sure I’m not burrowing them in a hill of quilts when they need a sheet and a fan and an open window, just to move the metaphor along.

Marly (Marly Milena): Heeheehee

Sheila Yoshikawa: http://www.summerhillschool.co.uk/  Summerhill still going. sounds great Maggie 😉

Nova Saunders: regurgitated text knowledge is the worse

Maggie Larimore: burying them I meant to say as opposed to burrowing them

Marly (Marly Milena): Has anyone here read the book :<Teacher> by Sylvia Ashton Warner?  That had a profound impact on me

Maggie Larimore: so true Nova!

Nova Saunders: 🙂

Sheila Yoshikawa: actually the worst is learners paying other people to do the assignments, and then denying that’s what they’ve done, sigh

Nova Saunders: ahh slackers

Beth Ghostraven: (Before we close, I want to make sure you all know that the deadline for presentation proposals for VWBPE is Monday, Jan. 14. The info is here https://vwbpe.org/conference/cfp2019/  and the actual application is here: https://vwbpe.org/conference/cfp2019/vwbpe-2019-presentation-proposal-submission

Josain Zsun: Summerhill excited me for secondary education.  Being a secondary teacher took care of that.

Sheila Yoshikawa: @Marly, no, I think you mentioned it before and I meant to, but didn’t

Sheila Yoshikawa: oh gosh Beth, so soon!

Maggie Larimore: my dander gets up at PhD students who hire people do their stats (and miss the nuances) (I’ve got the applied stats for graduate students at NCU so um I get people who long for not having to do their own stats)

Sheila Yoshikawa: @Josain ;-(

Marly (Marly Milena): Google it.  She worked with Maori children who were utterly resistant to the usual teaching. She invented….and was very successful

Beth Ghostraven: The deadline for VWBPE exhibit and Immersive Experience proposals is later, in Feb.

Sheila Yoshikawa: what are the conference dates again Beth?

Beth Ghostraven: April 4-6

Maggie Larimore: my hero is Dr Mitra, the guy who put the computer in the wall in India and the kids taught themselves — being invested is so important for the learners (having flunked 3 Moodle management courses back in the day by not taking responsibility for my calendar … luckily the courses were free and Nellie kept encouraging me to start again …)

Marly (Marly Milena): @Maggie, yes, I loved reading about that.

Sheila Yoshikawa: ok last few minutes, any final announcements, or final thoughts?

Beth Ghostraven: I’m hosting a dance in my Victorian pub tomorrow at 1 pm SLT, if anyone would like to attend. Coz Okelly’s going to do the music

Sheila Yoshikawa: thanks beth!

Sheila Yoshikawa: a fun end to the week

Nova Saunders: send the link with the announcement please Beth

Marly (Marly Milena): Please let me know if you want to learn more about the training (3 sessions) I will be doing in the spring.  It doesn’t obligate you.

Maggie Larimore: great to see you guys again!

Sheila Yoshikawa: Thanks for all the discussion and thoughts

Marly (Marly Milena): Also, if you are a thespian (secret or otherwise) and would like to participate in a Shakespeare monologue event, let me know that too

Nova Saunders: good to see u all again

Sheila Yoshikawa: and hope to see you next week, do take a glass of champagne before you go if you wish

Nova Saunders: well ty u all again, back to RL

Sheila Yoshikawa: Bye all

ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): bye everyone

Beth Ghostraven: bye Selby, take care

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VWER Meeting Transcripts by Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://vwer.info.

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