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JUDITH MOLKA-DANIELSEN Integrating Use of Virtual Technologies to promote Flexible Learning in Health, Communication and Disability.

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Presentation on theme: "JUDITH MOLKA-DANIELSEN Integrating Use of Virtual Technologies to promote Flexible Learning in Health, Communication and Disability."— Presentation transcript:

1 JUDITH MOLKA-DANIELSEN Integrating Use of Virtual Technologies to promote Flexible Learning in Health, Communication and Disability

2 Educational Options for Social Educators Social educator students need opportunities to interact with people with disability, to learn from them, to practice communication and to recognize that having a disability does not equate with having no skills to offer. Our project: Using ICT to promote flexible lifelong learning in communications, health and disability; allowed lecturers with disability to deliver lectures using video and supported student learning through reflection group meetings in a virtual setting.Using ICT to promote flexible lifelong learning in communications, health and disability

3 Virtual Worlds: Brief Introduction  Virtual worlds are 3D multi-user online computer simulated environments. One example is Active Worlds Educational Universe (author’s view: it lacks some scripting capabilities.)  A user can be represented as an avatar, moving around and sharing world content with other avatars.  Second Life™ (publically available since 2003) is one example of a virtual world where users can experience communication, networking and shared activities, some that are not possible in the real world, such as flying (without an aircraft).

4  In virtual worlds  re-conceptualization of self is possible (self- determination).  Tasks can be designed in such a way that they realistically simulate real life communicative scenarios in the target context (i.e. language or subject).  Completion of a communicative task is a reward in itself. For example, in language learning being understood and authentic communicative exchanges are highly rewarding (thus motivating.) Why use them for learning?

5 Recognized Uses of SL in Learning  Role play  Historical representations  Information sharing  Theme awareness  3D visualizations  Simulations (weather)  Virtual office space, campuses, stores..  Museums, libraries, art galleries  Scripted tools, objects, animations  Performances, theatre, social events, parties  Political campaigns  Workplace collaboration and meetings

6 Ways of Teaching in Second Life  Active Learning is an approach that places responsibility on the learners working in pairs or groups while actively working with materials.  Activities can include: role play, active discussion or debates, learning by teaching exercises and other forms of cooperative and tandem learning.  Action Learning is an active learning approach that takes place in phases:  Explore & Plan context – prepare learning materials and digital media  Act on the plan – establish meeting for viewing lectures and virtual meetings  Reflection – hold reflection meetings to review, evaluate and form new meanings.

7 Explore & Plan context – prepare learning materials, network technologies and digital media

8 Collaborative Learning Objective  We used collaborative activities in SL to increase participants’ knowledge and awareness of issues associated with lifelong disability, for example using a wheelchair in a race around an island and playing football.  The participants could then use these experiences to help them reflect on what they had gained in understanding and knowledge from the lectures.  Discussions of the lectures in SL will help students to clarify and deepen the learning developed from the lectures and the activities.  The objective of reflection discussions also is to strengthen the insights that the students gain from this two part learning activity.

9 Example of questions for discussion that could follow a video lecture

10 Act on the plan – establish meeting for viewing lectures and virtual meetings

11 Shared activity in SL: Wheelchair Race Everyone was given a wheelchair and explained how to “ wear ” it. The race began at the fountain. Despite given earlier instructions by that “ Everyone must go along the path at the bottom of the photo, the one by the sea, and finish at the front door of Zelli ’ s place ” and given a map to show the route, most people went off in the opposite direction of Zelli ’ s place.

12 The Wheelchair Race  The guest lecturer (a person with CP in real life) was the first avatar to arrive at Zelli’s place. Second came a student avatar. Several persons had to be teleported to the spot in front of Zelli’s place. Some asked how to take off the wheelchairs, and others imitated the action without asking whether to do this or not.  Some used the building teleport to go up the 3 rd floor of Zelli’s Place. Others were given teleports to arrive upstairs. Eventually everyone in the group arrived on the 3 rd floor and took seats in chairs or those with wheelchairs continued to sit in those.  %20Montmartre/197/196/30 %20Montmartre/197/196/30

13 Reflection Meeting  T: what is the best thing about learning using videos or even meeting people with disability in SL?'  S1: veldig lærerikt, vi får se det fra deres perspektiv!  S2: Det har gjort sterkt inntrykk, og det rører for det blir så nært.  S1: støtter meg til S2  S2: For en blir invitert inn i deres livsverden på en helt spesiell måte!  T: what new impressions did you get that you have not had in a lecture?  S3: I think we can relate in a different way now. In a lecture I think there is always a distance... If you understand what I mean?  T: or how might these videos help someone working as a social educators  S3: To understand what’s important for the people that we are assisting, not what we think is valid or important...  L: Yes, asking is very important, not assuming you know what is best  S3: Thats what I mean!! The reflective discussion took place by using text chat. The session leader asked open-ended questions and asked for the students to respond by text chat.

14 Shared Activity in SL: Football Match [1:41] RS-SoccerBall V1.0: GOAL BY: L [1:42] T: jeg klarer ikke å springe, hvor er worldknappen eller moveknappen? [1:42] s1: nederst på skjermen [1:43] T: Jeg har ikke moveknappen nederst på skjermen [1:47] RS-SoccerBall V1.0: GOAL BY: S1 [1:47] S1: :( (it was an own-goal) There was much laughter, verbal expressions and excitement throughout the match.

15 Reflection Meeting T2: L1 var det mulig å spille med lag kamerat i den fotball kamp?  L1: det var vanskelig å manøvrere  L2: greide ikke helt å mestre fotballen, men det er vanlig for meg. var ikke med på rullestol. greide ikke å springe.  S1: det var vanskelig å bevege seg slik man ville for å treffe ballen og å få ballen i den retningen man ville T2: prøvde dere å sende ball til lag kamerat  S1: det var umulig  S2: nei, det var vanskelig nok å treffe ballen!  S1: det var vel mer å få ballen i riktig retning som var målet, og så håpe den kom i nærheten av noen man var på lag med T1: Hva mener dere studenter om SL som et redskap for bruk i undervisning i stedet for at faglærer står og underviser  S2: Jeg mener at det kan være en spennende vri, og at det kan engasjere studentene mer enn "normal" undervisning  L2: greier ikke helt å se nytten i sl. foredragene var gode, men livet i sl ble mere som en lek.  S2: Men det kommer selvfølgelig an på hvilken undervisning det gjelder  L1: ja dette er jo fremtida T2: hva har du lyst å prøve i Second Life?  S3: jeg har lyst å gå på en konsert  L1: jeg vil danse

16 Lessons Learned in the design of collaborative learning activities 1. Familiarize participants with the environment. Teachers need to know the general virtual space in which they will operate and how to use in world tools with students, prior to the planned virtual activity. 2. Prepare course content suitable for SL. Choose setting that is suitable to the task. (i.e. Camp fire or board room for discussion?) 3. Give clear information on course objectives & learning goals. These should be outlined and made available to all involved. There should be a plan for addressing technical issues during the lesson. 4. Socialization should be designed into the course activities. Teachers should motivate activities so that social contact occurs. Make use of the sense of sharing a “3D space”. (Share building activities if participants are prepared with building skills.) 5. Take prior attitudes and expectations of SL into account. Teachers should investigate and reflect on how students engage in the SL activities. The need to collaborate and share should be grounded in the activity. Explain the motivation for the SL activity to the students. (Other example, researching a question for debate in teams.)

17 Concluding remarks & Research directions  This research validated that lectures by people with disability help meet the educational needs of the students and workers within the helping professions and can be used to promote lifelong learning among disability workers in both primary- and specialized care.  Students agreed that the lectures had provided new insights into disability, that they were useful, and that having people with disability involved made the learning process more real. They also liked having the opportunity to learn in Second Life and meet others with different experiences.  Although anecdotally people with disability have noted that virtual worlds provide a forum where they can meet other people without declaring their disability, the impact of this is not yet known. Further research is required to ascertain what benefits people with disability perceive that virtual worlds offer and what affordances are required to ensure that virtual worlds are accessible to a range of people with disability.  This project focused on the social educator student as the learning object of the learning system. Other projects could focus on people with disability as the focus of the learning objective.

18 Research directions (continued)  Current research, “Virtual spaces for building friendships and learning about lifelong disability”, financed by the Norwegian Research Council, will evaluate the effect of the virtual world of Second Life in reducing loneliness and increasing the social interaction for people with lifelong disability. A PhD stipendiat will explore questions such as, how do people with lifelong disability use virtual worlds to be included in social groups and interact with others and how do they engage in activities and experience the use of virtual worlds.  Janis Light (1988) says characteristics of interactions intended to meet various social purposes have the goals:  Expression of needs and wants  Information transfer  Social closeness  Social etiquette How might people with disability use virtual worlds for learning to be competent communicators?  We see value creation opportunities through application of virtual worlds in the domains of health and well being for people with disability. Potential benefits could include greater feelings of social inclusion, learning and skills acquisition. Research is needed to see how virtual worlds can be affectively applied to achieve such outcomes.


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