Mass Student Shock Reaction
I announced on Thursday morning at assembly that our school had acquired 3D Virtual property.
When I made this announcement there was a shock-reaction amongst all our students. It was one of those spontaneous crowd response moments. There was a some laughter, but it wasn't mocking laughter, it was disbelief laughter. It was quite an electric moment.
The shocked reaction of the students in itself holds a lot of meaning to me.
Why would students be so shocked that technology they'd almost all be accustomed to, is being used in a school context? Why is it unheard of?
The tools that our young people use to connect socially & to express themselves creatively, ought also to be provided to them in school and harnassed for learning.
I announced that we were wanting to recruit moderators for the virtual world & that we'd let them in early. At the meeting I held at lunch, there was an overwhelming crowd and I had to turn many students away (they came back the next day to an alternative meeting).
On Friday, the day after the announcement, a core group of students had filled in applications to be moderators and had permission slips signed.
So I set them up.
I write this on Sunday evening. What a weekend it has been.
On Friday night there was chaos... students trying every wacky thing they could. Objects strewn everywhere. They immediately discovered all kinds of stuff I didn't know existed. One student wore about 8 parrots on his avatar. Others discovered they could become dinosaurs.
On Saturday I gave some of the students plots of land to build on. By Saturday night one of them had created a shop. By Sunday morning he had stocked it with a virtual version of our school uniform.
By Sunday evening, more buildings, including a paint-ball maze and a parrot shop with a teleporter to a building way up in the sky.
And that's the students, while several of my colleagues have worked on some beautiful facilities near a waterfall, and a 'fortress of physics' up in the sky. (My colleagues are on Twitter - @tim__barrett and @peter_robson).