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Education in Virtual Worlds

EDUTOPIA Reloaded Part 1

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Edutopia

  This time I am going to write a series of articles on the Edutopia Sim on Kitely.         

  Edutopia was created by Barbara McQueen, an English teacher whose imagination and zealousness will never end. By now Edutopia is ready

  to be launched to the public and anyone can visit. During the almost two years of construction in which I had the honour to help,

  Barbara developed a series of scenarios for unlimited English lessons full of activities and games.

 

The unique settings and ideas that were put into practice to make language lessons a wonderful experience for students of any age. The lessons are tailored to the needs of the students as well as to their mother tongue. There are also conversation groups for students who just want to talk.    

As a private sim, only people in the group have access, so it is safe to bring children in with prior request.

Teachers can also have a training where they learn methodology in virtual worlds.  Advanced students may prefer the lessons on how to make machinima (films in virtual worlds)

The sim has facilities to hold conferences, lessons, sports and game competitions.

A tour round the sim will take about 2 hours time or even more.

There are scenarios from a boot camp for beginners in virtual worlds to a space station for experienced people.

My first stop on Edutopia today is the landing point where avatars are confronted with a huge map of the sim and more than 34 places to visit, you can teleport ( travel) to any location of interest directly. Furthermore, you will see a chat bot (a robot) sitting there who will try to help you, so do chat to her. The conversation can be very humorous at times.

As I intend to report on the  whole sim, I am going to stay there and explore everything at a walking distance.

On the right is a school with a canteen, library, offices, reception, theatre and classrooms ready to be used.

If you walk to the left instead, you will find a street full of shops, where you can get new clothes for the avatar, furniture and a couple of other things, walking further there will be the sandbox where you can rez (make appear) objects from your inventory, so when you go and buy furniture or clothes, you need to be in the sandbox to try them on.

If you walk straight on instead, you will come to the hotel and convention centre. A masterpiece with lots of things to see.

I recommend to enter all the buildings to discover the beautifully decorated rooms with so many details.

The hotel for instance, has got so many different rooms, suits, shops and conference rooms, that you will want to see them all. Apart from that, it has got a posh restaurant, a hairdressers, a bar a beauty salon and a nice lobby where you can have a rest and talk to others.

If you carry on walking, you will soon find the centre square with more shops around it, there you can see a movie theatre, an ice cream parlour, another hotel, an Italian restaurant, a texture shop etc. You can spend more than 30 minutes wondering around. There are a couple of red brick buildings on one side that you don't want to miss because they contain a designer shop, a driving school and a travel's agent, where you can get more information about the other scenes and adventure activities ready to be tried out. But don't get lost! Bring time with you and you will be able to explore it all.  I will carry on walking and writing down my impressions now, talk to you in part 2!

Barbara McQueen

 
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