Second Life - The Future or the End?

You can argue till the cows come home..... Second Life - insanely ridiculous or insanely relevant? Allow the facts to speak for themselves: Over 250 universities have established "Second Life Islands" for their distance learners. Second Life is merely an ingenious new-wave packaging design for online learning. It allows learners to become virtually engulfed in a cyberworld that the learners control and manipulate. And that is the key: Allowing the learner to manipulate and fully customize their own cyber experience. That is the essence of (and the demand of) the Millenial/Digital Learner. Take a few moments and watch this SlideShare slideshow on Second Life. It will be the most eye-opening 5 minutes you spend in a while.

Those who embrace the inevitable will be the ones who lead the charge toward change and emerge victorious"
A. Steinly circa 2008


Create A Global Classroom Today

Want to create a Global Clasroom today, but not sure how to do it??? Try these simple steps:

1. Have your students create a Bloglines account. This is easy and free. Bloglines is simply a web aggregator/web catcher/feed reader that allows your students to subscribe to any site that provides RSS Feed. Everytime the site is updated or a feed is added, your students will automatically get the information.
2. Have your students create a blog account using eBlogger. Its free and easy. Your students probably already blog constantly - MySpace and FaceBook are blogs.
3. Create your own blog using eBlogger. Its free and easy. Put your assignments and messages on your blog daily.
4. Subscribe to your students blogs using Bloglines. This will allow you to monitor your students' blog entries. Also, when you assign your students a blog entry/assignment, you will automatically get their work in your Bloglines account (when they post it)
5. Have your students subscribe to your blog using their Bloglines account. Then, everytime you make an entry (each day) the information will automatically go to your students.
6. Have your students' parents subscribe to your blog (using a Bloglines account).

Blogging and RSS Feed are "all the rage" and here to stay. Make the time and effort to create a global classroom. It will increase the motivation and participation of your students, increase reading and writing in your classroom (important timely info) and allow you and your student to stay connected to timely cutting-edge information.


SmartBoard RSS Feeds

Check out this informative resource on Smartboards. Great for lessons and innovatove ideas.


This Just In!!! RSS Training Guide for Educators

I stumbled upon this excellent RSS training guide from Will Richardson. It is a step-by-step easy to follow "how to" manual for setting up a web aggregator account (he mainly discussed Blogline-which I also use) and subscribing to RSS feeds. He also looks at implementing RSS feeds into the classroom. A must read for anyone who is trying to turn their classroom into a global learning community.


Some Great RSS Feeds

I stumbled upon an excellent edublog recently and found that it contains some excellent info on RSS feeds. The blog is titles Techno Constructivist and it provides cutting-edge top-notch IT info. The entry that I linked to below contains a list of great RSS feeds (grouped by subject area).


And if you are in the market for just podcast here are 2 great places to find subject specific podcasts:

itunes.com (of course)

RSS Feed - In Plain English

Allow Commoncraft to explain RSS Feed. In my opinion, utilizing RSS feed in the classroom is an extremely effective way of globalizing your classroom. I cant think of a better way to open your classroom up to the cyber-world while making it fun and exciting for the kids. Allow the internet to come to your kids by subscribing to RSS feeds via a web aggregator - like Bloglines. Eliminate web surfing (which waste precious class time) and streamline your internet usage.

Check out this video from Commoncraft.