Archive for September, 2007

Virtual History

Before I was introduced to Second Life by KJ, I had a dream of creating virtual history simulations for my students -games really, in which they could experience walking the streets of ancient Athens or Rome. And while I would still like to see that realized in a way that will be accessible to my sixth graders, it looks like someone else has created just that -and in spectacular fashion.

Jeremy Kemp of SJSU wrote about this amazing accomplishment on the SLED mailing list. Rome circa 320BC has been recreated in Second Life at this SLURL. More information about the way it was created can be found on Wired , and a good machinima was created by Rik Panganiban, SL Rik Riel.

As it turns out, there are several real life areas of which I was unaware in SL. Where was I? -Ummm, the ISTE scavenger hunt, formal ball, and looking for Meerkats at DEN for Meerkat Monday! I guess I need to remember why I came in the first place, and start exploring more. I know one thing for sure, it’s time I got in and discovered more of these amazing builds in SL, as well as finding a way to share them with my students.

The following RL sites are also courtesy of Jeremy -Thanks 🙂

Morocco: http://tinyurl.com/246fq9
Dublin: http://www.dublinsl.com/index.php
Amsterdam: amsterdam/128/128
Egypt: http://tinyurl.com/2cyebm
San Diego: Diegoland/128/128

Addendum 9/23/07

Today I visited Assisi and I will state that it is the best recreation I have yet seen in SL. The Basilica is as I remember it from having been there several years ago, and well worth the visit.



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Well, I was a day late, but that’s ok, I think we should remember everyday -not just once a year.

This year was interesting when my sixth grade students started voicing their thoughts and experiences which, at first, I thought was peculiar, but then realized that 9/11 is the Pearl Harbor of their generation and even though these kids were only 5 years old at the time, it was traumatic for their parents. One boy was able to tell me what kind of planes the cowards hijacked, why they chose that particular model and those specific flights, and other stats that amazed me. One little girl had just returned from a NYC visit to her grandparents, and her uncle was killed in the first tower. The stories would have gone on save for the fact that I needed to teach them some content as well!

We will all continue to be affected, possibly more so as time goes on. For me at least, there is new realization and understanding at every passing anniversary, and I wonder that the horror of it is still sinking in. That seems strange too, but somehow fitting.

We Will Never Forget


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Ok, so this is not about SL, but it is important to educators and students; it’s the worst education “reform” act ever written -come on -you know what it is, No Child Left Behind. Six years ago at a staff meeting I dared utter the words, “So we’re teaching to the test.” and my principal just about took my head off, now it’s an accepted fact -we ARE all teaching to the $#%@% test!

 Do not despair teachers, there is hope! Reading Education Week this morning, I came across this quote:  

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., a presidential candidate, struck first and directly at the holy grail of NCLB’s standardized testing. “It’s time we had a president who cares more about learning than about memorizing,” Sen. Clinton said before thousands of cheering New York state teachers in April. “The tests have become the curriculum instead of the other way around.”

WHOOPPEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Finally, someone has said something about education that makes sense; someone important who may well be our next president. Let’s hope that we, as a nation, have the good sense to elect her. It’s about time, don’t you think?


Fuller, Bruce (2007, August, 28). The Democrats’ ‘No Child’ divide, 27, Retrieved September 5, 2007, from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2007/08/29/01fuller.h27.html#top

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