Moderation: Helena Galani

In this symposium we will explore successful cases of using OpenSim in Language Teaching. OpenSim is the open source version of Second Life and used to be behind its big brother in visually appealing graphics design and performance. This is no longer the case. OpenSim has become a beautiful 3D world designed for education (in contrast Second Life is mainly commercial). It now is a true alternative to its expensive big brother. It is a user generated world and students and teachers can easily create 3D objects there.

Annalisa Di Pierro, Italy

In this presentation I will show how it is possible to use virtual worlds for an immersive teaching-learning according to a student-based approach.The reality of the class is expanded in Opensim through activities carried out in virtual worlds where the students become avatars and overcome physical and cognitive obstacles that can slow down the learning in the real lessons.The students can participate in an active and creative way enhancing their motivation and improving their competences.

Annalisa Di Pierro is a teacher of English at a Technical High School in Pisa, Italy, eTwinning ambassador, eTwinning group “Methodologies and Digital Tools” coordinator, teachers‘ trainer and expert in new methodologies and digital tools for education, Erasmus+ and eTwinning projects coordinator in her school.

Recording (20min): https://youtu.be/8KzFDi0SIq0 

Helena Galani, Greece

Innovative teaching through Virtual Worlds to establish Differentiated Instruction and learner Heutagogy in ELT

Abstract:   In this session, I will present how self-determined learning is enhanced through Differentiated Instruction in immersive Virtual Worlds. Come see what processes take place and what roles the flexible educator assumes online, to overcome possible learning challenges, and to cater for diverse educational needs even in exam-orientated classes in VWs. From games to machinima, scripted prims, NPCs and chatbots, learners of all age groups create or reuse a variety of end-products based on their level of readiness. This is an ideal opportunity to overview some educational tools which can be employed for accelerated language acquisition in the context of a reasonably scaled virtual island any teacher can handle.

To gain access to Helena’s ELT Treasure Island, first, please join the group „ELT Learner Factor“ with your avatar on Kitely, and let the exploration begin.

Recording (22min): https://youtu.be/O9TTDshnmso 

Heike Philp

Immersive Language Education EVO session

To learn a language live online is the best and sometimes cheapest way of practicing it in real-time with other people without the need to travel. Virtual worlds and video games offer opportunities to meet speakers of other languages and native speakers alike but there are many 3D spaces out there and sometimes it is difficult to decide which one to join.

  • Which virtual world is suitable for language education?
  • What kind of equipment or software does one need?
  • How long does it take to get to know this world before it can be introduced to language learners?
  • Is this virtual space safe?

With these questions in mind, a group of language educators spent 5 weeks exploring 13 different 3D environments and created an evaluation rubric and listened to some of the long-time users of these environments for the pros and cons. In the end they voted for their top 5 virtual environments suitable for language teaching and learning. Heike Philp proudly presents the findings of this 5-week online workshop. This ranking show starts with number 18 and counts down to … well which one is the winner by a large margin? Come and find out.

Heike Philp is CEO of let’s talk online sprl, an immersive language education specialist. She is co-initiator of EU funded LANCELOT (virtual classroom), AVALON (virtual world), CAMELOT (machinima for language teachers) and GUINEVERE project (games in virtual worlds). She is founder of the Virtual Round Table Conference and co-owns EduNation in Second Life, OpenSim-  and Minecraftservers.

Recording (15min): https://youtu.be/-f7afKQH808 

Symposium – OpenSimcom

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