Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Are YOU a PBS Teacher?

Thoughts from Second Life...

Last night I had the privilege of presenting in Second Life alongside Malinda McCormick, the Director of Education from San Antonio's PBS Affiliate Station, KLRN, and Shawn Rider from PBS National on ISTE Island. We had a wonderful host, an ISTE Docent, Kevin Jarret, who helped manage the crowd and help newcomers to Second Life (a.k.a newbies) and 48 people from all over the world attended. The crowd was primarily from the United States (2 from Tucson, AZ) but 1 in particular introduced himself to us from Australia.

I have attended and participated in many events on Second Life (SL) and enjoyed 2 keynotes from NECC last summer in the comfort of my own Phoenix home in my SL attire. I got inspired and really excited about all the possibilities that could happen for us as education professionals in this brave new world.

But, last night was the first time I had ever been a part of a formal presentation team, as part of the ISTE Speaker Series on Second Life. What an experience! We shared a PowerPoint presentation of PBS Teachers, PBS Teachers Connect, PBS TeacherLine, and PBS TeacherLine Peer Connection. After our presentation, we turned everyone loose with a web scavenger hunt and asked all to return to be entered into a grand prize drawing of $5,000 Lindens, donated from Shawn. (If you are a SL addict, your eyeballs just popped out of your head with that kind of prize at stake.) Everyone, however, received a consolation thank you gift of a pixelated PBS Teachers lunch box - complete with chocolate milk, an apple, a sandwich, and cookies (even though they are a sometimes food!).

There are tremendous possibilities for all of us within Second Life. I hope you will take some time to ignore all the bad publicity and experiment by creating an avatar and asking a SL resident for some help. Everyone you find on ISTE Island, and with the DEN (Discovery Educator Network), and on Lighthouse Learning (Kathy Schrock's space), and in Bernajeana's Storytelling area (Bernajean Porter) are incredibly friendly and helpful and excited about professional development in this virtual arena. Look for PBS TeacherLine of Texas and an incredible reconstruction of the Alamo. Find AzTEA as well. And... stay tuned for ASSET-Eight... its in the works!

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