Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.
An evening with Dean Groom, PBL, SL and OzNZ PPL
August 17th, 2008

Dean Groom in his role as Howard as he weaves his OzNZ disciples down the PBL pathway

Sat in on an OzNZ educators flash meeting. It seemed I arrived first and rather idiotically I clicked on the Start Broadcast button and sat there like a stunned mullet for a bit until I realised I had hijacked the opening of the proceedings. Oh well, I will not lose any sleep over at that.

There was discussion regarding Second Life and also Interactive Whiteboards. I was looking forward to more talk on SL actually. SL intrigues me somewhat.

Some educators rave about SL. Others deplore it. Two documentaries regarding virtual worlds and Second Life that aired on the 6th August on SBS TV here in Australia, the Age of Avatars and Wonderland: Virtual Adultery and Cyberspace Love did not go down too well in some education sectors. PodLove may have perturbed some educators as well.

Then as the online discussion continued, Dean Groom, provided us all with an excellent and impromptu live example of PBL. We were all involved as we gradually collaborated to solve the problem set up by Dean. One gradually took on a role as we sought a solution to the conundrum. Dean is a real practitioner. Impressive. It was a good get together. I lurked more than contributed. Next time I should be more proactive. A number of sites were referenced during the meeting:

Digital Ethnography

I participated in what I believe was the first OzNZ flash meeting back in April. That was a interesting experience as well.

This evening’s meeting has been archived here. The OzNZ educators group is well supported with a wiki, diigo group and a ning.

Addendum: Discovered this nice piece on Machinima on the SBS TV website. May interest you.

4 Responses to “An evening with Dean Groom, PBL, SL and OzNZ PPL”

  1. Dean Groom Says:

    glad to see you had fun. Were actually part of the New Tech Foundation for PBL, out of Napa, California. Have a look at – if you are interested in MUVES/Games in Edu. We also run where the kids are beginning to blog their projects. I am hoping that in the next few weeks I’ll have a live, public Open Grid for Second Classroom, which will be great. My view is that virtual worlds, or lets say the social 3D web will become pervasive in the next few years, as the gamer generation demands a first person perspective. The media being 2D focus on the sleeze and cheeze – but that is what they did 15 year ago with the internet – yet most media outlets have now adopted it, and most have a pseudo-blog channel. I recommend you check out – thats where the AU SLEDers hang out.

    Hope to catch you again!

  2. John Larkin Says:

    Hi Dean,

    Thank you for your generous comment. It is much appreciated. I shall follow up your links. I should explore Jokaydia again… Jo is one of my real ‘neighbours’ here in Wollongong.

    I agree with you regarding the growing acceptance of virtual worlds. It is happening and history will repeat itself.

    Cheers, John.

  3. Lauren O'Grady Says:

    Hi John,
    It was great to see you and I too saw the SBS documentary which really in my view could have been on today tonight for all the good it did. Scare tactics happen everywhere and I know of one educator who pulled their avatar as a result of the show. I am a resident on Jokaydia and the learning I take from there each time I am in world beats any conference I have been too. In Jokaydia on the weekend there was a conference where one of the speakers spoke of us currently being in the “uncanny valley” where we still distinguish differences between virtual and real worlds. He spoke about this is changing. I have recently reflected that I am starting to cross that valley and becomg truly immerrsed in the experiences in SL. The immersiveness of this environment is just waiting for education to come and grab it and I love that Dean and others are beginning to have a go. I personally am looking forward to open sim as SL is a bad word in DEECD in Victoria.
    Look forward to seeing you again in flash meetings. !

  4. Kathleen Says:

    Hi john,

    Thanks for commenting on my blog about my experience regarding racism in Wollongong. Its sad to see how the whites boys treat Asians there although I must say that it is only a minority who are just behaving like that.

    Apart from Racism in the gong, the place is really beautiful and I dearly miss it now.