Thursday, October 27, 2005
lemke and education.
for those of you not familiar with his work, jay works in education at the university of michigan, and his work is at the fringe of sociolinguistics, social policy, and the hard sciences. his talk veered towards his current research on online communities based around online gaming and various MMORPGs, specifically how the strong group dynamic and the learning potential of a virtual environment could be used towards the ends of improving education. he painted a picture of a university curriculum where students could learn about physics be controlling an avatar that performs experiments in a virtual world. it's an interesting prospect, maybe complicated by the socioeconomic stratification and gendered division of current users of such programs, but maybe being a contributing factor to making this part of the internet more accessible.
Another project we’re involved with is to let students participating in distance language courses communicate orally in a graphical 3D platform called Traveler. This has proven to be very successful; not least because the otherwise isolated students get an opportunity to meet in a shared space. Traveler is, btw, one of the environments that I look at in my research on communicative affordances and conversational structures in online environments.
Is there any way i can get a copy of this traveler program? Who developed it? Is ti for sale?