Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Second Life Landmarks

For my Emergining Instructional Technologies course we were to go out and find different areas on Second Life (SL) that had to do with a topic of our choice. I choose to look into different ancient civilizations because not only are they interesting to learn about, but it is something that I actually didn't know a whole lot about. I found this to be my opportunity to learn a little more and see what SL had to offer on the subject.

Apollonian Empire
This is a place where you can role play and ride a chariot. There are people there sometimes telling you about the Apollonian Empire. You can view the place itself which has some artwork like they did as well as purchase outfits.

The Hittite Empire
The Hittite Empire was over by the Mediterranean Sea and in this place you can find a little information about it but mostly you can shop clothing that they had then. It is beneficial as well not to purchase the clothing, but instead just view it and see how interesting and how similar some of it is in relation to what some people wear today.

Museum Island
This is a really neat place, because you can view items in a museum fashion. There are things to do with many civilizations. There are signs pointing you to different areas such as the Temple Ruins and Trojan Columns. There is also a place right when you enter that you can teleport to anything you really want to go to, although you can continue to walk through and find the signs.

Artwork Gallery and Mall

This is a place to view and purchase items from ancient civilization. There is artwork as well as clothing to be purchased. There is also some role-playing that typically takes place here as well.

ROMA the Roman Market
Right when you enter this place, they discuss some rules and general information about the place. You can go around and click on the different signs and they will give you some more detailed information about what is on them. You can purchase the items (which is the main purpose from what I can tell) but it is informational as well which is beneficial for educational purposes.

Blues in the Night
This place is a place to have parties. Tonight there was a costume party going on where you could dance and the best costume received a prize. The costumes tonight were of ancient civilizations such as Rome, Greece, and Egypt.

Four Directions World Bazaar
This place had different paintings and art pieces from different civilizations and times such as Egyptian and classical times. There also was a hot air balloon that you could go in when I was there.

Minoan Empire
This place is a non combat role-play area. You can walk around and live the life of a Minoan empire. They provide you with some information about the culture immediately when you read the rules. You do not have to actually role-play, but you can be visitor and view something as close to the Minoan empire as we can get today.

Egyptian Emporium
This place has statues and pyramids like that of ancient Egypt. They also have animals such as camels like they did. There is an ancient boat that you can ride on and have people steer you to another island.

The Nubian Empire
This place has clothing like that of the Nubian empire that yo u can get for free. There are also pictures and such of what people may have looked like then. The walls are really neat and look like that time period as well.

There were many ancient civilizations that have previously existed and these are only a few of them. Second Life had some things that I liked, and somethings that I didn't. A lot of them were more or so for selling purposes, but you could turn them into educational. A lot of the role-playing sites that I visited were combat and if I were to use them in the classroom I would prefer them to be a little more educational and not so much the violent aspect, even though was was a big part of the history and the falling out of many of these such civilizations.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What does it take to be a Passionate Teacher??/

I was going through many of the blogs, but none of them popped out to me as much as Angela Maiers blog titled Get Ready for a Passion-Driven Conversation. She has wrote a couple of books and has also been researching and speaking out about the importance of passion when it comes to teaching. There are many people question what it takes to be a great teacher, and many different professors and articles state that the teacher has to be passionate about educating. Many teachers say they want to be a teacher because they enjoy working with children, but a great teacher has a passion for working with children.
Is there a common meaning behind the word, or does it mean something different to everyone? Can it be taught? What is it really? These are a few questions taht Angela states in her blog a long with many others when it comes to talking about passion. She provides many links for people to go out and look at and decide for themselves.
To me being passionate about teaching is that it is one of the only things in life that makes me truly happy. I have grown up working with children who were younger than me. My mother is a para professional and I have been going down to her room and working with students since I was in Middle school. I would go down during study halls and now I too sub as a paraprofessional. I also have worked at a daycare, lifeguard, swimming lesson instructor, tutor, religion teacher, been a big sister through the Big Brother/Big Sister program, and coached softball and cheerleading. I can honestly say that nothing is more satisfying to me than seeing a student have that "ah ha I got it" moment. I love seeing the progress and the steps that a student takes to get to where they are. I want to do anything that I can to help a student progress and keep progressing. To me, these ideas and many more are some of the ideas that lie behind passion in education.