Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Second Life Student's Pledge

The Dining Room
Location: Butt in Chair, Working on Syllabus in Both Worlds

It's time to roll out the Iggy's Syllabus wiki again, and this semester I will ask students to sign, date, and return a sheet that I'll keep on file.

This contract contains statements to the effect of "I have read understand your attendance policy, Dr. Essid." But this year, this appears:

I will represent the University of Richmond in a responsible manner in person and online as a writer, as well as in Second Life as an avatar. Furthermore, I understand that SL will contain some content (either violent or sexual) found broadly offensive but unless I choose to research such content, it will not be part of my coursework.

This will give them an idea of what they are getting into. Another item reads:

I've checked my own laptop/desktop system and feel that it meets the minimum requirements listed at http://secondlife.com/support/sysreqs.php [and I agree] to use computers at the Writing Center or Technology Learning Center that meet the requirements for Second Life, if my system does not.

For all of their supposed savvy about working online, Millennial students' abilities with technology underwhelm me. They have not blogged or ventured far beyond Facebook. They simply do not know what they are "in for" in a virtual world.

So teachers still have a role and some job security.

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