An accepted paper by Jasmin B. Cowin, Ed.D. for the TESOL Conference, November 3rd and 4th, 2016 in Syracuse, New York.
I am embarking on a journey of discovery with critical questions in my mind: How does an ESL facilitator put virtual environments to practical use? The purpose of my paper and presentation encompasses several areas which I will explore in future blogs. An essential element will be describing and analyzing my experience as the avatar ‘Muse Terpsichore’ in virtual worlds during my online summer “Games and Simulations” course at Marlboro College for Professional and Graduate Studies in Brattleboro, VT. Another component will focus on describing and comparing the virtual worlds of Jokaydia Grid and Second Life. Immersed in these virtual environments I will investigate their suitability for ESL education with a closer look at areas such as experiential learning, fluency practice, virtual classroom meetings, grammar, and storytelling. I look forward to an in-depth exploration into content availability and suitability for independent, guided, synchronous and asynchronous student-teacher interaction and collaboration. Finally, I want to examine the difference between the student and administrator view of virtual environments. How does a virtual world look like to an administrator or student? What set-up work is necessary to stage for a successful learning experience? What skills does an administrator or student need to successfully implement and engage in a virtual learning component?
I hope you will check in often to read about my ambitious journey into the alternate universes and creative teaching possibilities within virtual worlds.