Friday 5 September 2008

Photo Assignments for EFL ESL Students in Second Life

One of the things that I really like about Second Life is the rich visual imagery and the creativity that many of the builders there have put into designing their Islands. We can exploit this along with the Second Life snapshot tool to create stimulating projects for our students.

Here's a quick video showing you how to take a snapshot.

Here's another showing you how to access and use the snapshot controls so that you can get better camera angles.

So how do we use this with EFL ESL students?
We can use this in a number of ways to enhance writing activities.

Send a postcard activity - One of the options on the snapshot interface is to email the images we take to other people. When we do this we can add an email text telling them about the image or what we have found at that place etc. We can ask our students to imagine that this is a postcard to the class and to write about an imaginary holiday they are having.

Photo journalist - We can send our students on photojournalism assignments. These could be to report on events that they attend, or on islands or installations that we've asked them to investigate. The students can save the images to their hard drive and then either import them into a word processing document or create their own Second Life News blog about the events.

Photo stories - Students can work together using their avatars to create a sequence of images that tell a photo story. They can enhance the images by using a word processor to add dialogue bubbles to the images. This encourages them to collaborate both in class and while they are in Second Life.

Research Assignments - We can send each students to a different location in Second Life to do a research task. They can then send an email with an image and a report from that destination telling other students what is there and why they should visit it. In class the students can then read the reports and decide which place they want to visit.

Photo Fashion - You can ask students to work in pairs to dress up and take photographs of each other in different Second Life clothing. They can then use a word processor to import the images into a fashion column, describing the clothes etc. Again these could be published on a blog or printed up as a class project.

Working with students in Second Life needs care, so always be sure to set tasks and check your locations for suitability before sending them anywhere. If you are working with teens then be sure to use the Second Life Teen Grid.

To see more Second Life video tutorials go to my YouTube playlist

Related links:
The videos used in this posting were originally commissioned by The Consultants-E and are part of an introductory course for teachers they deliver on Edunation Island II and are used with their kind consent.


Nik Peachey


testecarla said...

Wow, Nik, fantastic ideas as always! I just wish I had more time to really explore Second Life. I dream the day my school get an Island there!

Nik Peachey said...

Hi Carla

You don't have to wait for your school. I hire a small office (well quite a big office) and did think about starting to teach some private classes there. Who knows you could even start your own school!


testecarla said...

Who knows, Nik? Lately I've been thinking of exploring teaching Portuguese instead of just English. It would be fun to try Portuguese in Second Life, though I just fall on trees and can't control my flight!

Nik Peachey said...

Sounds like you may need a bit more bandwidth or a more powerful graphics card. SL is very demanding! MY laptop PC over heats after 15 mins in World.



My eBooks and Lesson Plans