individuals actually do things differently than before. A single institution,public education, still widely uses chalk on blackboards, still lines up desksin rows, still thinks a teacher is the content expert in a classroom.As an educator who has ever tried to involve “experts” in a long-term project-based learning assignment, 4-8 weeks, it is difficult. I’d rather heardcats than coordinate and then create an extended collaboration with experts. Being a conductor of information and knowledge, rather than a sage inthe classroom, is hard stuff, if it’s done right. Yet TSL is/was a relativelyeasy medium to use to bring teacher/students/experts together for authenticlearning experiences – once Linden Lab support approved the adult inquestion…weeks. To bring together experts from New Zealand, Kansas, Germany,and Pennsylvania, and then have these experts available to a small team of students who are involved in gathering data on preserving natural habitats in alocal wetlands area is powerful stuff!Who killed TSL? Educators killed TSL by not creating a collaborative environment for students and teachers to share ideas. Rosedale gave us all theplatform, we all failed to market it’s capability to change how students learn in school.
What Can Save TSL?As Philip Rosedale bluntly stated during his keynote address to the SLCC’s participants, concerning the closing of the teen grid on December 31, 2010 –content on the TG failed to grow as quickly as on the adult main grid (MG). Sure, it would have been nice of him to carry the TG through out theentire school year. It also would have been nice of him to gather educatorsaround and gently announce Linden Labs decision last month. And in would havebeen nice of him and LL, to create an educational sim, where educators of teens, 13-15 years old, can call their home – a sort of Grand Teen Archipelago.He did not. Probably because our pedagogical interpretation of the TG is stuckin old world learning, not experiencing the necessary paradigm dialogs to moveforward.For all the surprised passion of a few educational SLebrities, Rosedale understands that to change how public education does its business will take morethan the efforts of LL. Looking at his face during the day as he made his cursory stops through out the convention reminded me of aline from a 2002 movie, “The Mothman Prophecies” - John Klein: “I think we canassume that these entities are more advanced than us. Why don't they just comeright out and tell us what's on their minds?” Alexander Leek: “You're moreadvanced than a
, have you ever tried
yourself to one of them?” Rosedale is no god, but maybe a demigod.
TSL was closed in part over revenue, of course, but as Rosedale stated clearly, the TG was a technological drag on the potential growth of the entire in-world community. It is difficult for LL and it’s investors to consider the TG when it’s simply not carrying its own weight inrevenue support to justify additional scrums. Can you imagine a capitalinvestors meeting with the likes of Jeff Bezos types, Amazon CEO, trying torationalize the continuation of TSL with its average user-concurrency nearing200 at times, and on a good day, and maybe 1000 active teens. While a feweducational institutions might be bragging about their student enrollment inthe thousands, how many are really active in the TG community creating content?So, what will save TSL? Here are a few summarized items pulled from the many blogging pudits thinking about what will save TSL.
Use an OpenSim-based Teen Grid platform operated by SL or use a trusted subcontractor that offers security, currency and grid standard, lowercosts to educators yet keeps them with LL.
Rewrite the licensing agreement to allow for region backups and archive retrievals. As instructional units pass, so do historical builds, like atheatrical set. And while we’re at it, allow educators to share entireregions – teachers are the biggest moochers.
Using OpenSim server software will allow LL to outsource the entire operation to a favored subcontractor – volunteers? Thus encouraging LL tofocus on itscommunity, depressed economy, great Vivox voices, and mostly brandrecognition.
Allow all educational TG sims to operate their own RegAPI, thus allowing institutions to created hundreds of “limited” accounts, bound to their ownisland on the OpenSim-based TG. (My sim on the TG had a similar one a coupleyears ago, and it worked easily. Sparta Island subsequently changed to anopen sim, and LL closed the RegAPI for lack of usage, so it’s verydoable.)
Class 5 avatars for all educators – it already exists. Allow educators to create their own educators access list for visiting teachers that they vouchfor.While I have not used my “class 5 status” in the TG, for obvious reasonsmentioned earlier, this would allow teacher to collaborate. Education isall about collaboration, not isolation.
Sto CoBottin of teen created content. Next to closed sims bein the hidden culrit behind the death of TSL not enforcin a strict cobot olic