The emergence of virtual environments and Open SymGRIDS; specifically the Virtual Worlds (VW) of JokaydiaGRID and Second Life are changing the landscape of educational delivery. The convergence of gamification in VW’s is bringing new challenges and substantial knowledge emergence to the forefront of teaching. The quest for exceptional immersive learning spaces requires teachers to become familiar and comfortable in VW’s. Ultimately, teachers will need mastery in designing and creating authentic virtual learning environments.
Computer requirements, installation and appropriate Avatar creation and naming are only the beginning of the VW journey. A glossary of Virtual World terms and a guide to dealing with the natives are essential. Resources which are at the forefront of VW technology, such as the e-Journal of Virtual Studies provide important forums for continued education. Comparing JokaydiaGRID and Second Life in regards to possibilities in augmented reality for self-directed learning has been a challenge for this blogger. Advantages and pitfalls in classroom integration and how virtual worlds help develop critical observation and interpretation skills are currently being explored. Ways to reduce transactional distance through building connectivity VW will be discussed in further blogs. So far, “tours” through virtual classroom environments and student projects which feature successful immersive experiences were mind opening, impressive and somewhat intimidating.
Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs only to the people who prepare for it today,” determined Malcolm X at the O.A.A.U.’s [Organization of Afro-American Unity] founding forum at the Audubon Ballroom. (June 28, 1964). (X, n.d.)
Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin a Fulbright Scholar, SIT Graduate, completed the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP™) at Columbia University, Teachers College. Dr. Cowin served as the President of the Rotary Club of New York and Assistant Governor for New York State; long-term Chair of the Rotary United Nations International Breakfast meetings; and works as an Assistant Professor at Touro College, Graduate School of Education. Dr. Cowin has over twenty-five years of experience as an educator, tech innovator, entrepreneur, and institutional leader with a focus on equity and access to digital literacy and education in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. Her extensive background in education, administration, not-for-profit leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, and technology innovation provide her with unique skills and vertical networks locally and globally.
Dr. Cowin participates fully in the larger world of TESOL academic discipline as elected Vice President and Chair-Elect for the New York State, NYS TESOL organization, for the 2021 conference.
Ongoing research, expressed in scholarly contributions to the advancement of knowledge is demonstrated through publications, presentations, and participation in academic conferences, blogging, and other scholarly activities, including public performances and exhibitions at conferences and workshops. Of particular interest to her are The Blockchain of Things and its implications for Higher Education; Current Global Trends in TESOL; Developing Materials and Resources in Teaching English; E-learning; Micro and Macro-Methodologies in TESOL; E-Resources Discovery and Analysis; and Language Acquisition and the Oculus Rift in VR.
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