One of the things that has puzzled me for sometime is how people with little knowledge of SL can contemplate bringing students into SL and doing anything useful with them. I found that it took me some time to ‘learn the world’ before I felt I was ready to start coping with helping others! I wrote about this (and other early impressions of Second Life) in an invited paper for the Bulletin of Applied Computing and Information Technology (BACIT) last year. So it always amazes me when someone posts a request for basic assistance on the SLED list, for example how to open a box in SL, and yet believes that they will be able to function as a teacher in SL. (I don’t mean that there is anything wrong with not knowing how to open a box or move an object around, we all have to learn these things, – only that you HAVE to know those things before you even think about teaching there!).
So when I came across the Second Life Core Competencies Framework being put together by Chris Eggplant over at EducationUK (RL Chris Swaine), I got quite excited and I have been using it as a an informal list of things that people need to know at different times. The framework has three levels and is described in the document like this (for practitioner read educator, as that is the context):
“Education in Second Life requires the acquisition of three sets of skills:
A set of core skills / competencies to become an effective SL resident.
To be an effective learner requires the resident core skills, plus a further set of skills / competencies which would enable the use of tools and functionality to support their learning within Second Life.
To become an effective practitioner requires both resident and learner core skills, plus a further set of skills to enable them to identify and setup tools, as well as using appropriate and pedagogically sound approaches to learning and teaching, which support the personalisation of learning. “
A group of interested educators who felt this was a worthwhile project have helped to create a list of the required skills which can be found here (I hope! You may need to register with the EducationUK site to access the pdf.)
I have found this to be a very useful list and I would love to hear what others think. Unfortunately I can’t find any further work that has been done on this but I will keep looking. It is a framework that I think we could usefully adopt in our BIG Second Life project that might happen next semester (if we are successful in getting our funding! more later!).