Testimonial: Our God who can move mountains…

God has brought to mind a specific memory, repeatedly, that he calls to be shared.  It is the day that Jesus gave me a hug. It started weeks before the actual event…. In a time when euthanasia was being pushed in the medical field and legal arena in our country, I went to a seminar, back when I specialized with the elderly and those impacted by Alzheimer disease. In this seminar the speakers were pro ending the life of elderly patients in nursing homes. The social worker from our site also joined me and sat with me in the audience. She casually glanced over as I wrote notes and thoughts on the conversation. At the end of the presentation I stood up and countered with the risks and ethical implications, not religion based, very respectful. I was proud to have offered the counter aspect. It wasn’t easy and was not received well however I thought it to be my ethical responsibility to offer another perspective on a one sided seminar discussion. The next day at work I was called into the social workers office. I was reprimanded for speaking publicly at the conference in opposition to euthanasia. I was told I was “suffering from belief system syndrome” as if I had a mental illness. The social worker convinced the administration I needed additional exposure to alternative beliefs and I was required to attend an 8 hour seminar on spirituality in the health care field. Out of all the presenters that day only one was “christian” but it focused on the power of prayer as the power positivity and belief has on healing, not the power of God to heal. The others were about other religions, meditations, and controversial beliefs and practices. Driving home that day I felt I had just left a war zone and would be expected to report back “what i had learned” All the way home I spoke with God, my faith had not been shaken, I knew what i believed, I understood and accepted others have different views, but it was still upsetting realizing that I was expected not to have an open discussion and to condone all beliefs and practices, even euthanasia, in the least by simply remaining silent and that my own professional concerns and personal ethical beliefs were not respected. This was something I did not feel I should be asked to do ethically. Morality is a much deeper level, however even on the surface of professional ethics I felt this was not appropriate. As I neared my village I was no longer talking to God I was yelling. Tears streaming down my face. (I really should not have been driving at this point.) I wasn’t yelling at God. I was not angry at God. I was just hurt and wanted God to take the pain away. He spoke in soft thoughts in my mind and I snapped back. That wasn’t good enough. I needed more. I could envision Jesus in my mind sitting in the car with me. I knew God was with me and listening and I felt his love but I yelled back still…. No! I need more. I don’t want thoughts in my mind to sooth me, I do not want visions in my mind to comfort… I want a hug. I said to Jesus directly, you are God and nothing is impossible for you. I know it is not reasonable for me to expect you to appear in the flesh and give me a hug but that is what I need. I need a hug NOW. My God who can move mountains and bring nations to their knees. My God who loves me as a daughter, I needed a hug from my father. It didn’t matter how ridiculous my request sounded. I was like an inconsolable child. I was hurt. At this point I was driving into my home village. The village was empty on a Tuesday evening with everyone at supper. Then I saw them at the little church that was only occupied a few hours a week on Sunday morning and occasionally on a Wednesday evening. There was no reason for them to be there, on the sidewalk with their car doors open, about to get in and drive away, at the exact moment as I approached…. If the car had been there without seeing them, I would not have stopped, and a moment later they would have been on their way home, far outside of the village…. but there they were, on the sidewalk. I pulled over to the side of the road and literally jumped out of my car, I didn’t even have time to think about it. It was automatic. I think, by the looks on their faces I scared the dickens out of them with tears on my cheeks and stuttering as I approached them. I don’t even remember what I said but I told them I was there for hug and I got one. They offered to speak with me, they hadn’t even eaten supper yet, I tried to decline but they insisted. They had only stopped by the church on chance, a last minute thought as they were driving home, past the village church for some quick cleaning… I don’t even remember what we talked about. What I do remember is that I asked God for a miracle of a Hug that day. That is all I wanted but everything I needed and God moved a mountain just for me…..

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Treasure hunt scripts

 

This is the script for a wearable hud that works with other game features as well. For this example we will use it just to collect tokens for finding gems. You would put this in a wearable object like jewelry,  a badge or a hat etc.

// The actual HUD //
// ——————————————–
// ——————————————–
// declare / define global variables //

integer pCoins = 0;
integer pGems = 0;
integer pScore = 0;
string vhCustomTitle = “Tresure Hunt”;
string vhTitleOffset = ” \n \nThanks for trying the Game Kit.\nBegin by collecting gem.”;
string vhMessageLine = “\n \n “;
string vhCoinString = “”;
string vhGemString = “”;
string vhScoreString = “”;
integer vhAccessCost = 0;
list pPuzzleList = [];
integer pHUDworn = 0;
string gsCardOneName = “config”;
string g_sNoteCardName;
list gOneCard;
list g_lTempLines;
integer g_iLine;
key g_kQuery;

initialize(string _action) {
if (_action == “”) {
loadNoteCard(gsCardOneName);
} else if (_action == “finish”) {
integer i;
for (i = 0; i< 7; ++i)
{
string tLineText = llList2String(gOneCard,i);
if (i == 0)
{
vhAccessCost = (integer)right(tLineText,”:”);
}
if (i == 1)
{
vhCustomTitle = right(tLineText,”:”);
vhCustomTitle = vhCustomTitle + “\n “;
}
if (i == 2)
{
vhTitleOffset = right(tLineText,”:”);
vhTitleOffset = vhTitleOffset + “\n \n “;
}
llListen(999,””, “”,””);
//llListen(reset_channel, “”, “”, “”); // RESET channel

}
}
}

loadNoteCard( string _notecard ) {
g_lTempLines = [];
g_sNoteCardName = _notecard;
g_iLine = 0;
g_kQuery = llGetNotecardLine(g_sNoteCardName, g_iLine);

}

notecardFinished(string _notecard){
if (_notecard == gsCardOneName) {
gOneCard = g_lTempLines;
initialize(“finish”);
}
}

// ——————————————–
// ——————————————–
// define global custom functions //
// these are from the lsl tutorials //

string left(string src, string divider) {
//llSubStringIndex
// find the first appearance of the divider
integer indexLF1 = llSubStringIndex( src, divider );
if(~indexLF1)
// check to see that the appearance falls in a positive number position
//string llDeleteSubString(string src, integer start, integer end)
// remove all of the text that falls to the right of the first divider
return llDeleteSubString( src, indexLF1 + llStringLength(divider)-1, -1);
return src;

}

string right(string src, string divider) {
integer index = llSubStringIndex( src, divider );
string tString = “”;
if (~index)
{
// this fetches the string to the right of the first marker
tString = llDeleteSubString( src, 0, index + llStringLength(divider) – 1);
//llSay(0,”whats left ” + src);
// now we need to get the right half of that
integer indexSR1 = llSubStringIndex(tString, divider);
if (~indexSR1)
{
// here’s the far right side of a 3 part list
tString = llDeleteSubString(tString, 0, indexSR1 + llStringLength(divider) – 1);
}
}
return tString;
}

string center(string src, string divider) {
integer index = llSubStringIndex( src, divider );
string tString2 = “”;
if(~index)
{
tString2 = llDeleteSubString( src, 0, index + llStringLength(divider) – 1);
integer indexC1 = llSubStringIndex(tString2, divider);
if (~indexC1)
{
return llDeleteSubString( tString2, indexC1 + llStringLength(divider)-1, -1);
}
}
return tString2;
}

default
{
on_rez(integer start_param)
{

if (llGetAttached() > 30)
{
pHUDworn = 1;
initialize(“”);
llSetText(vhCustomTitle + vhTitleOffset + “\n \n “, <0,0,0>, 1);
}else{
llSetText(“”, <0,0,0>, 1);
llSay(0, (string)llGetAttached());
}

}
state_entry()
{
initialize(“”);
integer messageInt = llListen(1717, “”, NULL_KEY, “” );
integer messageInt2 = llListen(1718, “”, NULL_KEY, “” );
integer messageInt3 = llListen(1719, “”, NULL_KEY, “”);
integer messageInt4 = llListen(1791, “”, NULL_KEY, “”);
integer messageInt5 = llListen(1616, “”, NULL_KEY, “”);
integer messageInt6 = llListen(2654, “”, NULL_KEY, “” );
vhCoinString = “\nTOKENS: “+(string)pCoins;
vhGemString = “\nPRIZES: “+(string)pGems;
pScore = pCoins * pGems;
vhScoreString = “\nPOINTS: “+(string)pScore;
}

touch_start(integer total_number)
{
// if they touch the scorekeeping object – readout the scores
vhCoinString = “\nTOKENS: “+(string)pCoins;
vhGemString = “\nPRIZES: “+(string)pGems;
pScore = pCoins * pGems;
vhScoreString = “\nPOINTS: “+(string)pScore;
if (pHUDworn == 1)
{
llSetText(vhCustomTitle+vhMessageLine+vhCoinString+vhGemString+vhScoreString, <0,0,0>, 1);
}else{
llInstantMessage(llGetOwner(),vhCustomTitle+vhMessageLine+vhCoinString+vhGemString+vhScoreString);
}
}

listen( integer channel, string name, key id, string message )
{
if (channel == 1717)
//llSay(0, (string)channel + ” ” + name + ” ” + (string)id + ” ” + message);
{
string mesR = right(message, “:”);
string mesL = left(message, “:”);
string mesC = center(message, “:”);
integer tValue = (integer)mesR; // convert the coin string to a number
//llSay(0, (string)llGetOwner());
//llSay(0, mesL);
if (mesL == (string)llGetOwner())

// this is the parse for hud owner messages only
{
//llSay(0, “LINE 110: ” +(string)tValue);
pCoins = pCoins + tValue;
// fix according to positive v negative values
vhCoinString = “\nTOKENS: “+(string)pCoins;
vhGemString = “\nPRIZES: “+(string)pGems;
pScore = pCoins * pGems;
vhScoreString = “\nPOINTS: “+(string)pScore;
if (pHUDworn == 1)
{
llSetText(vhCustomTitle+vhMessageLine+mesC+vhCoinString+vhGemString+vhScoreString, <0,0,0>, 1);
}else{
llInstantMessage(llGetOwner(), vhCustomTitle+vhMessageLine+mesC+vhCoinString+vhGemString+vhScoreString);
}
}
// llSay(0, (string)pCoins);
}

if (channel == 1718)
{
string mesR = right(message, “:”);
string mesL = left(message, “:”);
string mesC = center(message, “:”);
integer tValue = (integer)mesR; // convert the coin string to a number
//llSay(0, mesL);
//llSay(0, (string)llGetOwner());
if (mesL == (string)llGetOwner())
{
if (tValue > 0)
{
if (pCoins >= tValue)
{
//llSay(0, “LINE 132: ” +(string)tValue);
pCoins = pCoins – tValue;
}else{
pCoins = 0;
}
}
vhCoinString = “\nTOKENS: “+(string)pCoins;
vhGemString = “\nPRIZES: “+(string)pGems;
pScore = pCoins * pGems;
vhScoreString = “\nPOINTS: “+(string)pScore;

if (pHUDworn == 1)
{
llSetText(vhCustomTitle+vhMessageLine+mesC+vhCoinString+vhGemString+vhScoreString, <0,0,0>, 1);
}else{
llInstantMessage(llGetOwner(), vhCustomTitle+vhMessageLine+mesC+vhCoinString+vhGemString+vhScoreString);
}
}
}

if (channel ==1719)
{
if (message == (string)llGetOwner())
{

if (pCoins >= vhAccessCost)
{
pCoins = pCoins – vhAccessCost;
llSay(1720, “Y”);
vhCoinString = “\nTOKENS: “+(string)pCoins;
vhGemString = “\nPRIZES: “+(string)pGems;
pScore = pCoins * pGems;
vhScoreString = “\nPOINTS: “+(string)pScore;
if (pHUDworn == 1)
{
llSetText(vhCustomTitle+vhMessageLine+”You spent “+ (string)vhAccessCost+ ” tokens to use this object.” +vhCoinString+vhGemString+vhScoreString, <0,0,0>, 1);
}else{
llSay(0, vhCustomTitle+vhMessageLine+”You spent “+ (string)vhAccessCost+ ” tokens to use this object.” +vhCoinString+vhGemString+vhScoreString);
}
}else{
llSay(1720, “N”);
}
}
}

if (channel == 1791)
{
if (message == (string)llGetOwner())
{
// here we should add a list to hold which objects have been acquired. We can do it by storing a list of the
// puzzle boards that awarded gems – and simply ignoring repeat awards – (you could add a message to that effect as well.
list tTest = [id]; // the uuid of the puzzle board
integer foundIndex = llListFindList(pPuzzleList, tTest);
if (foundIndex == -1)
{
pGems = pGems+1;
list insertNameList = [id];
pPuzzleList = llListInsertList(pPuzzleList, insertNameList, 0);
vhCoinString = “\nTOKENS: “+(string)pCoins;
vhGemString = “\nPRIZES: “+(string)pGems;
pScore = pCoins * pGems;
vhScoreString = “\nPOINTS: “+(string)pScore;
if (pHUDworn == 1)
{
llSetText(vhCustomTitle+vhMessageLine+”You earned a prize.”+vhCoinString+vhGemString+vhScoreString, <0,0,0>, 1);
}else{
llInstantMessage(llGetOwner(), vhCustomTitle+vhMessageLine+”You earned a prize.”+vhCoinString+vhGemString+vhScoreString);
}
}else{
llInstantMessage(llGetOwner(), “You have already earned this prize.”);
}
}else{

//llSay(0, message);
key tKeyMes = (key)message;
list tTest = [tKeyMes];
//llSay(0, (string)pPuzzleList);
//llSay(0, (string)tTest);
integer foundIndex = llListFindList(pPuzzleList, tTest);
//llSay(0, (string)foundIndex);
llSay(3719, (string)foundIndex);
}

}
if (channel == 1616)
{
string whoCalled = right(message, “:”);
if (whoCalled == “board”)
{
llSay(1617, ((string)pCoins + “:” + (string)pGems));
}else{
llSay(1417, ((string)pCoins + “:” + (string)pGems));
}
}

if (channel == 2654)
{
llSay(2655, “ScorekeeperReply”);
}

}
dataserver(key _query_id, string _data)
{
if (_query_id == g_kQuery) {
if (_data != EOF) {
g_lTempLines += [_data];
g_iLine++;
g_kQuery = llGetNotecardLine(g_sNoteCardName, g_iLine);
} else {
notecardFinished(g_sNoteCardName);
}
}
}

}


 

This is the notecard you would include in the object as well. Title in config

 

// PAY BOARDS TO PLAY // :5
// HUD GAME TITLE // :Treasure Hunt Game
// INSTRUCTIONS // : Collect gems.


 

And now for the treasure token script put this inside any object you want to award tokens for finding.

 

string pCoinValue = “30”; // um, change the number to make it worth more or less
string pAcquireMessage = “Follow the gems.”; // change the text inside quotes to make it say something different
string CONTROLLER_ID = “A”;
float tAlpha = 0.8; // set this to 1.0 if you want your object to be fully opaque.
// for the adventurous, you could make a random list and choose different things to say
string gsCardOneName = “config”;
list gOneCard;
list g_lTempLines;
string g_sNoteCardName;
integer g_iLine;
string g_kQuery;
integer resetChannel = 3;
integer respawnDelay = 30;
string vhUseParticles = “TRUE”;
float vhTargetOmega = 0.3;

 

//—————– PRIVATE —————————–
string left(string src, string divider) {
integer index = llSubStringIndex( src, divider );
if(~index)
{
return llDeleteSubString( src, index + llStringLength(divider)-1, -1);
}
return src;
}

string right(string src, string divider) {
integer index = llSubStringIndex( src, divider );
string tString = “”;
if (~index)
{
return llDeleteSubString( src, 0, index + llStringLength(divider) – 1);
}
return tString;
}

initialize(string _action) {
if (_action == “”) {
//llSay(0, “1”);
loadNoteCard(gsCardOneName);
} else if (_action == “finish”) {
//llSay(0, “2”);
integer i;
for (i = 0; i< 7; ++i)
{
string tLineText = llList2String(gOneCard,i);
if (i == 0)
{
pCoinValue = right(tLineText,”:”);
}
if (i == 1)
{
pAcquireMessage = right(tLineText,”:”);
}
if (i == 2)
{
string tAlphaString = right(tLineText,”:”);
tAlpha = (float)tAlphaString;
}
if (i == 3)
{
string stresetChannel = right(tLineText, “:”);
resetChannel = (integer)stresetChannel;
integer lHandle5 = llListen(resetChannel, “”,””,””);
}
if (i == 4)
{
string stRespawnDelay = right(tLineText, “:”);
respawnDelay = (integer)stRespawnDelay;
//llSay(0, stRespawnDelay);
}
if (i == 5)
{
vhUseParticles = right(tLineText, “:”);
if (vhUseParticles == “TRUE”)
{
llMessageLinked( LINK_SET, TRUE, CONTROLLER_ID, NULL_KEY );
}else{
llMessageLinked( LINK_SET, FALSE, CONTROLLER_ID, NULL_KEY );
}
}
if (i == 6)
{
string stvhTargetOmega = right(tLineText, “:”);
vhTargetOmega = (float)stvhTargetOmega;
llTargetOmega(<0,0,vhTargetOmega>, 10, 10);
}
}
}
}

loadNoteCard( string _notecard ) {
g_lTempLines = [];
g_sNoteCardName = _notecard;
g_iLine = 0;
g_kQuery = llGetNotecardLine(g_sNoteCardName, g_iLine);
}

notecardFinished(string _notecard){
if (_notecard == gsCardOneName) {
gOneCard = g_lTempLines;
initialize(“finish”);
}
}
//——————————————–

 

default
{
state_entry()
//
{
initialize(“”);
// on stateChange do stuff
//integer lHandle5 = llListen(resetChannel, “”,””,””);
llSetLinkAlpha(LINK_SET, tAlpha, ALL_SIDES);
// set entire prim 100% visible.
//llTargetOmega(<0,0,vhTargetOmega>, 10, 10);
llSetStatus(STATUS_PHANTOM, TRUE);
llSetStatus(STATUS_ROTATE_Z, TRUE);
llTargetOmega(<0,0,vhTargetOmega>, 10, 10);
llVolumeDetect(TRUE);
}
touch_start(integer total_number)

{
float tAlpha = (llGetAlpha(ALL_SIDES/llGetNumberOfSides()));
//llSay(0,(string)tAlpha);
if (tAlpha>0.0)
{
//llInstantMessage(llDetectedKey(0), “You picked up a Spanish Doubloon!”);
// make it invisible
llSetAlpha(0.0, ALL_SIDES);llSetLinkAlpha(LINK_SET, 0.0, ALL_SIDES);
// set entire prim 100% invisible.
llSetStatus(STATUS_ROTATE_Z, FALSE);
llSetStatus(STATUS_PHANTOM, TRUE);
// make it non-physical
// start a timer
// make it reappear after n seconds (n=60)
if (respawnDelay > 0)
{
llSetTimerEvent(respawnDelay);
}
// send a message to the gatherer’s HUD to add 1 coin
llSay(1717, ((string) llDetectedKey(0) + “:” + pAcquireMessage + “:” + pCoinValue));
llMessageLinked( LINK_SET, FALSE, CONTROLLER_ID, NULL_KEY );
//llSay(0, ((string) llDetectedKey(0) + “:” + pAcquireMessage + “:” + pCoinValue));
// llSay(1717, ((string) llDetectedKey(0) + “: 100”)); // would also work now or any integer positive or negative for that matter.
}

}
collision_start(integer num_detected)
{
float tAlpha = (llGetAlpha(ALL_SIDES/llGetNumberOfSides()));
if (tAlpha>0.0)
{
//llInstantMessage(llDetectedKey(0), “You picked up a Spanish Doubloon!”);
// make it invisible
llSetLinkAlpha(LINK_SET, 0.0, ALL_SIDES);
// set entire prim 100% invisible.
llSetStatus(STATUS_ROTATE_Z, FALSE);
llSetStatus(STATUS_PHANTOM, TRUE);

if (respawnDelay > 0)
{
llSetTimerEvent(respawnDelay);
}
llSay(1717, ((string) llDetectedKey(0) + “:” + pAcquireMessage + “:” + pCoinValue));
llVolumeDetect(FALSE);

llMessageLinked( LINK_SET, FALSE, CONTROLLER_ID, NULL_KEY );
}
}
//////
listen(integer channel, string name, key id, string mes)
{

if (channel == resetChannel)
{
initialize(“”);
llSay(0, “Okay, I reset the token”);
llSetLinkAlpha(LINK_SET, 1.0, ALL_SIDES);
if (vhUseParticles == “TRUE”)
{
llMessageLinked( LINK_SET, TRUE, CONTROLLER_ID, NULL_KEY );
}else{
llMessageLinked( LINK_SET, FALSE, CONTROLLER_ID, NULL_KEY );
}
llSetStatus(STATUS_PHANTOM, TRUE);
llVolumeDetect(TRUE);
//llSetTimerEvent(0);

}
}
//////////

timer()
{
//llResetScript();
llSetLinkAlpha(LINK_SET, tAlpha, ALL_SIDES);
if (vhUseParticles == “TRUE”)
{
llMessageLinked( LINK_SET, TRUE, CONTROLLER_ID, NULL_KEY );
}else{
llMessageLinked( LINK_SET, FALSE, CONTROLLER_ID, NULL_KEY );
}
llVolumeDetect(TRUE);
llSetStatus(STATUS_PHANTOM, TRUE);
llSleep(1);
llSetTimerEvent(0);
}
dataserver(key _query_id, string _data)
{
if (_query_id == g_kQuery) {
if (_data != EOF) {
g_lTempLines += [_data];
g_iLine++;
g_kQuery = llGetNotecardLine(g_sNoteCardName, g_iLine);
} else {
notecardFinished(g_sNoteCardName);
}
}
}
}

 

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-and the notecard for the token is also titled config

How many credits is this token worth? :30
What message should this token say? :Nice find! These Gems will help you on your path.
How opaque is this token?(range is 0.0-1.0) :1.0
What channel number should be used for reset? :3
How many seconds delay before respawning? :30
The token should use particles? (TRUE or FALSE) :TRUE
Speed / direction of spin? (range -1.000 – 1.000) :0.0
// never delete a colon
// Spin speed can be set to 0.0 for no spin
// If you use a HUD, message length should not be longer than about 60 characters.
// resetting any value above is entirely optional.
// Set respawn delay to a negative integer to prevent respawning
// You can reset any token using the channel defined above (if for example you left it channel 3, type ‘/3 ‘ and enter

 

Game theory, dynamics and elements for Minecraft analysis

Minecraft can be played on a console or a pc but for this version I used minecraft PE (pocket edition) and played it on a tablet. Minecraft has different modes which change the structure of the app. Creative mode is a simulation mode. Survival is a game mode and adventure is a developers mode that can be either simulation or game based. The important difference with adventure mode is that it protects the structure of the game from players purposefully or inadvertently destroying the build. Tne app features the ability for customization in building your own world, or computer generated builds and even the option for purchased elaborate builds. In creative mode the goal is to explore and build. In survival mode the goal is to survive, collect trophies and level up. In adventure mode specific games can be played that others have built or that you build yourself with command blocks and other tool features in the game.

The Game play aspect of minecraft in survival mode is very difficult. It doesn’t come with a tutorial, at least not in the PE version. Basically you play in creative and discover what all the tools do then when you enter survival you start from scratch and have to find and build everything you need to survive. The good thing is you re-spawn when you die. The bad thing is, unless you put your resources in a chest which you have to make or find, or buy mods and add-ons you lose everything you have gathered. I wasn’t very good at it.I like the different modes and levels because it is like scaffolding. Beginner uses creative, then you can adjust the level in creative from peaceful to easy to hard. Then you can go into survival and again you can adjust the level. You can also start with small worlds so you don’t get lost.

It also follows the Self Determination Theory in being able to customize your avatar, cause and effect of your actions and the ability to join others via the internet in game play. This last option I have not tried but I have watched my daughter play with her nephews on their gaming system in two person mode. There is Intrinsic Motivation in being able to create your own environment. This is what appealed to me the most, however when not in peaceful mode I was very upset when “creepers” blew up my creations- the creeps. Extrinsic Motivation is involved in survival mode because you can earn trophies that you can then display and if playing online others can see. Ther is no distributed learning per say in Minecraft. It can be developed and used for learning, in fact there is an educational publication, “Unofficial Minecraft Lab for Kids: Family-Friendly Projects for Exploring and Teaching Math, Science, History, and Culture Through Creative Building (Hands-On Family)” that offers plans for lessons designed by educators. It also explore gamification and game design. Yes it is on my Christmas list but I may not wait till Christmas.

Since the game doesn’t have a “how to guide built in it does improve a students Testing/Spaced Retrieval skills. Otherwise you have to buy books, watch other peoples videos they have made on youtube, search the internet or just learn by doing and exploring. It does have a set goal which is named in one of its modes, to survive. The rules are not as clear as to how you survive, maintain health and what goals you need to achieve to succeed at survival unless you invest in guides or are guided by other players. This cooperation aspect of the game is very popular among many players. I appreciate that you have choices to play independently, privately with a friend on a console or in a large social setting online as the game is adaptable to different preferences and needs.

The aspect of survival gives minecraft the escape theme but with the ability to develop games in adventure mode and work with other online players the race theme is also possible. This increases the opportunity for competition themed play. Collecting, acquiring, and allocating resources in minecraft survival mode is really the core of the game, from mining to farming, logging down trees and using all these resources gathered to build tools, homes and keep yourself alive is all part of the core of minecraft. There is Mystery and discovery in the villages and mansions and strongholds and temples that the game can randomly generate. Defined parameters, such as creatures spawning at night or in dark spaces, allow for strategy where you can predict outcomes, prepare and plan for timed events and allocate resources. The ability to create new and unique structures is what appeals to me most in the game. It is very visual based but to tell you the truth it took awhile for me to recognize the block colors and symbolism and I appreciated the text based descriptions.

Game theory, elements and design for ClassCraft analysis

Classcraft also has many platforms that it can be used on. I used this on my PC. Classcraft is a gamification app. Instead of a game platform it adds game features to real life activities. It has clearly define rules that can be customized by the teacher with video game features like customization of avatars, powers that are symbolic with real life reward, challenges and tasks with real life consequences, and a game themed story line implementing story telling through random events and goals created by the teacher. Classcraft is also able to be customized with villains and random events to add excitement. The avatars can gain and lose points and level up. The can compete on an individual level and as a team.

Classcraft uses scaffolding to move students from one level of knowledge to the next through class based goals, such as helping another student, or passing in homework on time, or fulfilling an academic goal, by rewarding them with experience points that help them level up. When challenges are not met then students can lose health points. In the paid version of the game you can award gold pieces. This is based on Extrinsic Motivation in game theory.When a student levels up they gain “powers” which essentially is a real life privilege determined by the teacher. Each small goal achieved adds up to larger and larger rewards. In this scaffolding is achieved. The Self Determination Theory is applied in the ability to customize the students avatar, giving them a sense of autonomy and control. Because the teacher can customize the goals and activities they can make them achievable and challenge the student encouraging success and competency. In addition students can work together on teams which connects the students to one another thus achieving this goal in the self determination theory.

Because all the activities are based on real life performance throughout the academic year. This achieves Distributed Learning/Spaced Practice. The rewards, privileges, team goals and penalties are continued and spaced rather than a being centered on one specific win/lose goal. The rewards are based on measured achievements rather than completion achievements. Testing/Spaced Retrieval is achieved through repeat rewards or consequences based on specific goals, behaviors and events determined by the teacher. The game does feature set goals and suggestions for activities, challenges, rewards and consequences that can be used, changed or adapted for ease of implementation.

The camaraderie of the team environment helps achieve Episodic Memory. The game enhances this by creating random events. These are fun or challenging story based events that can be randomly generated with surprise goals and consequences, one example being that a specific person, team or the whole class has to talk like a pirate for the day.

Game based dynamics need to be implemented by the teacher using real life activities. IE if the teacher wanted to implement Race and escape they would need to design it into the class craft program through a random event or a team/individual goal/challenge. Collecting, acquiring, and allocating resources is achieved during team play. If a team member falls in battle due to to many HP losses, there are consequences for the whole team. This can be prevented through the allocation of resources and powers that can rescue team mates, restore their HP and otherwise share goals to achieve success. In order to be able to rescue team mates, the individual players need to collect experience points themselves or acquire gold pieces to better protect the team as a whole. This also allows Strategy among team players who choose or are assigned different rolls such as Warrior, Healer, or Mage each with different level up powers to aid in the success of the team. By sharing HP or using powers, hence reducing resources the individual and team must decide if the trade offs or beneficial for the team and for the individuals. This also adds elements of Conflict, Cooperation, and Competition.

This gamification app has limited Constructing and creating in the avatar designs unless you purchase the full version. Other aspects of Constructing and creating would need to be built into the course by the teacher and the Classcraft used to enhance the activity. Over all Classcraft has Goals, Rules, and Objectives that are shared with students and parents and built into the app as well as allowing for customization features used by the teacher.

Multiverse Dragon Masters Evaluation of the Pilot Course

Multiverse Dragon Masters for Elementary Reading Literacy:

Evaluation of the Pilot Course

Salie Davis

Designing Online Learning Environments

(2017SP1-EDU-681103-01)

Professor Mark Lewis

Empire State College

April 28, 2017

Multiverse Dragon Masters, Evaluation:

Multiverse Dragon Masters is a 3d simulation and game based curriculum based in a virtually immersive learning environment. The pilot was designed for age groups with flexibility based on student level and ability, between 6-11 years olds (primary grades) for goal based learning. In addition the primary evaluation form was goal based evaluation (McNamara, 2008). This could be expanded to 12-15 (secondary grades) with evolving curriculum and for advance application with design tools for in world storybook and literary project creation. The pilot was tested by my two daughters, one age 9, and the other an adult home educator of preschool children, as well as two college associates.

My educational goals were to design projects and experiences that are personal and relevant to the learner. My 9 year old daughter whom is home instructed, is below her reading level for her age. The design of this pilot was with her special needs in mind, as well as to produce quality presentations through the use of technology that can be shared with the online community.

On both the website and in the virtual world graphics and text combine to increase the impact on learning. Using this principle the fact that the animation in virtual worlds is more engaging to children in an e-learning environment that a static text based or even interactive chat based website is supported(Clark & Mayer, 2016, p. 71) This is also based on the arousal that emotional attachment promotes learning. The virtual world environment allows for both synchronous and asynchronous learning, where the student can interact with the lesson plan independently or with the instructor, parent and/or other participants. One college associate commented that the title of “Multiverse Dragon Masters” created psychological engagement even before beginning the pilot project.

The supporting website also give additional asynchronous learning opportunities and lesson plan preparation. It allows for the application of the embodiment principle because the avatar programming mimics human gestures in line with live voice interactions, increasing stimulation contributing to learning (Clark & Mayer, 2016, p. 192). Virtual worlds can be individually designed to better adhere to the concurrency principle by avoiding streaming audio, music and ambient noises and using sounds only when beneficial for motivational engagement with the learning content. The individual avatar controls also allow for the content user to adjust sounds, movements and other features to align with personal preferences. In this the user can choose to eliminate ambient noise, sound effects, streaming music, etc. In a virtual world the importance of immersion is highlighted. It is a very specific platform with many possibilities but may not be appropriate for all learners. Deciding on an appropriate audience and content rating will also be essential in its development.

The redundancy principle is supported with this reduction in unnecessary audio when using visual text as the audio may reduce the knowledge absorbed from the lesson (Clark & Mayer, 2016, p. 139). Choosing only beneficial graphics and limiting the over use of graphic, as well as keeping word choice simple and concise are all conducive to learning according to the coherence principle (Clark & Mayer, 2016, p. 165) I can apply the contiguity principle in the virtual world environment by creating corresponding printed words with graphics or slide show with images and words, similar to an online storyboard. Points, tokes, prizes and awards through exploration, games and quizzes will instructors and parent gauge the success of the leaning platform.

Through my research one concern was that the personalizeation features in virtual worlds my become more of a distraction to learners and ultimately outweigh the educational benefits. (p.12, Dickey 2010) Allowing the 9 year old participant to make choices based upon limited selection, rather than teaching the technology tools of actual avatar design, I found that the pilot student was not distracted in the same way described by teachers in prior studies. In addition Personalization Principle, points out the benefits of these features in motivating students (Clark and Mayer, 2016). My adult daughter did report spending time working on her avatar and struggling with the technology aspect, in other words, she wanted to completely personalize her avatar but did not have the time to learn the technology. I ended up spending a few hours with her just to help her get her avatars appearance “just right”. With the two other college associates, I provided a ready made avatar and offered the options to adjust. I found with an avatar that was not “their own” they did not use the personalization features and simply continues with the lesson plan as laid out in the virtual world.

In this lesson plan the goal was to create a virtual world that encouraged reading in a game based environment. While working one on one with the 9 year old student she was motivated to read the story boards and read the quizzes for the opportunity to earn items she could then create her own story book scenes with. She enjoyed the idea of taking pictures of her creations with her own avatar as the main character. The one on one interaction in an online virtual world enhanced her motivation and interests in participating in reading chat and other required readings within the virtual platform in order to participate as she explored different areas and progressed through the game, learning to correctly identify words, and read simple to more advanced sentences throughout the virtual experience. The student was very interested in earning her own space to design in the virtual world, and kept asking me when I would be putting in more rewards, challenges and traps.

For this pilot program I planned a 30 minute walk through with 30 minutes of individual exploration. I had intended this to simulate the one on one goal of instruction. The college associate participants and myself were unable to coordinate schedules to meet online for this walk through. This impacted and lessened the affect of the pilot. Though I offered resources to aid in understanding the technology platform, time was a barrier and these resources were not utilized due to the learners time constraints. Instead I relied on the website resource and written support as an overall presentation of the game features and curriculum.

My adult daughter was able to meet with me one on one and this made her transition to a new technology format easier, thus enabling individual exploration. I will be creating an individualized pdf with visual screen shots as an improvement to the course as well as more training resources for new avatars within the virtual world. This will include a virtual orientation center that will teach movement controls and other aspects of the technology needed for success.

A parent teacher guide is also useful and I was able to implement many of these concepts into the starting point in the virtual world. Having these resources in world is essential and I will be developing PDFs of the same resources when applicable that specifically address subject matter concerning virtual worlds and the educational use of them for children on the companion website. Other parent guides resources include the user agreement both in world and on the website explaining the open access of virtual worlds and the responsibility of the parent and educator to supervise the sue of the virtual world. Help documentation such as how to create a child avatar and other useful tips and directions will also be available.

The subject content used in this virtual pilot began with reading and comprehension. In addition to reading literacy, digital literacy is also expanded though not a direct part of the lesson plan. Through observation I have seen improvement in the 9 year old student with technology use and in vocabulary recognition. The lack of technology skills with this new platform did surface as a barrier more so with the adult learners that the child learner in this pilot course. This supports the research that compared to the often problematic adaptation to new technologies experience by adults, children “…easily adapt to graphic and conceptual abstraction…often have extensive experience in navigating 3D spaces and discovering and exercising interface affordances” (p. 1 Roussou).

I was able to design the world then export it to a private server which is ideal for individual families who need added security and have privacy and safety concerns with online access. I then started from scratch, rebuilding the aspects I found most useful and continue with my experimentation in the online version. I have been exploring Sim on a Stick or “Simonastic” and other ready made servers such as Dreamworld and virtual world venues that do not require internet connections. Eventually I may want to move to a stand-alone platform such as can be found at www.Simonastick.com . In the future I can design and distribute an Oar file for download as an open source educational resource.

As an educator, creating a help sheet to assist learners in finding and setting controls for security and privacy would also be appropriate. This can be done real-time through virtual sessions using video, audio, or text. It can be done through the creation of PDFs that also have accessibility features built in, or it can be done by instructional video. Though the videos I have on my companion website were not specific to the pilot in terms of orientation, the college associate participants commented that the found the videos which addressed the ethics of using online virtual worlds with youth, aided them in their comfort level in taking the pilot course.

Through the first phase of this lesson plan students were able to explore the island, collect items for points, and take quizzes that rewarded for correct answers. The collection of “butterflies” awarded tokens and were accompanied by a notecard that provided instructions. The college associate participants expressed confusion at how to collect these tokens even with the written instructions. My adult daughter and 9 year old daughter benefited from a one on one demonstration. This reinforces the benefit of video tutorials in future designs. Story boards introduced the students to an underlying story plot. Students were also be able to create their own story line using screen shots, adding text and future participants could creating their own story boards that could be placed in world. Though these instructions were in world the college associate participants responded better to the pdf outline on the accompanying website than the in world resources. This identified that though students may find the virtual world a sufficient platform for information, the website and more traditional forms of content delivery may be essential for parent and teacher support. Students and parents can access the lesson plan online, again with parent supervision, will find resources and information will be presented on my current website Wopoli.com and eventually the option of my Facebook page. Future exploration of programs will also allow for quizzes to be saved or even emailed to the instructor. According to quality standards creating additional resources such as a netiquette guide (Quality Matters, 2014).

Resources

Briggs, D. C., Diaz-Bilello, E., Peck, F., Alzen, J., Chattergoon, R., Johnson, R., & …

University of Colorado at Boulder, C. (. (2015). Using a Learning Progression Framework to Assess and Evaluate Student Growth. National Center For The Improvement Of Educational Assessment

Carver, L. B. (2016). Teacher Perception of Barriers and Benefits in K-12 Technology Usage. Turkish Online Journal Of Educational Technology – TOJET, 15(1), 110-116. Retrieved on April 15, 2017, from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1086185

Clark, R., and Mayer, R. (2016) e-Learning and the Science of Instruction. John Wiley, and Sons Inc., Hoboken, N.J.

Davis, S. (2017). Multiverse dragon masters. Retrieved on April 16, 2017, from https://OSgrid/region/Multiverse%20Dragon%20Masters/164/137/23

Definitions in lesson plan (2015) Retrieved from https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/

ESRB, Entertainment Software Rating Board, retrieved from, https://www.esrb.org/ratings/ratings_guide.aspx

Dickey, M. (2011). The pragmatics of virtual worlds for K-12 educators: investigating the affordances and constraints of Active Worlds and Second Life with K-12 in-service teachers. Educational Technology Research & Development, 59(1), 1-20. doi:10.1007/s11423-010-9163-4. Retrieved on April 5, 2017, from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.library.esc.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=36&sid=817138c4-5817-4070-bc0c-c98ffbb32835%40sessionmgr104&hid=108

Hickey, D. d., Ingram-Goble, A. A., & Jameson, E. M. (2009). Designing Assessments and Assessing Designs in Virtual Educational Environments. Journal Of Science Education & Technology, 18(2), 187-208. doi:10.1007/s10956-008-9143-1

Kitely.com. (2013, August 27). Privacy policy. Retrieved on April 7, 2017, at

https://www.kitely.com/privacy (secure server).

Kitely.com. (2015, June 1). Terms of service. Retrieved on April 7, 2017, at https://www.kitely.com/terms (secure server)

McNamara, C. (n.d.) Basic Guide to Program Evaluation (Including Outcomes Evaluation). Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Retrieved from: http://managementhelp.org/evaluation/program-evaluation-guide.htm

O’Connor, Eileen. (2012). Next Generation Online: Advancing Learning Through Dynamic Design, Virtual and Web 2.0 Technologies, and Instructor Attitude. Journal Of Educational Technology Systems Vol. 41(1) 3-24, 2012-2013 Retreived on 11/24/2016 from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.library.esc.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=8d09219c-4a71-44ac-87cb-072527f5880b%40sessionmgr102&vid=1&hid=104

Poskurich, George M. (2015). Rapid Intructional Design. Wiley publications

Quality Matters (2014) Non-annotated Standards from the QM Higher Education Rubric, Fifth

Edition. Retrieved from: https://www.qualitymatters.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/StandardsfromtheQMHigherEducationRubric.pdf

Roussou, M. (2002). Immersive interactive virtual reality and informal education. Foundation of the Hellenic World. Retrieved on April 3, 2017, from http://ui4all.ics.forth.gr/i3SD2000/Roussou.PDF

Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design (Expanded ). Alexandria, US: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD). Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com.library.esc.edu

Multiverse Dragon Masters Analysis and Design Document

Multiverse Dragon Masters for Elementary Reading Literacy

Salie Davis

Designing Online Learning Environments

(2017SP1-EDU-681103-01)

Professor Mark Lewis

Empire State College

April 28, 2017

Multiverse Dragon Masters for Elementary Reading Literacy

Introduction:

Multiverse Dragon Masters is based on backward design, simulation and game based curriculum with the goal of a virtually immersive learning environment. The target age groups with flexibility based on student level and ability, is 6-11 years olds (primary grades) for goal based learning. This can be expanded to 12-15 (secondary grades) with evolving curriculum and for advance application with design tools for in world storybook and literary project creation. My educational goals are to design projects and experiences that are personal and relevant to the learner (specifically my daughter whom is home instructed as well as my grandchildren when they reach the age where this content will be beneficial,) Another goal will be to produce quality presentations through the use of technology that can be shared with the online community.

Definitions and Mode of Delivery:

The definition of an online virtual world in its application for use with youth is a 3D multi-user environment with user-generated content. It is defined as an online, computer based and browser based virtual reality platform hosted on a “grid” or “hypergrid” which is a grid on a company owned or private server. I have chosen to use kitely.com as the development grid for this pilot project. Kitely.com requires anyone under the age of 13 to be supervised by a legal guardian while using their site and limited to areas rated “general”. Avatars who are 13 years of age to 18 years of age are limited to “moderate” rated worlds. These guides are based on self regulation and communal governance and peer reporting to enforce. (Kitely.com, 2017) The positive aspects are that educational exploration is part of the public platform and Kitely.com is open and accessible to family and youth participation.

Cost and Time Analysis:

A cost analysis was necessary when deciding upon the mode of curriculum delivery. Time considerations, were also part of this. Building environments, creating lessons, and implementation of lessons are a small part of the time investment concern. Getting absorbed into the entertainment aspect and the non-educational applications are cause for greater concern among educators. Education vs entertainment was identified in studies as one of these concerns in time application. Teachers commented that they themselves were distracted by the immersive environment and individualization options within the virtual world environment. The example given, spending hours adjusting their personal avatars appearance after school hours. The personalizeation features in virtual worlds my become more of a distraction to learners and ultimately outweigh the educational benefits. (p.12, Dickey 2010) In addition many educators feel the cost is insurmountable. “The cost of both procurement and maintenance of various sophisticated devices to create an immersive environment made mass use of this technology prohibitive.” (p. 30 , Merchant et al) With current access to the internet widespread and hyper-grids becoming greater in numbers this cost has been reduced. Both Merchant and Dickey cited cost and accessibility as major factors that limited access yet with the increase in widespread internet connectivity acknowledged that online virtual worlds are realistic options for educators. Though there is no financial outlay in the actual designing of the virtual world, the value of time equivalent is still beneficial in determining the feasibility of the project. Through readings concerning experts who have studied learning theories and practice in emerging technologies, I have explored situated cognition, simply stated that knowing is not able to be separated from doing. One theory I connected with is the concept and application of backwards design in education. In this lesson plan the goal will be to create a virtual world that will encourage reading in a game based environment. The result will be interpreted according to the interests of the student as they explore different areas and progress through the game, learn to correctly identify words, and read simple to more advanced sentences throughout the virtual experience.

Because this is an independent learning module, it is without the support and sometimes hindrances found in educational institutions. The online platform costs twenty dollars per month to host on the Kitely servers. Programming tools such as the game kit was an additional one time outlay of ten dollars. Other costs associated with the game is mesh designs that are not open source or cannot be found easily to cover all possibilities I budget in five dollars a month for these expenditures. With careful game design one can be sure to purchase exportable options or use only open source and plan to export the world onto their own private server, eliminating additional monthly costs. Non-monetary cost such as time investment I have determined to be Ten dollars and hour, the equivalent of my hourly wage when employed. The initial phase of development requires an average of two hours a day for one month to design the actual virtual world, learn and implement the technologies needed and create the curriculum with rewards, challenges and traps to encourage learning. The benefits of being able to design a personalized virtual world is well worth the initial and ongoing investment. I have begun this by purchasing this virtual real-estate on February 14, 2017. I initially purchased fifty dollars’ worth of KC credits to take advantage of a 33 percent savings. One dollar is equivalent to 300 KC. I have included as an attachment, screen captures of the design in progress and current account statements.

Overview of Pilot Preparation and Delivery:

For this pilot program the content will be delivered in a 30 minute walk through with 30 minutes of individual exploration. The walk through will consist of a presentation of the game features and curriculum and guidance through live in-world chat and voice. I have realized that some pre-course preparation is needed. An online resource to get started is, http://inspiration-island.com/educational-projects/virtual-world-survival-guide/getting-started-in-virtual-worlds/ and once set up, http://inspiration-island.com/educational-projects/virtual-world-survival-guide/ . It is a course designed by another virtual world group, however using the resources already available saves time and resources I can then apply to actual leaning content. This pilot project assumes the student already have access to and knowledge of virtual worlds, so anyone that participates will need to be coordinated with prior to help them quickly set this up. This preparation shouldn’t take more than 30 to 60 min depending upon the individual. An additional support platform will be in blogposts and videos on WoPoLi.com. An in-world link to this site will also be located in the Multiverse Dragon Masters great hall, the entry point to the virtual world. This will include video and pdf versions of some of the educational content that is found in the virtual world.

A parent teacher guide is also useful that will specifically address subject matter concerning virtual worlds and the educational use of them for children This includes rating guidelines for entertainment gaming. “EVERYONE 10+ Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes” Other parent guides resources will include the user agreement both in world and on the website explaining the open access of virtual worlds and the responsibility of the parent and educator to supervise the sue of the virtual world. Help documentation such as how to create a child avatar and other useful tips and directions will also be available.

Supporting Research for Mode of Delivery:

As different learners operate at different levels sometimes outside of traditional guidelines, I have found benefits of designing flexible lesson plans that can be adjusted based on an understanding of the individual students’ needs rather than purely relying on age or grade based standards. The content of this learning module can be the instructors’ choice as singular or multiple lesson plans focused on any literacy and the appropriate creative based learning activities. “The assumption underlying the rapid rise in the use of desktop-based virtual reality technology in instruction is the unique affordances that it offers in enhancing learners’ cognitive skills” (Merchant et al (2014). With online virtual worlds customization the benefit exists to tailor the world for specific student needs. Research has shown that “…games sh0w higher learning gains than simulations…” (Merchant et al (2014).

In the paper, Purposes for literacy in children’s use of online virtual world Club Penguin, by Jackie Marsh, the author studied 26 children aged between 5 and 11 to determine the affects of online virtual worlds on literacy. The virtual world chosen was found to have a motivational and fun factor that encouraged reading and writing. Through this study the author was able to conclude that the use of virtual worlds is part of the digital generation. In spite of risks that may be involved it is likely that these platforms will continue to grow in popularity. Virtual worlds when guided by responsible adults can offer the opportunity for children to improve upon literacies. The author also concluded that interactions within virtual worlds were as beneficial as offline activities.

Subject content that can be used in this virtual platform will begin with reading and comprehension, but can expand to art, history, mathematics, music, science and technology, can be added to or subtracted from based upon the interests and level of the student. In addition to reading literacy, digital literacy is explored in technology concepts of game design as well as learning and using online tools to access the material. The whole concept of exploring digital media is intertwined in the overall teaching platform I will be creating. The digital content itself is available as open source and a primary resource can be found here, http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2017/03/virtual-world-educational-content-shop-launches-at-osgrid/ .

As my daughter gets older, an online journal through Google Docs will be incorporated to record learning and personal reflection. This will also promote the next phase of literacy; writing. For younger students parent participation is essential in the virtual world environment to introduce them to the technology they will be using and supervise them in a public forum environment.

Overcoming Challenges in Content Delivery:

Privacy and security controls, avatar ratings and restrictions, virtual world ratings, controls, and restrictions and private spaces are all options currently offered in the virtual environment. You can restrict your communications from being seen or heard outside your world or limit it to a certain distance inside your world. With so many intricacies in privacy settings and allowances it is very easy for new participants in the technology to be caught off guard and not realize the lack of privacy in this public space. Even when you are on an island alone or with a friend, if you do not own the island or if you are not aware of all the ways to limit and block who sees your information, it is always best to assume you are always being watched either by the island owner or grid administrators. It is essential for educators to learn the technology associated with any platform they use and read the privacy policies. Using Kitely.com as an example, one sentence alone describes the largest security threat to privacy without clearing explaining options you could or should use to protect yourself “Some of your personal identification information may be shared with other users when you interact with them or their proxies using our service.” (Kitely Privacy, 2013, par. 6)

The terms of service gives a little more information concerning how the world manager can control privacy in the world they manage.

“Representations and Warranties of World Managers

A World Manager is a User who has created a Virtual World.

Each World Manager is responsible for managing his or her Virtual Worlds, and will be put in charge of controlling the activity of the Users who visit her or his Virtual Worlds (“Your Visitors“).

A World Manager may designate access restrictions, in order to prevent certain Users from entering or being a part of his or her Virtual Worlds in any way (“Access Restrictions“). You hereby undertake that you shall proactively institute such Access Restrictions to comply with all applicable laws and prevent violations of these Terms by Your Visitors.” (Kitely terms of service, 2015, para 5).

According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), educators, “will have to take some steps to safeguard the identities of any students they bring into a virtual world. Also, while there are likely to be more than one way to be FERPA-compliant, the easiest way is to host your own private grid (or rent private grid space from a hosting service provider) and further, set-up the permissions on the grid to only allow faculty-level avatars to hypergrid jump in or out of the grid (and to prohibit non student avatars from hypergrid jumping into the grid).” (Educator Commons, 2017)

In addition the lack of technology skills has been identified as a primary barrier. The research has shown “… a significant gap between teachers’ perceptions of the importance of integrating technology and their classroom use of these skills.” (p. 111, Carver, 2016) Though teachers feel technology is important they do not teach or use technology in the classroom. Compared to the often problematic adaptation to new technologies experience by adults, children “…easily adapt to graphic and conceptual abstraction…often have extensive experience in navigating 3D spaces and discovering and exercising interface affordances” (p. 1 Rousou). Pre-lesson preparation and one on one instruction will overcome most of these challenges.

Once the world is designed it is possible to export it to a private server which is ideal for individual families who need added security and have privacy and safety concerns with online access. In addition, when encouraging the access on an open platform, accessibility may be an issue for some. Accessibility options for disabilities are not built into the virtual world platform that I will be using, so in this regards there may be barriers to accessibility. This curriculum will only be used by parents who are acquainted with and comfortable in the virtual world platform when using it in conjunction with their own children. Because of this accessibility is not a concern though still worth exploring. Though accessibility tools are not built into this technology platform, a number of tools that can be used for accessibility are.

Addressing Accessibility Concerns:

Virtual worlds require a level of technological comfort and ability. Although I hope to design a general curriculum that others can use, the technology is restricted by what it is designed to do. The format I have chosen uses chat pods for social interaction and the programs use “notecards” and other text based communications. However it also has voice enabled functions for real time communications. “Communication in virtual world can take both verbal and nonverbal forms.” (p. 36, Hew and Cheung, 2010) Voice, avatar animations and chat are the primary forms of communication live in world, while signs, note cards, video, music, websites and links, animations and visual display of objects are communications used on an individual basis not related to live communication. In this example accessibility for the visually impaired will be in screen enlargers and in the pre-designed sizing options within the virtual world environment. Hearing impaired, again would be technological tools to increase volume and turn off back ground noises such as ambient sound effects within the tools developed on the platform. As an educator, creating a help sheet to assist learners in finding and setting these controls would be appropriate. This can be done real-time through virtual sessions using video, audio, or text. It can be done through the creation of PDFs that also have accessibility features built in, or it can be done by instructional video, again sites like YouTube had accessibility built in with captioning and other options available. Eventually I may want to move to a stand-alone platform such as can be found at www.Simonastick.com.

Lesson Content Delivery:

Through the first phase of this lesson plan students will be able to explore the island, collect items for points, and take quizzes that will be rewarded for correct answers. Points will be subtracted to discourage guessing. Though guessing is an appropriate learning technique for children, I have identified my student as relying on it too often when using educationally designed games that reward for the correct answers but have no negative impact when wrong answers are chosen, This makes it very easy to randomly click through answers until the right ones are arrived at by chance in order to progress through the game. By allowing for smaller penalties in points and a larger reward, the student can still progress by guessing, however the progression will be much slower if doing so without completing the required reading. Story boards will allow the student to be introduced to an underlying story plot. Students will also be able to create their own story line using screen shots, adding text and creating their own story boards that can be placed in world.

If a student is progressing too slowly due to the level or vocabulary it can be easily adjusted and new quiz boards and story boards put in place. This is important as my daughter struggles in reading below her grade level. This will allow for curriculum and word choice designed at a lower comprehension level with age appropriate content instead of relying on curriculum and story books designed with younger children in mind. I can design engaging content with beginner words. This can also be used to put in signboards that will allow for scavenger hunts to find and collect items that the student can later use in the game.

As students advance another phase can be developed to engage them in the actual designing of their own virtual space. This will be a long range personal goal for the student that is easily achievable at any level and incorporated into an additional motivational reward. Saving game images that they can be published in a PDF format is also a great way to record progress and build their own story line as they advance through the virtual world. Especially since the world is always evolving, this additional project will encourage both creativity and literacy. Depending on the student’s level and time, they can work with digital tools and digital art to edit and add text, truly creating a “personalized story” based upon their virtual world experience. Students and parents accessing the lesson plan online, again with parent supervision, will find resources and information will be presented on my current website Wopoli.com or Facebook page.

Student Motivation:

Backwards planning is goal driven learning essentially project based learning where you have a final goal in mind. In backwards planning you start with the end result, the goal, and then explain to the student the steps they need to take to achieve this goal. This is beneficial because it is not a monotonous timeline of spelling words, vocabulary, or random writing prompts, presented in a disconnected format which can seem overwhelming and irrelevant to some students. Instead it can be used as a motivational tool that will bring them a personal sense of achievement and deeper understanding of the value of knowledge in accomplishing a goal. In the virtual world environment small goals and prompts can lead to achieving the larger goals in a step by step progression through the virtual world. Knowing they will be able to create their own story, students will be excited to explore and find images in world that inspire their own story line to create. With so many potential angles in a 3D environment with multiple and ever evolving themes, no two stories will ever be the same.

Cognitive learning that is interdisciplinary and project based can also enhance the engagement of students. In addition in teaching specific concepts I am able to specifically reinforce the cultural, social, and spiritual goals I have for my student. Beyond simply teaching a subject, through immersion experiences applicable concepts are learned that deepen understanding. In the platform I have chosen I can use multiple subjects in an interdisciplinary approach so that the student is immersed in a specific concepts and goals within the lesson plan. Students experience situated learning when they learn through actual application of skills to achieve the set goals. Game design requires pre-planning. It is more than just word recognition; it also requires knowing the techniques needed to navigate inside the world. research overwhelmingly supports the benefits of learning in immersive virtual worlds for students of all ages. “The contemporary notion of learning environments recognizes that meaningful, active learning takes place in complex, multi-model environments in which the learner plays an active role in constructing knowledge” (p. 2, Dickey, 2010). Research shows that 3d virtual worlds “…supported children’s exploration of identity, community and personal representation.” (p. 3 Dickey, 2010) In addition, though not fully imersive compared to virtual reality rooms and glasses, “… desktop-based 3D virtual environments … (are) shown to enhance learners’ engagement” (Merchant 2014). “Research has indicated that technology can increase student motivation, attitude, engagement and self-confidence, while improving organization and study skills.” (p. 110, Carver, 2016)

Evaluating learning outcomes:

The writing of the story line incorporates English skills, sentence structure, and vocabulary. Again this can be a participatory event with open ended prompts and through offline activities, such as adding text and narrating screen shots of the virtual world, and incorporates the child’s own imagination. As the story progresses, through student teacher interaction, the student can help create the resulting story boards that continue the game. The completion of this goal measures the success of the pilot for more advanced students. The end result can be shared either in print or electronic means. The reason project based learning is effective in the cognitive modeling process is that the learner is able to see the end goal and then through the process of and steps presented in order to create the project, the student comes to a cognitive understanding of how the knowledge learned is applied in a real world scenario. The reason this works is because each project can be tailored to the learning level of the audience in order to teach the learning standards required for their level. For example in the state of Maine no specific standards exist except that subjects must include English, language arts, math, science, social studies, physical education, health education, library skills, fine arts, Maine studies (for one year between 6th and 12th grade) and computer proficiency (for one year between 7th and 12th grade). With no standards of achievement the homeschooling parent must ensure that the goals they have for their child are met through the homeschooling program. Interdisciplinary and project based learning is a proficient way to teach multiple disciplines at once and build a portfolio to assess progression over time.

Other means of evaluation will be in the collection of points, earned for correct quiz answers, prizes and progression through different levels of the game once designed. Future exploration of programs will allow for quizzes to be saved or even emailed to the instructor.

Technology and tools used:

  1. Virtual World platform
  2. PDF Slideshow in-world presenter boards
  3. Story boards in-world
  4. Quiz boards in-world
  5. Sign posts in-world
  6. Interactive objects that will display written text required to be read for game progression

Established Goals:

  1. Students will learn about word recognition.
  1. Number recognition in word form
  2. Color recognition in word form
  3. Shape recognition in word form
  1. Students will learn technology tools to interact in the virtual world environment.
  1. Avatar controls
  2. Screen capture controls for story board projects
  1. Students will learn to recognize sentence structure.
  1. Read simple sentences for quiz completion
  2. Write simple sentences for story book creation
  1. Students will learn to use these in their own writing activities.
  2. Students will learn to document their progress through storybook creation or written journals.

Proven understanding for assessment: (Knowledge Level and Application Level)

  1. Students will read online prompts, learning vocabulary and sentence structure.
  2. Students will write vocabulary, correctly spelled, and match them to their meanings.
  3. Students will practice story creation through screen shots in world and the opportunity to use the vocabulary learned to narrate their own story.
  4. Students will document their learning experience in a journal.
  5. Students will be able to discuss content ideas and design their own virtual space in world.
  6. Students will create a picture book about their virtual adventure.

Methods of evaluation:

  1. Self-evaluation: Ask the student to self-evaluate: Was the project to big, to hard? Was it to small, to easy? What did you enjoy? What steps were you challenged by? What would you do again? What would you do differently?
  2. Observational evaluation: Mentor, parent or teacher led observation based on the outcome criteria such as progressing through the game with higher points and access to levels of the virtual world.
  3. Badging could be awarded by the instructor for project completion to be displayed in-world or printed in PDF form. Highest scores could also be displayed in-world.
  4. Graded evaluation: spelling and vocabulary tests, journal participation, and participation in discussions. Final project evaluations of story book creation or virtual space designs
  5. Peer Evaluation: Based on the goals outcome and/or set feedback guidelines. Peer badges can be awarded for specific goals if done with a larger group of peers through the voting process, an example of this in the best final project.

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