IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG Pre-Conference Event @ Avalon Learning
For Assistant Professor Mark Pegrum (Kane Illios - in Second Life), an education expert at The University of Western Australia, the ability to ‘attend’ a digital technologies conference in the UK last week from his office in UWA’s Graduate School of Education epitomises all that is good about e-learning.
Author of From Blogs to Bombs: The Future of Digital Technologies in Education (UWA Publishing, 2009), Professor Pegrum’s avatar attended the conference in the virtual world Second Life, where he gave a presentation and engaged in discussion with the audience.
“In education, there are techno-enthusiasts who hold technology in awe and believe it is the whole answer while others fear that technology will destroy centuries of education tradition,” Professor Pegrum said.
“I believe neither is true. Digital technologies are more like a set of tools, just as biros and white-boards are. In the argument about digital technology, people forget that these tools can be used to support different pedagogical approaches. On the positive side, they give teachers the ability to appeal to a wider range of students who have different learning styles.”
Avatars listening to Mark's presentation
Professor Pegrum is assessing current digital technology debates, including the proposed Australian internet filter and concerns about cyber-bullying and web nasties; and the proposed national broadband network and calls for education to enable students to be more creative and innovative.
There are also arguments about computers’ harmful versus beneficial effects on the environment. “While the computing industry is pouring the same amount of carbon into the atmosphere as the airline industry, it is also possible to see digital technologies as ecologically beneficial because you can attend an overseas conference without having to get on a plane.
“We need a sober and balanced approach to all these areas. Only then can we ensure the decisions made on new technology in Australia reflect the interests of all its citizens, not just its politicians and lobbyists.”
. For the very first time, a collaborative work has taken the top IMAGINE Arts prize for the March round of the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge. The enchanting and enveloping HEATH, created by Fuschia Nightfire & Flivelwitz Alsop held off a very strong field of 55 works from artists all across SL in taking the $L5,000 first prize. Meanwhile in the FLAGSHIP building design challenge, no one seems capable of stopping Nyx Breen who has now won 4 of the 7 FLAgSHIP prizes in this year long competition which has just crossed into month 8!
First time entrant, Flivelwitz and veteran Fuschia were thrilled and stunned to have taken the top gong. "Well i suspected we had won something! but not this", said Fuschia, while Flivelwitz when asked to comment said "It is exciting to be the first to win in a collaboration at the UWA".
The top 3 in fact were very close, and for the first time ever, a joint 2nd prize was awarded to Julez Odigaunt & Kolor Fall for their incredible works, JULIA'S WILTING HEART SHRINE & Kolor's elegant OCEANS OF LIGHT.
"Its such an honor that UWA appreciated Julia's Wilting Heart Shrine. It is a very personal piece and I am glad it was well received. I would like to thank Ulrich Lionheart, the author of the poem. His words are so powerful and full of emotion - purely expressing what I was feeling at the time - it inspired me to create a shrine that allowed me to expose the mindset I was in at the time. It was quite healing" said Julez.
With Nyx's back to back to back win in March to go with his October win taking his tally to 4, seems it will take some doing to dislodge Nyx who has declared that he will have one FLAGSHIP build submitted each month for the rest of the competition. It is going to take some doing to stop Nyx from having more than half of the entries that will come under consideration for the Grand Prize!
Following the announcements yesterday at the traditional winners announcement party at the UWA SIM, Nyx said, "I would like to state that outside of developing some wonderful friendships in Second Life, that nothing has been as enjoyable as participating in an event that has truly global and groundbreaking results as the UWA Flagship Challenge. UWA has taken a small art show and made it a must see destination in the Cyber world and an event that if missed in Second Life, then one doesn't understand the true potential of what was envisioned as the purpose of Second Life... creativity shared across a medium that brings us all closer.Great Job UWA, JJ & Quad and all that help make this possible."
The best non-scripted entry was BLOOM GLOW by Sledge Roffo, another vetran of the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge, while Sharni Azalee's FOREST OF DREAMS was voted top for the PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD!
The Artist Book Prize, being awarded for the final time, went to Miranda Mhia work, STANDING ROOM ONLY. UWA would like to thank Juanita Deharo, Victor Vezina and Juko Temple for making this award possible.
Other winners include Sundog Branner, Ichiko Miles, Gleman Jun, Betty Tureand and Nish Mip. Full list below.
You can hear M Linden's speech and watch some of the wonderful machinima created for the event on the UWA in Second Life Blog
The next wonderful thing, is because of all the good news and publicity surrounding the machinima, the art & design competition and M's show, UWA have been given funding for the Arts & Machinima for a further 3 years following the end of this current cycle in August 2010. The funding we have received will allow UWA to provide L$1,000,000 per year for Art Challenges and L$500,000 for Machinima.
Also mentioned was the work of Lilli Field, an Australian RL architect who has recreated UWA's School of Business Building. A replica created based on the original building plans of an incredible award winning build at UWA
. The March UWA 3D Art & Design Imagine Challenge People's Choice voting board is open and ready to receive your three votes - it is open till 3pm SLT 7th April.
The People's Choice Board has found yet another home - this time to the East of the main landing point for the Imagine Challenge gallery on the Flagship Challenge teleport platform.
There are 53 entries spread over 4 levels of the gallery to look at before you vote on your 3 favourite items. There are also 6 Flagship Challenge builds to explore - well worth the time.
The Winner Announcements and Party for the March round will be held at 5pm SLT on Wednesday 7th April at UWA Imagine Challenge gallery, after the announcements DJ Eifachfilm Vacirca will spinning tunes for dancing to at the winning Flagship Challenge building.