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Thursday, May 03, 2007

More Global Projects

Julie shared a great list of global projects today.

There are so many great projects coming from the grassroots efforts of educators, it is time for you to join in as you plan the curriculum for next year.

How will your students collaborate globally?
Will they begin to understand their part in a global world?

My students were complaining today:

"Mrs. Vicki, it is like this. WE ARE SO CUT OFF IN NORTH AMERICA! With our time zones it is harder for us to work on this project than it is for the other students who tend to be awake closer to the same time. We are frustrated because of our time zone and how it disconnects us with the world!"

My goodness! I guess I've been a little envious of Julie who is able to help Ed and John and Barbara more effectively because her school day overlaps theirs. Mine does not!

These are the things that we don't observe or notice without such collaboration. I believe that such projects make us less ethnocentric and more globally minded and are essential for encouraging a generation of leaders who understand the dynamics of collaborating effectively.

Meanwhile, my student who is working Massively Multiplayer Educational gaming and analyzing the political ramifications of it has brought to me some video from youtube. He has turned up several videos showing very blatant, terrible "gang" behavior and sexual harrassment happening on Xbox live.

(Warning, there is profanity in this video! It is very graphic and upsetting.)

In this video, several gamers, (obviously men by their voices) are ganging up on a female player and continuing to kill her avatar as they cooperate to harrass and kill her. Interestingly one person is filming it.

My student said something like this to me,

"Mrs. Vicki, this is terrible behavior and upsets me. As we move online in such environments, the companies who create these worlds are basically the government and when they allow such behavior to happen, they are allowing bad things. I think we are going to have to change the way we think about games and virtual worlds as being spaces that need rules as well. We are going to have to look to gaming providers as governments and our real governments are going to have to require behavior that is appropriate.

Will there be intra -game lawsuits and complaints? Actually, some of these are self regulating however if the people in the game don't have high standards, it won't work.

What would happen if each member of this game was in a different country. How would such behavior be stopped? Right now it cannot! What should be done?"

And another light bulb went on.

Sometimes I wonder if I am more current because my students are my teachers.

Perhaps politicans and others need to be seeking the same professors as I have in my classroom. This is definitely the "bleeding" edge of technology with my students easily getting off task on youtube as others rip video for legitimate videos. I have to monitor their behavior closely and realize that sometimes although students are very excited... it may be for legitimate purposes and not for something off task! What a new mind blowing world this is!

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