Track: Content Based and Informal Presentations

Title Featured Speaker: Chris Gibson
Learning Systems for Virtual Learning Spaces…Breakdown, Breakthrough, and Breakout!
Author(s): Chris Gibson
Moderator(s):Sheila Yoshikawa
Date Friday, March 18 09:00
Location: Central Auditorium
Abstract Teaching and learning using virtual worlds has been cloaked in turmoil since the very inception of the idea. Participate in any Second Life educators meeting and the same issues inevitably surface; lack of administrative support, concern for secured delivery, technical overhead on both sides of implementing and developing, lack of a model with applicable success and no common organization of resources. Perhaps this categorization is a bit general, however most of these road blocks will arise anytime you get more than one educator in a room discussing the challenges of teaching and learning in virtual spaces.

Understanding and overcoming the challenges for virtual world education has been the focus for one team of educators for more than four years. This group of developers have been relatively inconspicuous the past year, especially considering they exploded onto the virtual world community with the release of an entire college degree offered primarily through Second Life more than two years ago. Since that time, Vushi, the Second Life development team for Texas State Technical College has reappeared offering solutions for some of these common road blocks. The teams’ answer: a virtual learning network based on a holistic approach to education in a 3D world. The learning network is supported with numerous resources including a virtual learning system steeped with tools focused on overcoming common challenges.

Join Chris and other members of the Vushi team as they discuss how they have traversed many of these hurdles on their exciting journey through the use of virtual worlds in education. Upon conclusion of this session it is the intent of the Vushi team that each participant leave with a new appreciation for virtual learning systems or at least with a renewed energy to Breakdown, Breakthrough, and Breakout using virtual spaces to achieve their educational goals.

Videohttp://vodpod.com/watch/5812061-vwbpe-chris-gibson
Bio(s): Chris Gibson: SL: ChrisG Techsan

Chris Gibson is currently employed by TSTC and holds the title of Associate Vice President. Chris has more than 15 years of experience in education ranging from classroom instruction to administration. His areas of specialty include leveraging technology for innovative educational application, system design and integration, as well as educational technology implementation. He is a dynamic speaker and a highly regarded evangelist on virtual world education.

Chris and his team are responsible for leading TSTC into realizing and implementing virtual worlds as an effective educational delivery medium. Due to their efforts, TSTC became the first college to offer a completely online degree program using virtual worlds as the primary delivery platform. The efforts of this team resulted in an entire TSTC virtual college presence known as vTSTC (http://v.tstc.edu). To this day vTSTC serves as a “gold standard” for educators around the world.

Chris’ endeavors have landed him the role of Director for TSTC’s newest organization, Vushi. Vushi is responsible for leveraging interactive technology to provide development, communication and learning solutions. This innovative endeavor strives to create active models that not only push the envelope for 3D interactive environments, but provide proactive solutions, support and guidance for organizations entering the virtual frontier.

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