Monday, November 12, 2012

A Tour through Science and Social Studies in Second Life

After three days of on and off work creating my tour I am finally almost done with it.  Once this post is written and posted I will have finally reached the end of this long and gruesome journey through Second Life.  Okay, maybe gruesome was too harsh of a term to use to describe my let's just say interesting and challenging journey through Second Life.  Yeah, interesting and challenging sounds much better.   Anyways, back to the task at hand.  My tour.  You know these last few sentences got me reminiscing about my Hawkeye Community College Western Civ. teacher that would always get off on different tangents.  He would first recognize that he did this, say, "I digress," and finally get back to his lecture.  Oh, there I go again getting off track.  Bad quality of a teacher if I do say so myself.  Okay, seriously know back to the topic of my tour. 

So, it took me a while to decide what I wanted the topic of my tour to be and somehow I came across all of these locations about science and social studies that seemed really interesting to me.  I also felt like I would have loved to visit these places as student to learn more about these content areas.  As I was looking for places to add to my note card I kept thinking how science and social studies has taken a backseat to other content areas like and math and reading, so I decided to do something about it.  That something was to create a fun tour that teachers can take their students on to learn about different topics within the content areas of science and social studies.  Now, the locations on my tour aren't the only places you can take your students.  If you search hard enough you can find many more viable options that would suit your curricular needs to the "T." 

Below is a copy of my note card with brief descriptions of the site on my tour.  Rather than rewrite the descriptions I copied and pasted them straight from the card down below, so you can either read about the sites here or on my note card if you get the chance.  Also, I have placed SLurls with the descriptions so that you can click on them and be taken to a place where you can teleport to these locations.  However, in order to visit them you need to have a Second Life account.  I hope you enjoy my tour: 

A Tour through Science and Social Studies

Science and social studies have been seriously undercut within the elementary school curriculum.  In light of this I have created a tour through a variety of museums, role plays, and exhibits to promote learning in these two unappreciated curricular areas.  Through this tour students as well as teachers will be able to experience all of the wonders of science and the intrigue of our past. 

1) Cripple Creek
This location is a Sims role play game where anyone who visits will get to experience first hand what it was like to live in the historical wild west in the post-Civil War era in Colorado.  As a teacher you could tour this place and show your students what the U.S. was like at this time. 
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Colorado%20Territory/100/78/501

2) International Spaceflight Museum
Within this museum there are a variety of exhibits and events that provide information about the history of NASA as well as the science of space and space travel.  Here students will be able to go on a virtual tour of a space museum where in real life they would not be able to. 
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Spaceport%20Alpha/49/83/24

3) 911 Memorial
911 is a critical moment in American history that deserves respect and remembrance.  Here people are able to pay tribute to those that were lost in this tragic event.  Seeing that this is an important part of our nation's history it is important for students to have a full understanding of how much this event has affected our nation and how it continues to affect us now 11 years later. 
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/STAGG%20ISLAND/95/162/31

4) Holocaust Memorial Museum
At this museum you will be able to take part in a virtual exhibit that portrays the horrific events at Kristallnacht in 1938.  World War II is one of the most revered wars in world history.  Through this virtual exhibit students will be able to hear audio and witness video recounts of the events that took place at this location at the start of World War II. 
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/US%20Holocaust%20Museum1/58/37/27

5) Ancient Rome
Much like Cripple Creek this place is a Sims role playing island.  Here you will take on the role of someone who lived in ancient Rome during the reign of Julius Caesar in 46 BC. Within this role play many of the events that take place are are based on real historical events that occurred.  Students will be able to learn about this time and place through the eyes and actions of someone who lived during this time. 
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/ROMA/215/25/22

6) Raymaker Field Studies Centre at Bowness
On this island you are able to learn about geography, geomorphology, and the earth sciences through the exploration of this place.  Included are interactive exhibits and simulations that you can partake in to learn about these various scientific fields.  As a teacher you will be able to use this island to show students how these scientific fields affect our world.  
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Bowness/85/140/32

7) INSPIRE SPACE Park
Within this park you are able to explore the wonders of space.  You will get to visit galaxies, fly through the starts, and travel the universe.  What better way for students to learn about space than to explore it for themselves? 
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Shinda/32/218/1561

8) Exploratorium
This island is based off of the real Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco, California.  Here students will be able to engage in a variety of science experiments.  Some of the featured attractions are:  The Tent of Elucidation, The Illusion Pavilion, and PiHenge Circle.  A variety of scientific experiences can be found here. 
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Exploratorium/170/192/25

9) The Abyss Observatory
Here is yet another museum  to visit that is dedicated to ocean and technology.  Through this tour students will be able to travel where they couldn't before which is 2,000 meters down into the dark depths of the ocean floor.  Here students will be able to visually explore what they could only just read about before. 
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Second%20Earth%203/128/128/22

10) Tech Museum of Innovation
Within this museum there are a variety of ever-changing interactive exhibits that students can enjoy and learn from. These exhibits were accomplished through collaboration.  As a teacher you could have students explore these exhibits in preparation of completing their own collaborative project that will ultimately be determined by you.  Collaboration is a key element in any content area and in life.  Learning this skill will be incredibly beneficial to your students' well-being. 
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/The%20Tech/197/159/38

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