Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Classroom Taking Shape

The freshman computer science class from Buena Vista University (thank you Ken Schweller!) has been helping my Mercy class build our Second Life classroom space. Here are a couple of shots of what they've done so far.

The class setting is on top of a rocky mountain-- fairly appropriate for a course studying ancient Greek philosophy-- on the Buena Vista island. It's got a marble base and Greek columns surrounding it.

And right now, in the middle of it is the "modern trial" setting for when we do a modern day version of the trial of Socrates in early November. To my right in the picture is the witness stand, to the left of that is the judge's bench, and right in front of me you can see the prosecutor's table.

Directly below our classroom space is Plato's cave, a visual creation of the cave allegory that Socrates mentions in the Republic. The BVU students are using their computer skills to do a nice job of picking out what should be in that. That class and mine (which is reading the Republic this semester) will get together in SL to discuss the text itself, why it was reconstructed the way it was, anything else that should be added, the meaning of the allegory, and how it fits in with the rest of what Socrates/Plato taught. And then, in November, as a followup to that interaction, the BVU students will serve as the jury for my class' Socrates trial.
I think everyone on both campuses-- Ken, me, and each of our groups of students-- is excited about the possibilities that bringing the groups together in SL is providing.

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