Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games for Language Learning

MachinEVO: Machinima Screening and Cast Party

I attended the final meeting of the MachinEVO workshop training held on EduNation in SL. The moderators and participants met to share their group machinima projects. I think I was the only one with an individual one. I was timid about sharing mine but at the same time proud of my beginnings. I shared a two and a half minute machinima with the gathering. They way these are shared are to post the YouTube link in the chat box. Then everyone goes to that site to view it separately.

My production is called Adventures with Charlie. It has background music, speech bubbles, transitions for title/credit slides and for the music to fade in and out. There’s no voice for Charlie though. I’d like a male young male voice. I haven’t paid for the “voice morphing” on SL. Instead, I hope my young nephew can read the lines for a recording. Hopefully, I can get that done before the competition next week. I got positive feedback from the workshop participants and moderators nonetheless.

After the screening, we went to a cast party with a live DJ from Berlin. It took place in a virtual castle. It was well attended. There was a magic ball that granted you dance options, so everyone was doing all kinds of dance moves, even my cat avatar. In the spirit of machinima, I filmed the cast party as others did. I saw one posting of a machinima of the party that was beautifully done on our MachinEVO Google Community. If they shared it publicly on YouTube, I repost it here. I have the raw footage and will try to make something of it myself. The cat looked so funny dancing around. I even had him fly around while he was dancing, which was even more hilarious. The flying mode allowed me to capture everyone else at the party. I’ll add some dance photos to this posting soon.

This party was the culmination of a 5-week workshop titled MachinEVO, which is part of the annual offerings by the Electronic Village Online. I like how the moderators of the workshop provided ongoing activities beyond the confines of the 5-week set-up. In true Webhead fashion, their devotion to training educators goes beyond the 100%! They invited us to collaborate on our group projects or create an individual one to submit to a machinima competition at the SLanguages conference on Feb. 28th. It’s the first CAMELOT award for machinima for children’s language learning purposes. I’m honored just to be a part of it all.

TEACHING TIP: Here’s my first original machinima: Adventures with Charlie. It’s geared toward young English language learners. I was thinking of possible uses to teach language such as having the students record their voice for the machinima or add more dialogue. I could add a preview of the vocabulary at the beginning and a quiz at the end. Still shots could be created and uploaded to Pixlr.com for manipulation by the students. That way, they could add dialogue to the still shots in a easy and inexpensive way (no printing of color ink, etc). These could then be shared on a wiki.

P.S. I forgot to mention that this is part of my on-the-job training for my doctoral internship this semesters with let’s talk online, sprl in Brussels, Belgium.

Principles and Practices of Online Teaching Certificate Program

Dear Teachers,

Have you ever thought about telecommuting for work or teaching online?  I just completed a certificate to teach online through my profession.  This yearlong course hosted by TESOL is conducted at the University of Wisconsin via online instruction.  What better way to learn to teach online than taking an online course!  It isn’t a very costly program.  I was able to learn enough from this course to feel comfortable in taking on a new job teaching online at my university.

This course served me well, as I’m excelling at my new job!  Last year, I wrote about making changes, re-educating yourself for the “invisible” jobs.  Trends show that online classes at universities are on the rise, according to the Chronicle of Higher Learning.   This certification is for teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) which is part of my profession, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).  However, it is open to anyone from any field.  I was able to design my nonprofit’s website and learn about Web 2.0 tools from this certificate course.

In addition, I’ve been able to get three part-time jobs online!  Now, I’ve gone completely virtual teaching ESL for a company in Israel, teaching reading online for the local university, and scoring tests online.  My nonprofit is wholly online, too.  I’ve even become an online mentor.  I started mentoring ESL instructors in Italy for TESOL and mentoring individuals looking for work for my nonprofit’s mission.

Check out the site:

Principles and Practices of Online Teaching Certificate Program

Your blogger,

Sandra Annette Rogers