Category Archives: Innovations

Second Life

lbert Réveillon, president of the jury, presents the International Intraverse Award for Education to ECU via the same Second Life technology used to develop and deliver ECU's virtual 3D online early college program. (Contributed photo)

ECU’s virtual early college top in state

GREENVILLE   (Feb. 21, 2011)   —   A virtual early college program at East Carolina University has been recognized as the top program in the state for course content and its unique delivery platform.

ECU’s Early College Second Life Program (ECSLP), which uses 3D virtual technology to let high school students take college classes in their high school environment, won the Best Practices for Distance Learning Programming award from the North Carolina Distance Learning Association.

That honor follows an international prize the program received earlier this month. ECSLP accepted its Feb. 4 International Intraverse Award in Education, presented in Monaco, using the Second Life distance learning technology that supports the program.

“It is successful because it captures the student’s attention, challenges them, and allows them to interact with each other for projects,” said Sharon Collins of ECU Emerging Academic Initiatives. “It truly is the way students desire to learn these days, by advancing with technology.”

The awards recognize the quality of the course material ECU developed for a virtual environment targeting high school students, said Collins. Some 40 students in Pitt and Lenoir County classrooms are enrolled in the program.

“There are other Early College High School programs that are very successful, but ours allows students to stay in their high school spaces and not travel to a community college or university campus to obtain their learning since we can offer it through Second Life,” said Collins.

Second Life is a virtual 3D world, designed for high school students. In that world, students have an “avatar” (a virtual presence) and attend a real-time class. ECU is the only campus using Second Life to offer classes that let students earn college credit and high school credit at the same time.

The ECSLP is a partnership between ECU, Pitt County schools, Pitt Community College and Kinston High school. Students can take classes in anthropology, personal finance, child psychology, introduction to computers, English, sociology and web site design and maintenance.

To read more about ECU’s Second Life program, go to
http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/news/poe/2010/210/earlycollege.cfm .

Music faculty on podcasts

ECU School of Music faculty performances and commentary are featured on “Treasured Tunes” podcasts linked from the university homepage.

The podcasts include audio music recordings by faculty, question-and-answer sessions with the performers and written podcast transcripts. The public may subscribe to the podcasts through a link to ECU’s iTunes U on the website. There are also links to information about the performers and the School of Music. Faculty performers will rotate through the site.

The first podcast features Elliot Frank, ECU guitar professor. The link to the podcast is http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/mktg/treasured_tunes_elliot_frank_podcast.cfm or through the ECU homepage at www.ecu.edu.

Collaboration for teachers


The Center for Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education (CSMTE) at ECU held an open house for the educational community, introducing a lending library and virtual collaboration network for teachers called TeachNET.

The center has recently undergone a redesign to better serve the needs of teachers throughout eastern North Carolina. As part of this commitment to teachers, the regional lending library was unveiled at the event. This library provides access to resources that many teachers do not have access to in their schools. Teachers can access the center’s website at ecu.edu/cs-educ/csmte and search for items for their classroom to checkout.

And in response to feedback from area school personnel, the center has created an online collaboration system, TeachNET. The ECU TeachNET is an innovative platform that lets teachers across the region collaborate, access content-level experts and share lesson plans and ideas all online from their work or school computers. Many school systems are integrating iPads and iPod Touches in the classroom, so the center is also developing a mobile application that will let teachers access the TeachNET remotely in the classroom or out in the field.

The Center for Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education serves eastern North Carolina with a mission to strengthen the quality and increase the size of the teaching base in mathematics and science education and increase the pool of students who graduate from North Carolina’s high schools prepared to pursue careers that require mathematics and science. CSMTE translates the findings of educational research into practices that benefit students and teachers.

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