I’m thinking about introducing Second Life into my digital multimedia reporting class and have been doing some research on digital assisted teaching. I found this article about Digital Anthropology Resources for Teaching (DART). DART is a collaborative team of researchers from LSE, Columbia and others who were commission to design digital interactive tools for the university classroom. Amazing. This is what I am looking for.
The researchers explain that they are looking for a way to “promote voyages of self-learning rather than dictated knowledge.” Basically, they say, they aim to increase student engagement, spontaneity, analytical thinking and critical awareness in their classrooms by introducing interactive digital tools. These goals sound close to mine.
So far, the outcomes of the DART project are publicly available digital tools for educators to explore within their classrooms. One example is the The Kolkata Explorer. The exercise aims to assist anthropology students in the way they think about the spatiality of ‘the city’ as they conduct their ‘ethnographic’ research. Though I think I may be able to use this tool as I parallel reporting in new contexts with field work ethnography.
I’m still no closer to getting my students onto Second Life or even deciding whether that is what I should do, but DART offers some fascinating choices.