Anna Peachey, who played a leading role in Schome and in The Open University’s presence in Second Life, was conference organiser for Researching Learning in Virtual Environments (ReLIVE 2008), which was held at The Open University.
The Schome Park team presented a symposium:
Twining, P., Footring, S., Wilson, R., Ferguson, R., Gillen, J., Pollmuller, B., Sheehy, K. and Peachey, A. (2009) The Schome Park Programme Symposium at Researching Learning in Virtual Environments 08, Milton Keynes, UK. November 20-21
At the end of the conference, Roo Reynolds (Portfolio Executive for Social Media at BBC Vision) agreed to conclude by sharing his notes, including what he found most interesting and what he was going to take away from the conference, wrapping up the two days by distilling any key themes and considering what participants had learned about learning. Here’s an extract from his talk (note that I don’t use my surname a lot in this blog, as my name is similar to that of a current chart topper, but I’m not the Rebecca referred to in the extract)
Yesterday I saw something that actually moved me to tears (I’m a soppy git) and I was sat at the back with a little tear running down my eye. I’ll tell you why in a minute, but it was about Schome. It was about this thing, which hopefully you’ve all heard of by now: the education system for the information age [shows Schome slide]. Some of you are involved in it. I recognised a lot of faces in the room. It started with NAGTY, the National Association of Gifted and Talented Youth and then moved on, opening up after that.
This project has done a lot of interesting stuff, and it has learned some lessons. It doesn’t claim to have delivered the education system for the information age by any means; that was pretty obvious from the presentation. What it has done is raise some really interesting questions. I think some of the stuff that has worked, some of the success stories of this, we should think about.
This is not a picture of Earthshine, this is a picture of moonshine [shows slide of moon]. This is light reflected off the moon. I happened to have a nice photo of the moon in my collection, so I used that, but if I was in space and I could just turn around and look at the earth, then you would be seeing earthshine.
There was a project that Rebecca Wilson introduced us to which was a space satellite competition in order to get a group of (I think it was) six 14- to 18-year-olds thinking about ‘What instrument could they put in space?’ What they worked on was something to measure earthshine and to measure the light that’s reflected from the earth, and whether we could feed that data into climate models if it’s changing over time and, even more excitingly, does the signature of Earth from space have a certain smell of life about it? And if we see another, similar looking one from an exo-planet, will we know that that has life on it because it’s similar enough to our own.