Virtual Learning. Good practices from a virtual conference

The Virtual Word Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) was held sixth time, this conference where everyone can show what kind of educational research, practices they do in Virtual environment. This time the conference was held not just in Second Life, but there were shown practices in OpenSim and Cloud Party as well. Attending on the conference was free, but as any conference, they needed organizers, presenters, and place. For this you needed a place (even if it was virtual) and loads of managers, and volunteers. I was one of the Stage Manager during my conference, I was happy to part of this conference, and proud to help them. Since I’m not long time in this virtuality, I was a bit scared, but as the conference passed, all my fear flew away.
While I was an SM I could also listen the presentation, take part of it. This made the conference for me more special so I could learn not just from the presentations but the organization, and I could watch how a great community work together. All the presentations, what I could watch or I was SM I recorded and can be watched (well not in a good quality, I learnt from it):
My first experience was as an SM that a conference held in a Virtual Environment can be more flexible. Since the presenters could have technical difficulties, real life (RL) issues, a lot of presentation was cancelled, removed, and moved to other place. As the environment is digital, should be more flexible, but it seemed that sometimes if you wanted to present your innovation, was harder to move to this place. This flexibility and fast answer needed the managers from all over the world. My task seemed like too small compared to this. What was the good side of this fast change, that you could reach the other place by a teleport in 2-3 seconds, so you will not miss it? Can we do these stuff in real world?
The Saturday was my day where I could participate the most, however the conference can be watched from YouTube afterwards, it is much better to watch it alive. All the problem I found was not really a problem, and we could solve it very fast. Loads of presenter knew how to use the items, the sound was all time perfect, only few times was problem the echo. Only one time we needed to wait for managing a voice problem, and until we did that, I could realize how many people attends in this conference. I could see 40-60 people in a place which as far as I know is very high number. (I don’t know the exact attendants) What was so awesome about it, we came all around the world, like Norway, Italy, Australia, USA, Canada, and Finland. While I was amazed I also asked myself these questions:
– Who attends on this conference?
– Can be this conference bigger, better known?
– How we can improve the conference, do we need to improve it?

I think the conference attendants mostly educators, virtual environment users, and only very few people was newcomer, however most of the place was newcomer friendly, maybe the too many places can confuse the people (or using a HUD). While I was happy I saw many people there I was wondering, this conference doesn’t have the limits, what if we could welcome 1000 attendant, 10.000? Is that even possible? The rooms were not designed that way, but since we can add as many chair, as many we want it could be. Well the computer and the servers probably have they limit, but this Educational conference is important not just for those who knows about virtual education, it is good for everyone. So this conference can be bigger, and more worldwide. If the program not changes all time (even in the last minute) we proved the place, we all can discuss important keynotes about education worldwide.
We can improve in lot of things, some improvement is depends on the presenter, some is about us, and some we can just hope will change (like computer recommendations for SL) I already mentioned the loads of change, what can be positive, but also very negative. As a participant told me: “I came to listen to this presentation, and know it is cancelled.” She was disappointed and I can totally agree with her. Virtual environment goes through time but it was very important for me. Loads of presentation was held about 3-4 am in my time (GMT+1).
Since the voice was perfect I could hear anything very clearly. The importance of the good place for presenting is what I can learnt from that. Sometimes I heard dishwasher, laud background noise (even some scream to the children who wanted to watch what the adult is “playing”). Well it barely happened, but I have to point out, this is very important if you speak, no doubt why loads of Educational place do not support voice chat, sometimes it is hard to control it.
The rest of my report will write a little bit about some presentations:

Math in SL:

Displaying math, or numbers in a virtual world is a great advantage. I tried to understand how that project works, what we can do it. I have to admit it was harder to understand for me, but at the end of the presentation I was able the feel the “aha” effect. So that is a great advantage of that, you can understand by seeing, hearing and trying this out. The small children can see the cubes, so we can write down a number with them, and the adults also can solve much complicated equations.

Song-based learning in SL (

The presentation showed us that how students can make virtual situation, can use they sound and learn. Even a virtual environment can give much more virtuality not just what we do in there, but everything what is digital.

Make a Machinima in SL (

Have you ever tried to be a film-maker? Or wanted to be an actor or actress? Now you dream came true! Machinima is one of the most favorite way to learn and teach student loads of stuff, so does languages. You make a situation, record it you can add grammar lecture in it. It works perfectly. With adults, with students with everyone. Virtual Environment can provide the opportunity to make this. I have to mention that you will not learn only from logging in at talking to someone else, since most of the users doesn’t care about the grammar or punctuation, if you want to learn the language you need a specified class. It was very interesting that we can made two small machinima scene.

Learn history in SL (

“History is boring” saying a lot of student, there is nothing new in it, just data’s, and we can’t even see how it was, how the world worked. This is over since we got the virtuality. In a Virtual Environment, you can walk in the old Paris in 1920’s or check Alexandria. In most place you can talk, you can read loads of competence information. A Virtual Environment is a kind of interactive exhibition, just you don’t have to travel. You can make machinima, historical quiz, and most importantly student will find history much more real, and important.

Global connections in SL (

Four speaker, you should listen this kind of presentation. The educators are really a superheroes, and we all can be one. Once you see the benefits in Virtual Environment, a new world will open for you. You can use Minecraft for smaller children, Games or Second Life or other program.

VWER (Virtual World Educatiors Roundtable) (

This talk was a kind a small roundtable, what VWER does all weak. I already participated in few roundtables and they are all great, you can talk or just listen about new inventions, education problems, how you can solve a problem, or manage your virtual education. On this talk we talked about who inspires you, what you found here and what you need. I loved the talk, I learnt a lot there. About me I have to say, that I’m inspired my professor János Ollé, than a Second Life education innovator from Hungary Zsolt Kristóf (Stephan Citron in SL). Once I found the foreign communities I think it was great what I found at Virtual Ability, and what Gentle Heron and every other member does (like ISkye, Slatan, Ladyslipper etc.). I’m also inspired by Lissena, who takes care about Brain Health. I could learn a lot in Builders Brewery, the VWER and Nonprofit Commons is a good place where I can get new information and I can continue. After this conference I met with a lot knew project, and I hope I can check them all soon or later.

Research in SL (

Making a research may cost lot, or need travelling, but not in Second Life. You have to listen this presentation if you want to make any research in a virtual environment, we can get good methodology and very interesting data’s from it. Since the research was made in 2010 I was wondering, what’ the results in 2013 if we made it, or what will be in 2020, 2050?

Beyond the Stage (

This presentation is about what the Managers and this conference did. I already wrote my thoughts about it above. I was happy to participate in it, and could help out. Well maybe I can do next time.

MOOC and Second Life (

Virtual Education don’t come easy. You have to learn the Environment how to use, you have to discover by yourself. Since education is moving to the online field, the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) can prove very good lectures for those who can learn by himself. To show the real advantage of an environment is not enough a conference or a guided tour, what if we will combine it with a massive online course? I already finished some MOOC in Coursera and Canvas, I’ll be there and you?


Help newcomers in Second Life (

The last roundtable was held by those, who proved a field for those who are newcomer in the Virtual Environment. Or they provide lectures, interactivities, and a community. They already have 6 or more year experience in the field, so I probably like to listen it, and I’ll ask them if I have trouble. What was interesting for me that they are not connected with Linden lab, and maybe they should get more University and educational contact, it is maybe it is hard for a university to spread the idea of virtual learning?

By Sum Anachen

The fourth task – Case Study

Course name: English Composition I: Achieving Expertise.

The task was to make a case study. Well I hope I got the idea.


             As an adult educator one of my main task is to look around in the world, and check all possibilities to make people to learn. They do need information, non-formal or informal education. Since education for adults can be so different and wide, it is hard to choose or trust in one. Adult have their own knowledge, behaviour and thought about a thing. They think something and you have to try to open the mind. Sometimes it is easy because adults are open-minded, but there are lot of other kind of people who afraid of new things and thoughts. Once you have broken the negative wall and, the attitude, you can open to them a new world. The new world is very technical and thought. It is hard to follow and even hard to know everything about it. The digital world changing so quickly and suddenly, you can’t stop. Your knowledge about a thing can be so useless in a month. As Daniel Coyle said in the book: Talent Code, you have to practice at your edge of your ability. This is entirely true for the digital knowledge.

As an adult educator the virtual worlds possibilities are one of the most important side I like to look after. There are so many possibility in it, however there are limitations. I believe virtual world will not change real life, and real contacts, but it helps people move forward, making a decisions, find a group of people of your interest etc. This is kind of learning you can learn how to behave and act differently in different groups, environments, as well you can get scientific information. There is a freedom in virtual world: You are not really there. You are using an avatar, an image, you hide your personality behind a nickname. Your behaviour can be different and wild, we see lot examples about it, but mostly you are acting the same as you do in real life.

As a user of the internet I like easy stuff. I like if its complex, if you can reach everything in one place. No doubt that’s why Google apps so successful. I can check my mail, look up my tasks, calendar, files, they are integrated in one field. You don’t need to search for it. And because the application makes backup you barely lose your work.

I believe a good environment is complex, you can integrate loads of stuffs, and as well you can use them effectively.

I started to use Second Life for research and I’ll make deeper one later. As a new environmit was very strange for me as well.

What is the difference between a web 2.0 tool and SL activity? It is more like you are there, but you’re still not. Your avatar shown, your present your behaviour effects and changes the situation of the event. You are using text, voice, and you are represented with your avatar visually.

Many argument is about virtual environment is that it makes you introvert, you will be alone and you will burn all your contacts. What I have seen in this field I have to say it’s not true. Once I say something loads of other interesting stuff happens, once you just show up, loads of strangers greets you invites you to join to the speech. It’s totally up to you what will happen.

What you can make there? You can build you can communicate, you can learn from others. You can make different groups, make a commune. Once you enter in a territory you accepted the rules, basic netiquette and separate views.

Life is miserable, learning interesting things shows up every different place. While I’m writing on a small laptop at the moment my virtual identity is sleeping somewhere in a “bit-bedroom”. Life not stops, even if you want to while I’m here, there is a Tai Chi course next to me and probably something happening in SL too.

I already talked about sharing your interest. It helps if you can join a group of people, who will help and guide you. You can ask whatever you want and they are ready to help. Why are they doing this? They also got help when they started and one of the most effective way is to learn if you teach someone.

How can a computer based environment help you out of a struggle? How can you be healthier? Does it really makes what we want rom it?

Once you have a trouble you want to tell someone, to a friend, a wise people or a professional. What if I say you can tell your problem and someone even able to help you and you don’t need to go out from home? Behind the avatar you do not know who stands, there can be a young IT worker, a deaf man, an unemployed people a retired single woman, a well known professor of a university.

I participated three different program so far, where I recognised the real possibility in the virtual world.

The first program I found interesting called „live in a virtual environment” this course is a Hungarian one, introduced you into the field of SL. There was treasure hunt, you had to solve clues. You could learn how to build and structure. You could learn algebra, math and language. I’ve seen some example from it.

The second program I liked a was a Health care symposium. In this program was mainly a front oriented learning: presentations and not really interactive things, but they made the advantage of the virtual environment. First of all they used a presentation in the virtual world they used writing and voice in the same time. It was more than just a video conference or a Google hangout, you sat on a nice place, listened to the presentation, while you were able to look around and speak to others as well – without interrupting the presentation you could listen or read the presentation, I could read a background of the presenter, I can talk to strangers about the topic privately. Also you could ask questions anytime and it broke the behaviour of the frontal learning situation. I felt I was in a school, where a teacher telling a good topic and waited for its questions.

The topic “Health care” was the most interesting, how can a virtual program take care of your health?

First of all I have to say this environment does not helps if you don’t want. It’s like with other things in the world. They need you, your attention, your presence. So if a virtual environment shows you a possibility how to take care your health you can do two things: follow the guidance or listen to it but nothing will change. As I told you before an avatar, a nickname can help you be much more opened. Can you imagine? We can work with adolescents and young adults who suffer with drug and alcohol issues and mental health issues.

Taking care of your brain health also very important. As I can check second life can help with this as well. Use programs group events, memory based games, and science this virtual world drains you, needs your attention, your brain need to be active.

Virtual environment group cohesion are flexible and not so straight like the original world. You leave them and join them whenever you want. Also you are not always online.

Who is the real teacher? Who are the students? What methodology you have to choose? What are the limits?

Sometimes it comes and flows into you. Sometimes it stuck. I think Virtual environment can help you take care of your health, your brain, but it does not mean you have to online all the time, since it is not healthy. Get ideas, help from your life there. Participate group events help with others, this keeps your brain and social health up. Even your knowledge will be much more wide. You can’t really tell who is the teacher, who is the student, since everyone are learning and teaching at the same time in this powerful tool.


The third task – Analyse visual image

Course name: English Composition I: Achieving Expertise.

The third task was to analyse a visual image. It seems I failed a little bit because I wrote more about my argument.

Humam knowledge is one of the most important we have to save in order to stay alive. From very long time ago elder people gave towards they knowledge to the younger ones. As time past Europe getting older. William H. Frey said Euope age will increase from 37.7 old in 2203 to 52.3 years old by 2050. The younger generation have to grow up suddenly. They need to know everything what the elder knew and everything new what came since then. There is also a big wall between childrens and adults. Childrens play they imagination, they are creative, they want to get in touch with everyting. The adults are more rationalist, they already have they own path they seems decided where to go. They will go through that way and it is hard to change. Since too much things happens in the world adults needs to keep they knowledge up. Learning situation changed. Now the younger generation teaching olders as well. Why is that? It is because the new world is more technichial. We use everything in a computer. We use different kind of products depending on what we want to do.

That’s why one of the most common problem is the digital gap between young and adult. Nowaydays there are people who have to learn digital technology, and there are people who are digital natives. These people borned in a world using digital devices, they grew up using them. They are getting all kind of information from the internet so quickly that  it seems elder people knowledge are unneccecary. The question is not simply as that. As Coyle writing about deep practice, old people already practiced a lot. They are already profesisonal in a field, even if they don’t recognise it. These experts we need because you can’t solve every problem by a mashine.

There are something that can be learnd from the web, but there are a lot of knowledge can be learnd from elders. Computer don’t have experience. The users, who directing the computer will define what kind of experience s/he will get. The problem is with this the knowledge seems to be free. But Is the knowledge competent?

Childrend are alone in this digital world, lot of adults don’t have the digital competence to teach them, to secure them. It’s like learning from our mistakes. In the digital world there is not always a recoginisation of your mistake. If you get a virus, you can’t be sure where it came from.

„Generation Z” may have borned in a computerized world, but they are not expert in it. They have to learn by themselfs, because the digital world are so strange to the elder generation as well. Most of the time retired people try to avoid „modern technology”. That’s how digital gap borns.

As the generation grows, they learn the „old” knowledge and they already discovered a lot about the „new” digital knowledge. The problem is global I think. Not just the new generation are not perfect in digital world but older generation lacks the ability as well. Because in a quickly changing world it’s hard to follow, even harder to be expert in ewerything, expecially in digital world. But do you need to know everything?

I think you don’t have to know everything perfectly, you need to know as much as you need. The important is to use the digital world right, like the normal one, but if there are very few expert in digital world, how can you learn it correctly? There are a lot „old” things in the virtuality, since those program expired – and newer ones expirin even quicker – they hardly getting old. Compared to the living world digital world is changing faster, needs to followed and it needs our attention, if we leave it, will not stop to improve.

Living world is much older than virtual one, so we are using a bit better.


I made the picture above while I was riding on a bike. I was using my smart phone. This phone tracked my trip, told me where I am. While I used the digital products there was a reality next to me. I think this picture can symbolize my argument.

There is a pram simbolizing the children, the young generation. On the other edge of the picture there is an old men walking on a straight road. The pillar divide them, they are separated each other. There are lot grass and wood in the picture I simbolising for me that giving trough our knowledge cames from the nature.

When you recognise that the pram is empty, you can think that the old man is the child, who just grew up and he already knows so much as an experienced old man, and he is alone because he have to discover the world by himself

Expertise is nothing if you don’t follow the changes. You always have to practise and be open minded. If the two generation accepts the new roles, they want to learn, they willing to share they knolwedge digital gap will decrease. It’s important to be young and old at the same time, to teach and learn. If young generation won’t learn from olders we will lose all knowledge we already collected, these knowledge are still relevant in the real world, but if the older generation won’t learn from the younger one, they will miss job opportunities and information. Europe needs old and young people. Don’t let the digital gap draw a wall between them.

–          John Palfrey and Urs Gasser: Born Digital. URL:
–          Bruce Horovitz: After Gen X, Millennials, what should next generation be? URL:
–          Wikipedia:

Hungarian ones:
–          Podoski Péter: Magyar digitális szakadék URL:

The second task – Critical review

Course name: English Composition I: Achieving Expertise.

The second task was to make a draft critical review of the first chapter – The Sweet Spot – form the Talent code /Written by Daniel Coyle/

One of the hardest thing was not to be very critical about the book title, about is this something new or not. This is how I ended up. Thank you for Alies Jordan Dalton and Mark Lee correcting me, giving some free English lessons. /They are also attendants on this course/

Since this is a draft I will change It in order to the other advice I’ll get, or any idea I want to integrate. Share your thoughts as well!

There need a support

Science always increasing and trying to expand and share thoughts. These thoughts appearing from time to time. Spartan soldiers were practicing with weapons. They were scary and killed thousands of people, because they had the good strategy, and a well working ritual. (They dropped down the weak babies from a hill)

You can find word “practise” in Coyle writing a lot of times[1] One of his main argument is you have to practice to being good.[2]

But there is a difference between my example than Coyle’s one. He don’t want to drop down the weak babies from the hill. He say a fitful, struggling[3] people can be great too. While I read these lines I was wondering, is there a limit? What do you need in order to being a talent?

However Coyle does giving us nice examples, he isn’t answering my main question, is there a limit? I think there is, and I don’t even have to go so far, so I’ll pick the examples from “The sweet spot”[4]:

In order to increase yourself you have to do mistakes – he said[5]. We know that everyone doing mistakes and you can learn from it usually by your own. If you jump from a high place and you broke your leg, you’ll never try to jump from that high again, because you learnt it. In my example there was a notification about your failure. If you make a mistake you have to notice it. Coyle brings examples, about noticing those mistakes.[6] What happens if you can’t notice your mistakes? What happens if you believe you doing this good? One weak point of Coyle’s argument is this part. In order to notice all of your mistakes you need a mentor, tutor, a guidance.

The other thing Coyle talking about analysing[7] those mistakes. Even you recognise your mistake, do you can analyse it? Maybe you can do it in football by yourself, but what happens if you write something? If you read trough your work again and again, you go “deep” in your writing, there will still remain lots of mistakes, what you think correct or what you not even recognise. Who will recognise those? Your analysing skill are also limited. What I suggest here is the same: you need an other people.

Sometimes you are not eligible to recognise your mistakes, so you need a hand to help. Analysing your mistakes a skill you have to learn and you can learn only if someone tells you how to do it.

Answering to my second question: What do we need to being a talent? Coyle answer is simple: deep practice.[8] You have to go deep in your task in order to increase your knowledge, and to be more professional. In order to being a talent you need the following method: You play, you miss, you stop, you repeat, you start over till you are perfect.[9]

Another thing you need is time. He wrote down two tests, one you can try it, the other one based on Henry Roediger’s work[10]. I found these examples bad, when we want to talk about deep practice and time.

He describe a test[11] where you could check “deep practice”. You spent the same amount of time for the two column, but you remembered column B more because your brain worked harder. (not because you spent more time on a word, because he asked us to spend the same amount of time on both lines[12])

The other test based on Henry Roediger’s work[13] I found the following interesting things:

In the Group A, you might consider a deep practice. Why I telling you this? You working with one paper for four sessions. So you could read, discuss learn from it more deeply. Group A situation remembering me the situation of the two short examples, what Coyle wrote down himself (Where I could meet Brunio and Jennie).[14]

In Group B they worked on the paper only once, but they wrote test three times. You couldn’t discuss and talk about that paper you only prepared for the result of the task. Is this one we call deep practice?

You can remember better about what that paper contains, if you let people test they knowledge about it. Group B were prepared for test anytime, but Group A weren’t. Coyle not even talking about how they checked the two group knowledge about that paper. He wasn’t wrote about what Group A did out of the process, what Group B did. (Although brought a live example from a school, where they could study lesser, but remembering more.[15])

What Group A did after one session? Probably nothing, moved forward, they brain weren’t focused on the paper afterwards. What the other one did? Nothing, until they realised they will be tested. After that they learnt at home. They were thinking about it more. Group A learned only those parts what the person itself thought was important, Group B learned the whole because of the realisation, he need to know this, in order to compete in the test.

These two Group were training deeply, just they used different method, they learnt different things from the same paper. And I’m not certain which Group knowledge is better…         As you can see this example telling us a methodology Coyle not writing this down, he describes it so every single people understand what this word means: “…Brazilian players have trained in a particular way…”[16] It means they used different methodology, and It’s important, because that’s why Brazilian football players are better.

Summarising Coyle’s argument I found it true and viable, but he brought it to me weakly. Especially the tests were wrong. He not telling us, this is a methodology you have to go through. He want us to believe that everyone alone is capable to repair they own mistakes, but that is not true. You need guidance in order to compete, even if you are talented.

[1] You can find word practice 20 times – Simon Lozzio: Credibility. URL:

[2] Daniel Coyle: The Talent Code-The Sweet Spot, pages: 13,17,18

[3] Daniel Coyle: The Talent Code-The Sweet Spot, page 12

[4] Daniel Coyle: The Talent Code-The Sweet Spot

[5] Daniel Coyle: The Talent Code-The Sweet Spot, pages: 12,13,17,18

[6] Daniel Coyle: The Talent Code-The Sweet Spot, pages: 12,13,17,18

[7] Daniel Coyle: The Talent Code-The Sweet Spot, pages: 12,13,19

[8] Daniel Coyle: The Talent Code-The Sweet Spot, pages: 16-20,24

[9] Daniel Coyle: The Talent Code-The Sweet Spot, page: 12,13,14,17,18,19

[10] Daniel Coyle: The Talent Code: Sweet Spot, page: 16

[11] Daniel Coyle: The Talent Code-The Sweet Spot, page: 16

[12] Daniel Coyle: The Talent Code-The Sweet Spot, page: 17

[13] Daniel Coyle: The Talent Code: Sweet Spot, page: 16

[14] Daniel Coyle: The Talent Code-The Sweet Spot, page: 13

[15] Daniel Coyle: The Talent Code-The Sweet Spot, page: 19

[16] Daniel Coyle: The Talent Code-The Sweet Spot, page: 15