Learners Y Factor

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Links: Home | Description | How has it helped our learning? | Why is it innovative?

Welcome to the main pages which contain all of the information about our entry into this years Learners Y Factor. Using the links above you can see the description of our entry, why we think it is innovative, and how we think it has helped our learning. There is also a video which shows more information about our entry, which can be seen here(select the Time Explorers video on the right when you reach the Blip video page). You can also view some images based on our activities as a group here.


Schome Park is a closed island in the virtual world of Second Life®. One of the key aims on Schome Park is to empower young people to take responsibility for the development of the island (and the activities on it). Staff are providing some basic infrastructure and support and are encouraging young people to come up with ideas for how Schome Park should be developed. In the pilot phase there were three main activity strands; Archaeology, Ethics and Philosophy and Physics. These sessions were run by mentors from Universities. When phase two started, only Ethics and Philosophy continued. But due to the high interest in Archaeology, several members of the community restarted the strand. Soon it became known that there was great interest for the past, and so when a History strand began, it merged with Archaeology to become the Time Explorers. The Time Explorers have studied several topics. Archaeology have looked at preservation of archaeology, underwater archaeology, Stonehenge and are just about to move onto Vesuvius. But these are all sessions that have taken place during phase three of the SPP (Schome Park Programme). History has studied the Romans, and has looked at aqueducts, clothing and roads.

How has it helped our learning?

Being able to study history and archaeology in Schome Park has allowed us to cross the stereotypical educational boundaries and 'experience' our learning in new ways. We are learning in a very visual and interactive way on a much more personal level than you do in a classroom. The relaxed attitude to the sessions results in people being much more comfortable and feeling more able to join in with discussions. Through use of textures we can still have diagrams and images like the ones you get in text books for those who find these help with learning. At the sessions we are not only learning about History and Archaeology but we are developing our leadership skills and teamwork. We have been able to do a virtual visit to the Lascaux Caves and we were able to recreate the Vesuvian Eruption of AD79 all without moving from our chairs. Schome Park allows open discussions on topics allowing everyone to learn from each other, and it is not only the students learning but it is also the staff who attend from the sessions. The ability for everyone to learn from each other makes this a valuable project.

Why is it innovative?

Schome Park has given its students a real chance to study History and Archaeology in new ways which are more engaging and interactive than those used in the classroom. As Second Life® allows people to build, script, and chat amongst other things, the History sessions have been able to build Roman aqueducts. Sizings can be used which can enable students to scale buildings so they can compare the size of these buildings to the height of people. This allows students to relate to how people would have felt seeing these buildings. The study of archaeology is a difficult process as once artefacts and material are disturbed they cannot be replaced, whereas in Schome Park this is possible. During the Archaeology sessions a shipwreck was recreated and ‘excavated’ amongst discussions including Henges and Pompeii. When the two sessions integrated for one meeting a Roman road was created and enabled each layer of the road to be removed allowing students to see how the roads were constructed. This unique way of learning breaks down the barriers of students and teachers. This leads to student run sessions which benefit many people as both children and adults can learn from each other.

Roman aquaducts built by the Time Explorers.

SecondLife let us create and walk on multi-layer Roman roads.

Fox led a virtual visit to the Caves of Lascaux.

Students from America relived the 1950s with their full-size model diner, complete with jukebox.

Students created a shipwreck in order to study underwater archaeology.

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