Schome Press Information

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What is schome?

  • Schome is going to be a new form of educational system designed to overcome the problems within current education systems.
  • Schome will meet the needs of society and individuals in the twenty-first century.
  • Schome will be a system which values and supports people learning throughout their lives.

What is Schome doing in the virtual world of Second Life?

  • The Schome Park Programme is investigating the use of Teen Second Life (a 3D virtual-reality world) with 13 to 17 year olds.
  • It is considering the educational potentials and pitfalls of Teen Second Life and the implications it has for schome.
  • Teen Second Life has the potential to address the need identified in the DfES publication Harnessing Technology to 'stimulate greater innovation in e-learning design to accelerate the development of the next generation of e-learning'. The focus of the schome community is on thinking about the future of education, and Teen Second Life provides a vehicle for helping to overcome the difficulties that people have in looking past the preconceptions about schooling that we have (not least because of our immersion within the current school system). This project uses Teen Second Life in conjunction with the schome community website to 'engage teachers and students in designing and discussing new kinds of pedagogy, which is essential if we are to succeed in innovating and transforming teaching and learning'.

What the participants say:

  • 'This project is very liberating. You can speak to other people without the hang-ups of real life, like appearance. You can be the real you without the judgement that is considered normal in the real world and can pursue your interests with the help and support of other ‘like minded individuals’' --Kali Schomer
  • "I personally believe that this project can change the fundamental way we can all learn in the future. In today's world we use technology without any real thought, but a project like this allows us to explore how a technology that is used for trivial purposes can be used to educate all different kinds of people, from all countries and walks of life. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to work with all the amazing staff from Schome, as well as the staff from outside sources. I have been able to realise just how much potential there is for education." --Kali Schomer
  • 'I'm having a lot of fun doing this - you get to meet new people and become a new person. I've learnt so much that I didn't know before, it's amazing what a really close community can do. I've particularly noticed that no matter what the problem, there's always some bright SParker that will be able to help. I love the way we are now being creative in more than one way.' --Marsbar9 Schomer 17:02, 23 April 2007 (BST)
  • 'The project has really taken off - and I'm thrilled to be a part of it! The session on interview techniques today really got me using my communication skills, and I will now be able to contribute to the research at Schome Park.' - Wheelo Schomer 19:01, 24 April 2007 (BST)
  • 'I am really enjoying this project as I can speak to like minded people in real time and am able to learn skills that I can use in real life'
  • "I think I have made some great friends that hopefully I will be able to keep in touch with for a long time. The big thing for me personally, I think, is to improve my confidence in social situations. I'm not the shyest person in the world (in RL), but I don't like public speaking and the meetings, for example, have been great situations where I've done things that I certainly would not do in RL. And yes, it has improved my confidence already; I may not be willing to host a meeting in RL, but I'm happier to give my point of view and to convince people about it." - Trixxiee
  • Schome is already breaking down many of the barriers that exist between 'teachers' and 'learners' and I believe that we can go further than that. - Explo
  • "The great thing about using SL is that you cannot tell how old someone is just by talking about them, because the avatars have a very general look to them, and then they are customisable so you don't even have to look like a human. I think it's a really good thing about using a medium such as SL because it means that everyone starts off on an equal footing and is listened to from the word 'go', and there's no need to 'prove' yourself as an equal just because you're a couple of years younger. Everyone is learning - even the staff, and so age is not an issue, and it means that everyone is involved and learning together." - Trixxiee
  • In my opinion, the project is split in three main groups, the forum, wiki, and the main Second Life bit. All three are important aspects, allowing us to communicate in a variety of ways, and displaying information in an inventive and creative way. --Marsbar9 Schomer 19:53, 18 May 2007 (BST)
  • "I think that what Schome is doing through breaking down the barriers between 'teachers' and 'students', making it hard to see where one stops and the other begins, is fantastic, because when everyone is on a learning curve together, it brings about less of a feeling of segregation and a greater feeling of equality, and this leads to people trusting more." - Trixxiee
  • "We've been organising the SP Government, which has required good organisational skills and communication, and now that it's set up even more communication is required to make sure that things are being run smoothly and everyone is getting on. Then we've had some minor disputes that have had to be resolved, which has been problem solving. Everyone has had the chance to do a bit of leadership within their department, so that's another bonus. Working in a team has, for me, been probably the most important thing - not only within my own department, but with the others too, so we've all tried to get the best for the community in SPii when we get back in." - Trixxiee
  • "The break, as well as causing exponential rise in the posts on this forum, has allowed things to slow down and things to take shape. We are far more efficient now, I feel, at working together with projects, whereas before everyone tended to say 'I'm going to do such and such' and just get on with it, leading to many things going unused." Prof
  • "Our newest member, Spiral Schomer, has very strong views and ideas on what we've been doing over the past three monthes, just from looking at the forum and wiki. This involvment shows that without the forum and wiki, newer members of the community would have to rely on us. What Spiral has done minimises the need for this, and now he has his owns views and opinions, which he can give you to us - hopefully allowing us to move on even further. --Marsbar9 Schomer 18:52, 26 June 2007 (BST)
  • "Using a virtual world has both advantages and disadvantages. The only problem I can see is that some individuals may be unable to communicate in face to face situations after spending a lot of time talking to people who only know you be your avatar and personality. But like all education inovations, this problem can be solved, especially as the technology is still advancing. The advantages far outweigh the few minor problems that may be encountered using this technology. I believe that the modern education system has reached a point and can go no further without change. This pilot could be the answer to this need for revolution. If we are capable and have the technology, why should we not use it? It has the potential to revolutionise the education system. This could be the answer to some of the problems that teenagers have regarding education." --Kali Schomer

Publicity Pics

Publicity Pictures can be found here. Publicity Posters can be found here.

See The Schome Park cartoon poster which tells the story of the schome-NAGTY Teen Second Life Pilot

More information

For more information on the schome project, contact Dr Peter Twining at The Open University.
Second Life website
Teen Second Life website

What was the schome / NAGTY Teen Second Life pilot?

  • The schome community worked with the National Association for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY).
  • This pilot project aimed to explore the educational potential and pitfalls of Teen Second Life.
  • Participants were 150 'gifted and talented' learners aged between 13 and 17.
  • The pilot provided participants with a positive learning experience (outside school).
  • The pilot offered participants the opportunity and support to maximise their potential.