I already say check the homework? Writing all this makes me want to run for the hills. I’m sure you’re thinking of leaving this post. But homework is beyond necessary. Education is pushing “college readiness,” into each and every classroom. The best way for students to become ready for college is to become great at time management. If we, as teachers, do not give homework (aka: opportunities to become time managers), how can we expect students to be ready for high school, much less college? I know the questions and concerns. What about help at home? What if the parents teach them a different way? I’d rather the students not be confused. I hate grading/ checking homework! I don’t have enough copies/textbooks to send home. I know. I’ve been there too. I have not given homework for many reasons. However, I started questioning why do we give homework beyond the generic answer of “practice”.

What are we really wanting students to practice in the long run? That question is what made me view homework in a different light. Yes. I was that weird kid who forced her brothers to play school rather than house or dolls. I had cut out hearts on my wall with “I love school.” Yeah. I know. Being a teacher was a calling on my life from a young age. I grew up in suburbia in a school district that I was blessed beyond belief to learn in. Even so, I recall having homework EVERY night. EVERY. NIGHT. For at least 1-2 hours. By the time I was in high school, I was making straight A’s and traveling with the varsity basketball 2-3 times per week and still had to complete homework. I did have a nice social life. In the summer, I took 18 hours and worked full time so I could move off campus. A nice spring breeze, that I miss all the time.

My first year teaching, a grade level teacher I worked with told me she never sent math homework home because there weren’t enough consistent parents to help. Kids would fall behind and be ashamed the next day for not doing their homework, so she didn’t assign it. I understand all that and I am sorry I am kinda venting. I love my blog readers. However, when are we going to place the responsibility in the student’s hands? When does learning become their responsibility and not the parents? It takes forever for habits to form, and it is much easier at a young age when routines can be put into place. How are we creating life-long learners if we cant teach them how to teach themselves at home? I told my students this week that I was doing them a disservice. I wasn’t giving them the opportunities to become good time managers. I wasn’t giving them the opportunity to become responsible and learn how to balance their tasks. I don’t want them to think of me as being mean by assigning more homework, but I don’t want them to ever think that they can do everything at school or at their job. They have to spend time outside of their job in order to become really great at it.

UWA students also had a joint class with studenmts from the University of Geneva. It was the first time students from Australia and Swiss universities were working on a single project using SL. Here they had to complete an activity that was set in Virtual Dublin, and this activity was created by UWA’s award winning lecturer, A/Professor Wade Halvorson. I thank you for it. In something extremely satisfying for myself personally, 2 fully referreed conference publications on aspects of Second Life I had been co-author of were accepted for publication. On the 1st of October we also kicked off both the LEA FULL SIM ART SERIES and the UWA SKY SIM SERIES with Rebeca Bashly’s ‘Inferno’ and & jjccc Coronet’s Art. The will both be there till midnight SLT 31st October. So just about one day and a bit left. In particular, I have not seen an art installation that has had the amount of publicity and machinima created about it than rebeca bashly’s Inferno.

Its all linked on the following. Please save the link and check them out. Also following on from this, the LEA FULL SIM ART SERIES for November will see Tyrehl Byk’s Catharsis, which is an immersive, 24 minute adventure ride into the curious, the irreverent, through the sublime, and back out the other side. The LEA Blog & UWA Blog will have more details as they come in. The UWA SKY SIM ART SERIES will see RazorZ take over from jjccc Coronet. The links between these 2 exist is other spheres as well, as jjccc shot a very nice machinima of RazorZ’s Wild West October entry to this challenge. Now a little bit on the Grand Finale and how it works. Again the grand finale will be from 6am slt Sunday 11th December. 59 artworks have been shortlisted for the Grand finale based on them finishing in the top 3 each month OR if they won more than one group prize in any given month. For the Non-Scripted 24 artworks have been shortlisted. 1,000 each for 6th – 10th. There will also be a People’s Choice Award.

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