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Monday, April 26, 2010

Learning in 3D: Virtual Book Clubs Leverage Technology for Expanded Learning

One of the things that Tony and I encouraged in our book, Learning in 3D was for the formation of "book clubs" to read the book.

We feel strongly that the conversation around learning and collaborating in 3D is just getting started and the more folks who are intelligently speaking about the concept and ideas of 3D learning and collaboration, the more the field will advance and flourish.

To that end, a number of virtual book clubs have surfaced regarding Learning in 3D.

Tony and I created a hashtag for Twitter #lrn3d to begin discussions about the book on Twitter and the tag has been very successful but still that was started by the authors and was not really a "book club."

However, book clubs are now starting. The first that I know of is happening at Twitter with the hashtag #3dbookclub. This is a loose confederation of folks reading the book and commenting on the concepts and ideas within the book. There have been some great discussions about the book's concepts within the group on Twitter.

But the most organized book club that I know of today was started by Hans de Zwart of Amsterdam on his blog Technology as a Solution. Of course there is a hashtag #lin3drg but he's taken it to the next level.

He has created an incredible virtual Learning in 3D book club. On his blog, he posted an entry called Learning in 3D: Please Join My Reading Group where is asked for participants in a virtual reading group. He writes:

I have decided to start a reading group which will read the ten chapters of the book in ten weeks (there is a preview of the chapters here). We will use blogs, Twitter, Delicious and a weekly teleconference to communicate around the book.

So how will this work?

Process
The reading group will have a weekly rhythm with a particular chapter of the book as the focus of attention. The following activities will happen every week:
  • One or more people will be assigned to write a summary of the chapter on their blog (if they don’t have a blog, they email me the summary and I will publish it on this blog). The summary ends with at least one multiple choice poll and a discussion question/proposition, both used as input for the teleconference.
  • All reading group participants will be tweeting questions and comments about the book (using a designated hashtag, see below).
  • Each participant will try to add at least one interesting link to Delicious (again with a hashtag) that relates to the chapter of that week.
  • At the end of the week (actually on a Monday), there is a teleconference where the summarisers for that week lead a discussion about the chapter, using the poll and the discussion question/proposition as input.
The book club is under way. A blog post has already been written about the first chapter in Summary of and Reflections on “Learning in 3D”, Chapter 1 This is a fascinating project and a great way to begin a discussion about the topic with people from all over the world. I encourage you to start your own Learning in 3D virtual book club and explore both 3D technology and the power of social networking.

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