250000 Virtual Environments for Teen Safety Education: The Development of Bumbles Cafe

Monday, October 31, 2011: 3:15 PM

Marc Weinstein, PhD , Department of Leadership and Professional Studies, College of Education, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Ruba Monem, MA , Rockway Middle School, Miami, FL
In recent years there have been numerous initiatives to develop multi-user virtual learning environments (MLVE) for high school students. These environments allow students to interact with each other and instructors through multiple modalities via avatars in a three-dimensional computer environment. Although current platforms have high computing and bandwidth demands, continued hardware and software advances should mitigate technological barriers to broader use of MLVEs. Even with current technological constraints, there is growing body of evidence that the ability of students to interact in real time from remote locations in MLVEs increases the social and cognitive presence of learners. This and ability for students to manipulate the virtual environment should enable educators to develop compelling education experiences consistent with constructivist pedagogy. In this paper we discuss the development of Café Bumbles, a virtual restaurant in Second Life designed to offer new delivery alternatives for the Teen Safety curriculum developed at Labor Occupational Health Program at the University of California, Berkeley. As envisioned, Bumbles Café will allow students and resource instructors to interact from physically remote locations in real time allowing both for guided missions such as hazard identifications as well as opportunities for role playing exercises that allow students to develop and practice important communication skills needed for a safe and healthful work environment.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate multi-user virtual learning environment for teen safety and health education.

Keywords: Youth at Work, Workplace Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Ph.D, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, numerous peer-reviewed publication in the area of occupational safety and health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.