By: Rosalynn Locklear
Ekoloko is a virtual world for kids. In Ekoloko students discover the world, both real and virtual, through fun games and quests. As they play in Ekoloko, students learn and build values, character qualities, knowledge and skills that help them become more responsible and involved individuals. Students learn to respect each other and the environment in the safe online community. While students are in Ekoloko, they are faced with dealing with other characters that are interested in exploring the resources of the world for their own personal space.
Once you visit Ekoloko, you will be required to create a username and password. After you choose and personalize your avatar, you will start by going through a tutorial. The tutorial teaches all of the basics for navigating through Ekoloko. It first starts by teaching you how to navigate, interact with other Ekoloko avatars, how to earn money, and where you can spend it. Challenges/quests are offered by other Ekolokos, in which you may either accept or decline.
How to integrate Ekoloko into the classroom: This safe virtual world is a great place for students to practice their netiquette in a controlled environment. In Ekoloko, character qualities are valued, leadership and responsiblity are encouraged. This is a great way for students to learn how to be good online (and offline) citizens. Along the way, students can also practice being good stewards of the environment. Ekoloko reminds me of and would be another great site to introduce to students in preparation for Earth Day. I really appreciate the character values encouraged by this site.