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My Learning4Content course home page

Professional background

Eileen O'Connor, Ph.D.

I have been through a number of career migrations. Although I started as a volunteer teacher on a reservation in Montana in the United States, I worked as a chemist from 1975 - 1981, at which time I moved to IBM (IBM moved into chemical equipment in the 1980's) and stayed there until 1990. During that time, I secured a masters in science and engineering. I left IBM (after the birth of my 4th child) and moved to upstate New York, where I began teaching intro to computers and general chemistry. I went back to school for a Ph.D. in science education and have been teaching teachers since 1993.


BA from the College of New Rochelle (New York; USA) in biology with a minor in chemistry

MS in civil engineering from Polytechnic University of NY

Ph.D. in science education and technology from University of Albany (part of the State University of New York)

My interests

My Virtual Island
I am extremely devoted to helping K12 students learn science through inquiry-based approaches where they are engaged in the study of science through observation, examination, and reporting. I use technologies to help this outcome. I am very interested in creating virtual learning environments and have use Second Life for about 4 years. I can no longer afford the cost of Second Life and I am struggling to create my own open-source virtual environments. Time and limited programming skill is holding me back, but (God willing) I am bound and determined to continue to work in these environments. The children of the world (including my children and grandchildren) need to be challenged by education and tech-tools can help create new communities of learners. I often use culminating projects in my teacher education courses as a way to get students to try to bridge beyond their own classrooms. K12 student work well in these environmnts, however, they need teachers to help them move their experiences to higher levels.

My Media

 Why openness?  When you can't go it alone 

So much knowledge today is beyond the confines of courses, communities, and individual experience.   What a great way to meet with and leverage resources from around the world.

I would like to join people interested in:

  • sharing ideas about creating exercises and experiences in STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)
  • learning open platforms for working in virtual spaces
  • sharing materials and resources to create virtual simulations.

Some of the skills, concepts, and abilities I hope we could assemble: 

Developing a virtual "team" - enter your name if you are in one of these categories
Competency Basic Intermediate Advanced
-- education / pedagogy
-- STEM content areas & expertise
-- virtual world experience
-- 3-d building
-- 3-d interactions
-- programming

My wiki projects

Piped link text goes here

My optional community service (learning contract) project

100px-L4C-small.png  Agreement
By signing this optional learning contract I will try to complete my training in basic wiki editing skills to achieve the status of a Wikibuddy. In return for this free training opportunity, I will give the gift of knowledge by donating or developing at least one free content resource licensed under a CC-BY-SA or CC-BY license which can be used by myself (and others) on WikiEducator.
Brief description of project
Three dimensional virtual platforms, such as Second Life ( ) and the open source platforms, such as  , allow educators, programmers, artists, and organizers to develop experiences and interactions that move beyond text, geographic, or physical limitations.    These simulations can have the look-and-feel of a computer game, which can bring immediate appeal to the K12 audience.    This project would assemble co-collaborators would consider, share, and ponder ways to use these emerging platforms to simulate engaging and immersive experiences, particularly for the learning of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).   Although STEM fields would be the content focus, it is hoped that participants would come from areas including:   STEM subjects, psychology, education, art, literature, gaming, programming, and communication so that rich, multi-leveled experiences can be developed.   The objectives for this course would be to plan a number of three-dimensional experiences that could be visually interesting, engaging for the future learners, immersive, and “complete” (that is, include plans for inviting learners, sequencing interactions, assessing learning that occurred, and so on).   During the process of working through the course, participants would contribute to the development of annotated resources and ideas that could serve as a knowledge-base for other learners who might participate in the course in later iterations.   It is intended too that in the future, extended courses would be developed to move into the development and implementation of the planned experiences so that these virtual learning experiences could become a “reality.” 
Target date for completion
 10 weeks after the start – 2 to 3 hours per week
  --Eileen O'Connor,Ph.D. 11:41, 25 February 2012 (UTC) 

My Sandbox

I would like to learn about how to upload the images.   I think I need to remember how to write command-level pathways to images on my computer.

Feedback and notes from my WikiNeighbours

Hi Eileen, Welcome to WikiEducator. I saw your request to be certified at the first level. You are coming along with learning about how to edit in a wiki, but to earn the first level certification, you need to demonstrate a few more skills: headings for different levels, bulleted lists and numbered lists. The tutorials on how to do this are available using the rich-text editor, and straight wiki editing. I suggest practicing these skills in your sandbox. I will pop back to see how you make out. Your WikiNeighbor, Alison Snieckus 16:11, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Eileen, I'm a real as well electronic neighbor. If our program is of interest to you or your teachers, please let me know. We just launched a Wikieducator component: and it includes some New York schools. Our hope is that other non affiliated schools can start using the resources and develop their own web pages tailored to the bugs in their streams. Cheers dmccabe 01:33, 3 March 2012 (UTC)