Second Life … Why?

It’s true, I’ve dabbled a bit in Second Life over the past couple of days. So far, much of the programming and creating stuff is beyond my reach. I created a cylinder and made it morph into a non-cylinder – la tee da. I also sat in on a few minutes of a class on animation override (AO) – it allows you to increase your gesture repertoire. Before I left I took my first SL screen shot.

Dream City Second Life

That’s me (Etdoc Sungsoo) in the foreground – sleek body with blonde hair … remember this is Second Life …

All fun aside, I’ve been wondering about the applications for education – really didn’t see much past design … until Thursday night. I stumbled onto the Bloggers Cafe (creator Ryan Bretag) and found over 20 other people there. We were text messaging informally about educational technology and then Jennifer Wagner (one of the overseers of BC) suggested that we brainstorm on a topic and that we introduce ourselves. I saw some folks that I’d met at NECC and others that I’d run into (or flown into) in SL. Quite a conversation ensued.

How was this conversation different than some I’ve had on Skype or on discussion boards? Well, having an avitar representation of each person, with their names hanging over their heads, added a bit of connection. Not just a voice in the dark. However, there is no real eye contact, so there is still an element of disconnect that would be rectified in a F2F setting.

So, my little brain was whirring with ideas for my classes. I will defintely be sharing SL and the ISTE, DEN, and Bloggers Cafe sites with the undergrads. My grad classes are online, but 99% of the students live close to ISU, so I want to have a F2F session and share the same sites within SL with them. Once they’re acclimated, and have downloaded the software, we can have some online discussions. Maybe also by then I will have learned how to share presentations – we’ll see.

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