Interesting experiences

I’ve spent a couple of days swooping around SecondLife. It’s really an interesting phenomenon. I went hang-gliding, go-karting, innertubing in the surf, collecting freebees, and more. What a way to make time fly …

Now the question comes, “What good is it?” So far, what I’ve seen it is a better environment for me for synchronous chat. On Thursday night I was one of over 20 people in the Bloggers Cafe. Some I knew from F2F encounters, others from virtual encounters, and some were new friends. I’ve never been one to like chat rooms – too many conversations going on at the same time, just too hard to keep track.

Well, sitting around the fire pit with other people in SL was much easier for me. First of all, all of our names hover over our heads, so I was able to keep track of who was talking … or who I was talking with. Second, although there wasn’t real eye contact, I did get the sense of connection with the avatars – not a deep sense, but better than the black hole of a chat room.

Most importantly, we were all sharing ideas and connecting. Remember my ah-ha from NECC, Connection is Paramount – it is the process that will lead to much more. So as I mete out my time in SL, connections are what I’m looking for – giving and taking information, opinions, personalities (some interesting ones so far).

Now … should I introduce my undergrads to the educational side of this environment? What about my grad students? Why? Why not? All these questions … they’re an indication I’m on the right track.

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