Monday, October 02, 2006
Adventures in Second Life - a lecture
Following Brent's lead in his post Corporate eLearning Development: SL inworld presentation: How People Learn, I decided to sit in on John Bransford's lecture.
The experience reminded me of the issues many teachers and students had during the first week of an interactive video course:
- getting familiar with the technology (especially for the teachers)
- learning new classroom etiquette
- figuring out how to structure the class to take advantage of (or minimize the disadvantages of) the technology.
With Second Life - both teachers and students have to get past the initial "playing with the technology" stage. For a structured course within this environment, time/exercises to get all parties familiar with the medium will be useful.
I've been toying with Second Life for a month now and, thus far, have figured out how to change my clothes, touch things, fly, land and teleport. I'm not terribly good at any of these tasks. As a result, I found myself distracted by the technology (people flying, interesting monsters, figuring out how to get a better view using the camera controls, getting kicked out during the presentation) and did not pick up as much of the message as I should have.
What I got from the presentation - "We should all work together." A solid sentiment since we are all still trying to figure out how to apply this technology. One of Branford's suggestions - simulations. The movie Dr. Bransford played during the session was an interesting example of how people can work together in a virtual environment to communicate information and solve problems. Note: the movie is in QuickTime.
I know that there was more to it than that. Right now, the transcript is filled with a lot of side-chatter. I'm sure they will clean it up soon.
The picture above is my avatar - Raven Tsuki (on the right) and some of the folks who attended the lecture. My next goal in Second Life - figure out how to build glasses..... Please say "Hi" if you see her lurking around Info Island.