A Second Experience in Second Life

 My second significant experience with Second Life was the tour on Wednesday night. This experience was eerily similar to what I had predicted in a paper I wrote last semester.  (Click here to see an excerpt from that paper.)  I found the most impressive part of the tour to be the use of a HUD.  This could be a great tool in order to send a small group of students to a variety of locations in the metaverse. 

Through this tour, I’ve learned that it is extremely important to have a lot of planning and work done before such a tour is conducted.  Large numbers of (new) students also complicate things.  Far too much time was spent trying to get users to figure out how to sit down, how to get the HUD, and how to communicate.  This took away from the tour. 

I think much of this could have been accomplished through a video tutorial that students could have watched before taking the tour.  It may be beneficial to have students complete some practice tutorials beforehand also, so that they have become familiar with some of the essential parts of the program.  It would also be important that students have all resources like a HUD as soon and as easily as possible.  Much time can be wasted by a group, if a small number from the group are having difficulties. 

I was frustrated by much of this, and left the group for a while as I explored a virtual replica of the Sistine Chapel.  If you haven’t seen this yet, it is certainly worth the visit.  (I’ve been back several times, and have been contemplating its value for use in my Art class.)  I also discovered a gallery of ancient Greek art called Achilles Phobos that was very interesting. 

Overall, I was impressed with this experience, and am certainly thankful to have been included. 

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5 Responses

  1. The Sistine Chapel was amazing. Thanks for the link. I just hope I get to see the real thing one day.

  2. Ryan,
    I agree. I was one of the slow learners who couldn’t stand up or teleport properly in the beginning. My connection to this is that this is how my class is when I am introducing new tools to them. There are too many needing my help and not enough of me. I have to tell you though that by the end of the tour, I could do this thanks to help from the instructor and chatroom classmates.
    Luckily, you didn’t have to just sit there and be totally bored. You could explore the Sistine Chapel and Greek art. In my mind that makes a great case for the use of technology.
    I too am interested in some of the resources in SL. I think the way you are integrating this into your art classes is terrific.
    This is a wonderful example of how even as adult learners we all come into tasks with a different knowledge base (prior knowledge) and need different levels of support to achieve what we are supposed to achieve (in this case becoming somewhat familiar with SL). For those of us working in the classroom, this is exactly how it is for our students. For those of us working at the system level, this is exactly how it is for the educators we are working with.

  3. Hi Ryan,
    I agree – it was a bit frustrating to have to wait around to get things organized. But, just as in real life – we learn from our mistakes. I would think that Kirk will do things differently a second time around.

    I had to leave at 8:00 p.m., though, so missed what was likely the most vital part of the presentation – how this could be useful in a classroom. The excerpt from your paper helped to really create a clear picture for me though…cheers for that! There certainly are some interesting possiblities…

  4. I think SL takes a lot of independent exploration, or guides with others who know the place well. There are many people in the edublogosphere and in Twitter who would be more than willing to take you or a class through the place (your students could go on the teen grid).

    SL is not for everyone, but it does have some neat possibilities. But I think it takes some time to get one’s head around it. Take it for what it is, add it to the tool box, and who know, maybe down the road you will find some use. For now, at least you know a bit more about it.

    Cheers.

  5. […] these links to read more about my first and second experience in Second Life.  Or better yet, click here to read an excerpt from a paper in which I […]

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