Monday, December 11, 2006

Second Life is starting to grab me

I've kinda sat on the fence with Second Life. But really, there's no arguement about it. SL is an intensly engaging and inspiring space to be working in. Ever since the Future of Learning in a Networked World and talking more with Jo Kay and Sean FitzGerald I can see it more clearly.

With surprisingly little effort, IT here opened the communication port to allow access into SecondLife. Gotta hand it to the IT crew here at Otago Poly, for all my moaning about the profession generally (mostly legacy attitude from a gestapo like IT department in NSW DET), they have mostly been very responsive in taking off filters, allowing me to install software and try out things like Second Life.

Anyway, today I pulled a group of Occupational Therapy lecturers and others, to meet and watch as I met Jo in Second Life. In an intense hour of moving around, riding a balloon, visiting Harvard Law's SL school, and a Medical Library, not to mention bringing up a heap of Youtube videos, related websites, wikis and blogs, I think the group began to see how all this stuff can tie in together. (Links follow)

But, the usual overwhelmed feeling still pervades - that I fear will paralise anyone from moving into trialing out new practices with this teachnology. I'm ready, give me a project, I'd like to get iinto this I think...

Great links:
Jo Kay's BlogHud - where she is intergrating Blogging in with SecondLife
Jo Kay's Flickr photos - a bunch of screengrabs from Jo's SL experiences
SAE in Second Life - an excellent wiki page by Sean and Jo to support their presentations about edu use of SL
NMC Campus: Seriously Engaging - Youtube vid
Second Life Medical Library - an amazing range of information in a virtual library!
A Masters in Digital Media course blog - that also has a campus in Second Life
Cyber One - Harvard Law course that has a blog, wiki and Second Life campus

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Sean said...

Hey Leigh... glad to hear you had fun and started to see some of the educational value of Second Life. We are only at the very beginning of what's possible.

I'm sorry I wasn't there to greet you - having to deal with my tax (yuk!)... Second Life doesn't shield me from reality, unfortunately!

You will just have to visit me in-world so I can show off some of my avatars and animation skills! Maybe I can show you where to pick up some cool avatars and outfits as well. ;-)

Blogging from inside of Second Life with BlogHUD is definitely a hoot. It's actually got me blogging - no mean feat as you know! Check mine out - Jo and I are having fun with it at the moment, but are looking at how it can be put to use to achieve educational outcomes.

As fun a engaging as Second Life is, it's also worth noting that there are some really serious uses of it, not just educational.

Something that may be of interest to your Occupational Therapy teachers is the way that people with many different types of disabilities are using Second Life to liberate themselves from their real life limitations and have experiences they wouldn't otherwise have.

This good intro video about Second Life contains a really moving story about a guy who owns a night club in Second Life... and has cerebral palsy in first life.

See you in-world!

Sean McDunnough

Judy O'Connell said...

Leigh, this is a great post! and great to see that you are getting into SL.

SL is my target for 2007 - I really want to explore this with kids and see what they do with this learning experience.

None of our schools are into this yet - but I am sure SL is a vital part of our digital future, so really want to explore. Jo is on my hitlist to convince to do some work with us.

I work with Greg Whitby and really want to get into SL exploration for learning. No answer from the 'big boy' yet. Can you convince him to give us a go? :-)

Anne Paterson said...

Hi Leigh,

SL will be part of my proposals for funding this year in various forms and with Sean and Jos support.

Just wanted to let you know that I am right this minute preparing a handout about SL for the people writing the Curriculum Writers Guide in TAFE NSW so they can refer to virtual worlds and SL in the delivery section, yes I know a handout - but it has links on it - and also includes this blog post!

Fear and paralysis is not an option!
Anne Paterson

Olivia said...

very nice infromation... =)
you'v seem very expert to this topic.
keep posting ok!

thanks :-)
Cherry Chocolate Covered

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