Friday, May 25, 2007

More of SL Best Practices in Education confo

A few keynotes this afternoon worth catching...catching the end of the IBM keynote. Place is SRO.

Search IBM and Secondlife in YouTube (do that later) to see some examples of their use of virtual worlds. ? on when virtual worlds truly become mainstream? Mainstream is difficult to argue..what is mainstream? Talk in terms of internet 1 (democratization of access), lots of people connected now took about 10 years. Web2.0 (democratization of participation), took about half the time. 3D internet is about people coming back. People are going to be involved in every aspect of environment, and it will happen fast.

Pirate Shipman, adjunct faculty at Pepperdine, is next keynote. Right brain attitudes important in today's world:

  • Design
  • Story
  • Sympathy
  • Empathy
  • Play
  • Meaning
Basic premise is that we need to focus on these areas, versus left brain logic. Pirate did a class project do develop virtual content reflecting these 6 aptitudes. This comes from the book "The Whole New Mind". Students given a small area and a 150 prim limit for their projects. We watch slides of the building progress on the class island. Students experimenting...Conclusion was that it was a powerful learning experience for all involved.

That's the keynote in progress.. do we teach in a virtual world? We need to discuss strenths and weakneses.


  • SL is a spatial experience. Virtual world has physicality. Shapes, sizes, movement, spatial relationships take on deep meaning.
  • SL is an immersive experience. We can respond as if we are really there...effects emotion and mood to be in a virtual situation.
  • SL is a social platform. We can craft and present an identity to others. "This makes the us that engages with others easier to become". (Interesting).
  • SL has tools to connect to and communicate with others. LSL allows us to develop socially aware objects.
  • SL democratizes the ability to create content and learning artifacts, it's a participatory medium. (This is what I think is the key point, which SL captures well).
  • SL enables collaborative development of objects. (I think building things with others, and having the tools in-world, is the key...this is why SL works, and why importing from blender, etc is not important, and rather not the point, but that's just me!).
Some talk about the playful spirit that is the game part of the environent...the keynote speaker is wearing a pirate eyepatch.


  • Effective communication of large amounts of data is difficult.
  • Technological overhead high.
  • Combo of 2d with SL lacks synergy most of the time. Showing 'flat' images, for example, still easier in a browser interface..
  • Activities outside of the scope of what second life does can usually be done better outside of SL. "Sometimes, though, the novelty may be enough".

OK...gonna hit some posters, then I gotta go....

Here's a parting shot of one of the posters, this one for the SL Genetics Center. All in all a remarkable day, and an effective use of SL. I've even got an inventory full of junk now I have to sift thru!.

No comments: