Friday, February 8, 2008

Second Life

Here we are in the second day of the Assessment, Teaching and Learning retreat. Our first session is talking more about second life.

First, you select a name

Then, you select an avatar. One person mentioned that the word avatar means the embodiment of of the divine. You can select male, female or an animal. The skin can be of any color. We spoke briefly about the

Why should people care? Kayeri

Sara "intellegirl" Robbins - the leading authority on Second LIfe in education. She is at Ball State. She gave a brilliant seminar at Educause. She teaches rhetoric and she wanted to teach about the "other". She had a hard time getting them to really internalize the other. She got 5 students to go into second life and got them to take on the skin of giant Kool-aid men and had them go into a dance bar. Students understood, finally, what it was like to be other - understanding what it was like to be fat, big, outcast.

What works is to give the students a project to build in second life. It can be a bonding experience for the students and creates community that students don't want to give up at the end of the term.

David mentioned that there was recently a good article in about Second Life and how it is transitioning. He noted that it would be important for campuses having protocols around how to "be" in second life. I noted that there are two worlds in Second Life and adults can't go into teen Second Life and teens can't go into adult second life.

Cable talked about Evergreen Island on second life. Between the time that interest started to build about it, within 3 weeks the SBCTC responded and bought Evergreen Island (very quick turn around time). There is an open house next week on Evergreen Island - Wednesday at 3PM. Kayeri mentioned that it is still very experimental, that we still don't really know how to use it.

Stephanie cautioned that if people are planning to attend the open house, be sure to set aside about 3 hours before the meeting to get off of orientation island. You can't go anywhere in Second Life until after you get off of Orientation Island. Robin noted that she was not willing to set that time aside, but might be willing to if there were meetings around it, where someone would lead her through the process. Todd L. noted that maybe it is not about Second Life, but about people coming together.


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