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SL Community – SLExperiments Teachers Group

07/05/2011

SL Experiments Teachers Group

  • A description of the purpose and activities of the group (eg social, entertainment, education, discussion)
  • Descriptions of at least two occasions on which I participated with the group:
    • Friday 6th May 2011 6pm GMT, 8pm CET, 11am SLT  – One Prim SCRIPTINGMeeting place: EduNation – Webhead’s HQ then SandboxEvent page: http://avalon-project.ning.com/events/slexperiment-basic-1-prim
      • early rise for Kiwis (and we are nocturnal creatures!!!) ! I decided not to set the alarm for this event and I still managed to wake up 15 mins before it started – that was 5.45 am, New Zealand time!!! Was it the excitement of doing something ‘outside of this life’? Was it the novelty factor? OK, I already knew the presenter/tutor, which means I also knew that it was going to be a true, professional and worthwhile session as Cybere is truly passionate about virtual worlds and their pedagogical use. Maybe it was all those factors combined that got me excited hence out of the warm bed :-). Just as I thought, it was worth the effort!
      • the content was appropriate and useful, delivered just at the right pace. As the title suggests, it was a session on creating/building basic, 1-prim objects. After making certain adjustments and adding some textures, I managed to create a sofa and a round rug! (Yeah, me, the ultimate SL novice!) I got so excited, I even started on an ottoman (no pun intended) but the first-life duties called and I had to leave the session….But, all the goodies, textures, note-cards etc. were delivered in a box, which I will go back to review and perhaps build more. I actually have a copy of the items I built in my inventory (all I have to do is find them in there ;-). Here’s a shot from the tutor
      • netiquette or is it called SLetiquette? An avatar dropped by to say Hi in the session but started having a conversation with another participant. She was rather diplomatic (the participant), so was the tutor/presenter mind you, and they simply pointed out that we were in the middle of a scheduled class, and perhaps would continue ‘chatting’ after the session. I’m including this in the blog, well, because I was more fascinated by the behaviour of the visiting avatar, (as well as being a little bit annoyed but that’ll be covered in another blog entry). There’re still many avatars who don’t seem to be aware of many things in virtual worlds, dare I say being ‘ignorant’ or simply ‘stupid’?. Is this a reflection of first-life behaviour? Is it acceptable to enter a face-to-face classroom and start talking to the students? Not to mention the fact that the visitor is a total stranger to everyone in the class….As I said, it’s a whole separate topic, that would probably require a separate blog entry. Maybe even a separate research project :-))))
      • passion, volunteers, sharing are the words to describe what I witnessed in the session (I’d like to finish this blog entry on a positive note). Everyone was passionate about learning a bit more about SL. This kind of collegiality requires a lot of sleepless nights and days! I wonder how long it took Cybere to prepare for the session. What about running the session and looking after each individual’s needs? Wow! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart (and my avatar’s heart) for sharing your passion with us. I wish I could do something, even if virtually, to show my appreciation. I hope there’ll be more opportunities, and more participants in the future. Virtual worlds are bound to flourish and improve efficiencies and methodologies in teaching and learning, in all subject areas. It’s just so much fun! It’s almost like being a child all over again, building sand castles and having pretend plays with friends. I like it and I’d like to find out more…You’ll need to read the upcoming blog entries about  SL Standards, Permissions and Protecting Intellectual Properties. Watch this space.
    • The other occasions of participating in the SLExperiments group were very brief – due to technical difficulties. But the group is highly active with a wiki and a ning (see above). It’s a pro-active group and it’s been highly motivating to join in from this side of the world. I think I only know about 3 people who actively use SL to teach languages in NZ. I hope I am wrong. Drop me a line to let us know 🙂

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