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Update on PRJ702 – 27 March 2013


“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”  Richard Feynman

Promise is a promise! I said to CyberAmber that I’d be updating the Project Blog fortnightly, so here it is! The first one since the (new) proposal has been accepted. (This is also to create work for my Supervisor – Dr Clare Atkins 🙂 – he he).

Anyway, now that I’ve got her attention, I need to write something sensible! I have been back in Second Life! That’s right! It was a bit of a struggle to fly at first but then I managed to get the wind beneath my wings!

That sudden lift came in the form of a westerly, all the way from Australia! The call for papers to Ascilite 2013 is now open! Yes, the conference will be held in Sydney (yes, I’m a Kiwi from Oz) and even if I don’t make it there in person, I’m sure CyberAmber Pixelmaid would love to make a presentation from Second Life! She certainly loves the attention! (Last year, she presented at the CLESOL 2012 conference. Unfortunately, the video production crew ‘forgot’ to press the record button on Adobe Connect! Anyway, we all (should) learn from our mistakes…)

There was another request to present at the Ascilite 2013 – from the VWWG. I’d love to contribute, once again, in the form of recording a machinima (this time, I will make sure the crew presses the record button).

So, you may ask, “Where are you up to with your research project?”. Well, rightly so. I’ve been re-visiting the language-learning sims, Virtlantis and Cypris Chat. OK, nobody really recognised me, nor my avatar but these things happen I’m told.

The next step is to get my FL students in the PC Lab & get them introduced to SL. One of the topics that was suggested as the VWWG proposal was to find out why the involvement in SL is dropping by the education sector. If the educators don’t go into SL, there is not much chance of the students going in there. So why have the tutors ‘stopped’ using SL? What’s stopping them?

Time? Resources? Lack of ‘collaboration’?

I don’t have the answers but I’d love to ask. There must be a reason for it. Watch this space for a poll…

I hope to post something within the next fortnight but feel free to contact me before then. I’d love to hear your views on this topic 🙂

  1. 27/03/2013 10:13 pm

    Just been talking about this lack of educators in SL in a LinkedIn group (Virtual World Professionals). Someone had asked for “predictions about Second Life”, I think they got a lot more than they bargained for. I don’t think educators are abandoning SL, I think some of the first wave educators have left but some of us are still there. It would help if SL would reduce the costs to educators back to where it was at first – the raise in costs was what made a lot of universities pull out, the educators didn’t actually want to go at all.

  2. S.M. Claassen permalink
    28/03/2013 4:27 am

    Re timjohnson’s previous comment, there appears to be a discrepancy between SL’s pricing of its product offerings and their (potential) added value as perceived by educators. It would be informative to compare:

    1) the expectations educators have on the demand side with regard to specifications for virtual learning environments


    2) the strategic direction SL intends to pursue on the supply side and the degree to which this meets these specifications.

    When done in a timely and communicative fashion 1) could be instrumental in influencing 2).

  3. Joanne permalink
    04/04/2013 10:21 pm

    As an ‘older’ SLer, there is a considerable learning curve before the medium becomes useful and also some ‘social barriers’ to overcome before learning can become the prime focus.

  4. 04/04/2013 10:32 pm

    Thanks to all visitors & the comments! Looks like my next research project topic is already decided – teacher perceptions of utilising Second Life in language teaching 🙂

    All input is greatly appreciated as I believe the more open communication channels are, the more the conversations. Please keep it going, especially in education, as we owe it to the next generation!

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