Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Get a (second) life

Until quite recently, I have not had the connection speeds at home required to be able to navigate around Linden with any great success. .. and of course, such things are banned at work. I have long been curious about the possibilities opened up for learning. Because I haven't been able to explore what's on offer, I have had to depend on other people's feedback and have been disappointed to learn that, for the most part, it seems that people are using the space to deliver chalk-and-talk sessions in a virtual environment. New wine. Old wineskins.

Now that we have a fast enoug connection, I decided the time had come to find out for myself what was on offer. I have signed up for a workshop that George Siemens is running on Wednesday, but of course, I have no idea how to get to it or how to participate once I'm there.

One of my Facebook friends offered to show me around. She said I should log in at around 8pm my time last night and wait for her. She would send me an invitation, which would show up in the bottom right corner of my screen. I should accept this and the option to teleport to where she was. I waited, not knowing enough even to try to look for her. Nothing appeared in any of the corners of my screen.

We used the IM feature in Facebook for a while, assuring each other that we were both logged in and that she had my avatar name right. Still nothing. After about 20 minutes of this, she declared herself baffled and gave up.

I tweeted my frustrations and a twitter friend of mine has offered to try to pick up where the other volunteer-tutor had left off.

I might not get a (second) life in time for the workshop on Wednesday, but I will get there in the end... "with a little help from friends, oh I get by with a little help from my friends." Take it away Joe Cocker (apologies to those who prefer the Beatles version)


Julaine said...

Karyn, I would be happy to hear what your experience is like in Second Life. I used it on a basic level for one of my classes. I explored about 1 or 2 of the public Islands and participated in a psychology activity on schizophrenia. We mostly used it for group meetings. The aim was just to be acquainted with the possibilities.

I think the concept is good but they have some technical problems that needs to be sorted out.

However, I have been following Gina's blog as well and she has been working with Second life recently on a High level too....you may want to have a look at what she has to say...please see the link below and all the best in your discovery.


subquark said...

Did you ever get on? :( I feel badly for that first experience!

If you have another go at it, please feel free to look up our sims (15 as of this posting). We have free places to use to hold meetings and are only looking to further the use of Second Life for collaborative and educational purposes.

I do work for the eLearning Guild and am a presenter about using Second Life video in elearning (rather than doing elearning in Second Life, mainly due to experiences like your initial one).

Best of luck with it and I am always open to working with fellow educators. :)

Note: I don't self-promote aggressively figuring anyone that wants to connect with me will be able to within a few clicks.