Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Second Life Best Practices in Education 2007

Last Friday I attended a session of the Second Life Best Practices in Education conference in world. I had just sat my avatar down 5 minutes before the start time when the dreaded mandatory log-off in 5 minutes message came through. Once that little hiccup was resolved, and my avatar was re-seated, the presentation started. It was very interesting in that the speaker's voice was piped through as well, adding to the unearthly experience. It was also my first time seeing a whiteboard in action, and I was taking notes. One little quirk was the fact that it took a couple of seconds to for each new screen to rez. It wasn't terribly bad, just a bit odd--I wonder how a real student would react to that.

The gist of the session was profiling a professor's experiences with her three class sections using SL assignments and also meeting them in world with online office hours. Her classes are more like systems engineering and such, but I can see where it could go with information literacy classes. I had wanted to "go" to the action learning session, but the timing was weird.

I also had a chance to check out the poster sessions and also the exhibitors, which was pretty cool. Still haven't gone through my virtual swag though.

So far I can see a few ways of adding IL into a virtual class.
  • have a librarian embedded in with a class taking place in SL (and the librarian would embed library resources as much as possible)
  • have a "game" like that one sim (I can't remember the name just now) that is set up like myst (scattered clues and very self directed discovery type game)
  • have real life IL sessions in a second life classroom.
I've read in other places that people are discussing what IL means in second life--it strikes me that this ties in with maybe expanding IL instruction in libraries to include teaching students how to use Second Life (and other software).


Sheila Webber said...


I am a newbie in SL but interested in using it in a couple of classes next academic year, specifically for exploring ideas of IL in SL. Lots still to learn! I was away in RL on Friday so couldn't go to the conference on the day, so thanks for the comments.

I have a SL blog (in addition to my IL blog), supposed to be amusing, at adventuresofyoshikawa.blogspot.com, it has turned into a kind of learning diary for me


indrani fisher said...

Hi Sheila :)

It is so cool to hear from you, as you might have noticed, I am a regular reader of your IL blog.