Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Interesting Second Life educational activity

Time to play catch up. :) The semester started with a bang! and in the slight break in the business that I have had, I'd like to share an interesting experience I had in Second Life, a month or so ago. In addition to my librarian/IL duties, I am also part of the group developing and steering our Second Life campus. I participated in a test learning activity, designed by one of the other members of our group, Robyn Herry. I have to admit at first I was slightly skeptical, when presented with a scenario that involved the kidnapping of an Avatar character, and then the need to solve several puzzles to get clues to be able to find out where to locate and rescue the kidnapped character.

We were assembled in world, on our Second Life campus, and given the first "clue" which linked us to the evil genius' MySpace page. I was lucky to have the game designer there helping and giving clues, because otherwise it might have been a little too hard for me. But what was fascinating was the use of outside webpages along with the in-world element. This lesson appeared to be about codes and code breaking--I had to figure out to highlight the myspace page to get the code sequence to find out the name of a clue (using the letters of the people on the friends list) , go to another website, and use the decoded phase as a password to get the next set of directions. and then from there I flew in world to a statue to figure out the next sequence. I had to google the name of the code, and then use the chart to try to begin to decode for the next set of clues. Unfortunately this is as far as I got after an hour, but I can begin to see the potential for educational activities using Second Life without having to build major structures. I admit it was quite fun too, because after the first 15 minutes or so I felt very involved and motivated to solve the puzzle.

On the whole it was a really cool experience and I think I would like to try to do something similar for our classes eventually.