Thursday, November 27, 2008

Alicia Barbitta - TV interview - Second Life

Second Life in an Uruguayan TV Channel

As mentioned, this Tuesday 25th I was interviewed in an Uruguayan TV channel about Second Life.

You can see the interview here. Hope Spanish Speakers enjoy it!

Monday, November 24, 2008

All about my avatar

All about my avatar

Wonderalica is 2 years old, though she looks like a 'grown up' woman.
Before being as I look now I think I've g
one through two or three stages, no more. The fact of the changes were due to not having experience in dealing with changing clothes and managing body changes. I did not even know about freebies, so at the beginning I tried building clothes myself. The look was not that of what I expected, but if I think seriously, I did not realize I could even be much better than I then looked.

(me on green clothes)

Then some day I came across a woman avatar who might have seen I could look better and took me shopping to 'freebies'. Sh
e first introduced me to some different 'hairstyles'. There she suggested changing my hair colour and style and I guess is what I am still wearing now. I was really happy and comfortable with that change.

(Me with blonde hair. I still did not know how to take pics of myself from the front! )

Little by little I understood where to go to get the clothes I wanted and I also learnt how to unpack those marvellous free boxes 'full' of different clothing styles.
So then I started trying them out to see me looking more like I really look or wear in RL.

My avatar tries to reflect what I really do in RL. I love swimming so, my first purchase after 2 years in second life was a swimming hud. I did really feel 'happy' wearing it since I got it in a special moment of my RL, where 2 months ago I was operated and had to stop swimming for 15 days in RL. That swimming hud was a 'perfect' complement, to see me practicing my be-loving sport inside SL.

The aim of my avatar is discovering the best ways to teach languages, so whenever I am in-world is to meet colleagues to brainstorm ideas about language learning, as well as to understand the usage of tools to help learning be more enjoyable and memorable.

Therefore the image I think my avatar reflects is similar to what I look like or would like to look like in RL. The major difference is in the colour of my hair, but once in RL I had my hair dyed blonde, so, it's not strange for me to see me that way.

I have to admit that what my avatar does not do is to change clothes very much, I found myself very comfortable in what I am wearing now - (guess I have not changed clothes for over 6 months now! )For sure this is something that really differs ' a lot' from my RL activity.
I guess that I am not that concern on impressing avatars on changing clothes but on remembering me for my way of being, curiosity and will to improve myself for the benefit of my students in SL.

Wonderalica Alturas

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Uruguayan TV Channel : Teledoce - recording my presence in SL


Yesterday, Teledoce, a Uruguayan TV channel came in Real Life to record about my presence in Second Life.
The purpose was to show Second Life as a innovative way for distance Education.
They arrived just for our usual Second Life weekly meeting with a group of Educators that is held every Friday at 11 SLT / 5pm Uruguayan time.

They could record through the laptop screen some tools that we had 'on show' to use in the classes. Also my colleagues introduced themselves to them and said where they were from and what they did.

Here are some snapshots from the moment that the TV was recording our meeting:

1) Alphabet game built by 'Calisto'

2) Our next stop at the front of my house in Second Life

3) Wonderalica (me) trying out the game

4) More snapshots taken by 'Steve' from the meeting and tour, including a board game I displayed. Pls click on the link:

5)Then my launchroom at
' Virtlantis' :

My launchroom is where people can contact me for in-world classes. We walked around and showed them how I could also fly inside Second Life.

Next Tuesday November 25th I will be interviewed on TV and it will be broadcasted 'live'. I'll try to show about:
a)the benefits of Second Life, b) who is present in Second Life and c) how all this started for me.

I'll also tell them about informal and formal ways of learning to use Technology for classes.

You can follow a short interviewed in Spanish in the written press :

I hope I will be able to include next Tuesday's live recording in this blog.

alicia (Wonderalica Alturas)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Micro-learning induction activity

Communicating : CHAT

After reading the four GKCx, Level 1 Modules 1-4, I've chosen the Communicating Chat mission to develop into an engaging task.

I would set this assignment for participants who will take part in a group class.


Chat is an essential tool to manage in-world to communicate with others, express feelings, post questions, etc. Chat will always be the rpimarily use for residents to communicate with peers since it si the toll they are used to managing when they communicate using other resources outside SL.

Activity: Managing IMs

Common chat is easy to handle once in SL. Personal IMs is a skill that needs to be developed.

Purpose of IMs in class

To communicate privately with your teacher or peers.
To avoid interfering when doing group work or pair activities and to be able to share their views without distracting other's attention.

Introductiory task : Show participants how to manage personal IMs

*Ask participants to open their 'Contact list'

*Tell them to touch the name of the person they would like to chat in private. (Once touched it will highlight with a blue colour)

* Ask them to press : IM/Call button (located at the top right column of the button list)

Next step should appear :

So, now ready to start chatting privately with your : partner /peer / group in class!

Engaging / playful task

The task should be called : 'What are they talking about?'

Separate pairs or groups to different areas previously determined. The areas should have at least 3 different topics for them to develop. Ask the pairs or groups to choose one of these topics and ask them to exchange ideas about what they see regarding: what for / where / to who / when / how often / how much, etc. (1)

When participants finish, they must come back with ideas but they should not share them with the rest of the groups.

Now it's time for the groups to 'guess' what topic they have been describing.

In turns groups should start asking 'Yes/No' questions, so as to guess which topic was exactly chosen to describe.
They should be clever enough to spot non common items inside the topic described so as to guess it the soonest. Would be suitable to assign a specific time for the task to add challenge to the activity.

Once guessed the pair who chose the topic should then describe in 'full' including all the elements they were asked to (1)

This activity is made by all the pairs or groups in turns.


*Managing personal IMs

*Describing objects and its use

*Managing 'Yes/No' questions

* Ability to summarize what discussed in groups

Optional: managing notecards to write down their reports.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

SL - Coming into land

In this occassion my comments will be about two orientation island for SL newbies.

The first one is NMC Orientation, a good tip to find it is :

Once in Second LIfe, click on : Map, and in 'search' write : NMC Orientation. The map will show you the place, and then just click 0n 'teleport.

Organization process is good, though rather long for true beginners. My suggestion is to do it step by step and then enter this orientation island as many times as you need to start learning different skills to manage in-world.

Support : You have visual aids in the format of panels

Activities to be done: Not specific ones. It is supposed that you will try out what they guide you to do through the panels

People: Unfortunately I found no one around to ask their opinions about.

Tedious: Could be the large number of panels to read.

Second Orientation island is : Orientation Station ( same suggestion as before, go to Map, write the name of the SIM and then click on 'teleport'.)

Organization process: Excellent. Very practical for real beginners. Easy to follow and comfortable to work with. Each skill you can try is separate in a close area, like a hut. This makes you focus on that only activity until you can master it as you wish. It's a very good idea that was developed. The only disadvantage I see is that there are still few skills to be managed. Hope they will add more!

Support : Through notecards that are given to you when touched the Second LIfe Logo inside each hut.

Activities: To be done by each avatar inside the hut.

People found : no - one around to ask how they felt.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My first steps in Second Life

A narrative about your first steps in Second Life:

My first steps in Second Life were exactly 2 years ago, which means October 30th 2006. Just remember clearly when I read the post in Webheads list about the usage of Second Life in Education.
I entered the web, downloaded the programme and the first thing I thought was : this is 'crazy', I can't really understand why people might need this.
Truly speaking, it took me some time to settle and understand the purpose. I can say that now I envision virtual worlds as the 'future for Online Educational programmes'

My first avatar was like small and without any personality inside. I did not know about 'Freebies' and I tried making clothes myself. I am not a good designer, so fortunately little by little I was changing it until what I look now.
I think I first visited Educational places that were recommended. Then I started to make my own way and try to see how everything worked. I can say that I do not remember there was an orientation island so, I had to learn on my own how to move and use different tools. Also the help of other visitors and colleagues who were always willing to share, were essential for me to improve my feeling confident inside Second Life.

I really found helpful people in SL and fortunately I never experienced any bad attitude against myself.
Summarizing I can say:

*Reading articles about Second Life is essential
*Being a member of SLED list
*Internal motivation to progress inside this virtual world.
*To be curious', and curiosity brings your need to explore the best for your students regarding online tools.