Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Communication and Interaction Tools in Second Life

It's almost Christmas Eve and we have just finished our cooperative activity based on
'Communication and Interaction' tools in Second Life.

The activity involved was to collect a number of Educational tools that could be useful for teachers in Second LIfe to help their teaching where Communication and Interaction is involved.

It's been a very rewarding task. We have conformed a great group with Viki, Nergiz and Marga. The tasks were naturally divided and we found that we could complement each other perfectly well.

It's been not easy to meet in-world. The End of the year was near and all of us were
busy in our normal Real Life activities.But going back to our complementation as a group, the task could be fulfilled thanks to the cooperation of all the members. We had the luck to have Viki in our group, who is an expert in building and displaying our great BOOK where we are displaying a sample of the long list of Educational tools to develop communication in Second Life.

After deliberating we decided that a 'book' was going to be a good tool to show Educators our job, where they can take it with them and read it 'in-world' or use it as a HUD.

As I mentioned, Viki built the place where our book is displayed. YOu can see the picture here

Once you enter the place there is a 'Merry Go round' in the middle of the area where the books hung from the place giving the idea of 'movement and interaction', exactly what we will be looking for the moment you'll be experiencing the book. Image below:

Then, on both sides you have nice dispñays where the books are on show so about 6 educators can be reading the book at the same time without disturbing or waiting for others to finish.

Pages can be easily turned by touching on them. Fonts have been carefully chosen to be able to be read easily. Once reading the tool you have chosen from the 'content' page, a picture and a description of the tool on how to use it in your classes is written on the book, so you can choose and know how to make future use of it.

This Communication and Interaction book is also furnished with a notecard holding the same explanations as the book has plus the additional landmark where you can find the tool. We basically tried to include free tools in this sample, but you can find a further list on Muvenation wiki, which we will soon post.

The book can be rezzed and placed it in your favourite area to read it comfortably

or wear it as a HUD

and keep it with you while being teletransported from one sim to another to find the tools we have carefully recommended for you.

Viki,Daffodil,Paz and me, Wonderalica, hope you can find this book useful for your future development.

I take the chance to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2009. My warmest regards to Muvenation participants and all Educators who can find our job useful for their Educational lives inside Second Life!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Muvenation: Communication and Interaction tools in SL

The last activity of the year for Muvenation course was working in groups for the collection of educational tools. Among the educational tools that you can collect you can apply them for different purposes: communication and interaction, assessment and feedback, reflection, creationg of content, delivery learning material, etc.

As individuals we had to choose a purpose, and my choice was : communication and interaction. For that activity you had to create inside your group a hud, tour guide or book to show Educators about Educational tools you've chosen.

I found this proposed activity very challenging, since I immediately got enthusiastic. It was a chance to gather useful information for other educators about Educational tools that we can either know or discover and put them on show.

We are about to finish our project and in a few days I'll be able to post the work we've done in collaboration with other educators that participate in the same course.

(Wonderalica Alturas)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Weekly educational meetings

Every Friday at 11 am SLT we meet a group of educators who share views, experiences,etc. about teaching Languages in Second Life.

It's an international group that initially was formed by Nergiz Kern , Maru del Campo and me, Alicia Barbitta. We started with it in April 2008,and since then, we have consistently joined every Friday. Nergiz has built up a Wiki and we started sharing activities. Then I proposed opening it to other groups of Educators and now there are more than 40 who have joined us to collaborate in the wiki.

The number of Educators to the meetings have increased and now we are never alone.

Below you can see a collection of pictures taken by Steve, one of the participants.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Easy Photo Sharing

Monday, December 1, 2008

Curating our digital selves

Curating our digital selves - Activity 9 for Experienced users of Second Life in Muvenation course.

I did really have fun doing this activity. Playing with avatars gives you a special feeling. It makes you reflect on the influence your image can cause on others. I got several comments out of some
avatars I came across in SL when being someone else.

A colleague was surprised to see me as an animal...they never thought I could be that way. Another one told me ' If my daughter sees you, she'd definitely love your avatar'.

It was supposed to play with one avatar only, but I really got so enthusiastic that I wanted to know what I could feel in different situations. If I had to choose one of them, I would definitely choose to be a Triceropudos. It's really funny, friendly and gives a real sweet image despite its size!

Hope you enjoy the snapshots made in Muvenation platform where participants show their final production for this task.

The professional Avatar

The Professional Avatar

As an advanced participant of MUVEnation distance course the activity to be done for this week relates about reflecting on Professional Avatars.

We had to visit ISTE Island and stop at the station that deals with these Avatars. Here is what they show:
Reflecting on these pictures I guess it has been little biased. Texts are not focused on a 'style' but pictures are. They are really telling you that to be a professional you have to look that way, even in SL where it seems there is far more freedom to the way you look and be than in RL.

Reading the SLED posts you find a variety of opinions about professional looks in SL regarding teachers. Some people think you must be professional in the way you look while others mention that they can even find animal avatars as teachers.
From my point of view I think that what SL offers you is the ability to adapt to the teaching situation you are representing. I guess that in my Business English area I'd rather look similar to what I look in RL, though if I wanted to introduce free activities I'd really choose an avatar that would represent what we were dealing in the topic.
Regarding the fact that if there would be any appearance I would never use in Second Life, I guess I would never try to call my students' attention wearing provocative clothes in my Business English class.

I do consider myself rather conservative in the way I look in SL and I almost try to appear quite similar in the way I dress in RL . Nevertheless I do not take that much attention to changing my clothes as I daily do in my RL. There is so much to learn and investigate in SL that changing clothes is not my first aim.