As noted in this recent blog post, the most recent Second Life viewer allows you to choose a name to display with your avatar. Previously, you could only display your avatar name, which could be confusing to colleagues and students, “Hey, it’s me, really.” Now, you can edit your profile, adding a name you prefer to display. As you can see in this snapshot, I changed my display name to Dr. Pittman. You can also still see my avatar name–Grinn Pidgeon–but that’s a choice. In my preferences, I opted to show both. You can show one or the other, both or neither.
Some educators will always want to be known by their real names; others prefer that you learn to know them as their avatars. I’ve been Grinn Pidgeon since 2006 and think it’s kind of odd to see my real name there, but I’ll try it for a while to see how it feels. What do you think you would do? Would you want to ask your students to show their real names or a “course” name that you pick for them?