I added a section to the site that shows the two spaces I built for two institutions of higher education, one island for a small college, and one campus on a leased corner of an NMC island. Neither spaces exist anymore, but the pictures give an idea of how they were or might have been used. It takes both vision and commitment to make virtual worlds work in higher ed.
You can see the menu item at the top of the page, or visit the pages here:
A College Island
Community College Campus
Here’s a short video on the new feature of the Second Life® Beta viewer of placing a URL on the surface of a prim. You can interact with the loaded sites, including writing on a Google doc, using it as a whiteboard. You could load your LMS site and all your students could move through it independently. Lots of possibilities.
Try this link to the larger version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBZ5GUAQpmA
Here are a few stills of the URL on a prim feature:
If you have never been to Second Life, you might not have thought about how avatars communicate with each other. But you would be right to think that because the person behind the avatar is at a computer, typing to each other, as in any chat application, has been the common way to communicate. Much fun of the typing avatars has been made, as in this video that makes fun of the clunky movements of avatars in general:
So, for a long time, there were experiments with voice capabilities, until finally the whole world has voice. The Best Practices in Education 2007 conference I attended in May had voice presentations as well as typed chat ones. In that context, I did prefer voice, even though I still have reservations about it. Wait. What? You don’t think voice is a good idea?
Well, think about it (and a lot of people are), you can be anything of your creation as an avatar, and your typed words can be crafted to represent your in-world self. Your voice, however, may suggest things about you that you prefer to keep to yourself, and I don’t just mean that you might reveal a speech impediment, although that is one concern. Your avatar may be quite sophisticated in appearance, and your little girl voice would suggest otherwise.
What other characteristics of voice do you think might intrude on your SL experience? I haven’t talked to anyone, yet, so I can’t say for sure how I’ll feel, but at this moment, I’m worried that it will cross a barrier of intimacy that I’m not ready to cross. For teaching, I’m all for voice in that situation. You?
If you’ve never watched any of the Second Life video tutorials from Torley Linden, you are missing out on the joy of creation that infuses each of them. Torley describes himself as a “happy person,” and that obvious happiness is infectious. You just can’t get frustrated with the build features if you go to Torley for advice.
Here’s a good one on using/creating gestures: