This week, I had a first formal virtual meeting in SL. Michele Ryan took me on a guided tour to several interesting places in SL. These included a replica of the Sistene Chaple in Rome (which was beautiful crafted but no interaction or embedded meta and para data), a live class taking place in a very unconventional manner (for real life anyway) and a ‘collection’ of poetry which had been opened at a live event in SL the night before. This was a great opportunity to test the water with both a more formal than usual meeting and the use of voice communication in SL. The main things I took from the meeting are as follows.

Effective learning activities must be constructive. Simply clicking on images and getting information (such as text metadata) will soon bore the learner. The use of audio and video can be effective here, as will some well thought out learning activities – particularly ones that employ problem based learning.

Voice is not yet working as well as was hoped. I learnt that anyone who strays too far away from the speaker will lose the audio as the volume reduces. But more importantly, the audio began to break up so badly at one point that we had to move over to the telephone. However, when the audio did work I found that I liked the sense of the real person that came through. This is obviously suitable for some situations but maybe not others. It was definitely a lot slower conducting an interview in SL using audio then it is on the phone though. It was strange that the lack of no verbal cues affected the SL voice chat more profoundly than they do on the telephone. Perhaps we are used to and trust the conventions of the telephone but expect something different, new and unfamiliar in SL, which affects communication efficiency.

There is so much going on in Second Life from an education perspective that there is no way we can learn about it all within the scope of this project. As soon as we have a good grasp we should move onto the next stage of the project.

Michele also gave me some groups to approach about solving our issue that kids cannot be allowed to use SL, e.g. Global Kids who have done a lot in the teen grid.


One Response to “Nic”

  1. Kate Boardman Says:

    Don’t forget that voice can be set to camera or avatar position, and that might affect the way you use it or feel it to be successful.
    Do also go check out the Assisi build – as impressive if not more than the Sistine Chapel, and there’s a guided tour HUD available too.

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