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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Gadgets, Games and Gizmos: Attending an ISTE Meeting in SL


Last night I attended my first meeting in Second Life. It was sponsored by the International Society for Technology in Education better known as ISTE. (that's me in the hat with the blue and black striped shirt.)

It was facilitated by Kittygloom Cassady. She did a great job! I kept the bubbles over everyone's head for the picture to show a little of the environment in which the chat took place. We had about 22 folks attend the meeting.

The diverse group is trying to work toward determining the best ways of teaching within a virtual world. We heard examples of mock courts, English as a Second Language (ESL) and the creation of ancient cities as well as role-plays.

The meeting was, at times, chaotic with many people chatting and, I noticed, Second Life doesn't really have any classroom management features, it is hard to tell who raised their hand first and a little difficult to avoid one person talking over another. Also, when people got "bored" they would stand or even fly or jump...interesting, never had that in an actual classroom (flying that is)



One thing I think that should happen once a meeting starts is that protocols are created for making the meeting effective. For example, have chat words like DONE at the end when a person is done with their comments. Don't raise your hand or ask to speak until the person has indicated DONE. Perhaps take questions from left to right so that it is orderly.

These are just some ideas. It really reminded me of when virtual classrooms like Centra started to appear, eventually the software grew into its use by the pioneers.
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3 comments:

BARTON said...

Second Life is working with a voice over IP vendor to tie in voice communication to their world. I havne't used the service yet, but what I found successful:
http://www.ventrilo.com/
http://www.goteamspeak.com/

These are voice communication servers (or services, you can purchase a hosted server) that run fine behind the second life client. Very eash to bring people together and talk while in SL, and also easy to split students into teams via various channels on the voice servers. Works well. There's nothing worse than having 20 people waiting on a slow typer to finish a comment in Second Life...totally kills the flow and spontanaity of things.

Jason Kojtek said...

I saw this article and thought you would enjoy it

http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/02/10/second-life-census/

Karl Kapp said...

Jason,

Thanks for the lead, I am going to make it an official "post."