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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Week Six of Learning in 3D: More Tech problems and Virtual Morocco

So, I thought only technical problems could occur in Maine (see week five post). Not true. Here in my hometown the internet failed me. Luckily after some frantic struggling I was able to get online. No wonder they call it the "bleeding edge."

After the technical difficulties, the class took a wonderful tour of Virtual Morocco led by none other than Ann Enigma (AKA Hilary Mason). She is a pioneer in SL and a professor of New Media/Computer Science at Johnson & Wales University. A great tour and a wonderful learning experience. She described how the place was built, the group's trip to real Morocco and the issues they have run into while doing pioneering work within SL...such as not having a back up to the island...make a mistake and you could destroy the entire island.

Ann (SL Name) also described how she and her group created the Info-Fez that provides factual data to anyone wearing the Fez as they walk around. The Fez is open source and is being used on a number of islands. It is a great way to inform learners without handing out a bunch of Note Cards all the time (that can get lost in inventory.)

Here is a photograph of our tour guide and one of her students.

And what is a visit to Morocco without a little belly dancing? Here some class members try it out...(notice the instructor is just watching, even in SL he's not really that good of a dancer.)

So thanks to Ann/Hilary who I met at a conference and thank her for her generous time. Her blog is 3greeneggs. Check it out.

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Anonymous said...

The last class for me was very frustrating because Second Life kept crashing on my computer repeatedly. What I was able to join of the Morocco tour was very exciting and fun. Thanks overall Dr. Kapp for an interesting class.

Jennifer Cerreta

Anonymous said...

The virtual tour of Morocco was great -- it was really neat to be able to see what it looked like without actually going there. The group did a really nice job with that location.

I was doing fine, technical wise, until about 8:15 when I got kicked out of Second Life. When I tried to log back on it said that "Second Life is closed for Maintenance". I doubt it really was, but it wouldn't let me do anything else with it, even after a reboot and then a shutdown. Despite this technical difficulty, the class overall was great and really got me thinking about different possibilities in learning. Thanks!

Kim Shaw said...

For me, the last class was one of the best! I had no technical issues and really enjoyed Ann's tour of virtual Morocco. It was interesting to see what students at a college level are doing with Second Life and to hear what they will be using the area for in the future.

Having the PowerPoint slides up on MSIT Island was also a great addition. Once we decided to have people type a ? in the text chat before speaking, it cleared up the confusion of many people speaking at once that occurred in class 5. All in all, this class was a great experience! Thanks Dr. Kapp.

Kim Shaw

Unknown said...

I agree with Kim that this was one one of the best classes for me. I didn't have technical problems and thoroughly enjoyed the tour of Virtual Morocco. I had visited that site before, but didn't realize that it had been built as a class project in cooperation with the Moroccan government. I found it interesting that students studying hospitality had a hand in creating this virtual tourism site.

It's funny how your impression of how the class is going can be so different from someone else's in a virtual world. It's hard to tell what the people represented by the other avatars around you are really experiencing. At one point during Ann's presentation, Yz Oh asked me if I knew what was going on. Ann had just given an interesting synopsis of another virtual world project she's involved with. I replied to Yz Oh, "Did you hear Ann's presentation?" and surprisingly about ten people responded, "no."

This class really got me thinking about the educational applications of virtual worlds. I learned a lot about Second Life that I didn't know before. Thanks for a great class!

Marnie Welliver said...

Great Last Class! It just goes to show all of the unique and different learning opportunities that are available in Second Life not only for students but teachers as well. I enjoyed Morocco very much. I'm sure a lot of instructional design came into this process of development. It took them two years to complete it and you can tell that they worked hard.

Thanks Dr. Kapp for giving us a starting foundation for instructional design in a 3D Virtual World.

Dawn said...

The virtual tour of Morocco was good. Ann did a great job of leading us around and explaining the culture behind their creation.

The additions on MSIT island were helpful. The power point slides created a more organized overview of what to expect. Creating the procedure for use of the voice feature was very helpful and made things much more organized and easier to follow.

I have learned a great deal and appreciate the experience. Thanks Dr. Kapp!

Katie Rebilas said...

What a creative and useful idea a virtual tour of Morocco was. It was very informative and enjoyable. The impact and creativity of the projects created in Second Life continued to amaze me week after week. The virtual 3D nature of this class challenged me to think of learning in new dimensions, and for that, I am grateful! Thanks, Dr. Kapp, for a great class.

Anonymous said...

I really like the last class in which we have a guest professor who showed us how they built the morocco virtual enviornment. I think it should be a wonderful experience.
And also to have a powerpoint slides brought into Second life was really cool, I hope later on I could know how to do it. :)

Thank you Dr. Kapp, thank you for leading us into this virtual world.

Yuming :)

Anonymous said...

Once again great class. Nice end to a wonderful six weeks. Things that I could not even imagine two months ago started to become real and take shape in these 3D worlds. The Morocco tour was very cool; it made you feel like you were actually there. Crashing problems however, were still a problem. I crashed three times within three hours. Thanks, Dr. Kapp for a great class.

-Chase Winters-

Rebekah Simonds said...

Ironically, this was the first time I encountered a significant technical problem in SL. As Mary Ann pointed out, I lost my audio connection during the tour of virtual Morocco. Later, I realized that my audio settings automatically changed when I transported to Casablanca. I was very disappointed when I realized that I missed what Ann said. However, the site was fascinating and I got the gist of what she was talking about from the text chat.

I wish we could have recorded the class like we do with Centra. Perhaps key moments of future classes can be recorded as machinimas.

Dr. Kapp, thank you for taking the risk to pioneer a course in this relatively new medium. Although many of us had periodic technical difficulties, overall this course was a wonderful experience.

Yz Oh

Anonymous said...

Technical problems on my end had me missing the class as well. Virtual Morocco?! Aaaargh, looks like I missed out on a good one.

This class has been so interesting. Such a great six weeks. Thanks Dr. Kapp!

Anonymous said...

Great job! I was in Morocco and miss this country. And now I can look at virtual Morocco and enjoy! Morocco is a beautiful country, with its ancient towns, coastal resorts and snowy peaks. This North African kingdom boasts 1,400 miles of coastline, year-round sunshine and an open invitation to tourists and investors all over the world.