I had intended that the post Connected World in Second Life would be my last in the series on Second Life (SL) this month. Well, I just have to squeeze in another.
Being a new ISTE member and an avid enthusiast for learning,
I happened to touch down on ISTE Island yesterday and met up with friend and fellow educator, Louise Borgnine.
She was assisting with the first of a series of intermediate sessions for educators in SL facilitated by Southern Georgia.
The objective was to learn how to do things that will enhance teaching presentations in SL. The venue was over at Brahma.
Being new to all of what is SL, and in much need of the associated skills, I accepted Louise’s advice to teleport to the workshop.
The number of attendees was impressive. I must say that I found the facilitators extremely helpful. When I got stuck (and I did!) there was no end of assistance ready at hand. That’s what good keen educators are like I guess. Always ready to help a willing learner.
Something else impressed me, and that was how wonderful it was to arrive at a distant venue, be attending a session with people from different countries, and be greeted with the customary formalities without having to shift out of my ergonomic chair.
Kallan, wearing his ISTE student badge
There were other features that made me feel welcome. It was a participatory session. I was recognised by the facilitator by name, and he acknowledged me being there more than once. That was something special for one who is so new to SL and feeling a bit anonymous.
Then there were the facilitators, among them docent Tuxedo, who was kind and helpful. She was especially helpful when I dropped my laptop and got left behind. Tuxedo helped me pick it all up, and got me started again and following Southern’s instructions.
This was no ordinary workshop, yet it had the presence and feel of a real life workshop.
I learnt a lot. I even got some session notes to take away, as well as a free digital TV presentation screen, which I managed to get working.
“What’s with SL?” I hear my readers say. What’s possessed Blogger in Middle-earth to let himself be led astray by all this virtual reality stuff?
I read some comments to that effect on a post only a day or so ago.
No. I don’t think I’m being led astray here. It is the reality of virtual conferencing – no less contrived than video conferencing, with a lot more freedom to move about and participate.
We had a participatory session at the end when Southern rallied us to flex our new-learnt skills in a game of look and see – an active finish to a rigourous session in using the camera facility in SL.
A transparent dice box, suspended in mid virtual space, rolled the dice for us to observe and call. It wasn’t easy, for we had to navigate our cameras in which ever direction was called, to declare the numbers on the dice. It was fun – as much fun as I have had at many well run training sessions in real life.
Next day, I dropped into the ISTE Conference Centre to be greeted yet again with a welcoming smile, this time from docent Mo Hax. He was kind enough to chat and pass on to me his useful site on SL.
These people are volunteers. They are trained educators and they are teaching their hearts out in SL. I might just drop in on another session some time soon. What do you reckon?