- Last year, I listened to Clare Atkins talk of Koru at the DEANZ Conference, Wellington. I watched as Nancy White met with Clare (or rather Choconancy1 met with Arwenna) on Koru Island, just one of many virtual islands in Second Life (SL).
This weekend I ventured into Second Life as a first time visitor. Here are my first impressions.
Having done the requisite registration and created my avatar, I set off to visit ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Island.
I followed the link to Blogger’s Hut given to me by Scott Merrick who announced the nomination of this blog for Blog-o-the-Month sponsored by ISTE.
Getting the hang of a few mobility controls was easy, assisted by an easy-to-follow tutorial.
Blogger’s Hut sits among many other similar and some larger buildings, as well as stadia, conference centres and concourses on the island - an educator’s dream. The Island’s clean, freshly cropped grassy terrain and its shrubs and trees reminded me of Kinloch, a little village on the North Shore of Lake Taupo, New Zealand.
I felt quite at home walking about the precincts of the hut. I met Scott’s friendly ginger pussy-cat snoozing nearby.
I think I was extremely fortunate to meet up with a few very helpful ISTE Second Life members, among them PZ Zadark, from Mexico, who took me off to meet Snowflake and Aviva. After a brief conversation following introductions, Aviva invited me to become an ISTE SL member, which I accepted.
Exploring the Island was an experience. I enjoyed the flying – a far more efficient way of moving about from place to place on an island. Having got the hang of flying and then returning to terra firma, as it were, I happened to be soaring across the Monroe Public School building, when I decided to drop down to have a look.
Unfortunately, I stopped flying immediately above the swimming pool there, only to find that I dropped right to the bottom of the pool.
No problem. It’s SL. I started to explore underwater and was delighted to see that the pool designer had a sense of humour. Along the base of the pool is a lamp-lit street with a mural of the moon on one side and a couple of what look like vacant shop premises on the other.
One of the shops sports the sign, “Second Life Education Resources”! Now that’s funny!
PZ also gave me the teleport coordinates for the Science Centre, Info Island. I teleported straight to Info Island! Best ever way to travel.
This was a most interesting excursion. I visited a memorial exhibition, Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts Gallery, in memory of author Philip José Farmer who died early this year. It features Cover Art from International Exhibitions of his works.
I recalled my experience in the swimming pool when I came across dolphins frolicking in the water outside Bradley University main building. I didn’t pass up the experience of having a virtual swim with the dolphins.
Living in New Zealand means that at certain times during the day there would be very few educators who would be visiting ISTE Island. Most of my time was spent exploring alone. But on one occasion, early on, and being new to teleportation, I happened to choose ‘Go Home’ when selecting a destination. I found myself at Bay City Airport.
This destination was not the most enamouring. Lots of people there. But like most airports I’ve been to, it made me feel I wanted to teleport out of the place, soon as.