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First Day

by admin on August 20th, 2007

Class begins today, well at 6:00 PM tonight and a journey that started almost a year ago when I first went into Second Life to “look around” is coming full circle as I introduce 300+ students to the platform. I am very nervous!

Teaching 4

The build by Davina Glitter (aka Davina Hovanec in RL)
Davina Glitter
is incredible (IMO) and has 3 separate areas for viewing my lectures. Why lectures in Second Life (they will also be made available on the web and as an iPod video download)? Simply because I believe that there will be myriad benefits for watching my lectures in small groups as opposed to alone in a dorm room or office cubicle or campus lab. Back channel chat and IM can happen, something that doesn’t happen in a classroom or certainly if you are alone. How many will choose to watch in Second Life remains an open question, compared to one-click on a web site, Second Life poses hurdles the students will have to jump over:

  1. Have the proper computer
  2. Navigate to the class parcel
  3. Turn on media controls
  4. Sit (well OK you don’t have to sit, but all AVs do)
  5. Manipulate camera controls to view the video best

So that’s a whole lot more then just one-click, but should be worth it in the end.

The 3-D interactive accounting content is ready to go (though I’m quite sure I’ll be tweaking scripts for the next few weeks).

I’ve enjoyed my journey and have been blown away time and time again by amazing people, amazing builds and the amazing possibilities – it is time now to see what the students think. Update: Class is over and students seemed overwhelmed a bit about Second Life but also the other technology I’m using: Twitter, Meebo, Cmap Tools. I think once they get over the shock it will be alright.

So far the tool being used amazingly well is Meebo, an IM tool. I’ve embeded a Meebo widget into the class wikispace and students have been IM’ing me all day with questions, some before class even started! – what an easy tool to use. I’ve had more IM’s the first day then I received over the last several semesters.

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