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Second Life in 3600 seconds - Staff development week at ILRT 2007

Second Life in 3600 seconds - Staff development week at ILRT 2007



An approximation of an in-world presentation within and about Second Life, given to staff at ILRT. Slides showing my avatar wearing a t-shirt were not used in-world - instead my avatar changed ...

An approximation of an in-world presentation within and about Second Life, given to staff at ILRT. Slides showing my avatar wearing a t-shirt were not used in-world - instead my avatar changed t-shirts live in-front of the audience.



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Second Life in 3600 seconds - Staff development week at ILRT 2007 Second Life in 3600 seconds - Staff development week at ILRT 2007 Presentation Transcript

  • Second Life in 3600 seconds or “My life in the bush of avatars”
  • Second what?
    • 3-D virtual world
    • MUVE
    • run by Linden Lab
    • ‘ proprietary’, but public commitment to open standards and OSS
    • populated by avatars, aka residents
  • Joining SL
    • two steps
      • register
      • install client software
    • note technical requirements
  • What does it cost?
    • basic accounts are free
    • need to pay monthly subscription ($10) to own land
    • land can be quite expensive
    • ‘ land use fees’ for owning more than smallest plot
  • Finding out more
    • SLED list – run by Linden Lab, US-centric but is the main forum for learning-related SL issues
    • secondlife@jiscmasil.ac.uk (UK)
    • alliancesecondlife@googlegroups.com (libraries)
    • in-world UK Educators group (open and free to join)
    • lots of Second Life Facebook groups
    • pointers to other resources on the Linden Lab Second Life Grid education page
  • Building and selling stuff
    • anyone can build
    • objects made out of basic building blocks – prims (cubes, spheres, …)
    • objects can be textured for realism – but uploading costs L$10
    • objects can be scripted
    • in-world currency enables buying and selling of goods
  • So it’s just a game right?
    • can use SL to build games – including shoot ‘em ups
    • but such activities frowned on in public spaces
    • looks and feels like a gaming environment
    • but no purpose as such
      • use it to buy / sell, entertain, learn, collaborate, …
    • do not approach it simply as a game – you’ll be disappointed!
    image by J0@nn@ @ flickr.com
  • Naming / identity
    • every avatar has a name
    • chosen at registration
    • can’t be changed
    • though can have ‘Alt’s
    • mine is Art Fossett - not an anagram!
  • Identity / appearance
    • on the Internet no one knows you’re a dog
    • in SL no one knows you’re a bloke
    • appearance can be changed instantly
    • wings and tails (‘furries’) seem oddly popular!
  • Communication
    • chat
    • IM
    • group IM
    • IM <-> email
    • voice – however support for voice fairly recent and not clear what impact it is having
  • SL and Web 2.0?
    • prosumer
    • remote apps
    • social
    • API
  • SL APIs
    • scripting language can issue HTTP GET and POST requests
    • can integrate with Web 2.0 services
    • but significant limitations currently
    • no built-in HTML, XML or JSON parsers so need to parse externally
    • SLURLs can be bookmarked in del.icio.us
    • some good examples – Second Talk, SLoodle, SLtwitter, BlogHUD, RSS readers, Facebook
  • Hype
    • SL very over-hyped
    • significant complaints that stats are misleading
    • i.e. worse than Web stats
    • LL have improved the way they report usage but…
    • SL also (inappropriately) touted as Web 3.0
  • Usage statistics
  • July 2007 survey of 501 students aged 16 to 18 from across the UK, commissioned by the JISC http://tinyurl.com/yw8mvx
  • Second Life appeared to be an idea for people older than themselves, for the generation above who were interested in technology for its “own sake”. This is perhaps why the idea amused our participants and why they felt it was “sad”. The implications here for HEIs are that they cannot assume that presenting new technologies automatically makes their institution more youth-friendly – this new generation like to see the concrete benefits of technologies. When discussing Second Life, students felt that games and virtual worlds as part of learning could easily become “tragic” – technology being used for its own sake, and used rather childishly. They would need to understand the educational benefits of virtual worlds or games, it is not enough that they are simply ‘new’. http://tinyurl.com/yw8mvx JISC, July 2007
  • Uptake in UK
    • July 2007 snapshot of use of SL in UK HE and FE
    • undertaken by John Kirriemuir
    • funded by Eduserv
    • fragmented and somewhat cloudy picture
    • activity happening at multiple levels – sometime within same institution – not always visible, even within the institution
    • series of snapshots planned over next 12 months
  • Major findings
    • some SL activity at 43 institutions
    • 15 of those building an institutional presence
    • what are they doing?
      • small-scale activities…
      • hosting exhibitions of students’ work
      • researching possibilities
      • building tools
  • SL and learning
    • widespread interest in use of SL in education
    • explicitly encouraged by Linden Lab
    • not clear that people really know how to use SL yet
    • but some interesting examples of use
    • arts, social sciences, law, psychology, archaeology, languages, …
  • SL and research
    • even less clear what is possible here
    • but note that Nature Publishing have an 2 islands (‘Second Nature’)
  • SL in context
    • SL is one of many virtual worlds
    • there.com, World of Warcraft, Entropia Universe, Active Worlds, Croquet, Metaverse, …
    • not clear that SL is the answer
    • SL client now released as open source
    • clear demand for server to made OSS also
    • some commitment to this by LL (partly because people are reverse-engineering the server anyway)
  • Conclusions…
    • too much hype
    • no clear best-practice around e-learning
    • high technical requirements
    • impact of voice not clear
    • but… useful experimental environment
    • building and scripting environment very powerful
    • seems likely that 3-D virtual worlds of some kind will be part of the future
          ?
  • Conclusions…
    • sustainability, ownership and privacy issues around use of and reliance on US-based commercial-run, externally hosted service
    • unclear what student perceptions and attitudes are
    • but generally accepted that SL is a minority sport at the moment and is likely to remain so
    • SL appears to be most suitable for active, constructive learning styles
     ? ? ?
  • questions…