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UT Arlington in Second Life: Past, Present, Future


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UT Arlington in Second Life: Past, Present, Future

  1. 1. UT Arlington in Second Life Past, Present, and Future University Library Committee-November 9, 2010 Sarah Jones, UT Arlington Library
  2. 2. UTA in Second Life: The Backstory  University of Texas System grant: "Transforming Undergraduate Education“ -- (July 2009-July 2010) pioneered by Dr. Leslie Jarmon, UT Austin  One year's funding for land for all campuses and health science centers  The first university system-wide initiative  Goal: Virtual Learning Community  Researchers, instructors, students, administrators, staff  Cost savings for travel  Environmental sustainability: travel, brick & mortar overhead  Addition to DE toolkit  Exploration of immersive environment for education
  3. 3. Accomplishments  Facilities for meetings, classes, study groups, conferences, and exhibitions – see the UTA Island Directory  Interest meetings, Information Fair, Focus on Technology, New Maverick Orientation, Welcome Week Open House  Press coverage: The Shorthorn, The 33 News  Class activities: Nursing, English  FLOC exhibit on food sustainability  Website with info, tutorials, and resources / Facebook page & Twitter feed  College of Nursing Genomics Journal Club  Undergraduate advising for the Department of Sociology & Anthropology  UT System Undergraduate Conference  “The Value of Second Life to Nursing” continuing education workshop
  4. 4. UT Arlington in Second Life
  5. 5. Conference Room
  6. 6. Open-air Classroom
  7. 7. Academic Commons
  8. 8. UT Arlington Conference Center
  9. 9. Conference Center Exhibit Hall
  10. 10. Places to relax
  11. 11. Places to think
  12. 12. Challenges  Challenges:  Technology – graphics card, processor speed, broadband internet  Acculturation – being represented as an avatar in a 3D, synchronous, shared online environment  Translation – pedagogy and research in a virtual world  But.. A view to the past…
  13. 13. UTA Web Site, June 1997
  14. 14. UTA Library Web Site, June 1997
  15. 15. A View of the Past  Evolution of the UTA web presence over 15 years  Adoption of WebCT 10 years ago  UTA hosted blogs as a response to faculty using Blogger  The challenges of getting syllabi posted online  Even email until relatively recently  Student MavMail  Library paper overdue notices  Virtual Worlds – revisiting the web of the mid 1990s
  16. 16. So, why Second Life?  Sense of Self  Sense of Place  Sense of Presence  Immersive, sensory experience  Synchronous, collaborative environment – more engaging than a web or video conference  Cost-effective alternative to travel, commuting, parking
  17. 17. The Future  Year One: funded by the UT System, with support from the Library (1/2 of my time)  Year Two: funded jointly by the Office of the Provost, the Library, the College of Nursing and the College of Liberal Arts  Beyond?  Closer collaboration with other UT System schools to share space and resources  Exploration of companion platforms (rapid growth among educators, less expensive, but technical challenges behind the scenes)  Research into locally hosted compatible spaces
  18. 18. The Future  Millions of kids, tweens and teens are currently using online social spaces and games  Already accustomed to being represented as an avatar  Already accustomed to the style of interacting, moving, and using an online 3D environment  Will we be ready when they get to college?
  19. 19. UT Arlington in Second Life UTA SL website -  Follow on Facebook or Twitter or read postings on the site  Log in directly to UTA land Contact me: Sarah Jones - University of Texas Arlington, Digital Library Services In SL: Razitra Artizar (Raz)