2008 was a lovely year for me. Family-wise nothing much changed, Andrew came to live at home again, short term apparently but we shall see, Phillip and Vicky announced their wedding plans and Woody started nursery where he almost certainly creates havoc most days J
We did not get away anywhere exotic, but did a lot of work on the house. Andrew’s return meant that we lost the guest room as he took over his old room so we stripped out two rooms that had been fitted for single beds with wardrobes, desk/ television areas etc. and made two new lovely rooms, one a double bedroom and the other two singles for visiting children. Both new rooms came into full use over the Christmas holiday as we have had a house full.
For me it was the BIG year for Second Life. I joined in 2007 but did not spend enough time in-world to get very interested before the Christmas 2007 holiday so almost all that I have learned and done in their has been this year. Over the Christmas holiday last year I was watching someone making something in the EduNation 11 sandbox, I can’t remember what now, but I asked the person creating how one could put a script into an object. That was a huge turning point for me, suddenly I realised how it was possible to create things and make then interactive in some way. I really have not looked back and though my skills are still pretty poor I have a wonderful time creating things, anything from simple alphabet blocks to huge musical balls that play as you walk through them. I have been interested in working with images and sound for ages so being able to bring them together in-world was great fun.
In Second Life too I have met a whole new group of friends; it was lovely to meet up with some of them at The London Language Show as well as at ReLive08. I fully intend to go to a conference in Cardiff in spring to meet at least another one J
The first big Second Life event I took part in at all was the SLanguages conference 2007, I was knocked out by the skills, knowledge etc. of the speakers there, the second big event I attended was one that I actually took part in – Burning Life. I did a musical soundscape build that visitors seemed to enjoy. That has gone to Teen Grid now for students there to enjoy. I would have loved to take part in the currently running WinterFaire, but do not have the necessary resources... maybe another year. I have attended loads of smaller events and joined a group of educators who meet regularly on Friday evenings so have learned lots about teaching in Second Life.
· Last year I was amazed by some of the educational builds in Second Life. I particularly liked the Multiple Intelligences, Giant Testes, Dante’s Inferno and Digital Storytelling builds. The artistry of some of the Burning Life builds such as the amazing music machine was just incredible, there were some weird and wonderful creations in the Second Life 5th Birthday celebrations as well as the beautiful builds in the Wintefaire.
Currently I am preparing an e-safety course to be presented in Second Life over the next few weeks, this is largely as an experiment but I am really looking forward to it. It would be good to be able to offer viable training courses in Second Life and for it to be an acceptable medium for training within the county. I am sure that will come eventually and I will try to keep improving my SL skills so that I am as ready as can be to take up the challenge when that time does arrive.
Twitter was new to me in 2008 as well. I am not sure when I joined but I think it was early in the year. My network of friends provides me constantly with up to date news, ideas, software to try, wikis and blogs to read, in short it has become my own personal learning network. Micro blogging is easy to keep up with, both the reading and the writing of short statements and ideas is manageable!
A few things I would like to learn in 2009
- To create machinima
- To improve my Second Life building skills enough to create a model of the Bliss Tweed Mill that is in Chipping Norton
- Greatly improve my scripting skills. I am still only playing with scripts created by other people, there is plenty of room for improvement!
- To get more familiar with the educational builds in Second Life. Last year I was amazed by many builds. Already this year I have spend hours in the Macbeth build which that is quite superb, I am sure there are many more that I have not found yet.
There must be loads more – I probably do not even know that they exist yet J