Sunday, 8 February 2009

Touring EduNation

Twice over the weekend I have been fortunate enough to take visitors from the EVO VWll 2009 course in Second Life on a tour of EduNation ll, one of the three islands own by The Consultants-E.

It was almost inevitable that as I was getting ready and putting things out that I needed SL Voice told me it had caused an error and closed. Thinking this was on my computer I closed everything and restarted the computer, later I learned that it was in SL! Everyone had to relog at least once, and I had to a few minutes into the session – so not a brilliant start! Actually this served me right becasue I had been saying how secure voice is in Second Life to Dennis the night before :-)

However once we really got going everyone enjoyed looking at the free resources made available by EduNation owner Gavin Dudeney, many of these resources were demonstrated at the teaching tools sessions. We visited the seminar space where “A Coffee with…” sessions are held, delegates had the opportunity to sign up for them and were given the web address to catch up with those they had missed.  They thought the video booths where new avatars can go and learn new skills such as editing one’s appearance, taking photographs, teleporting, setting up voice, dealing with one’s inventory and building were very useful, several people intend coming back and visitng. They were slightly worried that they were only there for this weekend.

After seeing them many came back to take advantage of the relaxation places, the beach and beach bar, plus all of the canoes during the weekend.  We visited the club and danced to Noel Gallagher – some danced their way out to the classroom area where the Slexperiments group meet and beyond – we had to go back to the club to stop them dancing :-)

Visitors especially liked the amphitheatre where we stopped to watch Robbie Dingo’s “Watch the World” and those who wished to signed up for the two forthcoming conferences Wireless SL and Slanguages 2009.

We had visitors from all around the world, one person had come in at 4am in her time to attend – that is well beyond the call of duty by anyone’s standards – glad you enjoyed it Sunshine :-)

Probably the bit people enjoyed most was the 15 minutes we spent on the decks solving riddles in groups, a few minutes of fun as a demonstration to a wonderful teaching space where group discussions can take place. This was a highlight of both sessions.

I had planned what I thought would take an hour, but due to the fact that everyone was new to SL, we had a few techie problems to start with, the first one was far longer! The second session was fine tuned and did not take much more than the hour, but delegates took the opportunity of spending a further couple of hours in the sandbox trying out many of the new tools. We had Vocab-u-matics, Brain boards, Word Grids, presenters and at least one Treasure Hud spread around the sandbox.

I really enjoyed the sessions and believe that many of the delegates did too! Several people are looking for spots in EduNation where they can teach now – one is even doing a session for her University today – go for it Avieli – Good Luck!

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