Sunday, 15 November 2009

Digital Literacies & E-safety Conference

Saturday November 14th - it has been in my diary for weeks as it was Leon Cych's Digital Literacies and E-safety Conference on the Learn4Life Island in Second Life.

Josie Fraser started the day with a really interesting presentation about Digital Literacy and Digital Footprint. She is very passionate about her work and hopefully, very soon there will be an audio presentation to listen to. One thing really surprised me about what she said – that although almost everything we do leaves a digital footprint what we do in Second Life doesn’t :-)
 As I do so much in there and record loads of it in Flikr or in the blog I am not convinced in my case.
It is a real issue for some people that with social networking sites such as FaceBook, and the efficiency of the search engines that we leave such a trail in our digital footprint. Employers know a lot about anyone going for a job interview before they ever get there. Apparently lack of a digital footprint is just as bad because if people are not good at social networking they may not be good at real life networking, or, know nothing about technology. Both of those issues are likely to cause problems in the work place!

My session followed – about how we are using Second Life as a teaching space for E-safety.

Leon Eyebeams Electricteeth Cych’s  Digital Literacies followed. Leon played a film clip by Howard Rheingold where he discusses the need for skill – actually using the ICT, but also he highlighted five key digital literacies which enable users to use it successfully and purposefully and enables teachers to deliver materials and facilitate learning: Attention, participation, collaboration, network savvy and critical consumption. We went off in groups to discuss these literacies but seemed to get caught up on why some colleagues do not have these skills. One of our group decided that it was not necessarily a resistance to ICT that some teachers demonstrate but a resistance to learning! They simply cannot be bothered to learn any more.

The day ended with a session on using Second Life as a teaching / learning medium from Chris ShamblesGuru Voom Smith where he discussed all of the tools and resources that people could find on ISI (International Schools Island) followed by a discussion on developing one PLN (Personal Learning Network). Lots of information and a clear view of how Chris organises his can be seen on

It was a very enjoyable day, thank you Leon :-)

Both Leon’s and Chris’s talks are below, hopefully Josie's will soon be.


Josie Fraser said...

Hi Carol & thanks for the mention :) The point I was making about Second Life was not that people don't generate presence & footprint from it - I talked about people using shots of their SL avvy's on other services for example - but that the content is not accessible in the same way as other platforms because of search indexing issues. So a public conversation I have in SL is not retrievable in the same way as a conversation I might have on twitter. Of course you can create artifacts and export them :)

Carolrb said...

Hi Josie, yes you are absolutely right. I still think that I have quite a large digital foorprint from Second life, I have been recorded, talked about it endlessly, blogged about it and shared many photographs :-) It is the way that I use it. Equally I know people whose real life identities are completely hidden in SL so if there is any digital footprint at all it is their avvy. That seems quite bizarre!

I really enjoyed the day and wish I could have got a video stream going :-(

subquark said...

Great post. I have used Second Life as an eLearning tool, mainly as an easy to use video studio with characters that never age or lose wardrobe (

However, seeing the latest changes in Second Life and the way Jokay was treated. I have ventured into an OpenSim grid hosted by Reaction Grid.

I am still in Second Life (I own 12 sims so am not eager to give those up), but can fully recommend OpenSim as a viable alternative for educational purposes.

It is also less expensive and strictly PG13. The costs are about 7% of Second Life (or 14% compared to the SL ed discount).

Carolrb said...

Hi David
Yes we are investigating other grids so that we can do projects with pupils. Hopefully after Christmas things will be changing for us too. However for adult cpd, particularly the e-safety where we need so few resources SL still works very well. As we only rent land in SL we are free to move easily. With the event that you already mentioned and more recently the charge for freebies on XstreeSL one has to wonder whether the Lindens are still committed to education. Sadly I am not convinced.We will keep using it until things change though - may see you in-world one day :-)

subquark said...

Hi Carol, it sounds as if you have great flexibility. Are you able to take advantage of the educational pricing Second Life offers? I know that in having sims, it gets costly renting space.

If you ever want to just pop into a private OpenSim grid, please let me know. I am new at it as well and we are not yet "hypergridded". What you would gain from taking a look is just seeing that your same skills are 100% transferable to an OpenSim Grid.

The unfortunate thing is that you will have none of your Second Life inventory. This was a big pain point for us. Especially for my lead developer, Ener Hax.

However, the greater flexibility has offset this and in the end, for us, is turning out much better.

We are creating all our buildings and furnishings from scratch. So simple things, like Aeron chairs, that we had bought for $1 in Second Life, we are now recreating. This allows us to make full copy versions for our future clients.

Anyway, as you can tell, I am somewhat passionate (and chatty) about virtual worlds!

Best of luck in all your endeavors and for being in the forefront of delivering knowledge!

Carolrb said...

If you have created items in Second Life you can transfer them to Opensim using Second Inventory or the Meerkat viewer. I was going to try transferring some to see how it goes.
What we could really do with is a big enough group who are willing to share their educational resources outside SL then life on the change over would be much easier.
I may well take you up on the offer of a visit though - maybe over Christmas when work is a little less demanding. Thank you :-)

subquark said...

Yes, I have been using Meerkat for buildings (I develop campuses from time to time). And it works rather well.

The issue with Meerkat are in textures. Maybe it is something I am doing wrong, but I can see my textures when using Meerkat, but if I log in as an alt or with Hippo, the textures are not there (but colour, glow, etc are).

It is easy to "backup" your items isl, then "import" in OpenSim. I just have to remember to name my object or it is just called "primitive".

That's all I need to do, carry over messy inventory practices into OpenSim! I have too many things simply called "Object" in my sl inventory, so maybe I can learn to be better in OpenSim! =)

Whenever you like, just give me a name for my little grid and I will register you. Once we are hypergridded you'll be able to use any OpenSim avatar you have made.