Thursday, 25 February 2010

The New SL Browser

Well I am trilled to bits by the changes in the new SL browser!
I am not going into great detail – there is plenty of that around, I will just list a few of the things I have done over the last two nights :-)

•    Shared an etherpad with loads of people – including using the log in facility to keep it private to a group of learners
•    Streamed myself into SL through Twitcam – entertaining – the virtual me watching the real me :-)  but very easy if you want to do it
•    Pete shared his desktop with me through Adobe Connect – and we played a video from his computer into SL
•    Nergiz started a DimDim session that we could join in with, and see her broadcasting live into SL
•    We shared several Flickr photo slideshows
•    We played a slideshare presentation
•    I added loads of different web pages to a cube prim – these were scrollable and the links worked
•    We updated – between a group of us – Moodle, our VLP, our Nings, our blogs and Twitter – logging in and updating
•    I – sorry, rather childish I know – played Tetris and an assortment of other Flash and drag and drop games.
•    I played videos from a variety of places – some of which are not available on You Tube but will be very useful in my teaching in SL.

I have several more experiments to do tomorrow but so far I am really thrilled with what I have seen of it and the potential that it opens up to learners and teachers in Second Life.

Thanks to Graham, Anna, Nick, Pete, Nergiz, Marisa and Leon – in fact anyone who came along this evening and had a play with whomever of the group were experimenting.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Holodecks in EduNation

St Valentine’s day evening in Second Life Osna and Mary put on a  Holodeck Faire where people shared their holodeck scenes. There were several amazing builds on show! The project was part of the Teaching and Learning in Virtual Worlds course.

It was so well attended we ran out of space on ENll and spread onto the second sandbox in EduNation. There were many people all interested in the scope of using holodecks for teaching languages in Second Life.

The real virtue of a holodeck is that if you have a comparatively small plot of land somewhere you can rez a whole scene to teach in and replace it instantly with another. So, for example, you may have the airport scene, where a visitor arrives in a new country and practices the language involved there, followed by situations like the taxi and address systems, registering in the hotel, dinner, breakfast, arranging meeting times offer more scope.

I lost track of the number of scenes I visited tonight but among them were

·         An aquarium

·         A French class with masses of self study resources

·         A church in Venezuela

·         A shop in Venezuela

·         A castle

·         A forest scene

·         Meditation Tower

·         Dogme Gardens

·         A tree house

·         A night club with a wonderful rainy road leading to it

·         A haunted house

·         The Mad Hatter’s Tea party

·         A pyramid

·         A temple

·         The Black Cat Nightclub

·         An Asylum

·         A maze

·         An auditorium

·         A lecture hall
Lots of people attended, the sims were quite full at times. There was lots of networking with people sharing ideas and planning to work together to produce educational resources. It seemed to me to be a hugely successful night and I must congratulate Mary and Osna who ran it, it was a good idea that worked very well. To see a whole set of photographs visit Flickr.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

First Greek Lesson :-)

Probably my last too. I am sure I have already been disowned, when, two hours after the lesson I could not answer the questions!

In Second Life this week Marisa Constantinides did a beginners' Greek lesson. We started in EduNation where we stood on a world map to show where we came from.  We learned the names of our countries and had a game to see who could get to the country named in Greek the quickest - Karelia won with Pawlus a close second - spot the competitive students :-) We moved on to ask where does one come from and reply.

After that we learned to say what our names were and to ask others what their names were. Marisa had prepared a vocabulary board that played the recorded lines as you touched it. She gave us all a copy so that we can practise at our leisure!

We moved from EduNation to Santorini, a Greek sim. There we chatted and finished the lesson with a Greek dance. It was great fun but it is very hard to see how the letters in the Greek alphabet relate to anything that we already know :-)

Now I just have to keep practising!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Word it Out

A new program akin to Wordle - experimenting here :-)

I took the words from the new National Curriculum, essential skills for life section Literacy Maths and ICT - starting to get familiar with it :-)

Made with WordItOut

The blog post here  makes it sound more versatile than Wordle but I must admit to loving the different word directions and rich colours of Wordle. They are very similar though - another lovely educational resource :-)