Friday, 8 June 2007

Meeting in Abo Akademi in SL

Meetings in SL: 1 (good); Coursework marked in RL: 5 and a half (it's a start)

Arrive yesterday in SL for inaugural Meeting of Information Literacy group feeling Nervous. Loiter under cherry tree. See AM at transfer point and dash up. Say "Hi, I'm Sheila ;-)", somewhat superfluous when one has
B5 fan
Sheila Yoshikawa
written over one, as noted before, but introduction seems only polite. However AM stands unresponsive. Dash back to cherry trees. Is time wrong? Is AM in fact not member of group? Can now see AM chatting Finnish to friend, so evidently not dead.

Note that IH is now online. Search function is "down" in SL. Will IH know coordinates? Offer IM Friendship so can IM privately. IH accepts (quickest Friendship bond yet). AM has in meantime solved problem by sending landmark to IH (are they already Friends? Feel left out). Hurrah, IH arrives, an awkward moment, then take initiative and suggest sitting in coloured chairs, namely ones in which am pictured in white skirt in Profile photo at top of blog.

Here we are in above photo (left to right: IH, me, AM) looking v. cool in SL. As this blog has become learning blog, will Reflect on Learning.

Lessons learned about communication:
1) Good to speak in short lines, need not even be complete sentences, but keeps people's attention and also signals you have more to say. Can tell people are typing because avatar makes keyboard gestures (thought at first this was failed clapping), but if avatar waves hands for long time with no output temptation to ignore, however ...

2) ... be patient, as if everyone types simultaneously all time, chaos ensues. Actually quite like this waiting business. Soothing to watch other people's avatars waving arms while think what to say next. Also we felt that disjointed chat had liberating aspect.

3) V. useful to record chat and read through afterwards. Realise now were still interesting things said that missed because was typing. Also can connect up lines of thought that were separated because people started new thread before contribution on old thread had appeared.

4) If want privacy go somewhere private. In RL if someone chatting at next table in restaurant voices normally quieter and can tune out. In SL all chat is equal e.g.
"Me: AF is in Eduserv [was showing off Friend at this point]
"II [random interloper]: See ya!
"DB [2nd random interloper]: see ya
"IH: [referring to next IL Group meeting] That might be an idea then
"DB: [not talking to us. I think] do u know some cool places to visit"

Am now in quandry. Have v. interesting points re education, libraries and information literacy, but should I make them on Serious Information Literacy blog or here? OK, here, but people interested in kimono and waterslides may tune out now. Well, except if (like me) interested in kimono, waterslides and all of above.

1) Not much point in going into SL to use web tools better used direct (IH "At the moment, for example, I can see no earthly reason why I would want to search PubMed from within SL")

2) Is SL useful for developing traditional kinds of RL searching (journals, databases) type of skills? Not sure about that.

3) Interesting issues of how establish reliability & trustworthiness of information & people in SL; identity important (e.g. AM was chatting with someone "who said that he/she would never trust someone who does not have payment info on file")

4) Was discussion of Virtual Learning Environments, clunkiness of WebCT, IH mentioned custom VLE, which was integrated into curriculum and worked better, at her place.

5) Pressure to communicate with students wherever whenever. IH quoted speaker at conference who said "we have to be ready to meet them on their terms or we will lose them [students]". Agreed that this all very well but in particular librarians spread v. thin already. Also [frankly] is student choice to come to uni and need to make effort to learn. Though of course in RL job am thinking of getting facebook for next cohort of customers, sorry, students ;-((

5) Visual stimulus of SL. IH mentioned looking at art more in SL. I'm interested in importance of visual clues in interpreting information in SL.

6) AM mentioned information encountering and I got v. excited.

Agreed next meeting will be at Eduserv Island if AF agrees OK. Must IM him. Date and time to be arranged. Also will have theme, will gather ideas for themes or topics to discuss. Anticipate IH and AM will add own comments if disagree/ remember things left out etc. etc.

All v. exciting. Hope does not become too like work, though.

PHOTO: After meeting, visited nearby Danish Biblioteksvagten and went on the walking machine. Hmmm. In RL consume oodles of calories and never do fitness training. In SL consume nil calories and go on walking machine & slide down watershutes. Something not right there.


Vicki Cormie said...

I found I would be typing away and then I would see someone saying something else that I wanted to respond to so I would delete what I was saying and respond to that. The main problem is that deleting takes forever in the text box. I am not sure that that sort of conversation would work very well for more than 3 or 4 people.

Sheila Yoshikawa said...

No, I think you're right about that. I think that if I had a larger group of people it might be sensible to break into smaller groups and then feed key points back. On the other hand that might become long winded and tedious. Also unless the groups were far enough apart you'd get all the chat anyway.

The blog of Sheila Yoshikawa on her adventures in Second Life. This may be very thrilling. Or possibly not.