Monday, 13 August 2007


Conferences attended: 1 (good); Times computer crashed out: 2 (could be worse); People spoken to at conference: zero (bad)

Attended the CITASA conference in Second Life. Was a 3 hour event, which started at 10pm UK time. Talks were about identity in Facebook & SL, women & gaming, teaching in SL, Facebook & surveillance and some other related topics.

Slides are going up on Slideshare at and will not attempt to summarise talks esp. as now is 1.30am (i.e. conference has just finished). The actual programme is at

Sussed out venue beforehand (see first pic with me wearing New Shoes That Fit), but when tried to reenter 10 mins before start, SL seemed to hang, then RL friend phoned and in end was 10.20 before arrived. However organisers still fiddling with the data projector, so lateness not a problem. Some interesting points emerged, and also (as with previous conferences) useful to attend event to learn about how events run in SL. Somewhat depressing that found once more that, as in RL, when don't know anyone, more difficult to chip into conversation.

CITASA is the Communication and Information Technologies section of the American Sociological Association and although have something in common as researcher and educator, am not sociologist. Therefore worry more about appearing idiot - also quite a few people seem to already know each other - some attending RL event in the USA. Plus side is, of course, that (like BlogHer) this is conference which couldn't attend in RL, so experience is valuable and is first contact with community that may want to get to know better.

Certainly overlap with information science/management agenda in terms of privacy issues, social networks, and very interesting to hear research approaches described by others. Magellan Egoyan said that "In the Embodied Research Group [which he's part of], we have identified at least four scientific methodologies in use by different members of the group – behavioural experiments, a quantitative means of study ; conceptual design approaches ; computer simulation studies ; and qualitative research." He noted that to get rich picture, would use all of these, so collaboration between researchers valuable.

JoannaTrail Blazer's talk on “Participatory Pedagogy: Challenging ‘Real Life’ Practices of Educational Institutions in Virtual Worlds” identified useful points about student behaviour. Since don't intend to use SL for transmissive type teaching, useful to hear from those using facilitative or challenging approaches.

Some other references etc. are the website for Educators Coop (where educators can get little plots of land) at , and a reference from Joanna, “101 Uses for Second Life in the College Classroom” (Conklin, 2007 Similarly, have started to compile thoughts on things to do or avoid when organising SL conferences, but shall save those for another time. Final pic shows me in obligatory freebie t-shirt from conference bag plus badge which was originally stuck in rather unfortunate position so good that now know how to move objects about.

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