Sunday, 26 August 2007

SLCC conference (2)

Days of conference attended: 2 (good); Info science lecturers contacted: 1 (good); Freebie dresses picked up: about 50 (baffling); Freebie academic gowns picked up: several (v. good)

Started this post totally alone in Muriel Cooper Coliseum, on NMC (New Media Center) conference island, listening to first session in today's Second Life Community Convention conference. The slideshare tag is (though not everyone used it). Link to proceedings is There was audio-only broadcast in SL, and at least today you could hear it. Wondered if people in RL in conference centre could see me (turns out, not). ppt of 1st talk is here - experiential learning with different activities.

More people came along for 2nd session, about the Nutrition Game. People took a day's virtual meals in SL, and the food had nutritional info on it. At the end of the day the participants were told the implications of their diet and asked various questions e.g. whether they had learnt anything (answer: they thought they had). The paper is in the proceedings and there is a wiki which has info on this, and on the subject of the third session, the Appalation environmental game.
With third had curious experience of listening to a video being played to people in Chicago - some clear description but quite a few pauses while people in Chicago could watch things on screen. Quite soothing and we were given web address for the video, namely Sneblen Dagger and Desideria Stockton did a grand job of trying to find slides, web addresses etc.

"Gosh, this is cool" (I wrote at the time) "I'm listening to a transmission from Chicago sitting in my Cossack Jacket and First Blush dress with others from different parts of the world" Well, mostly different parts of the USA. An alternative view, of course, would be that I was one sad person sitting at my computer on a Bank Holiday Sunday afternoon.

The fourth speaker talked about Violence Prevention in Second Life: creating a simulation of a violent city area in the USA so that people training "violence interrupters" in RL can give these people opportunities to train without exposing themself on RL violent streets. Their SL island is CeaseFire Island. They use voice - that's probably quite important for this application. There is also a full paper from them in the proceedings.

One of the issues that was touched on in questions and backchannel was when you needed to create something tailored and contained, and when use what was there in other parts of SL already.

Crashed out a few times, including annoying interlude during question session after these 1st set of talks, when decided to log back in using computer with superior graphics card in student lab, but had (v.stupid) forgotten they have no sound at all so experience became just a bit TOO soothing i.e. sitting in virtual conference centre where is no movement or chat. Even stupider, then tried to log back in on other computer and was ejected for trying to log on from 2 places simultaneously.

When finally got back in, was talk on Salamander project (see ppt here), aiming to index educational objects, builds etc etc in SL, with people joining in on this, indicating what the objects etc. a useful for and evaluating them. It builds on Merlot which has been a project to archive, index and evaluate educational resources in the real world. In fact think that I have something nominated in Merlot, but to be honest have not used it myself. Am always a bit sceptical about this "reuse of learning objects" business. Is interesting to look at what others do, but have not found much would want to reuse directly (mean more generally, not just Merlot). The actual wiki is at I wondered whether library and information professionals were involved, and someone said they were.....

During questions from this session it emerged that North Lamar is also in an information Dept. He owns TWO islands and has a blog at I offered him Friendship and he accepted. In fact remember he presented at the conference the other day, plus I think I might have looked round one of his islands. Will make contact after conference as looks like could have common interests.

In the break I zoomed round the area near Ishbel's and Citril's looking at the possibilities and what sort of neighbours there were. Some looked promising, some ..... possibly didn't e.g. the owners who mostly seemed to belong to sex groups.

Anyway, back at the conf. it was the session on SL library and Info Island. Barbara Galik, Bradley University, US (RL name) talked about what they have done for students and staff at her university, where it was sounding like they have been pioneers in their institution & have got a Dean involved in SL. Dewey Jung (SL name) talked about his involvement including with school librarians. He mentioned the Elven Institute "The ELVEN Institute's mission is to assist preK-12 educators and librarians to envision, construct, and use engaging virtual learning environments in order to demonstrate and document their value in increasing student achievement and growth." ( this didn't have anything except a home page & list of board members when I looked)

I crashed out in the final session and just came back for questions at the end. Some people in the RL conference said that the conference had seemed rather transmissive (though that not actual word used) and that interaction with SL would have been good. I said I thought that there could have been more in SL perhaps with participation from those who couldn't attend RL conf. Also thought afterwards that ideally would be reciprocal - some sessions in RL where they observe/hear SL sessions and engage us in discussion. Would have to be short "presentation" part, though. Would seem odd to be in SL conference session where can't immediately zoom off to web or indeed zoom off for coffee or a RL chat without anyone at the conf. noticing.

Apparently there was no coffee at the conference. Cannot conceive of conf. in UK being organised without tea/coffee breaks, riot would ensue. Not saying this is good thing, of course, but golden rule for organising events in UK is to make sure refreshments turn up on time and preferably exceed people's expectations.

After conf. was finished flew round NMC conference island. Interesting, lots of nice inlets and mountain paths, would like to have similar on my island. Means there is less usable land, but think make sit lot more exciting. Discovered there was the Darumi Picnic "A capella" artwork installed (see pic with coloured objects). This is the 3rd place I've seen it, it gets everywhere. Also v. good conference shop with immense no. of freebies making up for lack of SLCC conference bag. Took one item with innumerable dresses, and another which included female academic gown (see pic, think I would look cuter in academic gown if had blue hair like this). Think can only get on island if at conference, so took copies of male and female academic gowns for various Friends, can have fun parading round in them. Wonder if Ede and Ravenscroft exists yet in SL (this is UK firm with gown monopoly in RL).

Left this freebie-grabbing orgy to meet Harumi (in Luna - see 2nd-last pic- , then Bedfordia after we got trapped in the basement of a sinister looking factory) and then have chat at Ishbel's house. Ah, the social whirl.


Anonymous said...

Ok .... I give in .... what is "A capella" artwork!?!?

And ... no coffee?!?! Again, I say, NO COFFEE?!?!? No coffee, no workee in my book!

As for free gowns .... a lass can never have enough gowns!

PS .... You inspired me to start my own blog ... though it is nowhere near as educational as yours! :o)

Sheila Yoshikawa said...

I can't remember where the other copies of this sculpture were now - I think there was one on info island at one point.

Yes, I couldn't believe the no coffee thing either.

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