Monday, 18 May 2009

Pigs might

Educators Coop chats attended: 1 (good); Pigs acquired: 2 (toxic); Drugs pushed: 1 (legal)
Attended usual Friday Educators Coop chat. Loretta and North were there. North (pictured with me) has been house hunting - he has new job, but as he points out a plus of working in SL a lot is that you can stay with your community even when you change jobs.
Anyway when there was a suitable gap in conversation I asked whether anyone has full perms pig, and it turned out that North had 2, one a flyable pig, and one which emits pink particles. Also I rezzed the molecule that Graham had given me and Loretta, who had actually taken the drug in its non-virtual form, got a copy. Thus do learning objects flow pleasingly around SL.
Initially thought that particle pig was a bit too disruptive for build but 2nd thought was he could symbolise the flu, and now all I need are some full perm face masks or body suits (as fun preperation for going round build).

NB do know that actually face masks are not much use in RL, but, hey, this isn't RL.

NB2: Unfortunately flying pig can only be flown by me. Sorry

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Focus group

No. of focus groups held in SL: 1 (good); No. of RL eyes suffering from blurring: 1 (bad); No. of times crashed during focus group: 6 (bad); Mistakes in logging text chat: 1 (bad)
[Seem to have written this but not posted it. Perhaps I thought it was too dull.** See whether you agree!] On 30 April Pancha held her focus group investigating library and information people using SL for Continuing Professional development & networking. This is part of a research project by Pancha Enzyme & Zeno Silvercloud for EAHIL Workshop 2009. Was a small group, which actually worked v. well. I had offered to be Observer, sorting out latecomers, setting up recorder for Informed Consent (logging names via the blue thing in the middle of the circle of chairs) and noting anything interesting that I Observed. This is a recommended role to include when you are doing focus groups.

Was interesting to see what stimulated most comment - for example people tended to talk about teaching and supporting learners, rather than collaboration and networking, til steered gently back to the main question. Also there was a lively response when one person said that SL didn't seem to have that much advantage over a chat room - shows that having conflicting opinions teases out complexity.
Pancha (seen - she is on left - with focus group member) did great job, but own input was compromised in number of ways:
a) Had woken up in RL that morning with itching & blurred eye. Worried, had gone to optician who referred me to eye hospital. Turned out to be nothing serious (front of eye had dried out... well it wasn't v. pleasant, to be frank) and was sent away with some ointment. However this meant that did not really want to stay late at work, so used SL from home, which meant that...
b) had v. dodgy connection via 3G mobile stick. Was Ok for first half of focus group, but after that was crashing in and out in yoyo-like fashion. Last pic shows how S-L-O-W everything was to rez (see last pic). Final depression caused when found that ...
c) although had remembered to change the path for my text chat log to a drive on this home computer, had NOT noticed that the "log chat" box in preferences was not actually ticked .... thus found afterwards that had logged all the IMs from people and none of the chat.
Oh well, lots of Lessons Learnt.
** This blog, not focus group, obviously.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

By the Centre for Information Literacy Research I Sat Down And Wept

Emo animations bought: 1 (hypnotic); Swine flu builds started: 1 (good)
Today was a busy SL day. In the evening was the New Media Literacy discussion with Marty Snowpaw. Link to chatlog is in previous blog entry. Was good discussion, with a few people (I think) who hadn't been to Infolit ischool before and afterwards chatted to Kali.
Before that had spent some time altering the "Bird flu" 7 Pillars of Information Literacy build, to make it a "Swine flu" info literacy build. Idea is that people will be able to contribute own swine flu example questions, and plan an "infolit idea & build" session for 4th June.

Build certainly isn't complete, but have got enough there to be worth visiting (I think). Altered some of the examples of sources to compare & as had noticed that Graham had mentioned flu-related molecules asked him if he had a LM to one. He came up trumps and rezzed a molecule for an anti-flu drug [corrected from "vaccine", see comment]- you can see me standing with it.

Currently people can buy Bird Flu build for 0 Linden (perhaps shoudl advertise this more) and idea is that people will also be able to get hold of this one free too, though obviously it needs both space and spare prims to rez. At the moment it is on ground for easier access, but once is built, intention is to float it into sky.

Was in fact day when comparatively few Linden were spent but whilst in Schadenfreude (I forget why - oh yes, I was considering getting some ties as a gift) I bought an Emo animation. You go through some weeping motions and then sit looking self consciously bereft before starting all over again. I have now managed to place this in a pose ball on the planter in front of the Centre for Information Literacy Research (thus the title, referring to the classic by Elizabeth Smart) for those who come over all emotional at the sight of so much information literacy.


The chatlog for the discussion on Second Life ... revisiting media literacy, held on 14 May 2009, is at
The next events are on 21 May (Dr Diane Nahl talks about affect in information behaviour) and 5 June (contribute to the 3D build of the SCONUL 7 Pillars with examples relating to questions on swine flu)


Another serious sort of posting. "This was presented at the European Business School Librarians Group conference, Ashridge Management College, May 2009 by Sheila Webber (my RL alt), Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield, UK, In the presentation she illustrates ways in which Second Life is being used for collaboration and networking, particularly by librarians and by business schools."

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Second Life ... revisiting media literacy

Second Life ... revisiting media literacy is a discussion led by Marty Snowpaw & chaired by Sheila Yoshikawa (me) on Thurs 14 May 2009, 12noon - 1pm SL Time on Infolit iSchool
Marty introduces the topic "At a recent New Media Literacy (NML) conference, Henry Jenkins said that we are '...not teaching code but teaching culture.'" A key element is "taking the media that children loved and were already learning from and bringing it into the classroom."
What does this mean for teaching in SL? Bring your views!
Pic shows me and Marty discussing the session, a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Teachable Moments

Wheels turned: several (good); Towels worn: 2 (good, but not sufficient)
Had mentioned in yesterdy's post that had bought a Tibetan prayer wheel (from Belle Belle) and a towel rack (from A Man's Treasures). Well, here they are on Infolit iSchool.
The prayer wheel (shown in the first picture) appears to turn in the breeze and you can contemplate it whilst meditating on the meditation pad and going Om. You can also click on the individual wheels to get them to turn. I was going to say "cute!" but I suppose that is an inappropriate word to use for a prayer wheel. As you see, you get a rather good view of Sakura House and the beach area (with its rippling waves) from the mountain top and it is but a pace to the hot tub.
Unless you feel that SL prayer wheels are intrinsically ethically dubious (on grounds of trivialisation or because you object to prayer wheels), this could be counted a successful installation.

Towels are mixed blessing. What happens is that you click the rail and then get asked whether are male or female and if female get top and bottom towel (shirt and skirt layer) and if male just bottom towel. Then wear them, take off other clothes and jump into pool. Here is Zoe floating - she kept on her wings.
Main problem is that esp. when floating like this skirt reveals ... whatever is underneath, which could be embarrassing if wearing anatomically correct skin. Did not humiliate Zoe by moving camera round and illustrating this point. Think will need to make some underpants and have them available on click as well. Or perhaps could do a poster "Worried you'll show your naughty bits? Learn How To Make Your Own Underpants!" instead. I think this is called a Teachable Moment.

Monday, 11 May 2009


Suits bought: 0 (good); Ties bought: 0 (good); Shirts bought: 0 (good) HOWEVER Towel rails with wearable towels bought: 1 (good); Tibetan prayer wheels bought: 1 (good) (and so forth)
Helped Friend choose interview suit. Friend is male avatar, so decided to go in as Haruki (nb NOT to be confused with Harumi who has RL person behind him) so could be 2 Chaps going out shopping, which is perhaps not what proper Chaps do, but it seemed fun.
Was interesting insight into other people's SL since Friend evidently spends so few Linden that had forgotten where you click on browser to get more, whereas clicking on little Linden icon and hearing the Linden go tinkle tinkle out of my credit card and into Linden Lab's coffers is an everday event for me.
Plus side was that as Haruki has no gainful employment he is subject to whim of Sheila Yoshikawa (me) for Linden supply. As clothing one avatar in luxurious style is quite enough, Haruki is kept on short commons and thus is clothed in freebie shirt and pants. Anyway had fun trying on demo suit in Blaze and hope that interview suit will do trick for Friend at interview.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Rattling around

Talks given: 3 (good); Of those, no. given about SL: 2 (good); Number of unexpected duckings in SL sea: 1 (bad)
Have spent last few days rattling round country giving talks, hey ho such is life of busy academic, high tailing it on trains whilst students beat vainly on RL door, ahem. On Wednesday gave talk about future of library profession in meeting needs of millennials (and so forth), so although not actually ABOUT SL feel was some excuse for showing couple of SL pictures. Actually zippy title of talk was Cutting through the hype to make a confident future library and information profession so can see that am able to Talk the Talk if not always Walk it.
Presentation on Thursday was Collaborating in SL given to European Business School Librarians Group (when I put this online I will link to it). Used my FUMSI “10 techniques for business in SL” article as framework and also asked Ishbel to talk in SL about what St Andrews Uni Management School is doing. Had originally been due to start at 11.30 but management guru who was due to talk at 9 couldn’t make it in time, so ended up doing the early morning slot instead.
Fortunately Ishbel was able to be in SL at 9.30 too so went famously except for when found myself unexpectedly falling through floor in Management School (in SL, that is). Turns out that management lecturer has multiple choice quizzes which dump students in SL sea when they answer wrongly. V. droll except if this happens when one is demonstrating SL in front of 40 eminent librarians from length and breadth of Europe in RL palatial surroundings of Ashridge Management School.
Ashridge is v. v. impressive being ex-Stately Home with amazing gardens and woods. In fact whole thing is a real SL fantasy of gracious living and landscaping, especially at springtime with bluebells in beech woods, wisteria climbing over ancient stone walls, hydrangeas, tulips and other props of SL landscapers, not to mention RL deer and assorted birds with associated birdsong. Recorded some Woodland Sounds with new MP3 player and will see whether can turn these into a sound effect for the woods in Infolit.
3rd talk was actually given nearly 2 weeks ago, but have failed to blog it, indeed could not remember exact title (it was about inquiry based learning in the first year), but all ppts from the event have now gone online here .
Did not take any pics at these events, so here are some I prepared earlier... the first one shows me flying past Hobbiton on the witch broom tour of the island. I finished by setting myself off on the tour whilst I answered questions in RL and one delegate said she liked the witch broom best. The second picture is one I used in the presentation - of a recruitment exhibition at Clemson University Graduate School.
The last pic is one of those SL moments - I tp-ed into my personal plot of land to find the sky filled with a giant prim. Where did it come from? Where did it go? Who knows. Anyway, it has gone now, as have (incidently) a couple of my neighbours. Fortunately no new night clubs, when I last looked, though.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

A Day at the Races

Kentucky Derby's seen in RL (on TV - does that count as RL?: 1 (entertaining); Kentucky racecourses visited in SL: 1 (disappointing)
In RL it was one of most exciting horseracing days of year, since featured 2000 guineas, first of the English classics, and Kentucky Derby in USA which is first of US classic races. Didn't attend either event in person, but enjoyed extensive coverage on Racing UK. In terms of outcomes, both races turned up surprises, but consensus on Kentucky Derby was that jockey (Kelvin "painstripper" Borrel) deserved rather more credit than the horse.

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