Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Conference cavortings

Conferences attended in RL: 1 (good); Conferences attended in SL: 1 (good); No. of feet aching after 90 mins dancing in RL: 2 (bad); No. of feet aching in SL despite dancing in 6 inch heels: none (good)

Hmm. Yet more "doing so much have no time to blog". Spent last weekend doing moderating and other stuff at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference, which appears to have been success - must have been 200 avatars in one or other of the conference tracks at many points - in fact probably most of the time. Took zillions of photos (well, possible exaggeration, actually about 100) and so will do some sort of blog entry if mostly consists of pictures.

Am currently at RL conference (LILAC, on information literacy) and tomorrow will be presenting session on SL and information literacy with Ishbel and Pancha in RL and Maggie and Lulu in SL. Well, that's the idea. The pics show us planning for this session.

Spent good deal of today preparing for tomorrow and a) failing to get pc in conference room to work b) trying to get t-mobile stick to work with my laptop; c) trying to get local wifi to work with SL with anyone's laptop; e) getting Edinburgh Uni VPN to work (hurrah, it did).

In fact in end the situation will be that Pancha will be logging in to SL via Edinburgh (we are in Cardiff) and projecting to the screen, meanwhile we will also log in on the lecture room pc (which turns out to work with passwords other than the ones we've got, but is somewhat sluggish to say the least) and I can login with my 3G stick which is slowish but if I don't move around too much the graphics are OK.

Our hope is that at least one of these 3 will remain operational long enough for virtual Maggie and Lulu to wave, smile and type in their deep thoughts about information literacy and SL.

You can tell Ishbel, Pancha and I are into this type of thing since we look like a laptop convention, Ishbel's is the coolest, i.e. a mac, which is automatically cooler than anything else in the room.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Media watching

Mentions of serious applications of SL in UK: several (good)
Noticed a couple of news items about SL in the UK, namely:
** Sussex University has its own campus: in RL I was library assistant there for a year, and the SL version is SPOOKILY like the real thing (pictured here). In fact the Sussex architecture is rather suited to SL since it is angular but distinctive: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/

** Liverpool Hope University evidently thinks that having an open day in SL is worth a press release: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/

** Eloise Pasteur noticed that the UK Government is defending its use of SL: http://eloisepasteur.net/blog/

** and finally .. the head of computing services at my uni blogged about SL ... http://cicsdir.blogspot.com/2009/03/ic-in-sl.html

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

I am a media object

Videos released: 1 (good); Podcasts cast: 1 (um, good)
Dousa IMed me to say that the film of the panel on Linden Lab's proposal to separate off adult content had been released. Here is me on TV, yay, with the lovely Dousa and her friends:

Interesting how, in this sort of thing, always seems at the time that you are saying quite a lot, and seems afterwards like you aren't saying much at all. I'm speaking quantitatively there, though of course it could go for quality too.

Coincidently, I am also available in audio form, and in my RL persona, since Silversprite does a weekly podcast interview with someone about their activity in SL, and this week it's me.
Yay again. Though "yay" tempered with "um" since "um" seems to be my most used word in this podcast, closely followed by "er". However, I wouldn't want to put you off listening to it, all good stuff.


Shops visited with students: 2 (good)
On Monday had rare treat of combining shopping with genuine pedagogic experience, as had optional session showing Educational Informatics students delight of freebie hunting via shops and groups. Now must admit that is question whether should be blogging this as me, since in fact used alt, namely one Mikael Zanzibar. He is the only avatar in my possession who has current set of "entry level" avatars, as he was born last semester, so is more like what students have in inventory.
Had made notecard with landmarks and instructions and then we all tp-ed to Nicky Ree where sumptious gown awaited those able to successfully add selves to group by clicking poster. As you may guess, with 7 people clicking simultaneously, this was disaster and no-one managed to joing group. Luckily NR also has nice freebie wall including space suits so was not complete waste of time.
Then zipped over to Zero Style, a fave hair designer, which has 2 freebie hairs on offer. Pic shows Mikael demonstrating how to use the demos in the hair vendors, though don't think he's going to buy this one if he knows what's good for him. Two of my companions can only look on in disbelief.

Saturday, 14 March 2009


TV panels participated in: 1 (cool); Red noses worn: 1 (good); No. of times crashed during panel: 0 (surprising, particularly since was using Voice AND Skype); Knickers worn in SL: None (more information than you probably wanted)

Was IMed by Dousa dragonash on Thursday to ask if willing to be interviewed on Metaverse TV about new proposal to segregate out Adult content in SL. Pretended to know what she was talking about and obviously by time IMed back DID know what she was talking about as had looked at SL blog and seen announcement.
Was feeling zomboid because of long day, and interview would have been at 11pm my time, so said no, but was invited onto panel to discuss issue yesterday night.
Spent bit of time looking at SL blog & discussion threads plus posts on SLED list, but possibly more deciding what to wear. Consulted Dousa who said would be perched on bar stools, therefore shed dress and opted for new slim trousers from Zaara with favourite Ginny jacket and the Swallowtail black branch necklace which is a perfect match.
Teleported in and found Dousa sporting red nose, so donned one she dropped me. An explanation of what red nose signified ensued, as was puzzlement to non-Brits present (note: it is part of Comic Relief, taking place yesterday and raising millions of real pounds). However Robustus, who was doing the filming, said red noses would make it more difficult to film lips moving so they had to be discarded.

Good audience assembled, lured by promise of racey discussion, however in end we mostly agreed with each other (i.e. in saying it was a dubious idea, given different countries/cultures in SL, the difficulty of policing, the value of having mix of life-experiences etc. etc.) Raciest part was actually after cameras stopped rolling, i.e. conversation about whether were wearing knickers or not - Dousa having indicated that these might be necessary for those sporting dresses, given the height of the bar stools.

Interestingly other panellists felt that adult/PG split was not actually preparation for merger with teen grid, but rather result of wish to get corporates using SL more happily without worrying that their employees were nipping off to sex clubs when they should have been doing customer-facing role play exercises.

In first pic you see us with red noses, and in second pic you see whole panel, plus impromtu extra member (far right) who joined us at the end and then danced on the table during the wrap up. Ah, Second Life.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Busy, bouncing

U. of Hawaii Students shown round island: 5 (good); Masters Students inducted to SL: 9 (good); Broom rides installed : 2 (good); Trampolines installed: 1 (v. good)
See from quick scan of favourite blogs that others have been blogging some video called World Builder, trying out new educational tools and other admirable activities. In contrast have installed trampoline, removed crunchy snow & holly, planted hyacinths and created a glass observation basket using a snowdrop texture (plus a first attempt at a particle lamp). Hey ho.
Basket/lamp is probably worth blogging separately since is scarcely mind blowing but quite cute
Main focus was on introducing new Educational Informatics students to delights of SL last Friday. Apart from adding last touches to their village, was updating various boxes of freebies and landmarks, creating a special t-shirt and making out instruction sheet..

Was ably assisted, on the day, by Pete and Maggie. However on whole new students seemed to grasp idea v. quickly with minimal box-on-head activity, and leaving scarcely any litter.
After initial induction in the Build area to practice moving about, communicating & buying boxes, used the Mysti chair to zoom round island and then up to their new home, the Educational Informatics village in the sky.

People were keen to claim their new homes, so they learnt how to create textures with name on and upload them - just one student left with no home as yet. Meant was not as much time as hoped for looking at sample of educational places, but a few students went with me to look at Metaphor's boardwalk (as described in previous blog). Fortunately computers behaving much better than last year - not so cludgey and do not crash as often.

The previous night, had given a tour to a group of Adra's students, from the University of Hawaii.
Started at CILR, looked at first year posters and then again whizzed round on Mysti chair and dropped then in Edu Informatics village. Had set up broom ride to 7 Pillars, and enjoyed watching people setting off on the brooms at regular intervals. From the 7 Pillars, tis but a drop down to the Opinionator. You can see us trying this out: I had made statement "I really like pizza" and people were choosing appropriate response (agree, disagree etc.) Final stop was nearby common room (with its new trampoline).

Apparently trampoline got the biggest laugh, so was worth the purchase. This is me, bouncing.

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