Sunday, May 18, 2008

Day Two

Well so much for my deeply thought out plans. Today did not go as well as I had hoped. Technical difficulties, less than perfect plans, unreasonable expectations, slow start and I became flustered. Oh and did I mention that I hate voice.

I decided to introduce voice in this class primarily because I believe that most people like it. Maybe if I can botch it up enough I can change minds (mwuhahaha). I intended to introduce it today and use it initially as a means to convey short bits of information. The idea being that auditory messages from me might rise above the visual over stimulation. I want text to continue be the primary way we exchange ideas with each other in class. 40 Minutes into the first hour and we finally have everyone able to hear me and all other mics turned off. (Several people still don't have earbuds or headsets.)

We started a self paced exploration on changing one's avatar's appearance. Students will be able to return to the island and complete the three stations for 1. saving an avatar and outfit; 2. changing the many perameters of physique and facial features; and 3. creating a new article of clothing. For new members of SL, appearance doesn't seem that important. As time goes on people begin to see that it matters how they present themselves. The choices they make will be highly individual and will likely change overtime. During the next several weeks I hope to promote discussion about avatar identity and presentation. We will read articles about identity, anonymity and some research that is being done about how one's SL identity can affect one's RL identity (weight loss, healthy behavior, confidence...).

Today we made our first foray into the practices of teaching in SL, besides my demonstrations of what works and doesn't (lol) to teach people basic sl tools. We visited with Clowey Greenwood at Biome Island. In addition to exploring some impressive, outsized builds of a drop of pond water on a microscope, and a soda bottle closed eco system, we met with Clowey and asked about her experiences teaching in SL.

We also got to try out the Likert voting floor described in the first post. Now that the basics have been covered the focus will turn to teaching techniques, tools and content.

As I reflect on today several things surface as important. 1. While I will experiment again with voice, it will be okay if I decide that it is not for me. Students will have opportunities to use it themselves and go to other edu events using it. 2. Each class should start off with a tour or virtually physical activity 3. Clowey's use of the class materials box could be useful. Then those who need to know what the schedule is can refer to the one they received. LMs to be used for the day will be there... 4. I have a great group of students that can help each other. I can relax and not try to convey _every_ possible thing each student might need to know.

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