Sunday, 30 December 2007

Second Life Skills 3

Building in SL is exciting and always a challenge. Being a perfectionist I want it to look right. Sometimes I give up. Lack of time or necessity to be precise. I stayed away from scripting as I did from programming in RL. That 's a job for another type of expert. 3Greeneggs however provides a very simple tool for making very simple scripts. A good start to begin to understand its syntax.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Second Life Skills 2

Very young children do not seem to worry about top or bottom of a page in a picturebook. They 'read' upside down if necessary. They start copying our way of doing when they start to recognise the meaning of text. Teens in Second Life can listen to somebody while floating in the air, focus on building and chat to peers. All at the same time. There seems to be no need to confine them to a room for learning SL skills.

Second Life Skills 1

Flying is fun, it has speed, you travel fast and you meet the birds. It is also very practical in navigation. Much easier than walking. But the ability to fly does not automatically brings the skill of recognizing buildings from its rooftops, as you would expect. We are used to store data on the fronts. Windows, doors, colour of wood or stone. Trees, porches, size of the bell, and so on. How long will it take me to master the skill to spot the right rooftop to land?

Monday, 24 December 2007

Mad Hatter?

I like wearing a hat. It is comfortable, has a certain style, is distinct and also shows a bit of extravaganza. In short: it is an expression of myself. I want this world to see my hat. So do I in RL. I only just really thought about it writing this little article and thinking about one of the most interesting outcomes of my interviews. SL as an expression of ourselves.

Friday, 21 December 2007

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

My second Christmas in - world. This tree can be found in Second Russia and you can sit in it, anywhere you like. I met a lot of people in Second Life this past year during my survey and in my interviews. Great people, great projects, great expectations. My best wishes to all of you and I hope to meet you again in 2008.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

(Second) Life Skills learned in SL

Sometimes work is a burden but accompanied by Zotarah it becomes a feast for the mind and the eye. Snowfire was there too, a fine horse and very quiet. We talked about her experiences with students and teens about life - skills. What is learned in Second Life can be transfered to real life as they are emotional - and cognitive experiences. We sometimes express ourselves in other, may be more open ways in SL than we would in RL. What do we learn by doing that, and how can it help us teaching about identity and self esteem?

Monday, 17 December 2007

Second Home: historic game on line

Being who I am I had to google: second home and look what I found! A German organisation facilitates the use of a web-enabled game called Second Home. It is a historic game, set in the 16th century about trade, church and kings in three languages: English, French and German. It's free and fun for all, allthough I doubt if the interface will satisfy game-wise kids in Europe or the rest of the world.

My cottage in SL

I have spot in RL where I relax by cutting wood and making a campfire whenever I am there. Since last week I 'own' a Second Home in SL, 100 footsteps from the Pacific on a beautiful island. It is a joy to meet people, make new friends and share thoughts with them and I strongly believe SL enables that. It was fun decorating it and shop for furniture and other stuff. Sl allows you to set one Home in the landmarks, so I have to make a decision which of the too will be home or office.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Missed an interview

Missed an appointment because the grid was down, longer than expected. Finding Avatars, outside SL is not always an easy task but the effort is almost always worth the try. Accidentily I stumbled upon this site. Islab, a search engine in RL that searches the in-world databases. Comes in handy when you do not want or can enter SL.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Quite Early One Morning

Meeting people is always fun. Fleet helped me to find people to complete the interviews in my research. Almost finished this part but I need some more K12 teachers to balance with all those from HE and University. Fleet enjoys an early morning rest and beautiful view on one of the many peaks in the SL landscape.

Fatimas Blush 27/48/77

Twenty years ago I took my oldest daughter to Stonehenge. Afterwards we spent a whole half term to make a model of it in 3d, we studied the drawings, the measurements and learnt about lots of others things too. Fatima built her Stonehenge in her own back garden and its beautiful. I manipulated the sun to get it pictured in its peak moment.

New Hat @ Bruin 164/213/23

I felt like buying a new hat, and bought three. I like wearing a hat in both worlds. I had a pleasant message this morning. I passed a ballot to become a member of a close community in Second Life. A group of people with all sorts of interests and disciplines of work, inclined to share and discuss. I am very pleased, as you can imagine. And my hat is a beauty, don't you think. The hatter has a lot of choice too.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

SaaS: School as a Service

School as a Service. Saas is a relatively new concept. It means Software as a Service. Nice idea, growing interest and a challenging concept. I prefer using this term, rather than Web 2.0. The idea is brilliant, the concept is all right, but the discussion about 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 or even 4.0 is useless. Now all of a sudden I realized that SaaS also could mean: School as a Service. Makes a change in thinking doesn't it?

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Time flies

Planning my interviews in SL is a difficult, confusing and a time consuming business. Avatars rarely know other than their own timezone and so do I. The web offers many timezone converters and most of them work properly. This new gadget however will be installed on your desktop, can be personalized as much as you like, looks decent and comes as a bargain. As you can set one clock to PST and change the text to SLT you have your indication of time in-world. It's also possible to set a little red marker to your own clock and any other clock. A must have!!

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

One to three, an ordeal

By the time all my Lovely Ladies were at the same place, sitting in the right position we were a good 15 minutes later, laughing, getting things right, sitting down and trying to decide to use chat, IM or even mail. I lost track of who was doing what in a few seconds, went in automatic, dumb mode in a few minutes and lost all control in detail in less than half an hour. But we managed and they were great and such good company. A rich experience, I got my results and must reconsider my method for groups.

Sprott Shaw College 169/ 203/66

Sprott Shaw College based in BC, Canada since 1903 has locations in China, Jordania AND in Second Life. The complex shows several buildings including a medical centre. Well built in the local style in a combination of glass, steel and wood. They also installed a Xmas- tree, a tall one, but what do you expect in Beautiful BC!! With a population distributed all over the world a virtual complex cannot be a luxury.

Teaching 203/128/48/0

Nice athmosphere, beautiful carpet, brick walls and a wise looking owl under the roof. What more do you want for your teachers and students in-world. A good place for teaching, especially when they cannot or will not come to the institute in Pennsylvania. Many colleges have found their way to second life for an extension of their presence in RL, but what else could be the purpose for this?

Monday, 3 December 2007


My job is nice, it is interesting, it stimulates thinking about learning, you meet wonderful and very bright people and it can be done in a relaxed way too. I usually meet in my office or in a chair at their place. Ellie served me tea a while ago. Laelia offered me a comfortable couch to sit on. It was a good and very informative interview. Thanx!!

MS Island VUmc 224/154/21

The Medical Centre of the VU University of Amsterdam and several partners opened a location for people that have multiple sclerosis. A disease that has a serious impact on your life and will limit your possibilities a lot. The site is meant as a place to meet and to obtain information about the disease and its consequences. A great initiative and a nice building.

Sunday, 2 December 2007


Music in Second Life. It was an unexpected surprise in my interview with Kate. She enjoys listening music in Second Life. Concerto's and all. Why? She says it is like attending a concert with very young children. People 'talk' using IM: 'Is this Mozart?' Walk away from their keyboard for a glass of wine. Dance to the music. Chat with each other about other things than music. Enjoy themselves as a listener and still not tied to a chair and hushed to shut up! Listening in SL lowers the threshold to the concert hall.