Sunday, February 22, 2009

Exploring Second Life

This week in an Instructional Design class I am taking in the Ed Tech program at SDSU we will be discussing Second Life. I've been hearing so much about using it as an instructional design tool and now that it has come up on the class schedule my curiosity has reached it's tipping point. I decided to sign on and see what it's all about.

I was hoping to get set up with my avatar and figure out how to "teleport" around in about an hour because that is all the time I had to play around. Well, I ended up spending that whole hour trying to perfect the look of my avatar. I left frustrated trying to use the options available in the default inventory. I decided to give up on my Avatar and try and explore all the great islands I have heard about it and could not get off of "Avatar Island" when my play around time expired.

I'll be spending more time learning the ropes of Second Life because I would like to use it for eLearning projects. Tom from the Rapid eLearning Blog sparked my interest with his post "Create eLearning scenarios by bringing the virtual word into the real world." The post covers how to use virtual worlds like second life to build realistic scenarios. Just create a few avatars and set them up in different environments to create snapshots for your eLearning scenario. So far I am not finding this as easy as it sounds considering it took me an hour to play around with the look of one avatar and I am stuck on avatar island.

I am sure there are some very basic elements that I haven't caught on to yet that will make my second life much more fulfilling. The key seems to be adding landmarks and avatars to my inventory but I haven't figured out how to do that. As time was running out I found the second life showcase tutorials which got me headed in the right direction but I'll need to spend more time with the tutorials to figure how to add to my inventory. I am sure with a little more research I'll be able to whip together those scenarios that Tom makes look so easy.


learningfromconnexions said...

Hi Joe, your experiences with second life sound rather familiar. I tried to get to grips, managed to teleport but finding interesting stuff or setting things up was a nightmare, and then I ran out of patience gave in to naggng from family as they wanted the computer and their tea.
Haven't been back yet, though I can see how it could be easier for people to cope with once they get past the intitial setup.

Have you had a chance to get back to it yet???

Joe Deegan said...

Hello Iain,
Sounds like we had a very familiar experience. I have not made it back into Second Life because of other priorities but I hope to soon because I would like to use Second Life to create training simulations. Just don't know when I'll have the time to invest what it takes to create the simulations. Thanks for the comment.