Monday, December 22, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008


HAPPY XMAS (if you celebrate it) and a joyful NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 15, 2008

An exercise in taking photos of an avatar looking at the camera

This is my attempt to take a photo of myself facing the camera.

1. I walked away from my large photo and tree and then back towards the photo in an attempt to position myself. I was looking at the photo and the back of my head was facing the camera.
2. I used the camera controls to spin me round until I was looking into the camera.
2. I used the + - of the camera controls for the camera to get in closer.
4. Result: Osnacantab with Dennis Newson in the background - and a Xmas tree to the right.

Where the avatar stands is critical. What you can practice is positioning the avatar so that WHEN you spin it round, it is roughly where you wanted it to be in relation to the background.

(Isn't this much more fun than grammar?)

Dennis looks after Osnacantab

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Just checking in

Dennis and all,
Just checking in to say I'm sorry I haven't been able to join the group for a few days. It's the end of the semester and I'm rushing to turn in papers and get ready for a final. Plus, the holiday season has begun; lots to do to get ready for Christmas. Hope I can make at least one more meeting.
Mary Jane (emjay congrejo)

And this is me

The place in the photos unfortunately doesn't exist any more. It was called Virtual Starry Night and it was a Van Gogh museum in Second Life. It was unbelievable - you could actually walk into the paintings! I don't know what has happened to it, it has just disappeared.
Anyway, this is how I took these pictures: I right-clicked on my avatar,chose Change Avatar Appearance and then when the avatar turned around I took my photo. So, I cheated. You need to try several times because it is very hard to get the right angle. There must be an easier way.

A SL tour

Looking for a nice spot to take my photo I decided to search in HotSpots and found the Red Square, Moscow. It was snowing and couldn't see many people around. Many signs in Russian and some in English. Nice place with a mall, I have to go again...

As I noticed I could search for places, I decided to look for one I like so much, London, and found Chelsea.

I couldn't help going there.......

And do something few people have done, fly up to the top of Big Ben and take a picture of yourself there ;-D I was really happy!!!!

Walking around I saw a few people and decided to enter to the place, a dance club (Sorry, I didn't copy the name) There was this couple dancing.... which is a challenge to do alone in SL, and they were dancing together!!!! a tango, I think, because of their movements...Amazing!!!

Then I saw sb dancing on his own and felt like dancing too. They told me how to do it and here is the evidence !!!!

Thanks, Dennis, for the opportunity. I'm getting the chance to become acquainted with the tools before thinking of pedagogical purposes.

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's me!

So, this is me

To get this pic, I used 'view' > 'camera controls' and then pressed on one of the control arrows so that the camera - hey presto! - span around in front. Now if I just remember to take the lens cap off properly ...

My SL Picture

Dear colleages,
Like I have told you on my intro I have been an SL member for more than a year. However, there were lots of things I did not know how to do that I have learned in this course. For example, I did not know how to walk around some environments and now I can do it easily. I like to explore Second Life`s multitude of environments. I go on the search tab click on "Nature" for example and teleport myself to a paradisiac island. It is great. At this point I am not trying to interact with anyone. I am just strolling around these wonderful environments.
Today I finally found the camera controls and took this photo of me in SL
BTW, my avatar is Paul Kurosawa.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Photo time !!

Well here we go - a photo taken on Boracy ( I'd just managed to get rid of a vile gamer-belt after advice from a passer by who thought I was a plumber !)
I pressed Ctrl/ALt and then fiddled around for ages to get face to face - there must be an easier way Dennis !!
come on who's next ?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

first time on Second Life

Hi all,

Before going on SL for the first time, my feelings could be summed up as:

1. Too much to learn - it'll be too slow - I don't have enough time;

2. I'm not alone, there's the intro2sl wiki, group & blog;

3. Ten years ago, I felt the same way about computers, but have developed strategies for dealing with problems and am able to (mostly) enjoy working within the seemingly perpetual learning curve and continual change.

After going on SL on and off for a couple of weeks, a fair assessment of my reaction is:

1. To make any sense, SL has to be used to communicate with others;

2. Go in with an agenda and/or with other people - thank goodness for Dennis and participants here;

3. I'm really excited & inspired by the (education) potential - how soon can I start using SL for teaching? - a sharing approach is essential.


p.s. Coming soon - a before and after avatar expression

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Aha - free to blog at last!

Just a quick note to say that I went to the Rearch Group at Monash University earlier.

I flew around for a while looking here and there, but decided that the crowd on the ground had to be where it was at. The talk sounded interesting but went a bit above my head, well nearly all of it did as soon as I landed ;-)

I'm always interested in presentation modes, and here they had the main speaker using voice, whilst the audience were able to type in requests and such like. Unfortunately the sound quality was distorting a lot - after suggestions from the crowd, it improved slightly, but it was still a problem. Shame.

One thing I've started doing on and off, is to click on an avatar to bring up the grey circle of options, and then click on 'profile' so that I can scroll through their group memberships. By clicking on a likely sounding group, a new card pops up with a little bit of info about the group. There is usually an option to join up too.

It feels a bit nosey, but it's kind of a short cut to finding out interesting groups, and so I think it's ok.

Disappointments, frustrations and annoyances

Sigh. Life may not be full of them, but Second Life is.

I'm still struggling with a teleporter which tonight:

Dropped me out of the sky nowhere near where I wanted to go.
Dropped me into the sea that was quite a long way down even for an avatar that cannot drown or catch a cold.

Then I went to the Globe to listen to some music.

And what happened?

My system produced no sound.

Made it to ISTE

Feeling very pleased with myself tonight !!
I used my landmarks and teleported from the Sistine chapel ( quite a lonely visit - even though it is very impressive ) to ISTE.
Managed to look around and check out various notice boards. I met two nice members who were busy trying to set up their microphones - to no avail. One of them had to log off and reconfigure the microphone ( A taste of things to come !) .

I tried to use the laptops but they were members only.
I also met a fellow teacher from Norway and we discussed SL and teaching - she was also a teacher of teens and unable to use SL in school. She suggested I join ISTE and gave me cards and info to do so. So all in all I felt pleased about meeting people and discussing work issues - I even managed to add her to my friends list.
One member then shuffled across and made remarks about us all cuddling up next to the fire ....... time to go back to RL for some more marking !!!!
Bye for now
aka Juniper

Monday, December 8, 2008

ISTE workshop

Last Saturday I went to the ISTE workshop, but before that I decided to go and see the place. I sat for a while to enjoy the beautiful landscape, and relax with all that peace.

Then, back to RL and back again to the workshop. At the reception desk somebody received me and gave me a card which I used to get to the site ( Great relief, I thought I would have to fly and walk to get to the right place -no use to ask, I've found few people wandering in the places I've been to)
I got to the worshop site, and as it had already started I decided to remain in the back - I didn't know the ettiquete for behaving there either. I was walking and couldn't see anything. Two reasons: it was full of people looking at the stage from floating seats, and the tags avatars usually carry over their heads with titles and names. Well, as I couldn't see I decided to float-fly and see from there. Then my RL phone rang and had to get it, a friend of mine wanting to talk, and I wanted to be in my SL... when I got back everthing had finished and people had gone.

Andrearookie was there and offered to take me to the place everybody was, we flew and walked.

There I was practicing how to create a bookcase and puff!!! My connection got lost, and was kicked out of SL.
So, still have to create that object, but I know it is in my inventory, somebody sent it there.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

5 of us met in SL 7 December 2008

Five of us met last night in SL. We stayed in my villa and moved slowly through it until we got to the veranda. There was a buffalo in the small, sitting room.


Present were: Helen, Mary Jane, Chris, Ingrid. Nahir

Meet you at the ISTE workshop

Spotting a message saying the workshop began in 2 hours, I went once more to the island several of us have visited frequently over the weekend.......It was 11:00 GMT.


I was still absolutely alone.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Nahiram`s 2nd visit to SL

Last Friday (Dec,5) I went again to SL for a few hours. This was a great experience.

When I logged in, my body was grey so I decided to wear new clothes. After changing colors, choosing models, etc; I saw myself wearing the previous clothes. OMG! I have to learn that.

This time I could find places by using SLurls and I visited "English Language Lab". I flew and ran around the different parts there, there were very few people. I guess because of the hour, I only met WhisperZ, nice lady, who helped me to create a landmark there. I liked it, have to go back there.

Having been around for a while, I set off to look for the ISTE workshop, but I didn't find the SLurl (They are really useful, I learnt) I can swear it was in an email from our YG. As I couldn't find it, I decided to look for Osnacantab and got to his nice place.

I got inside his house, saw his pictures, went upstairs - I could't sit in his terrace chairs, but I did on his roof.
Flying around Osnacantab's neighbours, I saw my country's flag !!! I took a pic, but it's too dark. Next time I go there, I'll take another with more light as Dennis told me how to do it.

Checking some links in our wiki I found a link to "The Sistine Chapel", and decided to go there to compare. This is what I saw...

Well, as you can see I didn't get to catch what really matters in this place :-)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bits and pieces

Early hours

The early hours of this morning were rather frustrating. I was the only person at the ISTE meeting. The most likely reason is that I got the time wrong. Chris, alias Tigran Tipon, has just [ last night] written in an email to the Yahoo list he worked out the meeting is on Sunday.........Ummm... now, Saturday morning, 08:00 UK time, he just wrote per IM inworld that he thought the meeting was today,right now, but he was the only person at the Slurl.


Well, I must say that the site is particularly rural and beautiful.


SLexperiments meets again

Last night we had our regular meeting of SLexperiments. We met here, a property that belongs to EduNation, Gavin Dudeney and his partner. If anyone would like to come to a meeting and join we'd be delighted.



Let me let you into a secret. I'm having great problems sending images at the moment. First, I can't save to my hard drive from Second Life. I don't know why. Secondly, postcards from SL are HTML format and not jpeg. Thirdly, the program I found to convert HTML to jpeg does not convert. Fourthly, when I do any downloading I get a blank window and cannot see what I should be seeing and responding to.


Sneak view

Finally, a sneak view of posters of the EVO 6-week workshops coming up in January.

Nahiram's 1st experience in SL

A year ago I tried several times to use it, managed to choose a name for my avatar but never got an emal confirming anything.
This time it was different, I got that email really fast and went to SL. that was on Sat, Dec 29th.
Nice and strange experience to see or feel one is coming to life, I didn't understand that cloud I was looking at, then a strange bold character appeared in my screen. I got a little nervous since I had heard some stories of people hitting you. I don't know how I realized it was me!!
Great! "I'm in" I thought. I saw all the controls in my screen and started to use them, I learned how to fly, land (or fall), move back and forth, and even managed to sit somewhere.
Then, I decided I was ready to live my SL and went away. I landed in another place, saw many people around, but I didn't like that place (Some people were swearing and naked).
I was trying to get out, but I couldn't and started to see all the controls there, and found a way to look for groups. I saw Webheads - "Ah, finally, these are my people", I said. I also found Osnacantab group for this course. Unfortunatelly I couldn't get to any of those places.
Finally, I could go to another Orientation place, and I'm still there, I guess. I wanted to take a snapshot but with my avatar looking to the camara. Couldn't do it, but I will, asap.

Sorry to post so late about my first experience in my SL. I'm really excited about all this.

Well, managed to take a snapshot of my 2nd visit, looking for ISTE workshop.

Learnt a new trick

Learnt how to upload pictures by using my noodle ... easy peasey .. don't know why I was being so dense before ... but piccies are dark so ned to take them with light background as the bean bags are black and make it hard to see bods on them ...

Phoebe lolling around

And now Phoebe is hanging around ... really would like to see if anyone can see all 3 together!

Here is Cordelia lounging around at Dennis' ... why is no one ever here?

Hetty chilling at Dennis'

And here is Hetty practising yoaga at Dennis' waiting for someone to come!

Hovering, Osnacantab enjoys early morning in SL

I actually produced this entry, with a different text, for a unit I'm preparing on how to upload images to Blogger. But the picture is so pretty (rather romantic!) that I thought I'd share it.

If you have images of SL do, please, upload them. SL is a largely visual experience, I find, and photos are a way of recording impressions - it does not always have to be words.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Snow in Second Life

This is my favourite photo of the ones I've taken in Second Life. It was taken last week at the SLexperiments group regular meeting.

Here are two photographs of the meeting with the weather settled down.

I'm personally convinced that SL is particularly suited to conferences and small meetings - like this weekly meeting of slexperiments.

In a balloon with an unknown blond-haired woman

I was working away at my desk when I received a message saying that Phoebe Puddlegum
was sitting on one of the beanbags in my property in Second Life.

I got there as quickly as possible and found this, frankly, rather tarty woman slouched in front of my "Girl with Peaches' by Serov. I'd never seen her in my life.

I acted politely, though,because I gathered Phoebe had some connection with TEFL.

After showing her round my place I took her to see Nik Peachey's house, just two or three away from mine.

After a while "Time to fly", I thought, and we flew off towards Gavin Dudeney's. And I lost her. I flew around and looked and called, but she was nowhere to be seen.

Eventually, she turned up and as we chatted she decided to do something about her appearance. (She turned away from me and stretched out her arms and legs. Odd). She got her old hair off (Detach) but could not get anything on in its place.

But with a lot of covering talk from me she emerged with blond hair and looked altogether more comely. I spent a lot of time getting her on my "Friends" list- (A technical arrangement, no emotion involved)- and we wondered where to go off to. I suggested the SL Boracay Island and we went there and had a balloon ride. It was a bit tricky getting her back to my place because I kept getting the Boracay SLURL instead of my own in EduNation. In the end, we managed just in time. My wife had been out for the evening and I'm not sure how she would have reacted if she'd found me in a balloon with an unknown blond-haired woman.

As we were taking our fond farewells, I noticed a young fellow standing under a tree and walking backwards and forwards between the bridge and my villa. When Phoebe had left, he returned and I thought: "Now I'm going to be mugged, but it won't hurt because this is SL and you are not you you are just a set of files called Osnacantab Nesterov.

"Hi", I said and it turned out that the young lad was a very friendly Tigran Tiponi, if I got that right, whose parents prefer to call him Chris.

[The timing on this blog is on the blink. It is actually, my time, 23:38 ]

Avatar found naked

Hi there ... just a quickie ... when I found my avatar she was completely naked ... a kind Swiss lady helped me to dress (and shared clothes and sex sites!!!) ... W:)

Wednesday, December 3rd

Good morning,
I went to a workshop on Second Life about two years ago and created an avatar, but I haven't been a Second Lifer other than a few visits, so it's great to join this group. Here is my progress so far.
I made my way down half of the links in the handbook. They're very helpful. Then I decided to complete our assignment and visited ISTE. When I arrived there were a docent and someone learning about ISTE. I felt strange arriving in the middle of a conversation and wasn't sure how to introduce myself, so I went off on my own. I could see that it would be good to go back since it's possible to set up a tour. I don't have a lot of time, so it may be a while. However, I've bookmarked the site for later.
I hope we can set up a time to meet. It's awkward just entering on my own.
Mary Jane

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Exploring SL

Today, on a windy day in Real Life, in between intense digital work, I took some time to start my Second Life experience. I realized my newborn avatar, which is still a newborn, was created in October, 2006. Besides some get-togethers in Edunation with the Webheads and some fun around with them, flying and falling on trees, bumping my head and feeling a bit awkward, I haven't progressed much, though I know it has great potential for language learning, connections and leisure.

What did I learn?

I think the main feature for me that I didn't know about was pressing the Ctrl + Alt keys and holding down the mouse. You can see yourself and the world from totally different perspectives. That was totally awesome, and I didn't know about it. I could see everything and everyone in totally different angles.

More than ever, I see how I am gregarious and love to go on collective journeys. The fact that I was by myself was not really encouraging. I felt lonely. Though there were people in Egypt, I felt like awkward just starting a conversation. The same way I guess I'd feel if I were at a bar all by myself. So, I'd love to be there with a group, exploring and talking to people about the experience.

Funny to have Brazil as an empty space, but totally relaxing as we could hear the twittering of birds and the soothing sound of the waves.

What I'm dying to learn?

How to accessorize Carluccia Abruzzo with nice earings, bracelets and necklace! I know, I know, this is vanity, but I want my second self to look good as I can do better than my real one!

Of course, I'd love to learn how to present in SL and to find myself around more easily, act properly, and land without falling.

And here are some snapshots of my re-start at Second Life. I'd love to meet you there!

Just a final question. I know we can make groups there. Dennis, is this something you'll set up for LwCers?

See you in this and SL.

Carluccia Abruzzo

Visit to Mystery Location

Yesterday I went to the mystery destination that Dennis has provided a link to. Overall, it was a great experience for me because I'd been so frustrated in past visits to SL. For the first time in trying out SL, I felt more confident knowing that I had a supportive network of other learners in case I got completely confused! The instructions that Dennis provided were most helpful. I was especially happy to use the information in the sidebar of our wiki to learn how to see my own face!

Great location, Dennis! I had to ask for help to learn how to dance and then even though I clicked the green ball repeatedly I couldn't stop! Not that I don't enjoy dancing, but I thought I would try to teleport somewhere else and didn't want to arrive dancing! I also had to ask for help to find how to hear the music. Dennis has the answer in our tutorial, but I didn't see it until later. I found one person at the location quite helpful. The others seemed deep in their own conversations.

Reflecting on how SL could be used for teaching, personally, I'm not sure I'd ever use it because of the steep learning curve. However, the net generation seems to pick up how to use tools more quickly than I do, so, maybe, there is potential. Perhaps, just the online and offline (if you are in a f2f class) exchanges between L2 students about how to do things might provide good, motivational language exchanges. A concern I would have, however, is that the students might be exposed to unfriendly or inappropriate comments by other visitors to SL. I'm sure that there must be certain "user-friendly" type places. Anybody know of any "safe" environments?

I'm going to try to continue our tutorial. My ultimate goal is to pet the cat at our mystery location.

Anciana Twine

Monday, December 1, 2008

Day 1 In search of Second Life

I was contacted a couple of times by two people with different problems. I checked up on PC Specifications and created a new page on this topic in the wiki. It's a strange feeling because I've no idea what, if anything, is happening. Carla put a Flickr map for us on the blog.

I've really written this short entry so that there is something for others to comment on, otherwise it might be difficult to get into the blog.

Where are You in Real Life?

Please, add your information to the map.

Just click on "join" (top left on the map) and give us a shout!