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


IC Jones said...

Hi Carla
Like you I have had an avatar for a while and I even got involved with another group of teacher.
Loved the experience but my problem has been TIME. Yes SL is a tool with great potential for language teaching but training to use it as such is time-consuming.
I guess, it will be one of those things I can only really experiment with in my school holiday-but it is still worth it!
Meet you somewhere, maybe.
Isabelle Jones (RL)
Isabella Firanelli (SL)

Dennis said...


DELIGHTED to read your account. And a video, too. Well. I'm pretty sure there are going to be two groups in this tutorial - those who are struggling to create an avatar, and others who buzz off to Egypt for the day,for example. :-)

Very interested to read what you had to say about feeling lonely and shy to speak. I have found myself in groups on SL and at meetings getting mildly embarrassed and not speaking up. I think that is partly explained by the medium, though I'm not sure why.

Groups? Groups in SL? :-) Of course, I created a group for us about two weeks ago. (It's crazily complicated.) We have a charter:

"LwC in SL, 'Learning with Computers' in Second Life is a group of people who are together exploring Second Life and sharing their skills and insights in particular in the context of learning and teaching English as a foreign language. (TEFL)"

Well, we can always alter that, the important thing for me was to establish it. (I did so enrolling my four avatars because if no-one had joined after 48 hours it would have blown up.)

I've invited you, and I'll invite everyone else as soon as I get their avatar's name.

I see you got fascinated by the mouse look. I had wondered whether to feature key combinations but decided there was no need since they are alway on the shots of the tabs.

Twice in my notes somewhere I emphasised that it is what one does and with whom that matters on SL. I hope we're going to do something together, even if it is only have a good time. I must stop or I'll have written as much as you.

Dennis said...


Interesting that you sound so sure SL would be good for school teaching. It will be good if we are able to discuss this together and even draw up ways of how we think it might work.

Helen said...

Hi everybody
Just spent some time crashing round the mystery destination which to my amusement seemed to be an Irish pub. I bumped into the Christmas tree, walked into walls and I think the cat must have got very fed up with being followed by a clumsy avatar - does the RSPCA operate here. I did manage to sit down this time though - but i couldn't figure out how to dance !! It seems time consuming to learn ( as an oldie who never plays computer games ) but very addictive. My kids screeched to a halt in front of the computer "What are you doing mum ?" I lamely tried to explain to them that I was "working" .....They didn't seem convinced!
bye for now
In Nice

Carla Arena said...

@Isabelle Yes, Isabelle, true. SL has potential for a language classroom, but the learning curve is steep mainly for busy educators like us. I hope to see you around!

@Dennis thanks for the insights. and you're right. For a successful experience in SL we need good company and going to neat places. I wonder about the LwC group there. I haven't gotten an invitation. did you send it today?

@Helen I know what you mean about your kids. My kids and I had just had a blast having some fun at the beach. They went windsurfing, went on a boat, visited a zoo. They are very young, so I told them rule number one is that they could only get to SL with me. The good thing is that I can guide them in terms of digital skills they need to navigate safely. For some, this might be too much, but if they are with me and just enjoying themselves and learning new tricks, I see no harm. Real world is also scary and full of challenges out there! I was just impressed to see their innate skills! They have no problem landing and moving, and I, just like you, am still clumsy!
Well, let's keep having fun.

Dennis said...


It is an Irish pub and glkad you were there. Sometimes they have "live" music i.e. played live from real life and fed through avatars who appear to play.
Dancing is actually very easy. There are objects whch either have floating text, or click left or right (standard procedure)aand you see a message which says something like: "May I configure your avatrar to dance?' You click YES, and off you go.

Have you read WALKING in the tutorial wiki? Sometimes, if you click right there is a 'Walk here' option. Click that, and you are on autopilot. But it is not available everywhere.

Did you manage to listen to music while you were there? Notes on how to do so in the tutorial.

Thank you very much for writing here. If I can I'll send you a dancing script and you can amaze your friends.

Dennis said...


You've made me aware that 'SL for young kids and their parents' is a subject I have not seen explored. It would be a great topics for a sub-group in this course. Let us keep that in mind. Largely it would consist of finding suitable sites. At a more advanced stage it would involve creating such sites, or a site. It must be an area well worth exploring. I think we should form a specialo group - or you can. I'm going to put "creating a group" on the tutorial, if it is not already there.

Yes. I invited you at about 23:00 hours yesterday Keep me informed.

I'm passionate about SL, but using it within a school curriculum would have all kinds of problems. Another group here?

Helen said...

hello everyone
i'll certainly try the dancing again Dennis. I must admit I even feel a bit shy out there ! I did try to drink some guiness and failed but I'll keep at it.
As i work in a state secondary school in France (11 to 16 year olds) I'm interested in finding out if I can use SL in some way. For the minute I can just see the problems - most parents need convincing to sign for class photo nowadays. I have to convince them about classic email exchanges with other schools on official platforms ( etwinning etc). So for the minute I can't really see how I would be "allowed" to use it .... Which brings me back to a safe teen space Dennis mentionned - or I suppose if you become good at it you can create spaces ?
I'll have to start by learning to get a drink and dance first !
in Nice

Dennis said...

Someone was asking about ISTE and now I cannot find the right blog. So I'll post this in all of them! ISTE, who have a noticeable presence on SL running courses - like the one later this morning called: Basic Building. And they have a lovely site. Go to:

Oh, and the letters stand for:International Society for Technology in Education. Do visit their site.