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