Last Friday (April 3, 2009), I attended a webinar that was presented by John Jamision from ImagiLearning. John provided an overview of the Second Life for beginners and helped to allay some fears about “living” and interacting in this virtual world.
Some of the points I learned included:
1. Horror stories of inappropriate behavior are by far the exception and not the norm.
2. Carefully choose the name of your avatar because it cannot be changed. However, you can change everything else about your avatar and will probably want to do so after a short while so you do not appear like a “noob”.
3. Do not take personal offense when your avitar is approached or questioned. Your avatar is not “you”. If you do not like or do not appreciate the interaction, ignore it and move on.
4. When you first login to Second Life as your avatar with your password, you will enter the Orientation Island where you can learn and experiment, take tutorials, etc. At this point you are not yet in a virtual world. However, once you leave the Orientation Island, you cannot return.
5. From a learning perspective, virtual environments really appeal to emotions and people become totally engaged and remember far more about what they learn.
6. A virtual environment is not a game, although you can build games in these environments. A virtual environment is actually a platform where you can build things.
John is conducting a four month program on Second Life and registrations for the Summer 2009 session (SLemester) are now open. I am attending this “experience” and will be documenting my progress and key learning points in upcoming posts.
Please keep an eye on my blog for future stories from Ozzie Paule (my avatar in Second Life).