Around five weeks ago I wrote about my first in-world experience in Second Life. Well, as the saying goes, there has been a “lot of water under the bridge” since then and what an exciting, thought-provoking journey it has been. I’m actively participating in a four-month immersive learning experience that is facilitated by John Jamison. Not only do we meet weekly in the ImagiLearning island classroom for a discussion on a topic (such as the impact of Thomas Freedman’s Flat World concepts on 3D learning environments), but we also learn a myriad of skills during hands-on workshops. The possibilities for operating in, creating objects, and learning from different perspectives in Second Life is limitless!
In a few short weeks, I’ve learned how to rezz (create) a prim (object), turn it into a tire with rubber texture, place a board on top, connect both objects, insert a script to keep the tube upright, and paddle it the ocean. I’ve also landmarked places such as my piece of land on the island, the classroom, and a spaceship 300 foot above the island so I can easily teleport from one location to another. And I thought this was only possible on Star Trek!. I’ve also rezzed a colorful lounge chair where I can watch recorded TED presentations on a Damani Media Screen that operates just like a real world TV. I’m now learning how to create customized Pandorabots with artificial intelligence that are programmed to answer a whole range of questions and which can be “taught” based on their “learnings”. Is this way cool!!!
The application of what the group is discussing and creating are enormous for learning, business development and sheer fun. My colleageus in the international group are predominantly university professors and educators who have already taken and presented courses and “experiences” in Second Life so our discussions are always lively.