A Few Post-Conference Reflections

I have to admit - I thought it was a hit. The first Second Life International Best Practices in Education Conference was very interesting, to say the least. I managed to catch the first two keynotes and learned quite a bit. I walked away from the experience thinking that I would certainly do it again. I also wonder about how much work it took to pull off - behind the scenes. For example:

  • How do teachers display PowerPoint slides in SL?
  • How does one stream audio (or video)?
  • How does a teacher gain access to TeenSL (which seems to hold promise for an effective SL classroom experience), and how can I be sure that it's truly safe in there for my students?
As a result of the conference today, I came away feeling much better about the overall experience. It was quite interesting (didn't I already say that?) and even (dare I say?) fun.

Two additional observations:
  1. Most people are as clueless about SL as you probably are. During one particular session, participants were to grab a light-bulb and wear it on top of their heads (it was later used to vote during the session - great idea for interaction). A quick glance around the room revealed that at least half of the people there had no idea how to pick up the object. So as far as clueless goes - it's you and me both.
  2. Second Life minus audio equals ineffective teaching. Chat just doesn't cut it. You've got to be able to interact with voice - luckily, it's apparently coming soon to a virtual world near you.
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