Sue Waters Blog

September 17, 2008
by Sue Waters
8 Comments

Do You Use Second Life or other Virtual Worlds With Your Students?

Hayley really needs our help! She is one of the students studying to be a teacher and has to do a presentation on Second Life. Understandably she’s new to Second Life and virtual worlds so is finding it hard to relate to their usefulness in the educational world.

Anyone whose seen me in action in Second Life with my perfect sexy body knows that while I have THE WALK to go with my avatar — Virtual worlds aren’t my area of expertise. Definitely I’d recommend Hayley spend time checking out Jo Kay‘s and Sean FitzGerald‘s Second Life in Education Wiki — it’s an amazing resource for educators. In terms of age Teen Second Life is for 13 to 18 year olds only and Quest Atlantis is for 9 to 15 year olds only.

Using Second Life For Student Literacy Projects

Dean Groom was nice enough to talk tonight with me about how he uses Second Life with his students. Currently he has thirty year 9 students working on a Shakespeare project to create 2 minute Machinima.

The students have 6 weeks of 1hour per week in class to:

  • Create a story board for their play
  • Make their own outfits for their avatars using Photoshop
  • Build their own set for their play
  • Learn to manipulate their avatars and use the camera to film the performance
  • Film the scenes in Second Life and edit their movie using iMovie where they will add the voice to go with the avatars

Each week the students are required to complete reflective writing — you can check their progress here. The students chosen were those struggling with literacy skills. Not only does this process help them visualise Shakespeare’s work better but they also gain a wide range of other skills including collaboration, leadership and improved digital literacies. Dean also commented that these projects often open up the shy, quiet students who become more confident as a result.

Here is a video of his students working hard — right at the end you will hear two students discussing their set design.

Final Thoughts

Please share your knowledge and experience to help Hayley with her presentation this week:

  1. Do you use Second Life or any Virtual Worlds with your students? If so how?
  2. What have been the benefits of using Virtual Worlds?
  3. What have been the challenges?
  4. Can you suggest any resources for her to check out?

Please feel free to leave your comments here or on Hayley’s post.

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October 11, 2007
by Sue Waters
15 Comments

The Serious Side of Second Life!

RubyWhat can I say? My readers have certain expectations!

Poor Sarah and Kate have been waiting patiently for me to inform them how Second Life can be use for educational purposes for serious learning and I have been busy behaving like a “blank?” in Second Life. Those that have seen me in action in Second Life in the past week please feel free to fill in the blank on their thoughts on my appropriate/inappropriate behaviour!

As I highlighted in a post on Ning the time it has taken me from being introduced to a tool and then actually start using them effectively either in my own learning or with my students varies from 2 to 12 months. As I have only been in Second Life for 12 days it is too soon for me to reflect of its educational use instead I strongly recommend you check out Jo Kay and Sean Fitzgerald’s edcuational use of second life information.

WOW! What can I say about Second Life? Like any social networking site your friends are the key and lets be honest I have fantastic friends! Participate in any of these sites, without a good network of friends and your experience would be totally different! Friends are what makes these sites and the quality of your friends ultimately determines what you will take away from your interaction.

Fortunately I am in the position that I have my SL newbie friends (Noodlez, Simon and Sue) and experienced SL friends (such as Jo Kay, Sean Fitzgerald, Alex Hayes, Judy O’Connell, Kathryn Greenhill, Gary Barber, Jane Nicholls, Elizabeth Clark, Kevin Gamble) who enhance my Second Life experience.

If you reflect on how I interact within Second Life with other social networks I am sure that those with me in there would say they are seeing a totally new dimension of Sue Waters from one they have ever seen! Suddenly you have a Sue who is:

  • playful – thanks Sean it was sooooo funny watching Alex fly off into the sky when I gave him the balloon! Could not stop laughing as he screamed into the distance!
  • laughing - never laughed as much as I have been in the last week interacting in SL
  • vain – I am soooo sexy now! Thanks to Jo Kay I have a totally new body — look and walk like Elle Macpherson and tell everyone how sexy I am… Kevin I have flexi hair now! Just wondering if I can buy a voice synthesizer to make my voice go with my body?
  • playing dress up - I am definitely not a girlie girl but I can not believe the other night I was playing dress up with my friend Sue to help her out.

Probably of all the social networking sites Second Life is contributing the greatest to developing my online identity because it is providing a true reflection of who I am (except for the fact that I am not vain — all women like to feel sexy!). And we should remember that learning should be fun!

October 8, 2007
by Sue Waters
16 Comments

Children Should Not Stay Up Late Without Adult Supervision!

I know that some of my readers are interested to see how I get on with Second Life so I thought I better give an update!

Well like every new technology I jump into I am still in the process of trying “to get” it! Apologies to everyone that I have sat on, driven over and laid on…I am only 9 days old! And please note my husband is already saying I am addicted — oh please I can walk away from the computer anytime!

I started the day with sitting on the beach (somewhere) chatting with Jane Nicholls. Went off to Jokaydia land for a nice chat with Alex and Jo Kay plus bumped into Sean Fitzgerald. Thanks Jo and Sean for taking such good care of new people like myself. Would also love to say that Jokaydia is looking really good, loving seeing what your virtual tenants are doing and Joykadia is such a comfortable place for a new person like myself to get used to being in Second Life.

Actually the day was going really cool — until Judy O’Connell bought out the kids in us SL newbies by inviting us to Leda to grab cool free stuff. So me and my bestest SL newbie mates (Noodlez and Simon) grabbed a lots of free stuff and went back to Jokaydia to play.

Seriously at this point I think we needed adult supervision. Poor Judy was trying to do some important building on Jokaydia and I ran over the top of her in my army truck and drag her along for what must have been at least 50 metres. Some how I managed to crash my helicopter and it has not been the same since (even lost it for awhile above Jokaydia today!). Noodlez parked his jet on top on me and I was totally stuck.

sltoys.jpg

Being newbies we decided that trying on free avatars looked like fun…well if Simon and Noodlez could do it so could I! Oops, bugger! When I changed back I totally lost my body and my head! Not quite sure how long Noodlez and I spent putting our Avatars back together….in desperation I gave the Gothic chic look at try (Judy thought it was a better look for me so may even give it a go).

avatormix.jpg

FINAL THOUGHTS

Lets hope Simon and Noodlez are up for some more playing because I think we all need some more practice before this humble one can be trusted in a virtual conference! Hate to think which important person I would drive over during a presentation in my army truck!

September 29, 2007
by Sue Waters
17 Comments

I’m on Holidays! Real life? Or Second life?

rubyYeah I am on holidays!!!! And have been chuckling at comments by others whether this means I will do more tweets/podcasts/blog or less.Well maybe you will have to wait and see!

But in the meantime let me introduce you to Ruby Imako! After weeks of someone (Alex) offering (nagging) to show me around Second Life I finally agreed because I actually had time!

Let’s hope in the process I don’t upset our Minister of Second Life (Kathryn) as we agreed this is her area of responsibility and I am Minister of Podcasting. Point being is that I accept that I don’t have to know everything so we ease the load by all helping each other out!

Can I say NEVER, NEVER let a man take you into Second Life when you are a beginner.

Sure he was fantastic and choose my name — believe me if left to me it would have been crap! And did a good job showing me around. But did he teach me how to dress myself — NO! Did he teach me how to do my makeup—NO! OR where to find jewelery—NO! Instead he left me looking like a n00b and ugly! Sorry Sue run out of bandwidth and I am going to sleep. What would have happened if one of my friends had seen me like that! How embarrassmont!

Fortunately I am not TOTALLY CLUELESS and did manage how to make myself sort of presentable and now have all the attributes I wish I had in real life!

My thoughts — well now that Second life now includes audio it is more attractive to me.

So now I am all dressed up and nowhere to go! Oh well, at least I can join a Second Life meeting if I am ever invited.