• Barry Joseph Keynote at SLCC2008–Why Second Life Can’t Tip

6th September 2008

Barry Joseph Keynote at SLCC2008–Why Second Life Can’t Tip

Barry Joseph delivered a WONDERFUL and engaging 50 minutes to us at SLEDcc2008 in Tampa. In addition to the several hundred on-location attendees, at any given time we had 30-40 or so people at a distance enjoying his talk from the feeds and at one of the three locations in Second Life there were approximately 25 avatars, also from all over the world. Didn’t see it? No problem. Sit back and enjoy. And hey, share it with at least one dubious colleague :) :

Written by Scott Merrick

posted in avatar, Events, FL Events, Learning, SL Events, SLCC | 0 Comments

29th June 2008

NECC 08 Opening Reception

One Horse ShyFLEventWhile there were several events leading up to it, the Opening Reception was one of the events that marked the beginning of NECC 08. The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center was full and the floor was bouncing to the rocking/country sounds of One Horse Shy, playing live just down the road from the Alamo in San Antonio Texas.

Meanwhile the music was streaming into SL where the band’s avatars performed to a crowd in front of the Alamo on ISTE Island. From time to time the lead singer, back in Texas, would look at her SL Avatar displayed on a huge screen to the left of the stage – and mimic her moves. (Life imitates art, art imitates life, or we and our avatars inform each other.)

Not far from the physical dance floor, at the Second Life Lounge, those too shy to dance in FL grabbed their laptops and their dancing shoes and cut the rug on the virtual dance floor.necc-crowd.jpg

This year the National Educational Computing Conference will offer workshops, poster sessions, hour long presentations, special interest playgrounds, and exhibitors for 18,000 K-20 educators who are concerned with the role of technology in education.

- posted by Esme Qunhua

Written by Esme Qunhua

posted in avatar, conference, Events, FL Events | 0 Comments

12th May 2008

Watch My Lips

One of the more surreal aspects of Second Life is having a vivid voice chat conversation with a character where their mouth never moves. For years, avatars at There.com have had lip sync or at least, mouth movement, to audio.

Well, my Second Life talking friends, you can have that too with the Second Life Lipsync Viewer. This is a set of files you download and replace in your original Second Life application (see the bottom of the docs page and the Readme that comes with the download).

Now your lips move with the volume of your voice! Here is a brief test (it did not work with my dog avatar, so I had to play a human)

lips.jpg

If you like this, vote for it to be rolled into the regular viewer.

Written by

posted in avatar, Cool Tool, how to, tips, tools | 2 Comments

2nd January 2008

Educators and Multiple Avatars

What does an educator look like?It seems the new year has started us all thinking about who we are, both in first life and in Second Life. In the past few days there’s been a flurry of great posts on SLED about educators and their avatars.

  • How many avatars do you have?
  • Does your avatar look like you? Act like you?
  • What role does an avatar play in imagination? learning? teaching persona?

What does an educator look like? Images courtesy of here, here, here, here, and here.
SLEDers have been asking and answering questions about how they choose to represent themselves in Second Life, not just as an educator, but as a person. I proposed that perhaps we’re looking at two camps of people (with lots of gray in between):

  1. Extenders: those who use Second Life as a tool with which to extend their first life personality into another space and tool set. These folks will readily identify their avatar with their first life identity
  2. Escapists: those who use Second Life as a space in which to reinvent themselves as something other than that which is commonly known of them. These folks will typically tell you that they keep FL and SL separate.

Nola objected a bit to the connotation of “escapist” and preferred “explorer” to describe SL users who use the space for entertainment, role playing etc, to explore other facets of themselves, the space, and the people in it. Rolig added ideas about a user’s level of immersion and suspension of belief and how those factor into one’s use of the space.

Other posters added information about why they use more than one avatar (one is official, one personal in most cases) and how a second avatar can be used to test permissions, access, or as a camera. Certainly the mechanics of SL often cause us to need a second avatar for building, money transactions, demonstration purposes etc but I’m going to step away from that and focus back on the idea of the educational avatar.

Anyone who teaches is no doubt aware that they have a “teaching persona”, a version of themselves that is most effective with students. Perhaps a K-12 teacher finds he/she has to be more parental or more regimented in the classroom. A young teacher might have to distance him/herself from students who might be in a similar generation. You get the idea.

The recent discussion about avatars on SLED reminds me of these personae. Are the avatars that much different than the personae in the classroom? Is an avatar a souped up persona with more possibilities? What can we learn about ourselves as educators when, as in SL, we’re given the opportunity to create a persona without limits?

Written by

posted in avatar, identity | 1 Comment


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