Report from the Trenches: Teaching Second Life

My students begin spring break today which is great for me because while they all head south to the beaches on South Padre Island I get to stay home in student-free Austin and attend SXSW. Since we have almost hit the midpoint in the semester i thought now is a good time to share some of the work they have been doing in my Working in Virtual Worlds Class.

Tasks completed so far in SL:

1. Get to the island

2. Claim a condo

3. Use their condo to tell a story

4. Give a tour of their condo to the class and tell their story

5. Build a flag that waves in the wind, a bench, and send a postcard and notecard

6. Create a group and take the class on a tour of an SL location

7. use a 4096m plot of land and create a scene with a group.

#7 was just completed on Tuesday, mind you, they have had weekly readings, weekly 350 word blog posts, and a test already this semester. Here are the instructions i gave for #7.

In your teams I want you to create something with your land. You will need a theme, an entry point, some type of navigation, and something interactive or a “feature”. Think back to the tours, Mercedes had a car to drive, Mexico had a pyramid etc.. what will be your group feature? We will spend 15 minutes in your space on Tuesday March 2 so have stuff for us to do.

I basically handed over 1/4 sim to four student groups. They have complete access to terraform, build, script anything they want. After a weeks worth of work they created a Winter Wonderland, A Wild West Town, A forest sanctuary, and a tropical beach. I made a quick and dirty 2 minute screen capture of the class on tuesday. Take a look and see what they did.

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