Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Second Life Education Community Conference - SLEDcc 2008 - Friday, Sept 5 Highlights

I attended as much as I could of the SLEDcc 2008 conference in Second Life (SL) this past weekend. I'm still processing what I learned, how I was impacted, and finding it difficult in some ways to put into words. Mainly I'm afraid I won't do justice to some of what I want to share. I'll try to give a brief acct. of the highlights for each day on what I was able to attend, and I'll write a separate post on one session that had an emotional impact on me. I'll post once for each day.

Friday - Due to my work schedule, I was only able to attend two events this day - First, the opening session: Education in Second Life with presenters Claudia Linden and Pathfinder Linden, the two main Lindens (from Linden Labs (LL), an American company and creator of Second Life) who are assigned to education/educators in SL.

The opening session keynote was streamed to three locations inworld. And the streaming video did not work - huge disappointment and rough start to the conference, which had me more than a little worried about how things would play out the rest of the weekend. We were quickly provided with Ustream and Veodia channels to watch the keynote live on the web. But of course, those of us who spend time in SL all know that that is not the same as being with a group of avatars in SL watching streaming video all together. Having said that, the content was there - Folks from around the globe heard that LL very much desires to work with educators, to do whatever they can to make SL a place where schools, colleges and unviersities can truly thrive. Both presenters assured us that LL is committed to listening to our concerns, prioritizing them based on our most pressing needs, and doing all they can to make SL an excellent teaching and learning environment. They also flattered us - pointing out that much of the most creative and innovative work taking place in SL is being done by the education community. I know this to be true.

The second presentation I attended Friday was by Sheila Webber aka SL Sheila Yoshikawa. Sheila is a faculty member from the Univ of Sheffield and someone I have been getting to know in SL and admire. She is an expert on information literacy, is widely published, blogs regularly here and here, and has created a beautiful island in SL filled with valuable resources, which she willingly shares with all. On top of that she offers discussions open to all almost weekly on her island, which I greatly benefit from professionally. Here is a link to Sheila's slides from her SLEDcc 2008 presentation, which she uploaded for us to slideshare. Her presentation was excellent and her research is always interesting so take a look.

Tomorrow I'll blog on the poster session I presented at the conference as part of the "Best Practices in Education" session held for three hours Saturday morning.

Here is a link to the wiki page for this conference, which now includes links to photos and volunteer videos of some of the RL sessions. I am hoping that someone was assigned to create a machinima of some of the inworld events, I'll keep an eye on YouTube for that.

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