Laureen Kodani | ePortfolio
Our assignment this week required us to visit and experience a role-playing sim. I visited three different sims, ROMA’s Theatrum Romanum, Elf Circle, and Tombstone. In ROMA, I spent most of my time in Fort Legion XIII because events for Theatrum Romanum was not scheduled during the four days that I visited ROMA. You can read more details about my experience in the Laulima Discussion forum.

Each of the sims I visited had corresponding websites. The Elf Circle and Tombstone websites provided details and included an event calendar. The ROMA website provided details but I did not find an event calendar.

Tombstone provided free outfits. To join a role-play group in Tombstone, you were required to purchase a HUD titler. I would have liked to participate in their event and was disappointed about the purchase requirement. The Elf Circle group did not require a purchase, however, I did not see an area offering free outfits. One thing of note about the Elf Circle sim, it includes an area with self-guided building tutorials.

Here are some photos from my visits. Enjoy!!
Tonight’s SL session was fun, however, I must admit...when technology isn’t cooperating, it can be very frustrating. For some reason, I was not able to hear Sheperd’s instructions or questions. Everything he was saying was inaudible to me. Ironically, I was able to hear everyone else in the session fine. Despite verifying all the settings and turning up his volume, the scratchy audio did not improve. I even logged out and back in again, still no improvement. I relied on classmates’ responses in the chat to try and get an idea of what was being discussed. I was able to make it through the session okay, still, it is not a pleasant experience to feel uninformed, haha. It made me wonder about the hearing impaired and the challenges they face. I made note of this because when designing instruction, we should consider a universal design for learning (UDL). Nevertheless, life moves on and we must do our best to focus ahead.

The sims we visited tonight focused on informing SL residents about the functions and features. For example, how to use chat, view options, camera, movements, gestures, changing appearances, teleporting etc. Both sims, Virtual Abilities Orientation and NMC Orientation, were very informative and helpful. In my opinion, the Virtual Abilities Orientation sim is great for brand new SL residents. The NMC Orientation sims is helpful for those with some experience. In the NMC Orientation sim, I found an area that had a dancing feature (see YouTube video above & more SL images below). I had fun dancing and playing the drums. I am beginning to see how feeling immersed can enhance a learning environment. Virtual worlds offer that element with the right pedagogy and guidance. Yet, there is still room for a learner controlled learning environment as we experience each sim at our own pace and preference. So in essence, we may consider virtual worlds a hybrid of pedagogy, andragogy, and cybergogy. Till next time…enjoy life...enjoy Second Life!
SL International Spaceflight Museum
The reading material for this week discussed education in virtual worlds and the potential to enhance synchronous learning. Jennings and Collins (2007) mention E. Rogers' five categories of adopters: a) Innovators (“techies”); b) Early Adopters (“visionaries”); c) Early Majority (“pragmatists”); d) Late Majority (“skeptical”); and e) Laggards to describe the diffusion of innovative technology in education. I am familiar with this psychological concept because it is used in marketing analyses as well. I am now able to understand the differences of opinions regarding emerging technologies in education. I am also able to better understand the varying levels of technology as part of the overall pedagogical strategies.

Our activities involved building a t-shirt and visiting educational sims to observe and experience various designs. The t-shirt activity was fun and overall, I did better building a t-shirt than building a bag in last week’s session. The focus of visiting sims was to think about the design and how it may support a social learning environment. We were given 45 minutes to visit a minimum of two sims. Time flew quickly and I realized how easy it is to lose track of time when caught up in the wonder of great sims!  My first choice was the Vietnam Memorial but unfortunately, the SLurl did not work. I visited the International Spaceflight Museum and Shakespeare’s Theater. I am amazed at the enormous amount of information in SL! My brain is just too small to absorb all of it. The good news is, I can revisit the sims whenever I want to. Here are a few pictures of my visit up in space. A hui hou…

Jennings, N. & Collins, C. (2007). Virtual or virtually u: Educational

institutions in second life. International Journal of Social Sciences 2(3), 180-186. Retrieved from,5

Puamelia with gift bag
In our second session of SL, I noticed that my avatar classmates had changed their outfits from the week before. I wondered, "Did they spend as much time as I did buying free clothes in various sims?" It was nice to see and chat with them again. We are all feeling a little more confident about navigating the basics of SL. I enjoy the learning experience but am experiencing nausea in the process. I think the vivid colors and movement triggers a sense of motion sickness. 

Most of the session involved learning the basics of the build function. After doing a few exercises, we spent time working on our class activity...building a gift bag! It is not as easy as most would think. I quickly learned that precision, patience, and a careful eye is required to line up the pieces correctly. I'll definitely need time outside of class sessions to hone the skills of building. In fact, there is so much to learn that I forgot to take my gift bag and place it in my folder. I received an e-mail informing me that my TA put it in my lost and found folder. Too funny!

A funny incident happened during our building exercises, the roof floor disappeared out from under us and I suddenly found myself on the ground floor of the building. We were atop of the roof and someone deleted the floor by accident. I sure hope it wasn't me!! Stay tuned for more adventures in SL.
And we’re off…!!!! It’s Fall 2011 and the first week of school has begun. For the next 16 weeks, I will be challenged with learning, retaining, and applying various forms of educational technology for three different courses. In this course, ETEC 652D, class is held in a virtual world called Second Life (SL). The purpose of this course is to examine, discover, and experience the opportunities available in utilizing virtual worlds for teaching and learning.

My avatar name is Puamelia. My limited virtual world experience was exhibited in our first class session because I had difficulty sitting exactly on a cushion. I had mastered the art of changing outfits, walking, flying, etc…but NOT sitting. LOL, not to worry, I’ve already made good progress since then. I am excited about this course because I am interacting with the class in a way that I have not done before. It adds another component as a tool to an e-learning community other than IM, e-mail, discussion forums, Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate Live!) and more. It can benefit as a synchronous or asynchronous tool. It is exciting because SL is social networking in a whole new world.  

Our first assignment was a scavenger hunt activity. It was fun!! I met with two other classmates and we decided to travel the virtual world together in search of the items on our scavenger hunt list.  Here is a photo of myself at one of the SL simulations (sim). This was my first stop. I am at the International Society of Technology (ISTE) sim looking over my shoulder at the ISTE Island Event Calendar.
Second Life - ISTE sim
I visited educational technology, famous world landmark re-creation, and fun and recreation/leisure-oriented sims. In particular, I enjoyed the rides at the Prim Hearts Amusement Park. Let’s see where this journey takes me…I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, please enjoy more SL photos below.

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