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Transcript of

Teaching Tools in Second Life

Presentation at SLanguages 2008 Conference


www.slanguages.net

[ SLIDE 1 ]
Hi, my name's Dudeney Ge in SL and Gavin Dudeney in RL
I just wanted to thank you all for coming.
I'll be using voice for the presentation, but chatting a summary here in text chat
Let me tell you a liitle bit about myself and the session
In RL I work in the field of distance education and training
And you can find out more about that here: http://www.theconsultants-e.com
In SL I run three sims (EduNation I, II and III)
EduNation I has rental land for educators
EduNation II is an entire island free for use by educators
and EduNation III has rental properties for educators.

[ SLIDE 2 ]
I thought a good start to this conference would be to talk a little about some of the teach-
ing tools available in SL
And I'll be looking at a collection of them - some free, some commercial
At the end of this session you'll be able to grab a box of free tools
You'll also be able to pick up a free copy of the presentation
And a copy of this text chat record
I don't want this to be too much of a lecture
So I'm going to 'show and tell' for a while
And then open it up for discussion on the tools - their uses, abuses, etc.
Here on the screen is the overview of the session
Towards the end I'll set out the freebies for you all
And also give you some addresses and links to explore further

[ SLIDE 3 ]
So I thought we could look at a variety of tools:
presentations, chat, information, quizzes and then, finally environments
I'll be showing you some objects which are free, and some which you may want to buy
But I hope there will be something for everybody in here
So, let's move on to look at presentation tools

[ SLIDE 4 ]
The tool I'm curently using to show you my slides was developed by me for EduNation II
It's a pretty simple gadget, and you'll get a free copy at the end of the session
You simply export your PowerPoint slides (or any images) as jpgs
Resize them using a graphics program (512 pixels wide is a good size)
And then do a bulk upload to SL (File - Bulk Upload). It costs L$10 per image
Once you have them in your inventory, you simply edit the screen
And drag a copy into the Contents
Then it's simply a question of clicking the laptop keyboard here
And you get a menu of all the images you've uploaded - select one to show it on the
screen
Of course, this only really works if you have somewhere to place the screen
So if you're currently without land, you might want to try this gadget
It's called the kkD Projector and HUD and it displays images in the air
It works more or less the same as the big screen - but you don't need a plot of land
It's worth bearing in mind that L$250 (the price of this HUD) is currently US$1!
Now, let's move on to chat tools

[ SLIDE 5 ]
There are a couple of free tools here. The first is the SpeakEasy HUD
I developed this for presentations before voice came into SL
You basically put your text in a notecard and wear the SpeakEasy HUD
It attaches to your screen and each time you click it, it reads a line of text into public chat
So if you have a lot to say, you can do it without typing in real time
This helps people like me - who can't type very well
But it also helps in situations like this, where some are using voice, and some aren't
Another useful gadget here is the GPL ChatLogger by Nobody Fugazi
It logs all chat in the area (after asking for permission)
And outputs it in formatted HTML, with a different colour for each speaker
So it's a great tool for posting chat logs online - when you can.
If you need a more robust solutuon, then the Temporal Gadgets Recorder is excellent
It will record up to 80,000 words in a session, and also outputs colour-coded logs
It currently costs LS$2250 or US$9
If you're involved in moderating discussions or chat sessions
It's worth having a look at the GK Light Bulb Discussion Server
Which was originally developed for the Global Kids project in the Teen Grid
What you get is a server, and a little box that distributes lightbulbs to participants
If someody wants to ask a question, they wear a lightbulb over their head and click it
When they click it, it turns on and they get added to a question queue
If you're the moderator, the server will tell you who is in the queue to speak
And you can give them the floor easily. I've used this for a couple of events and it works
fantastically
That currently costs L$1000 or US$4

[ SLIDE 6 ]
Now we'll move on to information tools. The three I'm going to mention are all free
And they're also all included in the freebies at the end of the session
The first is a kind of web browser.
If you need to give access to websites during a teaching or training session
This box can be configured with those web addresses
When someone clicks on the box, they get offered a menu of websites to visit
When they select one, the site will open up in their default browser
On the right we have a handout giver - simply a box with a notecard in it
When the user clicks the box, they get offered the handout
You'll find a summary of this chat log in the one I've just put out
And the last tool here is a dropbox for learners to drop notecards into
This object allows you to collect written assignments or reports from learners in SL
The simply write their assignment as a notecard, then drag it from inventory into the box
When they're all done, you can edit the box and drag the notecards to your inventory

[ SLIDE 7 ]
Quiz or survey tools can also be useful in certain contexts
The TreasureHUD at the top on the left can be configured with audio, visual and textual
clues or questions
The learner attaches a HUD and they are given a landmark to the first question
When they arrive, they click on the post and are given an audio clue along with an image
and text
If they get the wrong answer they are given feedback anbd a further clue
When they get the right answer they are given a landmark to the next question
It's ideal for treasure hunts, etc.
The VoteMaster allows you to set up votes on various different subjects
Each time a vote is recorded, the display changes
Those two tools are free - the last one, the Biq Quiz, costs L$350 (US$1.4)
This is a flashcard system designed by Eloise Pasteur
And it's well worth looking at her other tools as she really does make superb educational
materials
Her SpiderGram tool is another great example of what she does
There's more information on her at the end of the presentation

[ SLIDE 8 ]
Finally I just wanted to look at a couple of teaching environments which I particularly like
The first is a set of stadium rings (free) by Jeremy Kabumpo
These are ideal for getting out anywhere for learners to sit on
The good thing about these is that visibility for the whole group is excellent
And they revolve slowly, so you get a change of scene as the session goes on
The second, which was designed by Biran Gould - originally for the University of Queens-
land island, is a set of decks
Each table takes up to six people, with an instructor seat in the middle
What's special about these decks is that each table can be sent up into the air out of chat
range of all the others
So you can start a session in plenary, then do private groupwork
The tables go to 100 metres, 200 metres, 300 metres, etc
Each table can call the instructor up to their height for consultation
Chat can be recorded on each table, and notecards delivered by the instructor
They're excellent for more complicated groupwork sessions
You can find them at Terra incognita, but they do cost L$9000 (US$36)
However, if you think you may be doing a lot of groupwork, I can't recommend them too
highly

[ SLIDE 9 ]
I thought we could open it out for discussion now
Has anybody got a favourite tool they'd like to share?
Or perhaps someone would like to comment on tools in general
Do we need them? Do they enhance or detract from the SL immersion?
Should we be investigating new forms of presentation and interaction?
Or do these have a place in SL?
I'll throw it open to the floor
If you have a question or comment, please try to type a summary too - for those not us-
ing voice

[ SLIDE 10 ]
ok - we're running out of time, so I just wanted to move on to a few links and resources
You don't need to copy these down - just pick up a free copy of the presentation after-
wards
You'll see I've mentioned Eloise Pasteur here, and also Milosun Czervik, who runs the ICT
Library and the SLED Picayune
The ICT Library has a great collection of free teacher tools, and the SLED Picayune keeps
educators up-to-date with what's happening in education in SL
You'll also find a link to a software project for educators - Open SLedware
A link to the homepage of the Second Life - Moodle mashup
and to the Second Life Educators mailing list (SLED)
And finally an annotated bibliography of educational resources in SL

[ SLIDE 11 ]
Thanks very much for your time
And thanks also to Baldrick Commons for help organising everything
He's currently flying back from some RL work in Venezuela, but will be with us for the rest
of the series
If you want to contact me you'll find details on this screen
And if any of you want to come along and use the EduNation II island for teaching
Please let me know - you'll be most welcome