Facilitating Online/Looking for online community: Virtual Worlds

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Meeting with Grad Students in Second Life - a photo by Pathfinder Linden Pathfinder Linden spoke at a weekly meeting held by grad students who are using Second Life as part of their academic research. My discussion focused on the importance of research ethics in virtual worlds. Fantastic group of folks, and they have an excellent wiki with more information about their work: http://www.simteach.com/wiki/index.php?title=Second_Life_Grad_Student_Colony
A virtual world is a computer-based simulated environment intended for its users to interact via avatars. These avatars are usually depicted as textual, two-dimensional, or three-dimensional graphical representations, although other forms are possible (auditory and touch sensations for example). Some, but not all, virtual worlds allow for multiple users. Wikipedia July 2008.
This week we will be focusing on the use of Second Life as a platform for interaction through an online simulated environment. It is recommended that you access a modern computer and you will need to install the Second Life client to do this week's activities. If you live close to an Internet cafe, they will be able to set you up for an optimal experience. Some people working in public institutions or large organisations have experienced restricted access to Second Life. If you work in a public institution or a large organisation, check with your computer administrator or consider completing this topic on an external computer and network.

To do

1. Download and install the Second Life client and post to your blog your Second Life user name.

2. Add your Second Life user name next to your details in the Participants list.

3. Once you have installed Second Life on your computer click this link that will start Second Life and log you in directly to Jokaydia. In this meeting you will be shown how to use Second Life and then be taken on a tour of interesting venues and projects in Second Life.

Meeting times

4. Read through the Wikipedia entry for Second Life and conduct your own research into the platform to develop a perspective on what sort of communities exist there. Write a post to your blog with ideas on how you might operate as a facilitator for a community within Second Life.

5. Continue preparations for your facilitated event at the course mini conference

Extra resources