Going Virtual at Go Virtual

Panel Session at Go Virtual — originally uploaded to flickr by cogdogblog

Anya Ixchel (aka Angela Thomas). me as CDB Barkley, Corwin Carillon (aka Nick Noakes), JoKay Wollongong (aka Jo Kay), and Sean McDonnugh (aka Sean FitzGerald) as panelists for Go Virtual 07 NSW Learnscope Regional Event

We had some great exchange among us and with the audience, and amazingly enough, the audio really worked out very well. It was exciting to hear the excitement from some of the audience who were new to Second Life.

Thanks Jo Kay and Sean for inviting me to be, virtually, part of the NSW Go Virtual Event. It’s not easy at all running these hybrid events where some of the participants are in the same place (their audience in Wollongong) and others dangling at a distance in Second Life. When it works out well, it’s magic. When it doesn’t…. well that’s another blog post.

And its an honor to join my virtual colleagues, some of whom I have met in RL and some I hope to cross of the list when I come to Australia next month. For me, the greatest tangible benefit of my time and experience in Second Life has been the expansion of my professional network, as it has affording new collaborations that likely would not have happened, even on the web.

What sometimes I struggle to keep in mind, and like to remind people, that we are standing on the very beginning thresholds of virtual worlds technologies. The very first baby steps. A few years from now, all of this activity may seem quaint, and we may be in worlds far beyond Second Life, or SL may have morphed into something else. The platform is irrelevant.

But folks out there are already being asked to justify this activity, as if there are measurables yet, or concepts of “ROI”– and will their organizations refuse to even allow some exploration if this is still lacking? Would we have only gone to the moon if someone had been there before? It’s a tough area to address and asks for some leeway based on some educated hunches.

We all had some good words to say about the value of “creativity” in this space– yet I wonder what are the best ways to communicate this, as it seems to be understood best by those who have had a creative experience. And it struck me, as I was reaching for words, that there are many niches of creative potential here that are not just the 3D modeling and making pf impressive builds in Second Life.

There is creativity in how we represent ourselves. How we communicate. How we interact. I cannot build anything except plywood cubes, yet I find creativity in just organizing events and bringing people together.

My favorite creative activity in SL is taking photos. For some, taking snapshots is enough, but I am looking for different angles, lighting, composition, cropping, macro shots, etc, all things that I do with my RL camera.

What I’d like to say is you don’t have to build a thing in SL to be creative. Creativity for teachers, is in the ideas they conjure on how to leverage what is there for something that can help engage learners.

I might be babbling because it is late, and I have 10 minutes left in the day to call this my Sunday blog post.

Thanks again Sean and Jo for inviting me in.

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