Friday, November 8, 2013

First Experience in a Second Life

"Girl next door" Avatar
This week for my Emerging Instructional Technology class, we're exploring the idea of virtual reality. After simply playing a (very addictive) game for two weeks, this has been a tough shift for me. The only kind of virtual reality knowledge I have comes from my years of playing the Sims (I had the original one way back in Elementary School), so not a ton.

We've started using a program called Second Life and have been sent on various "quests" in order to help us understand the program and all its features. I've only done the first few and I'm still a little lost, but hopefully my confusion subsides soon. So far I can say that virtual reality is NOT my favorite technology. Although I'm not the biggest fan, I can see its purpose in the business and education world. Virtual reality eliminates all physical barriers of connecting with people. During my introduction I heard a man talk about how he was serving in the military overseas and he met up with his wife on virtual reality to "have a dance" together, which was really sweet! It's a little bit more than phone call. 
"Gladiator" Avatar

As I continued through my "quests", I learned about changing the appearance of my Avatar and how to move my Avatar around the Virtual World. I took a tour through a helpful orientation in a building on an island called "Lionheart Orientation Island" which taught me how to maneuver my way around and other important tips. I figured out (somewhat) how to change the appearance of my Avatar by changing its physical features and its clothing. I started as a normal looking girl and I learned I can have outfits saved that can completely change my whole look! For example, a girl next door by day, and a gladiator by night. Weird, right?

I have a few more "quests" to complete, so look for another blog post with a summary, complete with more of my sassy opinions on the Second Life world. I'm looking forward to meeting with my class again and discussing the realistic application of Second Life as teachers. Have you considered it before? How would it fit in to your curriculum?

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