Well the island is there and has some stuff on it, the first class has met and we’ve a load of interesting projects.
This week there hasn’t been that much time to think, it’s been much more a case of getting on with stuff, in particular preparing the island ready for building classes next week. The first ILE class went well – just a pity there weren’t more students. Those who attended were very positive about what they were seeing and hearing, especially after they had seen the SL interface and looked at last years machinimas. They seemed impressed and surprised that they would be working for real life clients – and surprised and impressed by what last years students had produced in the relatively short period of time the course runs.
During the week, I’ve met with 3 potential clients, all of whom are offering interesting projects and all of whom were excited by the little bit of SL I was able to show them. They were immediately thinking beyond their immediate project ideas to how the end product might be used in different situations with different groups of students and potential students. On my way to my car on Friday evening, I chanced upon one of the potential clients in the car park and was told she had passed my contact details to a colleague who might also be interested in doing something with SL. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of that.
The first few students have logged into SL and received their stipends and notecards. Two problems so far. Students can’t set the island as home and I can’t see how we can make this happen – I need to investigate this a bit further. One student had a difficulty registering. A colleague on the SLED list suggested an alternative registration portal and this worked – relief all around!
I met one of the students on the island on Friday – the kind of chance encounter I expect to have several of during the next few weeks. In an email he commented: “It was excellent chatting with you in-world; thank you so much for making me feel welcome, and for your advice. It’s actually a really weird feeling talking to lecturing staff inside Second Life; the social dynamics are completely different!” I guess when a teacher turns up looking like a raccoon, gives you dance animations and discusses SL nightlife, it is a bit different from sitting in a classroom.
Next week the students get introduced to building and scripting. I have 3 mini-building projects ready but I need to put them in a vendor and prepare the basic building guidelines document. I have checked out building perms with Kickaha and asked a few follow up questions just to make sure I do the land parcels correctly. I also need to get my baseline survey on line and to write the document about the project for students so they can give informed consent.
Next week will probably be mainly practical tasks too, but some time I should be able to get back to the pile of books sitting on my desk!