Showing posts from April, 2006

Second Life Progress Report

I've been spending more time than I'd like to admit exploring Second Life (SL) recently. I've started joining groups, and even tried to take a class on particle building on Saturday at the Second Life Academy(SLA). IT's not that I am particularly interested in particle building in this virtual world (but, hey! I'll give it a go), but I am interested in observing people teaching within the environment, and this seemed like a good opportunity to do so. All members of the SLA were sent an IM to tell us the time for the class was approaching. A meeting point was established, and as people arrived, introductions took place. This involved not only chit chat, but also checking out other people's profiles, which is one of the best ways to get to know what's going on in SL - especially as people share their 'SL Picks', the places they recommend. It started getting funny when a real newbie arrived and started crashing into us all - I realised that I've co

One blog a second...blogs are more important than sex

I can't remember who told me this first, or where I read this, but it's true. I've just checked it. A search on Google for 'blog' yields 1.590.000.000 entries. If you search on 'sex', you'll get 699.000.000. From eflgeek comes links to the Economist and two recent articles on blogging: ' It's the links, stupid ' and ' Among the audience '. The first article mentions that "the “blogosphere” is doubling in size every five months" and that one blog is made every second. It was interesting to see the comment too that "many adolescents consider e-mail passé, and instead are using either instant messaging (IM) or blogging for their communications". That is what I've seen with my students. I recently conducted a survey, and the younger ones (12-16) never use e-mail. Just about all of them use IM, and quite a lot of them have their own blog or photoblog. Perhaps it's that e-mail is associated with the adult world,

Second Life: Better Life

There are lots of promos and films that people have made from within SL - this is one of the better ones that I've come across.

Videogames for Academics

A recent comment from Elia von Oeyen Tupou led me to the blog, Videogames for Academics , which is full of fascinating insights from Elia's dissertation thesis. It seems that Elia has spent a lot of time playing WoW (World of Warcraft, and in particular it was very interesting to read the post 'To my WoW friends' about the effect that stopping gaming had upon online friends, etc. It was interesting to note just how much importance some players place on interactions in the game. I'm sure that this is something that will be difficult for non-gamers to understand. I related to it as I used to be serious table gamer, playing a variety of RPGs with friends, when I was a teenager. During several years, I used to get together to play with friends every Wednesday afternoon (from 15.00-23.00), on Fridays from 18.00-23.00, and every Saturday from 13.00-23.00. Thinking back to this now, that is an awful lot of time spent in imaginary worlds! It strengthened friendship between m

Second Life - different views and opinions

I've started doing some digging, looking for information about Second Life , especially in educational settings. Here's what I've found so far: Rockin'in Second Life - from Alan Levine's Cogdogblog was the most interesting find - it seems that there's already quite a buzz and an interest from certain higher educational establishments about SL, and this post shows just how far some educators have gone already towards experimenting with the alternative world offered by this intriguing game. One to definitely keep an eye on aI think. Alan also mentions a plug in that allows for real time speech, which of course is exactly what would be needed to utilisie this game for language learning purposes. I'm going to check out the plug-in and look for more examples of educational use this weekend. Second Life - Creative Commons feature : about the free cultural events that have currently taken place in SL, and how people can become involved. Second Life History wiki :

Second Life - A Booming Fantasy World

Thanks to George Siemens , I came across A Virtual World's Real Dollars in Business Week Online. Siemens calls it part of one of the most interesting trends at the moment, "the absolute blurring between online and physical spaces" and this is particularly relevant to Second Life . As the article points out, this MMORPG game has captured the attention of some 165,000 people and it continues to grow in popularity. This may seem a lot, but the most popular game, World of Warcraft has more than 6 million players! As is pointed out, the other interesting feature of Second Life (SL), unlike a lot of other similar games is that it's "a three-dimensional digital world in which players can do just about anything" where players "use create everything from avatar clothes to buildings to games that are played inside the virtual world." It's this totally user-generated world that makes Second Life such an appealing potential to many, and th

MMOG & MMRPG in Education

This article in Innovate , the journal of online education, looks at the educational possibilities of Massively Multiplayer Online Games as learning environments. Focusing in particular on Quest Atlantis and The Sims Online , two popular MMOGs (sometimes also called Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Games), the authors "identify and define nine principles of learning that allow such games to have valuable potential as tools for educators" The article points out one of the transformation that is taking place in the world of entertainment that is growing in importance: namely that "many of today's students spend more time playing video games than they do watching television, reading books, or watching films" Reading the article reminded me of Marc Prensky , whose ' Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants ' should be compulsory reading for all 21st century educators. It seems that it could be the right time to take a serious look at the potential for languag

Blog-EFL Archives

I haven't been blogging for a while - I don't know why, but I just lost the blogging bug. That and I've had so many other things on my plate, that this site just got cast aside. It's a shame, though, as there's so much great stuff going on out there - it seems that blogging in EFL/ESL has really caught on, and I'm ready to start exploring again and trying to catch up with what I've been missing out on, and also getting back into blogging with my students. As if in preparation for this, I've been tidying up my profile and doing some housekeeping. I've decided to hide the long list of archives that appear on the front page: I'm going to stick them out of site on an entry page, and this is it. Jul 2006 Jun 2006 May 2006 Apr 2006 Mar 2006 Feb 2006 Jan 2006 Dec 2005 Nov 2005 Oct 2005 Sep 2005 Aug 2005 Jul 2005 Jun 2005 May 2005 Apr 2005 Mar 2005 Feb 2005 Jan 2005 Dec 2004 Nov 2004 Oct 2004 Sep 2004 Aug 2004 Jul 2004 Jun 2004 May 2004 Apr 2004 Mar 200