Thursday, May 29, 2008

SLanguages 2008

Last weekend's SLanguages conference/festival was quite something. Over 300 people registered (compared to last year's 40) and 19 presenters (to last year's 5) over a 24-hour period. The launch was lots of fun with over 80 avatars attending the first plenary. I took lots of snapshots during the event and have created an overview of it using Slideshare, which you can see below. The SLanguages archive also now has many of the individual presentation slides and audio from the conference.

I found the event itself to be quite an eye-opener and will definitely go back and listen to the sessions I didn't get the chance to attend and also revist a few of the ones I did get to. There were also lots of places mentioned in SL that I want to visit (when I have time!).

It was particularly interesting to see how things have moved on in a year (there's now so much educational and language education activity going on in Second Life it's really exciting) and I also met lots of new people and re encountered others I'd not seen in a while. Great stuff, although I echo the sentiments expressed on the HUMlab blog - now it's time for more "students that need to be exposed to such situations." Hopefully, after next year's SLanguages event we'll be talking more about this.

The other comment that was made in the feedback to the event, which you can find summarised on Dudeney Ge's blog is that there was an over-emphasis on Power Point type presentations, which was a shame. I have to agree, and I hope we can move away from this in the future. However, as I wrote on Goodday Tomorrow's blog, this kind of presentation is the easiest to prepare (we wanted to prepare a quest to present our quests but just ran out of time) and also the safest format when you have lots of avatars at a conference. There were tours, for example, which were great, but these tours do take a lot more organisation (getting people the landmarks, etc) . I went on one, and was impressed, especially as people had been lined up to talk about particular areas...

I'd definitely like to attend more events and see how other people use SL to present ideas, etc. and also would like to follow up the idea of a quest in the Main Grid. I wonder where I'll find the time from though...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Education@Edunation Session V - Saturday 17th May 1.30am SL Time

April was so busy that it came and went without a chance to organise an Education@Edunation event. However, I am very excited about the next one, which will feature Nick Noakes (Corwin Carillon in SL), who is a very active educator in Second Life.

Corwin will be leading a discussion - Here's how he describes the event:

Come join us for a discussion of self-directed team learning in Second Life where we will share ideas and practices for giving learning teams greater control through inquiry-driven projects.

Because Nick is based in Hong Kong, we've rearranged the time and date. This time it will be on:
Come and join us if you can - Space is limited, so please sign up now by visiting the sign-up stands at Edunation III (see photo below).

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 04, 2008