I'm interested in exploring what kind of SL-tivities can be designed to exploit the features of SL. I've designed an event in SL that will involve participants in:
- introducing themselves
- listening to an audio presentation (with PowerPoint slides)
- working in a small group (with voice/IM) to discuss the presentation and agree some ideas
- groups create note-card with feedback and post in note-card box
- groups re-convene to share feedback using voice/IM
I see the specific affordances in SL as being multi-faceted. SL has some great challenges, but also provides a great deal that Virtual Worlds provide in general.
Specifically, VWs provide spaces to develop difficult or impossible scenarios to experience, from the infantecimal to the gigantic. A user can become tiny in perspective and see the structures of a cell or become giant and stand next to a 3D working model of our solar system (I have one, it rocks!) Not only that, but the social presence of the avatar makes the learning environment truly flat, where people can't judge based upon mere outward appearances, but rather on actions and ideas.
Much more where that came from and in fact have the opportunity to get some builds developed with the company that I consult for, Firesabre Consulting.
Jeremy (Jeremy Braver the Fox - SL)
Jeremy yes agreed re the characteristics of resources, however the nature of avatars I see as a little more complicated.
In most online interactive envirionments there either isn't a visual representation of the contributor, or it's a static picture. Even if its a video its a snap shot of what that person says or does, what s/he looks like 'for real' on that day. Personally I try and avoid sending pictures until the group is well established- why introduce discriminators so early. However in SL the person is represented and in a way of their choosing. We can ignore this aspect or we can make something of it- what really matters to me is how it should be handled by (anotehr avatar- the SL moderator) to promote learning, knowledge sharing and the essential pre requisites and necessary conditions for these happy states.