Writing this on the flight home – was enjoying SLEDcc too much at the time to write about it at the time. Brief notes on selected conference highlights from the Second Life Educators Community Conference below. The weekend had a trio of powerful keynotes, mentioned in this post. A follow up post for the other highlights and comments.
Explicit Bargains: Setting Powerful and Realistic Expectations
Sarah ‘Intellagirl’ Robbins spoke enthusiastically and engagingly (as ever). She spoke on the need for explicit bargains to set powerful (yet realistic) expectations for both tutors and students in classes using Second Life – and the importance of this in engaging students and setting out both what the promise of the course is for the students and what their side of the bargain is.
In particular if at the end of the course students still don’t know why the course was using Second Life, then the bargain was not made clear or fulfilled. This I can relate to with my own classes. The last class I ran that had a Second Life component I had some very high student evaluations – alongside some very low ones. The bargain was not clear, and students on some degree programs found it more valuable than students on other degree program.
This year my intention is to offer a wider range of types of projects – to offer different bargains, different promises.
This Ludic Life
Barry Joseph of Global Kids had a very appropriately playful keynote on the ludic life. Barry presented his vision on how play will have an increasingly large role in all areas of life – his vision being heavily influenced by Eric Zimmerman’s. Barry has started a Ludic life group on RezEd, so you’ll be able to read a lot more about this here – and chip in your own thoughts.
Apologies to Robert Bloomfield – I had to duck out of his keynote part way through to set up in my hotel room for my own (inworld) presentation which started immediately after his, which I’ll detail in a later talk. Not having caught all of Robert’s presentation, I’ll pass comment till I get a chance to catch up.
The SLEDcc wiki has links, video casts, and more. You can view all the keynotes and many other sessions here.
Too many to mention but just to say that I think Chris Collins, Jon Von Richter and [kittyglooms RL name] did a fantastic job of bringing everything together.
At the end of the conf Chris asked me for a best and worst, and really there wasn’t a worst, but one thought of a possible improvement did occur to me today. There was a fantastic in-world program, and I know that some of the people in Tampa were also attending in-world events, but a small room with a SL connection and a projector for people to drop into at any time to attend the inworld conference would have been neat – or to have an additional screen up during the keynotes to allow us to see the inworld audience. This can work really well to help the physically present audience to realise that there is another virtual audience present, and I hope it can make a reappearance next year to some degree.
[written mostly en-route, posted from ALT-C in Leeds]