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Friday
May252007

Kudos to Dryburgh and Tulip

The audience was large and rowdy. The room was crowded. The people presenting just before the session wouldn't get their stuff out of the way. The equipment was balky. People were floating in and out. Sound like a real live conference presentation?

Slaudience.jpg

The crowd grows restless. See the blue geek ready to heckle?

This happened to be at a real Second Life conference presentation given by Kathy (Schrock) Dryburgh this morning at 8AM SLT as a part of the Second Life Best Practices in Education International Conference.  Despite the problems at the very start, the talk was absolutely terrific.

Sldryburgh.jpg
Kathy uses her powers of telekinesis to position the  white board where her slides will appear.

Using an in-world presentation device,  Kathy used nearly 60 slides to show the educational possibilities of Second Life.  She's posted a  resource list is on her blog and a tape of her presentation will be forthcoming from slcn.tv. The "talk" - IM'd text that accompanied the slides - was clear, useful and exciting. It worked.
 
SLpostersession.jpg
BlueSkunk visits with Elaine Tulip at the CPS poster session.

I also had a chance to stop by Elaine Tulip's (Lisa Perez) poster session at the event. The Chicago Public School Library Department was well represented. I was inspired a few weeks ago by Lisa's presentation on Second Life at a library conference near Chicago and I continue to be impressed by her department's presence in Second Life.

I am in total awe of these two educators. Their knowledge and understanding of this new medium amazes me of course, but I even more astounded by their bravery for putting themselves out there - presenting and displaying in this unpredictable and even controversial new environment. These are very brave people.

Many educators seem to have a reticence about Second Life as a teaching tool, even those folks I would otherwise consider  visionaries in other ways. Yes, Second Life has an "adult" side to it. Yes, it is crash prone, slow and unreliable. Yes, there is a steep learning curve to creating content for it.

Yes, it sounds just like the WWW of about 10-12 years ago. (Doesn't anyone else remember Mosaic and three minute page re-draws?)

I am also convinced that many of us can't quite reconcile "fun" and "useful." Every time I've gone into Second Life I've really had fun and I wonder if anything this enjoyable can possibly be good for a person. It's my inner Puritan.

Anyway, thanks Kathy and Elaine. You've made this new environment really exciting for many of us.

I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend (if you celebrate). I am off to see my beautiful grandsons and their beautiful parents this weekend and I am doing workshops in Olathe, KS, next week, so I'm signing off the blog for a few days. See you in June.

Oh, I visited with a fellow who dances with his wife in Second Life whenever he is away from home. I couldn't decide whether this was sweet or sort of weird and pathetic.

I've come down on the side of sweet.  

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Reader Comments (2)

Dear Doug,

Thank you for the very, very kind words! I, too, have a lot of fun when I go in to Second Life, and, as you know, always like to take a risk (at least in the area of technology). I may seem brave, but I had 5 back-up plans ready to go if all else failed...bringing the audience to our Eduisland II sim, bringing everyone in to Adobe Connect, and some others.

I did stress a bit when the previous presenters could not be found to get their stuff out of the way so I could set up, but that is no different than in real life when I follow a long-winded presenter!

Have a wonderful weekend and talk to you soon!

Kathy
May 25, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKathy Schrock
Doug
I joined that wild group for Kathy's presentations and I agree with you comments. I followed up with Kathy in the virtual hall after the presentation and she shared some great comments. Particularly about being scared about how the presentation would go. I am sure Kathy had ten back-up plans, but the point you hit is that she was brave enough to do it. Kathy is always so professional, great work for sticking her virtual neck out there to inspire all of us to do the same. Many people have blogged about this being much like the wild west, well in so many ways it is. I am almost ready to try… My plan may be a little too big, but I hope to have a premiere night at my house for a multimedia show and tell projects my grad class will be creating. I better find that popcorn popper for the night!

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