CISM in Second Life … a beginning

Short prelude

I’ve been tasked by dean of Kingston University’s Faculty of Computing, Information Systems, and Mathematics (CISM), Tim Ellis, with conducting a feasibility study to look at what the educational opportunities may be for CISM in Second Life. Effectively no brief beyond, or more specific than, that. I’ve a research associate, Jia Jia, assisting me until around the end of September; and I’m liaising with the head of the university’s Educational Technology Unit, Tim Linsey, who’s been funded to purchase an island (‘The Knowledge Zone’).

Where are we starting from? pretty much nowhere. I’ve used a free account in SL on and off for a couple of years, mostly in connection with the desktop VR course I teach; Jia has no previous exposure.

Why is this site named ‘Vorticism’? this was the best acronym I could come up with off the top of my head when hurriedly creating the site: Virtual Opportunities for Research and Teaching in (the Faculty of) Computing, Information Systems, & Mathematics.

OK, that’s the preliminaries out of the way …

What is the purpose of this site?

This site will serve two functions:

  1. as documentation of the day-by-day progress of this feasibility study
  2. as a guide to Second Life, and a structured directory of useful resources, for staff of CISM

Only after setting up this WordPress account and starting this blog did I come across the following statement from Pathfinder Linden (John Lester) in the Proceedings of the Second Life Education Workshop (2006):

Keep a public blog about your work, and encourage others to visit it. Get your students to blog about their work in Second Life. Contribute to the Education Wiki. As a pioneer, what you learn in using Second Life for real life education is a priceless resource for others who will follow. Share the knowledge!

This makes a lot of sense. I’ll keep it in mind.

What am I doing today?

Teaching, marking, and exam boards are now pretty much out of the way, so I’ve now the time to start working on this project in earnest.

Tasks for the coming days:

  • (re)familiarise myself with SL a little better (all the better to explain it to others)
  • join a few education-related groups:
    » Kingston University (of course!)
    » EDTECH Community
    » Education UK
    » Educational Podcasting
    » eLearning Forum
    » Open Education in Second Life
    » Real Life Education in Second Life
    » Second Life–Learning Center
    » The Learning Center
    » University of Second Life
    … as well as, for personal interest:
    » Learning History
    » Museums in Second Life
  • take a first look at some of the educational presences; start to list and document the more interesting / important ones
  • document it all on this site; and, in general, start building up resources (SL education blogs, tutorials, support sites, etc) on this site
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About Christopher Hutchison

Museologist, cognitive dissident, political grouch, curmudgeonly bibliophage, and all round jolly nice chap.
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