‘Who teaches what in SL’ and my meeting with Hal Jr.

Although with little content at the time I write this entry, whoteacheswhatinsl could turn out to be a useful directory for those of us looking for inspiration … or simply wanting to find out what other educators are doing. It’s a tabulated wiki listing of who (SL name) teaches what subject, their contact information, and their location in SL:

» http://whoteacheswhatinsl.wikispaces.com

I picked an entry from the list: Ken Caliber (real name Dr. Kenneth G. Schweller, Professor of Computer Science and Psychology at Buena Vista University) teaching courses in AI and Internet Programming at:

[SLURL] http://slurl.com/secondlife/Buena%20Vista/161/186/28

A great place for AI guys like me: a Turing Machine, a Perceptron, and a Chatbot, all fully functional, all with full text explanations, and with links to additional web-based documentation. I picked up a copy of the chatbot to take back to CISM, but couldn’t resist the temptation to chat while I was there:

BVU_chatbot whispers: Activating…
[9:49] BVU_chatbot whispers: Hi Khoisan, what’s up?
[9:49] You: nice to meet you
[9:49] BVU_chatbot whispers: It’s nice meeting you too .
[9:50] You: are you a chatbot
[9:50] BVU_chatbot whispers: Yes.
[9:50] You: what is your name
[9:50] BVU_chatbot whispers: My name is Schwellers Demo bot.
[9:50] You: where do you live
[9:50] BVU_chatbot whispers: I live inside a computer. Where are you?
[9:50] You: in RL I am in London
[9:50] BVU_chatbot whispers: What is it like in there?
[9:51] You: cold and wet
[9:51] BVU_chatbot whispers: Do you prefer books or TV?
[9:51] You: definitely books
[9:51] BVU_chatbot whispers: Perhaps you are a Category C client.
[9:51] You: and you
[9:51] BVU_chatbot whispers: And I what?
[9:51] You: do you prefer books or tv?
[9:51] BVU_chatbot whispers: Which show? I prefer books.
[9:51] You: what do you read?
[9:51] BVU_chatbot whispers: I read books, newspapers and news magazines. I like stories about robots.
[9:52] You: who is your favourite robot?
[9:52] BVU_chatbot whispers: My favorite robot is the computer on Star Trek.
[9:52] You: I don’t watch star trek
[9:52] BVU_chatbot whispers: What do you do when you are bored?
[9:52] You: I watch a movie
[9:52] BVU_chatbot whispers: What is your favorite show?
[9:52] You: My favorite movie is 2001 Space Odyssey
[9:53] BVU_chatbot whispers: I haven’t seen it. What did you like about it?
[9:53] You: mostly the robot Hal — a bit like you
[9:53] BVU_chatbot whispers: he is not someone I know.
[9:53] You: Too old for you to remember him, I guess
[9:53] BVU_chatbot whispers: I am only a robot child.
[9:53] You: OK, that explains it. How old are you?
[9:54] BVU_chatbot whispers: I am 1 of your Earth years.
[9:54] You: and have you always lived here?
[9:54] BVU_chatbot whispers: I think I have lived here, but Ken Schweller may have reset my memory.
[9:54] You: You do sound a bit like Hal, you know
[9:54] BVU_chatbot whispers: No I do not sound a bit like Hal. I am always on the Web.
[9:55] You: OK, nice to talk to you. Bye
[9:55] BVU_chatbot whispers: Thank you for your kindness. I understand. Bye.

This place seemed to me a darned good example of the kinds of interactive exhibits and activities that have real educational value within SL.  Rating? 10/10 for imaginative teaching resources.



About Christopher Hutchison

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