Turncoat!

The collaborative Travel Guide activity has been a bit of a chore. The mashing side of it can get a bit time consuming – I’ve realy enjoyed exploring SL and finding some locations to put on my sub-group’s travel guide – and as this is the heart of the activity, I can say it’s been useful and despite taking up every evening for a week I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve enjoyed taking snapshots and writing brief “rough guides” for each location, chatting to some of the people hanging out at each place – I’ve even teleported some newbies to some areas that they wanted to find but couldn’t (starting to feel like a veteran already! How time flies inworld!) – but it’s the repitition that is getting to me: the having to put the same information in so many different applications, be it this blog, the wiki, the group’s moodle page or database, flickr, delicious…

I don’t want to sound disparaging but I am aware that this repetition is starting to get to other course members too: it’s not that we can’t see the pont – it’s all about using web 2.0 tools repeatedly in order to be familiar with them and see how they can be used to ediucational effect (I guess), but it has been detrimental to this particular activity, hence the title of this posting.

Here’s where I get my virtual head kicked in, and I really don’t want to sound like I’m bitching. Thing is, I have a problem…

My sub group – the orange group – seem to have lost interest. There are only two or three of us who are using the wiki and forum page to do anything, and one of these members has started sounding…well…frankly, a bit fed up with it all, and I can see his point. He’s not the first course member to say that they are finding the whole “where to post” thing getting ever more confusing, and, to add to this, other members of the group -even the other half-hearted poster – seem to have now disappeared, though I did suggest a few meeting times to hurry things along and try to make some sort of progress and there is a meeting time set for 5.00 tomorrow.

I was invited by a member of the blue group to join them for a fire-side chat about their travel guide on MUVEnation Island. (Things are so much easier when you work with other course members in RL!) I’ve been reading their forum and they’re really cracking on with this activity – we spent a good hour chatting about how to set out their group’s travel guide, whether they should build an exhibition stand too, how to present their guided tour to other groups, who should do what and when to meet up again to bring everything together, as well as SL as an educational tool / resource in general terms. This was a really useful exercise, and fired me up to start the orange group’s travel guide page on the wiki. I then went to moodle to check in, and noticed that other groups have gotten even further – some as far as having posted event notifications regarding their guided tours. My group seem to be so far behind everyone else I feel pretty deflated. The blue group have invited me to join them…yet I feel like a bit of a cow for considering it.

So. I’ll see what happens on Sunday at 5.00 and whether we can start catching up with the other groups. If not I’ll join the blue group at 10.30 on Monday for their next meeting and ask Shirley whether I can be moved.

On a brighter note, the chat yesterday did help shape some pedagogic stuff regarding SL:

  • It’s probably best to teach synchronously in SL
  • Activities such as playing Frisbee help newbies to learn to control their avatars, break the ice and are quite a laugh!
  • The element of anonymity that text chat as opposed to mic. based chat gives may be good for mentor / teacher support-based concepts? i tend to bshy away from invitations to talk “live” as it really does scare me!
  • There’s a real sense of there being a community of practice (and enquiry?) relating to education in SL

Anyhow – let’s see how tomorrow’s meeting goes…

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