This week village 11 focused on simulated real-life scenes, recreations of historical monuments, real life places, and active communities in Second Life.  My schedule didn’t allow me to attend many tours this week, but I did make it to Paris 1900 and Arachon.  Unfortunately, the lag in the Paris tour today didn’t allow me to enjoy it much, but I had visited it before, one morning when we had a snow day, and it’s awesome!  As both places use French, I got to practice my listening, although it’s been too long for me to dare to speak!  I have a whole list of places to visit as I have the time, which I’ll post here (so I won’t forget that I want to visit them):

Some require you to dress in authentic period clothing.  I keep thinking “if I had students I could use this with…”  A fellow teacher suggested only the teacher having access to SL, while the RL students watch on.  This could work with my younger students, who get excited about anything that’s even partially new (which I love btw!), but I think the older students would get bored fairly fast.  None of it matters for the time being, since the Internet connection is way too slow, and I’m sure SL is blocked, but you never know what the future may bring.  For now, I’m content learning what I can about language teaching and learning in SL.

After continued problems accessing the VILLAGE Grouply site (is my connection really THAT bad?  can I blame it on the snow?), I’ve decided to comment on my Second Life experience here.  I think it can be summed up nicely in a list:

  1. Wow.  That’s awesome.  How can I have had an avatar for 1,333 days (3 and a half years) and not have taken more time to learn how to use it?
  2. Wow.  Time consuming.
  3. Wow.  I can go shopping in Second Life when there’s too much snow to go shopping here.  Second Life has even been nice enough to decline all my credit accounts so I can’t buy anything and have to hunt around for free stuff.
  4. Wow.  University of Cincinnati exists in SL AND they’ll give me stuff for free!  Why couldn’t they have done that in RL?
  5. Wow.  I could teach here, really!  Just have to find myself some students that are old enough!

In the past three weeks, I’ve learned most of the basics, although I’m sure there’s more, become a shopaholic, found out how to rez prims, build basic structures, teleport, explore, and gone on a lot of tours with fellow language teachers.  I’m slowly understanding different ways that I could use SL with RL students, although I’m finding it a little overwhelming at times.

Check out some of my photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

The Globe Theatre in Language Lab

MacBeth Throne Room

On a killing spree in MacBeth

Getting ready to hang glide in EduNation III