So, what is Second Life Linguine? Is it some strange new virtual food that must be consumed by denizens of Second Life? Well, yes and no. Actually, a national restaurant chain recently sent an email out, requesting original recipes for a contest. One of the stipulations was that the dish have a unique and creative name. Since I was then, and am now spending so much time in my “Second Life,” that I barely have time to eat, the name “Second Life Linguine” seemed most appropriate. If and/or when I win this contest the prize for which is a $500.00 gift certificate to the restaurant, then I will invite all of my Second Life friends for a sumptuous feast. Until then, alas, food for thought is all I can offer.
This blog is in fact, long overdue, and I have finally succumbed to the urging and gentle nudges of my mentor and friend, Kevin Jarrett, known in SL as KJ Hax. Kevin was the instructor for the last two courses in my Walden University MS program, Integrating Technology in the Curriculum, and easily the finest instructor I had over the 18-month stint as full time student and teacher. Little did I know that an innocent, “I’d like to help with your research …” would have me so consumed by SL.
I put the masters degree off for many years, as I had no intention of entering a program unless I was passionate about the subject matter. Enter, educational technology training in the form of an EETT grant. WHOA! “Wait, where are you?” “What did she do?” Where did she go?” “How did we get there?” “I’M LOST!” Those were my standard battle cries for most of my first year in the grant. However, somewhere along the way, my perspective began to change, as it continues to do daily.
These are heady times for anyone involved with ed. tech, or anyone desiring to be involved, however inexperienced. There are so many possibilities being opened up by Web 2.0, Second Life, and the plethora of other tools available, it’s a wonder our heads don’t explode from the sheer volume! I for one, am sticking with SL; the merits of SL’s effective use in education have been, and will continue to be hotly debated, but my mind is made up. I have never seen a tool so empowering, available to anyone who chooses to explore its parameters. There have already been multiple postings about the mental and emotional toll that SL relationships can have on an individual, and I can tell you from first hand experience, they can be unbelievably powerful and devastating.
The one thing to be reiterated, is that the educators who communicate with each other in-world are not cartoon characters or people play acting, they are absolutely real, and they are there for much the same reasons as we –to improve learning for our students.
Enter the C.A.V.E. (The Center for Advanced Virtual Education) I am a member of this illustrious group, OMG! If I can help Kathy Schrock, Will Richardson, David Warlick, Annette Lamb, and others of their ilk, in any way , shape, or form, I’m all over that! I will be happy to sponge every bit of knowledge from all of the present and future CAVE people that they will allow me.
To conclude this first post, I think I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Kevin Jarrett resoundingly, for his mentoring and friendship. He has shown me wisdom, patience, kindness, and support at every turn. I fervently hope to continue this professional association, and friendship for many years to come.
Secondly, I must also thank Victoria Gloucester for her friendship, and all that she has taught me about SL in such a short time –not to mention being a great shopping partner and guru!
And last, but far from least, I must thank my husband Steve for not divorcing me as I became so immersed in SL, that at times, I virtually (no pun itended) didn’t hear him or know he was in the room. I hope he will forgive me my obsession, and continue to help me balance my existence in both of my lives.
Now, if YOU dear reader managed to get through all of this, I promise that future posts will be less lengthy, and ask for your thoughts and opinions on all things Second Life. See you all at the ISTE office and Skypark :)