Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Zone is Ready-are you?

I am completely amazed at the fact that the teachers at my school can't stop talking about Second Life! I'm all about the "tell a few and let them bring in the others" and it really worked on this one. I started with 1 person that I know is always willing to try anything new that I throw out at her. Then, another came on board and totally wowed me with how quickly she caught on. Now? We have a building called the NCHS Learning Zone, we held our first meet and greet last Thursday and we have over 20 teachers using Second Life. To put the cherry on top, every last person on my administrative team (of 6) has an avatar!
The day after the meet and greet, you could feel the excitement. Everyone that attended kept talking about their experience and teachers that are normally not interested in technology were asking how they could get involved. I must admit, though, that I'm a little surprised. I did not expect this level of enthusiasm right off the bat. It took me 2 weeks to totally figure out the clothing and I had two people make clothes (something I've not tried yet) within the first few days of having an avatar! They're picking it up quickly and I've found that many teachers have been in-world quite a bit this weekend!
There are, however, a few concerns about the social aspect of it. It's exciting, it's new and they want to play with it. Everyone is at the goofy phase right now where dancing and being silly is the norm (as it is for many just getting started in SL).
Soon, I'll be holding a learning session in SL which should be about the time they're over the social aspect and ready to consider the options for work. We all have to play with the dances and gestures at first, but eventually, the funniness wears off and one realizes that it is a great resource for the classroom.
In the meantime, we are putting together a list of second life tips for keeping teachers safe. I"ll post them once they are complete, but would love to hear anyone's thoughts if you're willing to share.

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