[Air-L] Conference in Second Life

AJ Kelton ajk407 at nyu.edu
Wed Apr 18 19:09:35 PDT 2012


Jim,

I founded, and continue to be one of the moderators, of a meeting for
educators in Second Life.  The Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable (
http://www.vwer.org) has met weekly for over four years.  We get a wide
range of attendees from people who are brand new to those who have more
time "in-world" than some others combined.  For our weekly text-chat
roundtable open discussion meetings we get anywhere from 25-40 each week.
 For our special monthly meetings where we have a guest or guests who get
interviewed in voice chat, we can get from 30-50+ (although we've hit close
to 100 a couple of times).  Virtual worlds are an excellent medium for an
immersive experience that allows people to feel like they've "been there".

Yee and Bailenson argue that this medium allows for attachment in a way
that others do no.  Not that I dislike Skype, Google+, or video
conferencing - but I've never heard anyone personalize and place an
experience in those media the way people do in virtual worlds.

I keep saying virtual worlds because open source alternatives are more
popular than ever and becoming much more robust.  That said, Second Life is
still king of the hill.

I would have to agree, however, with Greg, in that bringing a large group
of people who are not regularly in Second Life in-world is problematic from
two respects.  First off, folks may end up fighting the medium, given they
are not familiar with it.  Its not THAT hard to figure out, but of course,
everything seems that way once you've figured it out.  :-)  Second, you're
still limited in the number of people you can bring into one place at the
same time.  The Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference,
which is a multi-day virtual world only event boasts an entire event
attendance in the thousands (2000+ I think), but they only get 175 or so in
the same place at the same time.  The technology is still restricted in
that respect.

I'm happy to address this with you off-list if you have other specific
questions.

aj



On Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 3:13 PM, Jim Parker <drjparker at gmail.com> wrote:

> The American Communication Association, http://americancomm.org/, is
> thinking of doing an online conference in Second Life. I have been to
> meetings in Second Life and found the experience to be superior to video
> conferencing and other alternatives for getting people together.
>
> I would be interested to know what others have tried for online conferences
> and especially about any experiences with conferences in Second Life.
>
> thank you,
>
> Jim Parker
> President American Communication Association
> Asst. Prof, Austin Peay State University.
>
> --
> ...it's a crazy quilt reflected in a fun-house mirror! - Zippy the Pinhead
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-- 
-----

AJ Kelton
Director of Emerging & Instructional Technology
     College of Humanities and Social Sciences - Montclair State University
Doctoral Student
     Educational Communication and Technology - New York University
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