Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CAL 2009: Mediating media studies – stimulating critical awareness in a virtual environment

Live blog from #cal09

D.K. Herold; Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Main argument is that teaching in second life is very easy. :-) Example described showed the Second Life area set up including virtual library with links to all the material they need and a virtual lecture theatre where guest lecturers can speak to students.

Interesting opportunities arise to talk about choices students made in their (unprompted) design of avatar. Interestingly, for an institute in Hong Kong, not one student created an Asian look for their avatar. Also, issues to do with sense of audience comes in, e.g. how to Reuters represent themselves in Second Life compared to how Sky News represents itself. How are real cites represented in Second Life? What does it say about people's perceptions of the places they live?

A bizarre problem the described by the researcher is he had to be in a physical classroom with the students while they were in Second Life or the university did not see it as teaching!

Caution: Second Life is very time intensive. For example, have to do a fair bit of Second Life setting up before you can turn to educational set up.

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