Getting a life (a second one, that is)

Have you tried it? Second Life, I mean. If you are not someone terribly interested in virtual environments, then the whole idea may seem a little creepy to you. I’ll ‘fess up: it creeped me out. I’ve always been interested in new technologies and discovering for myself how they work as well as if and how they might be supportive in the classroom and/or lifelong learning situations. But I’ve never been a “gamer” as it’s currently defined. Gaming for me was Space Invaders and Galaga (did I spell that right?). PacMan if I was feeling lucky. But I got myself an avatar, yes I did. And now I’ve found myself designee to purchase University of KY Island in Second Life.

And so I got a life. A Second Life. I won’t pretend it doesn’t feel a little strange; however, it is growing on me, and I am beginning to see connections for instruction and lifelong learning. The educators listserv, SLED, is especially helpful (although I recommend the daily digest rather than getting each message as posted). If you are interested in getting your own avatar so that you can explore University of KY Island when it is ready, then here’s how: First, go to http://secondlife.com/ and click on the Sign Up Now button. You will be walked through account setup (a free account will get you an avatar and a Second Life) and avatar selection. You’ll also be prompted to download the software. Once you log in the first time, you will be placed on an Orientation Island, where you will learn to move and find out more about SL. Once you are finished with your tasks you can “teleport” to a Help Island, where your avatar will get a good start in SL. After that, you kind of have to know where to go. In a future entry, I’ll give you some destinations, like Paris 1900, museum sites and others. And of course, University of KY Island when it is ready.

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