sábado, 31 de enero de 2009


Below you will find a copy of the notecard we received.

Holo-teaching: a field trip to discover the use of holodecks and their potential use in education.

Definition: 'A holodeck is a simulated reality facility located on starships and starbases in the fictional Star Trek universe. […] The holodeck is depicted as an enclosed room in which objects and people are simulated by a combination of replicated matter, tractor beams, and shaped force fields onto which holographic images are projected.' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodeck

In SL, a holodeck is a facility that allows you to rezz, in a given place, a given scene: a classroom, a theatre, a bus, a restaurant... A holodeck is often presented as an enclosed space, often a cube, in which you will identify at least 3 different elements:
* a horizontal platform,
* a scene controller,
* the (interior) scene.

Some holodecks offer you the possibility to rezz exterior or shell scenes. And these can be completely independent: You can access a house (exterior scene) and find inside a Mediterranean beach (interior scene).

The difference between holodecks is the 'scene':
* In virtual reality holodecks, the scene is made up of 6 different views of an image that reproduce a 360° perspective. The scene reproduced is often a real life image: a view of the space, of the desert, of a museum.
* Other holodecks instead of reproducing an image, renstantiate a full 3D space made up of prims animations and scripts like any 3D space inworld.

They also differ in their size, from 10*10m to the Quarterdeck that represents a quarter of a full sim. Their prces vary as well: everything depends on the functionalities offered. If they are 'consumption' holodecks for visitors to rezz a scene; then they are free or not expensive. If they offer the possibility to add scenes, the price increases. Finally if they are the so called production holodecks, then the price for an standard size can go up to 9000L$.

Once more it is just amazing all the possibilities SL offers to teachers. Just imagine being in a space where you don`t have to move and you are suddenly in the dessert, at the zoo and later on the beach.
Holodesks are just wonderful!!!

jueves, 29 de enero de 2009

All about my avatar: Tamara Ashton

Why did you choose this name?

I choose the name Tamara because it was my grandmother´s middle name. She was born in Russia and that is why her middle name was Tamara. She was a very creative and intelligent person. There were always new horizons to discover and she was constantly inventing new things while she cooked. I chose this name because Second Life is an adventure for me where your imagination can flow...it´s like being a bird with lots of things to discover.

Is your avatar similar to your real life appearance?
The first avatar I created is quite similar but then once I started learning how to change your image I created several different images of myself. Now for example I have dark short hair totally the opposite of my real life.

Why did you create your avatar?
I am a fan of integrating web 2.0 tools in my classrooms. Second Life is one tool that allows me to discover the educational possibilities as a web 3.0 tool. I still have lots of things to discover and have been really lucky that I had the privelige of taking a training course with Dafne Gonzalez. Personally I think that there are still many obstacles to overcome before being able to teach English in Argentina using SL due to the lack of hardware and teacher training.

domingo, 7 de diciembre de 2008

Emerge Parade

Today I had the pleasure of being a star just for some minutes. Evelyn, Daf and Tere were also there and it was great to see their wonderful dresses. Enjoy the slideshare I created.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Play some Online Games.

miércoles, 3 de diciembre de 2008

Micro Lesson for an Induction Session

In activity 8 we must plan a micro lesson. Luckily I will be giving this class with Evelyn Izquierdo a wonderful webhead I had the pleasure to meet this year in WorldCall in Japan.

Our lesson will be based on:

Getting Around: Taking a Closer Look
Landmark: NMC Orientation 213, 105, 27

Objectives: At the end of this module, participants will be able to:

Use the computer keyboard to focus, zoom and pan
Use the camera control feature to focus, zoom and pan
Get around and take a closer look at things by using camera controls
Be able to stay in one spot and quickly view something from different angles

1- Find an object that interests you and inspect it closely from all angles. Also pan around the environment and around yourself.
2- Play hide and seek with another friend using only camera controls to search for the other person without moving your avatar.

Previous knowledge: None

Materials: Item Location Camera Control View > Camera Controls, panels, images uploaded (textures) and pasted in prims, snapshots with camera controls, images with arrows.


Step 1: Focusing. Hold down the Alt key to activate Focus Mode. Did you see your cursor change to a magnifying glass while Alt was held down? While continuing to hold down the key, click on anything - an object, the landscape or a person. Notice how the view centers after you click? Even when the object or person moves, your camera will stay with it until it is out of range.
Step 2: Zooming. While holding down the Alt key, press the UpArrow key on your keyboard to zoom in and DownArrow key to zoom out.
Step 3: Horizontal panning. As you continue to hold down the Alt key, press the RightArrow key or LeftArrow key to pan right or left. This is a great way to go around your subject. You can also pan using your mouse. While holding down the Alt key, drag your mouse around. Did you see that you can zoom by moving the mouse forward or back and you can pan by moving your mouse left or right?
Play 'Hide and Seek':

Play 'hide and seek' with another friend using only camera controls to search for the other person without moving your avatar. By the end of this mission you will be able to pan in all directions and angles.

Further Practice

Step 1: Vertical panning. Hold down the Alt and Ctrl keys together then click on something. Now press the UpArrow key or DownArrow key to pan up or down. You can also press the E or C keys to pan up or down. This time the distance from your avatar remains constant but you can pan in all directions using the arrow keys. Try this now: Using your mouse, make sure you hold down the Alt and Ctrl keys together, then click on something and drag your mouse around.
Step 2: Pan landscape. Hold down the Alt, Ctrl and Shift keys all together and drag your mouse. Did you notice that as you move the mouse, the camera slides across the landscape as if you are dragging the ground around?
Step 3: 360 degrees around yourself. To get a quick look around your avatar try this:
With the Alt key pressed down, click on your avatar. While continuing to hold the Alt key down use the arrow keys to spin around your avatar. This is a great way to see what your avatar looks like from the front.
Step 4: Camera Controls. There is one more way to access your camera controls in Second Life. Under View menu select the option Camera Controls. View > Camera Controls
You will see two circles and a bar in between appear at the bottom of your screen.
The left circle rotates the camera.
The middle bar zooms in and out.
The right circle moves the camera left, right, up and down.

Very soon we will post the available dates and time to come and enjoyour class!!!

Catching up with my Muvenation course

We must select two orientation spaces to be analyzed. The options are the following:

-Orientation partly interactive, Virtual Ability (135, 124, 23)
-RL Student Orientation Area, Campus (172, 90, 24)
-NMC Orientation (107, 114, 39), and
-Orientation Stations, Dore (32, 99)

Up to now only had the possibility to observe and read all the different options you have in NMC.

Update to be written soon.

jueves, 13 de noviembre de 2008

Language Lab

Two months ago I was checking my twitter account and found a message from Dafne Gonzalez about teaching Spanish in Second Life. I was intrigued by the fact of how could SL de used as a teaching tool. My first experience using this 3D world had not be motivating. As I knew Dafne who is a wonderful webhead I thought that why not give SL a second chance.

I was defenitely on the right track. Training in Language Lab started soon after I sent my CV to Dafne. I spread the word to the people I knew could be interested and fortunately Evelyn Izquierdo and Nelba Quintana applied for the job.

For our traininig Daf create a wiki for us to follow. Here you can find clear instructions on how to teach Spanish in SL. We had to create mini-lessons and share them with the rest of the trainees.
Below you can take a look at some of our SL classes.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Find great Clip Art Images.

You can take a look at the wiki I created for my mini-lessons.My first lesson was on Shapes students had to identify the different names of shapes and locate them in the Second Life location they are.

I must confess that my first class was a real disaster!!!! I finished with a circle on my head and could not take it off. The lesson learned was that what I planned was too much for a 10 minute class in Second Life. Time is so different in this environment. It was an excellent experience!!

miércoles, 12 de noviembre de 2008

My first steps in Second Life

My first experience in Second life was last year. Unfortunately I don´t have pictures of my first steps as I didn´t know how to use snapshots.

On Thursday November 2nd 2007 I was invited by Barbara Dieu to attend a talk she was going to give in Second Life. The last time I logged in Second Life was when Graham Stanley took a group of educators in a Balloon ride and it was an incredible experience.
In cooking up a storm in education I had problems with my sound and it is wonderful how SL educators help you without knowing you. It took a while to finally have sound so I only listened to the last part of the presentation. There were a lot participants and the pictures Bee showed were great. I also have to thank Cristina Costa who through Skype also tried to help me solve my sound problems.
Two weeks after I entered another chat Graham was having with a group of Italians. I was late and Graham teletransported me and I landed just in front of the presenter. Somehow the chart with the arrows where you can move did not show up so I couldn´t move. They considered me a “Griefer” and I was ejected from the chat!! I was flying in an unknown place. Should try to find out what happened with the chart.
SL is still a big mystery and you can learn a lot of things in this environment.