Published by Joe Sanchez on 08 Oct 2008

Student Build Challenge (video)

On Tuesday my students had to turn in their first collaborative build in Second Life. My instructions for the assignment are below (from an email)

In your teams I want you to create something with your land. You will need a theme, an entry point, some type of navigation, and something interactive or a “feature”. Think back to the tours, the water park had rides, Bear Island had an arcade, The classic car museum was a Museum, what will be your group feature? How will people know where to go? How will they know what to do? How will you make your place a “living structure”? We will spend 15 minutes in your space on Tuesday, October 7.

Some possible themes are:
The Future
Winter Wonderland
Halloween
Small Town texas
The Presidential Campaign
A historic time period
Chaos
Organization
despair
wild west

We had a good time exploring their areas and and they learned some key skills through the process. 1) The difficulties of collaborating in a syncronous environment, 2) the Challenge of permissions in SL when sharing objects as a team, 3) thinking about “interaction” and “living spaces” in a virtual world (how do you design it), 4) hosting a large group of people (18 students + 5 guests). They did a good job and I was able to make a quick and dirty machinima of the their builds, enjoy

Published by Joe Sanchez on 03 Sep 2008

20 new Students + 13 waiting

The semester has begun and i have 20 new students with an additional 13 on the wait-list for my Working in Virtual Worlds course. As their first assignment i had them all create a one-minute video introducing themselves to the class. They had to use pictures, a soundtrack, a voiceover and post the final video on youtube. The class started last Thursday so they had all weekend to work on it, the project was due yesterday (tuesday). 18 out of 19 students completed the project without a problem, one student “forgot” and another student posted the file wrong on youtube. All in all i think the assignment was a success and we had a great time watching all of the videos in class.

In my course I emphasize the importance of the narrative and storytelling. This intro assignment is their first attempt at telling a story and using digital media to help them express their identity. When i first announced the assignment the students were intimidated by the task, but once I broke it down into the core parts, 8 pictures, a theme song, a title, and a voiceover they quickly understood that creating a short movie/slideshow is actually not that hard. As you will see, many of them had fun with it. Next week they will be using Second Life to tell a story in their virtual condos, they have to setup their SL accounts between now and our next class (Thursday) and they will have a full week to decorate the condos.

Here are a few of my students…

I also made a one-minute intro video for the class,