Shameless Plug? Sure, plus details

When a new technology or platform comes along, we tend to think of “how can I use it for elearning”?

Second Life, although not new at five years since it started, is still new to the elearning community.  It still has that new sparkle to it and continues to improve with each viewer release.  The next viewer will have MONO and should result in a noticeably faster script running (up to 220 times faster).

While this has little to do directly with elearning in Second Life, it will increase performance and make for a better all around experience for residents.  That is all well and fine, but to return to the premise of this post – we tend to look at this as “how can I put my elearning into that?”

Whether “that” is Second Life or an iPhone, we typically focus on how to deliver our content via the new platform.  This is certainly appropriate and yields great results.  At DevLearn08, I look at how we can turn that around in regard to Second Life.

Rather than bring elearning into it, bring “it” to elearning.  Second Life has some obstacles, none are particularly bad, just obstacles (firewall issues, initial learning curve, limit to number of participants in one place).  It is a very rich tool intended to allow a high level of 3D creativity.   That is a huge plus for Second Life as all content is created by it’s users.  Keeping in mind that it is a shared 3D application helps to understand why it does have occasional issues.  To create a sharable 3D application is a mammoth task and quite well done by Linden Labs.

For me, bringing Second Life into elearning means using it as your own personal video studio.  The cost and logistics of incorporating real video in elearning is very high.  And if you ever need to update the video you have . . . that is nearly impossible (having the same actors, wardrobe, video and audio setup, is difficult).  However, creating a Second Life studio means having your own 3D created space with actors that don’t age, are always available (if you use alts and dedicated accounts), saved outfits in their inventories, total control over lighting, et cetera.

The addition of MONO means that subsequent filming will be even smoother and yield higher quality results.  The use of this video (machinima) is certainly heavy in it’s 3D “game” style but is an option that is inexpensive and fairly easy to do.  Once you have the techniques and settings established, it is easy to shoot video and easy to come back later to update that video.

Techniques and settings to consider will all be presented at DevLearn08 concurrent session 708 and the supporting material will be available for download.  These materials include “user guides”, checklists, tip & tricks, tools, video files, and Flash files.  Additionally, a sim (island) will be made available for participants of the conference to practice these techniques in a private area with low traffic.

Thanks and I hope to see you there for a very resource heavy presentation with step-by-step discussion of a real world case study.  You will definitely be able to come away with “lessons learned” and be able to put this into practice for your elearning.