MetaHappenings: Upcoming Cisco Talk on Learning 2.0

March 11, 2008

When: Noon PST on March 13, 2008

Where: In Second Life, click here for map.

What: (taken from Cisco website)
This TechChat features John Connell, Education Strategist and Business Development Manager at Cisco. During this TechChat Connell will discuss the concept of “Learning 2.0,” in which social technologies are brought to bear on the central issues and relationships in learning. John will share his thoughts about the future of education in a world where the onset and permeation of digital technologies are transforming the way we live, work, and learn.


Tools of the Trade: Ajaxlife.net

February 24, 2008

Problem: Got a work computer, or a laptop, that doesn’t have the graphics muscles to run Second Life? Do you need to chat with your contacts/friends in Second Life, but don’t really need to eat up processor time?

Possible Solution: Ajaxlife.net

My Observations: Accessing Second Life (an Multiple User Virtual Environment) normally requires downloaded software. To experience the world in all it’s 3D glory, you do need a somewhat beefy graphics-capable computer system…something I do not have in my work office. Enter from stage right Ajaxlife. Ajaxlife is a web based interface for Second Life. You don’t get all the pretty pictures, or get to move around, or voice talk, or even see anything for that matter. What you do get is this:

Access To

  • Your inventory (and the ability to sort)
  • Avatar profiles (and thus the ability to contact them)

Search Capabilities

  • You can find non-friend Avatars

Communications

  • Local Chat (Text chatting with avatars located near you in the Second Life sim world)
  • Instant Messaging (think of it as a person-to-person text chat)

Tools

  • Scan for nearby Avatars (since you are blind, comes in real handy)
  • Stats (tells you when there is serious lag in world)

Travel

  • Ability to TP to another location via the map


Bottomline:
Incredibly useful tool for those needing access to the communication features of Second Life when they are away from a graphics-capable machine. It is very difficult to Teleport to another location, since you are as blind as a bat (my apologies to all the bats out there), which may prevent widespread use. No download required! Fairly simple to use (EXCEPT for traveling).

…and btw…this was developed by a teenage girl!


Virtual Reconnaissance

February 10, 2008

It is my intention, in the coming months, to dive into as many different virtual worlds as possible. Thus far, I have a pretty good take on Second Life. I have recently dug into Dofus, Multiverse, and Active Worlds. Next on my list are Entropia, There, and somehow Forterra and Open Croquet. I’ve pondered getting into World of Warcraft, but I just can’t bring myself to commit to the subscription fee.
I really wish to answer the following:
Which will emerge as the leading business training platform?
What are their capabilities from a training and consulting perspective?
Which is the easiest and most cost-effective to enter?
Which captures my imagination and holds it the longest?

In a nutshell, what are my findings thus far?
Second Life:
+ The most potential, Very beautiful graphics throughout, Relatively good security and privacy features, Quick to pick up on the interface yet feature-detailed enough for the tech crowd, Good interaction and communication features, Strong micro communities throughout.
Depending on where you visit you can run into a lot of childish jerks, Oftentimes laggy (pieces of landscape, body parts, clothing, movement missing or slowed), Lack of “Quest” or “purpose” can cause frustration.

Dofus:
+ Silly clean RPG fun, Clever artwork, Mildy entertaining storyline.
This is pretty much a kids game, People in-world hardly ever communicate so no strong communities, Graphics are a bit lacking.

Active Worlds:
+ So far I have found none
– Orientation left me with no useful information, Communication better than Dofus but lacking in substance, Graphics much better visually than Dofus but far under those of 2L.