Friday, November 16, 2012

Second Life: It's Tour-ific!

One of the cool features of second life is that you can create tours and have people visit sites that you pre-determine.  By placing all of the sites that you want someone to visit on a notecard, you can have them use the notecard to get to every place that you have picked out for them.  It is a really cool tool.  In my previous blog, I talked about the space tour I went on and how beneficial it would be for students to take these tours to learn new information. 

After creating my own tour, I realized that it is not as hard as it seems to create your own.  You could easily create a tour for your students to have them work through in the classroom or at home.  For my tour, I did a fun and games sports tour that incorporated everything from mazes to winter towns to cars and trucks.  Below is a list of my tour sites that would be similar to the notecard that I created.  Take a peek at some of the places and enjoy!

1.  Chamonix City - This is a cozy little town all about winter games.  You can ice skate or play hockey in this town, or just explore what it has to offer.  Chamonix is derived from the French, so you could look into that as well!

2.  Maze/Horse Track - Want a challenge?  Try out this maze.  This is more than just a maze however.  You must find certain objects on your way through, and then find your way out.  Very challenging but very rewarding.  Be careful though, no horseplay.  :)

3.  Celestial Game Tower - This place is very interesting and has some fun for everyone.  This is exactly as it sounds, a game tower.  There are many levels of fun throughout and you are sure to find something for yourself.  Enjoy!

4.  Prim Hearts - One of my favorite places on the tour, this amusement park will surely keep you busy.  There are many fun rides and interesting little shops throughout the theme park, and if you wanted to you could end up spending an entire day here. 

5.  Naturum Island Resort - This place is all about nature.  You can go on a nature trek, sit around a campfire, go fishing, and many other fun outdoor games and activities.  If you like the outdoors, visit this landmark!  And if you don't, still check it out.  :)

6.  Sports gym - any boxers out there?  This sports gym is all about boxing.  Go ahead and put the gloves on and have yourself a good time. 

7.  Off the Wall - This is a fun place with many anime games.  You are never really sure what you are going to find, so the best thing to do is to explore for yourself!  And if you get bored, try a 'board' game.

8.  Cars Region - Like cars and trucks?  Then drive on over to this place and have a look around!  Many interesting things to do with cars and trucks that will keep you busy for some time!  Just make sure to wear your seat belt.

9.  Battle Arena Combat Zone - Check out this free combat zone - tron legacy grid.  Something different to add variety to the tour.  What's a tour without making a SciFi stop?  Have fun and be careful gamers.

10.  Waseda Sea - I hope you brought your water wings for this tour!  You will start under the ocean where you can explore the marine life, or you can fly out and hit the land for some fun.  This place will drown you with information.  Enjoy!

I hope that you enjoy(ed) some of the sites on my tour!  Come back any time and visit!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Second Life: A Little Too Spacey for Me

For my second life tour, I took a trip into space!  It was really cool to see all of the galaxies and at the beginning of the tour, it really feels as if you are floating in space.  A few of the galaxies were 'under construction' but I was able to see quite a bit.  I have to tell you, I stuck out just a little bit.  There is no reason for someone named FarmerAdam to be in space, but it was so much fun that I might have to change my name to AstronautAdam.  We'll see. 

After being in this virtual world for just a few minutes, I could already see the potential benefits for students in any classroom.  This is an excellent way to learn information and take a learning tour as opposed to just lecturing at students. 

 Taken from Second Life

So far, this has been my favorite piece of technology that could help students learn because it is so interactive.  If you were to make worlds like these for your students to explore for any discipline, I have no doubt that they would learn more than if they were just engaged in lecture (and that is hoping you can get your students engaged in your lecture).

My favorite place that I visited was the Nasa island.  For starters, it was just cool to fly around the island like a bird, but there was some really great educational stuff as well.  Students would absolutely love to be learning like this, and I think that it is essential that we start incorporating things like second life into the curriculum. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Better Late Than Never

This post is a little out of order because for some reason, I just gained access to the second quest from the 3D gamelab page.  But not to fear!  I have successfully completed it. 

This was kind of a refresher course for me because I had already moved ahead to others and learned most of what this quest taught, but it was very interesting because this happens in a regular classroom as well.  Let's pretend that a student is gone for a day (like when I missed the 2nd quest).  Moving on to the next day after missing one, like I moved on to the next quest was quite a challenge.  I often got lost, much like some students may get lost working with unfamiliar content. 

This made me really think about when I become a teacher, I need to do everything that I can to make sure that all of my students are up to speed on the current topics we are working with, and I need to be aware if students have missed assignments or are unsure of what they are doing.  Working through these second life tasks has really made it real to me what happens when students miss work. 

However, now after completing the 2nd quest, I am more confident in my Secondlife abilities, as well as in my abilities to teach and help students learn whatever it is they are instructed to learn.  Our job as teachers is to do everything that we possibly can to make sure our students pass with flying (or hovering) colors.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Second Life - First Makeover

I started out this Second Life journey as a boring avatar with nothing but a 'male city outfit' on my back.  I was pretty plain, but still classy all the same.  That was until I decided to change my appearance.

One of the VERY cool things about Second Life is the ability to change your appearance into anything that you want.  You can be goth, hip, tall, short, fat, skinny, or even animals or robots.  There is no limit to what you can appear as in Second Life.  For me, I decided to take it pretty easy.  I didn't feel like being a robot, so I just went shopping for some new clothes and tada!  Looking pretty sharp I'd say.
I decided to go with the red plaid and jeans because let's face it, a guy with the name "FarmerAdam" needs jeans and a plaid shirt.  Where did I find this outfit you may ask?  In Second Life, you can go shopping for any outfit you can think of.  Take a look around the marketplace where I found my gear. 

I really like this feature of Second Life, being able to customize yourself in any way because it lets you be who you are and how you feel on the inside.  You may be tired of always having brown hair, so why not be a blonde?  Second Life lets you choose everything about your appearance and makes it fun for everyone. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Second Life: From Wondering to Wandering

Recently, I took a tour of Second Life and learned about all the cool stuff you could do and man: was it neat.  There are literally endless things that you can do on here, it really is a second life.  One of my favorite things is being able to buy gifts and packages.  I like this because it really symbolizes a community where you exchange things back and forth.  Another cool feature is the camera.  It acts like a real camera where you an zoom in and out and capture anything you want to.

I titled this post "from wondering to wandering" because that is exactly what I did.  At the start, I was curious, I was wondering what was out there and who I could connect to.  But now that I have a little bit better feel of Second Life, now I am on to wandering around and just checking out everything that I come into contact with.  So far I have managed to wander the streets and come into contact with zero people, but that had not deterred me!  I know I will find civilization soon enough.

With the wandering, it may seem pointless, but from an educational standpoint it is very beneficial.  This teaches students to more or less 'get out there' and explore.  Exploration is one of the key principles in learning (in my opinion), and if this teaches students to get out there and explore a new world, then they may be less hesitant about exploring the world in which they live their first life.

Second Life, Second Chance?


 

While exploring second life and learning about its features, I was amazed at all of the things you can do.  You can change your appearance to make it exactly how you want, make friends, join groups, do activities, visit sites, almost anything imaginable.  This really is a second life, and for some it may be a second chance.

If you have missed out on some things, or wish you could have done things differently, this is a chance to do so.  This lets you connect with people that you may not otherwise be able to connect to, join groups that may not be a real group in your everyday life, etc.  This program lets you be yourself, with a twist.  Scared of sharing things about yourself in public?  You can share them on Second Life with others who have the same feelings, and make new friends who share the same views.

The educational benefits of this program are endless.  You can create so many activities on Second Life and have your students work through quests.  Along with this, you can set up meetings with people from all over the world that you may never get to meet with otherwise.  This would be a great opportunity for students to meet with people from other countries across the world.  Finally, what student wouldn't want to play a computer game for homework?  Using Second Life doesn't even feel like schoolwork, which could also be a key factor in getting students to accomplish what you have planned out for them. 


Image taken from:  http://www.google.com/imgres?num=10&hl=en&biw=1280&bih=636&tbm=isch&tbnid=EG77223GZCTjVM:&imgrefurl=http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/83/view/screens/display/5196&docid=dW6JcC9lBuTUnM&imgurl=http://images.mmorpg.com/images/screenshots/112005/inline/5196.jpg&w=628&h=471&ei=22WZUMWkG8m3yQGM14DQBQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=144&vpy=267&dur=2321&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=128&ty=88&sig=102040482918806794575&page=2&tbnh=147&tbnw=218&start=15&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:15,s:0,i:130

Monday, November 5, 2012

Computer Breakdown

For this blog post, I have decided to talk about something that some people may have experienced, others maybe not.  This is the first time it has happened to me and let me tell you, it is awful.  Recently my laptop decided to.... die. 

I have never really thought about how important having a computer it.  I have always had one whenever I needed to check Facebook or Google something.  But the old saying really applies here: "You don't know what you have til it's gone."  I have been struggling all week without a computer, having to base my entire days around when I could possibly get to a computer lab.  This may seem like not that big of a deal, but throw in having to complete work for my two: count 'em, TWO completely online classes, then this is a little bit of a struggle. 

This past week, I have spent more time in a computer lab than I remember ever being on a computer, and the luxury of having a computer really stuck out.  Always having one in my room at hand, it was almost like an extension of my body.  But now that I have to go out of my way just to log in, this just flat out stinks. 

So, for all of you happy computer owners out there right now, take a few minutes out of your day to really look at your computer.  Cherish it, hold it, love it.  Don't take it for granted because one day, it may leave you dumbstruck and in a world of confusion.

Image taken from:  http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://crasstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/broken-computer.jpg&imgrefurl=http://crasstalk.com/2011/08/howto-remove-spyware-malware/&h=390&w=500&sz=40&tbnid=Cfolhb2VKMu4IM:&tbnh=101&tbnw=129&zoom=1&usg=__SmC0y1jq1
7mRPunmRh5dF0OCsKA=&docid=4TKyPH7PobiNeM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=9dSXUJriMIOd2QXxqYDAAg&ved=0CDQQ9QEwAQ&dur=1