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Kayako Mayako

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Everything posted by Kayako Mayako

  1. @vanettda Lassard -- It is interesting to read about your education-focused journey in Second Life. I was similarly concerned about the adult content in-world the first time I had course-related simulations set-up on my academic unit’s islands in SL (circa 2008-2010). Still, at the time, a bigger barrier to student participation [in the online courses I was supplementing with virtual learning simulations] was the time and effort required to: create an avatar; complete the tutorials on the orientation island; and then navigate to our university’s islands. In addition, at the time, ALL online courses were asynchronous – so meet-ups in-world were impossible to arrange. After supplementing my online teaching with various simulations on private [OpenSimulator] islands for ten years, during the pandemic I returned to SL and was positively wowed by the quality of the content and tutorials now available in SL. I have since moved my teaching simulations back to SL. We only allow students and faculty to access our academic islands and I supply “loaner” avatars to interested students. Further, I tell students to keep the loaner avatars on our islands (and supply students with instructions for how to create their own avatars if they want to explore other parts of SL -- in an effort to keep students away from the adult content in SL). At the same time the use cases for virtual learning simulations have expanded in recent years, the impediments to the more wide-spread use of virtual world platforms have expanded too (!)… Over-scheduled college students simply do not have the time needed to download and learn about the viewer/how to navigate around a virtual space. Many college students use tablets or cell phones for their Internet surfing – so they are not able to use a browser-based viewer. [The new mobile viewer may address this impediment – if/when it becomes available to free account users.] Over-scheduled faculty simply do not have the time to learn how to help students navigate around a virtual space and further, find the prospect of learning how to create their own simulations too daunting. The pandemic created a new expectation in online courses – for at least two or more Zoom webinar sessions. In turn, the availability of webinar sessions has resulted in less student interest in my courses in venturing in-world. In other words, the [virtual] campus space affordance of university-sponsored islands in SL appears to have been supplanted by Zoom webinars. SL beats VR headset applications when it comes to the incredibly useful (and expansive) in-world building tools BUT VR headset applications are the “IT” technology that everyone wants to say they use. Again, while I remain aware of all of the adult content in SL, it seems to be manageable (via loaner avatars for students that are supposed to be kept on a "not available to the public" island). Still, I may re-focus on the question of the adult content in SL IF student participation levels increase. In the meantime, I find myself more focused on the list of impediments above. -- Kayako Mayako @Extrude Ragu -- I use virtual learning simulations in completely online courses that are part of completely online degree programs. In turn, while the students in my courses DO have access to our physical campus, many/most of my students live outside of the commuting range for the physical campus. Accordingly, a virtual campus does [potentially] add to the experience of online students. Also, when it comes to on-ground courses, virtual learning simulations offer some unique affordances that are not available in traditional course materials. For example, mathematical game theory applications like the "chicken game" or "prisoners' dilemma" can be demonstrated in ways that would be too dangerous/costly to stage in real life. -- Kayako Mayako
  2. @IvyTechEngineer - I am impressed you are able to teach students to use the SL platform for building (within the confines of a single semester). The one student building project I attempted was a Free Trade Game (where each student was the president of their own mini island nation and received a random selection of "natural resources" to combine into a marketable product). The object of the game -- that students quickly gleaned -- was the need to trade in order to grow the economy of their island nation. Still, while I expected students to find the Free Trade Game to be the most engaging of the course-related simulations on offer, it turned out it took too much time to learn how to manipulate the objects provided (and this proved to be a "non starter" for students). In contrast, the easy-to-use Vocabulary Flashcards and in-world lecture note slides were of greater interest to students. Based on the above and other student feedback, my conclusions include: Students are only willing to use virtual world learning activities/simulations that support the exact content in the course deliverables; Pre-creating and pre-placing student avatars is an important time-saver for students; and A few students each semester abhor everything about virtual world learning/meet-ups (so voluntary virtual learning simulations work best). @Love Zhaoying - I agree with you -- there are innumerable ways virtual learning simulations have been effectively used in the past in SL. Still (and unfortunately), there just isn't much of a [educational] buzz in SL right now. For example, while there are about 12 universities/schools listed on the Second Life Education directory, it looks like only a few of the listings are still in use. Note: Daniel Voyager -- who started in SL via the Teen Grid (that was discontinued in 2010) -- is the author of one of the blogs I periodically check. In turn, I can't help wondering if the educational use (and even general use...) of virtual worlds/SL would have been higher if the SL Teen Grid and early special support for educators hadn't ended in 2010 (?).
  3. The integration of a choice of realistic looking avatars into the SL viewer is a useful feature for students and faculty in SL. Still, when experimenting with the new mesh avatars, I was alarmed to see my avatar is typically naked for a while until her mesh clothes load. Further, when I went to the recent Garden Show event, I saw a lot of naked avatars (and thought the lack of clothes might be some sort of role play or initiation activity!). I found a viewer setting for mesh clothes and set it on the highest setting but I still see naked avatars in public spaces. Are there any tips or tricks for speeding up the loading of mesh clothes (or are slow loading mesh avatar clothes just the price to be paid for the greater realism inherent in mesh avatars)? Is it possible my first thought -- that some of the naked avatars I see in public places -- are on purpose? Is it possible to find mesh avatars with under garments? Note: In my latest survey of student views on the use of virtual world meet-ups (and supplemental learning activities in virtual worlds), I was surprised by how many students prefer more realistic avatars (and now wonder how to break the news about the attendant slow loading avatar clothes). [Above] The Survey Question I Wish I Hadn't Asked (!)
  4. Thank you to everyone posting a reply! More specifically, I appreciate all of the feedback, including the candid [not optimistic about educators ever returning en masse to SL] feedback!
  5. @Mollymews Re: "The education and non profit discount was restored in 2014," is it possible you are referring to "grandfathered" regions? My understanding is that there is no [1/2 price] educator discount available now on new island purchases. Rather, educators and non profits can purchase Homestead islands that are standalone (without having to first purchase a full region) but all other land purchases are at the same rate as all other SL residents. Also, blocking/avoiding X-rated content is easy for instructors but bringing students into the grid would require special features like the pre-creation (and pre-placement) of student avatars on private islands.
  6. I recently returned to Second Life to retrieve some of my early teaching content (after spending 12 years in OpenSim) and have been pleasantly surprised by numerous developments since my departure in 2010 (including the expansive use of more realistic mesh, the lovely new premium membership neighborhoods, voice morphing, 360-degree video capture, complete avatar changes built into the SL viewer, and more). As a decidedly negative finding, the amount of X-rated content in SL appears to have grown exponentially since 2010 (when the educator discount ended). Accordingly, it occurs to me that SL may have done educators a favor (by ending the educator discount and saving us from continuing in a grid that includes so much adult entertainment). Still, I am curious about the “Marketing the Metaverse” section in the SL 2022 Roadmap. That is, if SL plans to compete with other wannabe metaverses, isn’t a wider customer base (including educators and nonprofit entities) central to the most definitive metaverses (?). Further, it seems like educators might have a few thoughts about an educational version of the proposed premium plus membership. What do you think – is there a chance SL may want to entice educators back OR is a continuation of the indifference towards educators a more likely scenario?
  7. @Beryl Greenacre and Everyone, I fear I took the easy way out/away from the continuous pensive cat sound at my first Newbrooke house = I changed houses. Now the sounds in and around my Newbrooke house are very pleasing. Yay! Still, I did endeavor to find all of the ambient sounds around my current house and there are a whopping 43 sounds nearby! Further, when I used the "Show Beacon" command to find the sounds, the sound emitters look like spiders in the trees (see the image labeled #4 in the attached composite picture). Finally, if I am correct, all of the offending sounds need to be identified and then individually "Blacklisted" (but I will defer to @Nika Talaj and/or @Blush Bravin to confirm the procedure for silencing offending sounds). Again, my approach -- via changing houses -- was easy (and my new lot is brilliant)! -- Kayako
  8. @Patch Linden - Happily, I do not hear a fox on my plot (per the sound a fox makes in the attached video clip). The only ambient animal sound I hear is a cat meow (that sounds like someone just stepped on the cat's tail). Still, thanks to the advice provided by @Nika Talaj and @Blush Bravin above, I now know how to mute the cat sound. Note: The good news is that continually hearing a sound I did not find pleasing reminded me I can add my own ambient sounds (but a fox squeal will not be one of my choices!). https://youtu.be/1VJBWTypVNU
  9. @Madelaine - Your RL experience provides a good alternative for SL. That is, even if we cannot control our RL ambient sounds, it would be nice to be able to select our SL ambient sounds. Accordingly, I vote for being able to control our ambient sounds via our Linden house controller...
  10. @Blush - Your example (re: the Firestorm viewer) helps -- thank you.
  11. @LittleMe - I hear the meows on my house plot and thought the sound might be coming from a neighbor. Yet, when I visited the Newbank commons area, I heard the meows again. It could be a coincidence but hearing the sound in two places led me to conclude the meows are part of the ambient sounds. @Elena - Thank you for the World/Sound Explorer tip. @Nika - You solved the mystery! Thank you to everyone!
  12. Just curious if there is a way to substitute bird chirps for the cat meows (as ambient noise in the Newbrooke regions)? If no, can the cat meows be turned off (without turning off other ambient sounds)? Thank you in advance.
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