Friday, January 19, 2007

Students orientate themselves

The Collective village, was created during the New Year holiday, and opened to the students to use from the 8th Jan 2007. The intention is to use ( for the immediate future ) Second Life, as an addition to the course content. As a vocational based digital media course, Second Life won't replace the 'industry' based software that is taught during the first year modules, but it does provide an opportunity for the students to critically engage an emerging technology and broaden their research and idea development. As students become more confident with Second Life, they may choose to incorporate it within their Self-Directed projects during the 2nd and 3rd Year.

As part of an extra curricular activity, within the 1st Year Interactive Presentation Module, a small group of students began exploring Second life, as an alternative platform / experience for presenting Interactive / Digital Work. As sometimes the case with first use of second life, many spent time playing with their avatar's apperance, stamping their ownership upon them.

The sandbox gave them an opportunity to start using the basic 3D tools, and play with freebie objects that they had found on their explortations. Doctor Who seemed to be a re-curring theme.

Not only does the Collective Lab exist to help orientate the digital media students, but interested staff from other college departments and courses, drop by to play.

Paul (the fox), Instructor technician, talks to the students inworld, though in reality he's on the other side of the main art building.

The Collective's presence in Second Life

The Collective Village, the base of operations, located in Gourdneck.

The Studio Lab - is the public meet and greet section of the Collective village. This area will be consistantly updated with content, showcaseing the student's work in progress and end of module exhibition work. This space allows the students to explore and simulate curation skills, that are transferable to real life, as well as exploring the potential of second life for presentation of digital design work.
One area of ongoing staff research, especially with this section of the village (and Second Life in general ), is to investigate Second life as a potential form of e-portfolio using it to link and show students ongoing design work, and demonstrate their skills in professionalism and critical engagement.

The Cinema - is a special area for showing students' moving image work. The Students engage with Traditional Animation, Computer generated Animation, and Video Production skills throughout the course. The Cinema gives the students an opportunity to show work to a broader audience, and eventually host their own film festival or moving image promotion. It also allows them to pragmatically investigate video / audio streaming.
It also doubles as our ad-hoc lecture theatre, if we need to support and explore any distance learning opportunities.

(inside the cinema)

Floating 700ms above the ground, is the Collective's Sky Park, which consists of...

The Sandbox
is probably the most engaging and process led part of the Second Life experience for the design students. This is a small building area (70ms x 30ms), that allows them to
explore the creation tools and scripting within Second life. Working within a tighter constraint of prims, forces the students to consider and problem solve prim efficient 3D work.
Anything larger scale, they would work within a public sandbox like Newcomb.

The Local Teleport Hub, connects the ground and skypark area, as well as quick teleport to the cinema. This area also doubles as a small chat room / congregation area, when student's are logging in from home.

The Meta-Lab, is my personal workspace, to create and investigate educational tools made in Second life.