Some reflections about SLoodle
To me the core of Moodle's pedagogical
potential is about communication, collaboration
and creativity. In Moodle this is mostly textbased.
SL doesn't render text very well on graphical objects
though. Opening links and files (often indirectly in SL)
in the windows of all kinds of other applications is some-
thing that everyone is not going to be comfortable with.
It can be distracting, confusing and cause loss of focus.
I'm not sure this way of working mirrors how we
humans and our brains function psychologically either.
You can use text chat and notices within SL and that's
perfectly readable, but when this stuff comes up it's
difficult to see what's going on in the virtual environment...
You have to get familiar with those tools so that you can
move them around and get them out of the way easily.
SL excels as a social virtual reality, even if it's not photo-
realistic and the sounds you can make are few and even
though they are human, they are quite primitive. I like
meeting other people and chatting with them. What I
long for now however is voice chat in both SL and Moodle.
You can use Skype together with Moodle, up to five people
simultaneously and you can add web cameras as well. E.g. GONG
offer voice communication
tools and the COVCELL project
are developing new standard
Moodle modules for this. There's also a simple Marratech integration
You can use these tools to talk to, and with, the learners. They
can take notes in SL as well as in Moodle, the learning process can
be handled with the assistance of e.g. the calendar. SL could be
great for language learning. You could explore the environment and
meet native speakers of the language you're studying and you could
e.g. use the Moodle Project Module (third party) to perform joint
projects with people you meet in SL. It doesn't have to a pure language
course though, many fields of knowledge could be integrated.
If you want to explore Second Life it could be more interesting if
you do it in the company of others with similar interests. If you
you have a guide they can show you around, choosing the right
places - there are many...Here
we are exploring and chatting (chat is already integrated and
goes both ways including option to record) about a SL whiteboard
showing three mockups, one interactive, from a Moodle-site.
Lack of imagination can be the only limit here.