Venturing into Second Life

If you’ve been following me on Twitter or Facebook then there is a strong possibility that you will know I just got a new MacBook Pro. I dual booted it straight away so I could continue to use Windows but have found myself loading up the Windows side less and less. I appear to be converting to the ways of the Mac.

As previously mentioned I enjoy playing World of Warcraft (when time permits) but have had to stop over the past few months due to the fact that my ageing Windows XP computer has not been able to cope with running such complex graphics. I also feel I have been missing out on something else… Second Life – the alternate reality space where many of my digital literacy friends and colleagues choose to communicate and collaborate.

When I met Angela Thomas at the Centre for the Studies of New Literacies in July we had a long chat about Second Life and some of the fascinating stuff she is doing with Virtual Macbeth. I promised that I would sign up and take a look when I could and now that I have a MacBook Pro now seemed like the perfect opportunity. I was warned that one of the most important things to do was to change the default avatar, otherwise I would be labelled a noob (a person who is new and doesn’t know what they are doing). I have literally spent all day in Second Life trying to customise my avatar and make myself appear unique in the dense population of the virtual world. A population that derives very striking parallels to the real world – not least the fact that you have to use real money to buy clothes.

Above is the completed avatar that I use in Second Life, under the name of Multiplo Innovia. Do add me as a contact if you use Second Life as I could still do with a hand finding my way around!

“You are what you feel…”

In Orange Class we’ve been doing quite a bit of work based around the story of Joseph and his Coat of Many Colours, which included making our own coat of many colours and watching the DVD production of the musical show. The children really enjoyed experiencing the story through music and quickly started to learn most of the lyrics – quite a interesting way of developing comprehension skills don’t you think?

Last week we went to see the touring production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat starring Craig Chalmers at Whitley Bay Playhouse. We were sat on one side of the theatre surrounded by mainly secondary school children and adults.  I thought our children may have been too young to appreciate the show fully but never in my whole career have I seen children so happily engrossed in anything. There were smiles, cheers, claps and general excitement throughout. The best part for me was the megamix finale where every child stood up and started cheering and dancing (for a full ten minutes) -it was such a strange sight seeing one group of children dancing away while the rest of the audience sat down. It really made my year to see them so happy.