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November 2010 overview and update on the UT Arlington in Second Life project

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ut arlington in second life

UT Arlington in Second Life

Past, Present, and Future

University Library Committee-November 9, 2010

Sarah Jones, UT Arlington Library

uta in second life the backstory
UTA in Second Life: The Backstory
  • University of Texas System grant: "Transforming Undergraduate Education“ -- http://tuelearningcommunity.com/ (July 2009-July 2010) pioneered by Dr. Leslie Jarmon, UT Austin
  • One year's funding for land for all campuses and health science centers
  • The first university system-wide initiative
  • Goal: Virtual Learning Community
    • Researchers, instructors, students, administrators, staff
    • Cost savings for travel
    • Environmental sustainability: travel, brick & mortar overhead
    • Addition to DE toolkit
    • Exploration of immersive environment for education
  • Facilities for meetings, classes, study groups, conferences, and exhibitions – see the UTA Island Directory
  • Interest meetings, Information Fair, Focus on Technology, New Maverick Orientation, Welcome Week Open House
  • Press coverage: The Shorthorn, The 33 News
  • Class activities: Nursing, English
  • FLOC exhibit on food sustainability
  • Website with info, tutorials, and resources / Facebook page & Twitter feed
  • College of Nursing Genomics Journal Club
  • Undergraduate advising for the Department of Sociology & Anthropology
  • UT System Undergraduate Conference
  • “The Value of Second Life to Nursing” continuing education workshop
  • Challenges:
    • Technology – graphics card, processor speed, broadband internet
    • Acculturation – being represented as an avatar in a 3D, synchronous, shared online environment
    • Translation – pedagogy and research in a virtual world
  • But.. A view to the past…
a view of the past
A View of the Past
  • Evolution of the UTA web presence over 15 years
  • Adoption of WebCT 10 years ago
  • UTA hosted blogs as a response to faculty using Blogger
  • The challenges of getting syllabi posted online
  • Even email until relatively recently
    • Student MavMail
    • Library paper overdue notices
  • Virtual Worlds – revisiting the web of the mid 1990s
so why second life
So, why Second Life?
  • Sense of Self
  • Sense of Place
  • Sense of Presence
  • Immersive, sensory experience
  • Synchronous, collaborative environment – more engaging than a web or video conference
  • Cost-effective alternative to travel, commuting, parking
the future
The Future
  • Year One: funded by the UT System, with support from the Library (1/2 of my time)
  • Year Two: funded jointly by the Office of the Provost, the Library, the College of Nursing and the College of Liberal Arts
  • Beyond?
    • Closer collaboration with other UT System schools to share space and resources
    • Exploration of companion platforms (rapid growth among educators, less expensive, but technical challenges behind the scenes)
    • Research into locally hosted compatible spaces
the future19
The Future
  • Millions of kids, tweens and teens are currently using online social spaces and games
    • Already accustomed to being represented as an avatar
    • Already accustomed to the style of interacting, moving, and using an online 3D environment
  • Will we be ready when they get to college?
ut arlington in second life20
UT Arlington in Second Life

UTA SL website - www.uta.edu/secondlife

  • Follow on Facebook or Twitter or read postings on the site
  • Log in directly to UTA land

Contact me: Sarah Jones - sjones@uta.edu

University of Texas Arlington, Digital Library Services

In SL: RazitraArtizar (Raz)