Keynote: Angela Thomas “Are we there yet?”
Senior lecturer in English, the Arts and New Media, at UTAS.
Specifically talking about her journey through virtual worlds, and. Her discoveries about their potential for education, beginning in the nineties through to the present time.
Background as a drama consultant, first experiences were in The Palace (1999) which was then later part of PhD research practice (2005). The text transcripts were showing both the participation in the world and and awareness of the ‘performance’ of the scene through asides as narration comments. Happening through 2005. Seems to have heavy associations to script writing and film production with imagery and scene development activites. Students maintained character blogs to track their journey and weave the different elements of the story together. Fan fiction was one of the outputs from the participants (10-18 year olds) in Angela’s PhD research. Also significant off-campus work by students.
Then moved her work into Second Life.
Showed video “Second Life – educational uses” from You Tube www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOFU9oUF2HA
NMC did the SL Build for her of Virtual Macbeth. virtualworlds.nmc.org/portfolio/virtualmacbeth/ This was OzCo grant project to bring gaming, drama, multimodal experience to work with post grad students showing what could be done with a text from the literary canon in a new media world.
Angle then gave a preview of various elements of the virtual physical space and how they relates to scenes and states of mind in the play and experienced by the character.
Feeds any images or other media tagged with specified tag fed into the Virtual Macbeth wiki.
back to the question “Are we there yet?”
At the moment second life is probably the best space for educators. Yet there are issues also – eg technical, cost, set up, some limitations, on campus use… So some people are starting to look elsewhere such as Open Cobalt which is in alpha.
Slides from this keynote www.slideshare.net/anya