I thought readers may be interested in how the meeting of educators and midwives went on Koru Island in Second Life last night. I was a little early and having left myself on Koru Island, it was good to just logon and voila there I was in the middle of the group gathering for the meeting. I was pleased that I had came a little early as since my last sessions in Second Life, it is now possible to ‘speak’ using microphones as opposed to just ‘speak’ in text. I needed a little help from Arwenna to get this sorted (NB.. if running a meeting in Second Life either a) encourage people to come 24 hours earlier to check they can do everything they need to or b) write out instructions with screenshots to capture the key steps! It took me three attempts to get my voice to work, but finally I was organised, could take a seat (it didn’t have a good view and I didn’t know if I could move it or not!)… and ready to watch the action!

Dacary did a great job of welcoming everyone in.. and also checking track of who was present, or who was trying, ably supported by Arwenna and Isa. It was great to see Leroy there from polytechnic, along with Branwen and Sarah (whose avatar’s name escapes me just now).. Kind of felt more comfortable to know the real people behind the avatars. It was interesting to observe the people entering after me and their comfortableness or otherwise with the medium.. and of course to hear where people were coming from with some from as far afield as the UK (at least it was only morning for them), and the US (3am in the morning – now thats passion for you!).

I think the start was a little slower than Dacary had hoped for as it took nearly 15 or so minutes for people to arrive, find their voices, find their seats, and introduce themselves. Some people’s connection was obviously not great and so they popped in and out. Some of us (including me) were still teaching themselves how to talk and so kept turning on the mike accidentally which interrupted others (big hint – don’t use the shift key as the on/off switch if you also use this key when you type messages).. Dacary was eventually able to get underway with her presentation using a powerpoint type presentation on a large screen. This was clear, it was so lovely to hear a real voice talking through the key points (as opposed to having to read text).. and also to then follow the discussion that proceeded afterwards. As in any communication where you can’t see each other – there is always the silence after a question is asked as its still not possible to see if people are thinking, looking at each other to work out who is going to talk first etc!

One of the comments raised by one of the UK midwives (I think).. was that while it was good to talk about Second Life, it would be great to take a topic that was profession specific that would be the focus of the interactions to see how well then Second Life supported the interaction that might occur in a similar real face to face event. This seemed to me to be a great idea as most people appeared to have come along to get a feel for what Second Life may have to offer for them in midwifery research or education.

Anyway.. it as an interesting hour, gave me lots of ideas of what I could consider/plan/think about should I ever try to offer something like that for OT’s – how about it Karen – keen to have a try again?

Sorry – I have no photos – was too busy trying to keep notes of what was talked about for Carolyn, ensuring I didn’t keep hitting the shift key accidentally, and just soaking up the atmosphere to manage the camera as well! But I’m very impressed as Sarah has done a screencast of her impressions of the meeting, as well as including photos of the meeting – so go check it out – listen to it and watch the slides!

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