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Class 1: Welcome

September 27, 2018
First meeting of semester one class 2018/9

A collection of angels, a horse, werewolf, witch, unicorn, vampire, some warriors and normals gather for the first class of the semester.

 

With almost 30 participants turning up for the first class this semester looks like being the busiest yet (for John, at any rate!). Everyone arrived in good time and ready to engage. Despite the fact that nobody identified as gamers all appeared comfortable and relaxed in the virtual environment.

We started with some basic housekeeping as John identified each participant and linked your avatars with your student identities. One interesting thing that emerged was the anonymity of participants – many of you chose avatar names that are different from your real names and want to retain that anonymity. John agreed not to reveal real names unless you agree in advance! We will use avatar names throughout the semester. We all ‘friended’ (is that really a word?) each other so we can keep in contact and you can see who else from our class is logged in to SL at any time. It also allows you to send private instant messages (IM) to each other, even when you are in different locations in SL – very useful if you cannot find the DIT campus or get lost somewhere in SL.

John will add everyone to the DIT Module group over the next few days. You should remember to activate this group when joining the class on Wednesdays: think of it as your virtual student card. It gives you special privileges in virtual DIT (more on that in later classes) and facilitates closed group conversations.

We discussed the most suitable social media platform to facilitate conversations outside SL. It seems to come down to two choices: WhatsApp or Facebook. A quick poll suggested Facebook as the favourite but we agreed to think about it over the week and make decision in the next class. Recent classes have set up a private Facebook page – it is useful for asking questions about the module, sending notifications about changes in meeting times, for John to post links to these class summaries etc. Perhaps a volunteer will come forward to set up the page?

John explained that class time will be discursive and interactive during the semester. Reading material will be set in advance to inform the discussion so please ensure you make time to review it, starting with the link below; read before next week’s class! Please engage in the class discussion, either by voice or text chat: the more you do so the more you will learn. You will also need to spend some time in SL between classes to complete tasks and activities. Specific activities will be set for the first few classes to get you started.

Each of you will need to create a blog in your avatar’s name. You will be expected to post to it at least once per week for the duration of the semester. Once again, you will be given specific topics for the first few weeks to get you started. If you keep this habit and post weekly you will avoid the burden of having to write a complete paper at the end of the module. John also explained that you will divided randomly into groups next week to work on a project which will be presented at the final class of the semester. You are encouraged to read through the pages listed in the right hand column of this website to get full details of the project, see examples of previous student blogs and get an idea of what to expect in the rest of the course.

THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE NEXT CLASS:

  1. Explore: SL with some colleagues from the class. Visit at least 3 different locations. Find them in search or ask other residents for recommendations, or simply select places at random.
  2. Read: How to Write a Blog People Want to Read by Susan Gunelius in Lifewire, 23 June 2018.
  3. Set up your blog: using bloggerwordpresstumblr or any other blog site. Complete the ‘About Me’ page (read some of those pages on other blogs first) and remember it is different from the first post on your blog. Write from the perspective of your avatar: the persona you will be using to explore in this module. Send a link to your blog to John by email or post it in the FaceBook group.
  4. Write the first post: to your blog reviewing the locations you visited. Describe the places and include photos, if you can. Explain what you liked and disliked about the locations and describe any interaction you might have had.
  5. Visit the following: Dolce Merda, Brain PickingsIllustration Friday, Chris Brogan. Think about how you would identify these blog authors…what impression do you get of the person behind the blog?

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