[SLED] That's Just _So_ 90's

Lewis, Graham Graham.Lewis at warwick.ac.uk
Tue Sep 11 06:55:10 PDT 2007


Oh and by the way hi everybody.  I sort of dived in there didn't I?  I am also one of the Old Farts who predates the Web and remembers using MOOs in education.
 
Here's a sticky question: in terms of equality of provision, how do we deal with blind students in SL?
 
Graham Lewis

Centre for Academic and Professional Development
University of Warwick
University House
Kirby Corner Road
Coventry CV4 8UW
UK
Email: graham.lewis at warwick.ac.uk <mailto:graham.lewis at warwick.ac.uk> 
Tel.: (+44) (0) 24 765 72737
Mobile: 07703100401 
Fax.: (+44) (0) 24 765 72736

 

________________________________

From: educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com on behalf of Lewis, Graham
Sent: Tue 11/09/2007 14:16
To: SL Educators
Subject: RE: [SLED] Chronicle: Second Thoughts About Second Life


This is kind of interesting.  Why is SL different from the Web?  I suppose that unless you are in a safe SL area, anybody can just wander in and interact with you which they cannot do in a website.  Even in a safe environment, students might offend each other but this is not that5 different from a Chat or discussion list.
 
About a decadeago, when I was creating the first website for a University, I had terrible trouble with the crest (no logos here, thank you... ) The head of PR insisted that the crest had all the twiddly little bits - every curl of every leaf as this was the _official_ crest as set out in a leather bound velum tome. 
 
Difficult to ensure with the screen resolutions of the time.
 
Anyway, we have been here beforewith the Web and while some will hold back from getting their feet wet, others will dive in and before too long, we will all be in the water. 
 
I am more cncerned with points raised earlier - what is SL specifically good at for education?  What things can you do that make it worthwhile overcoming the technology barrier for new users?
 
Graham Lewis

Centre for Academic and Professional Development
University of Warwick
University House
Kirby Corner Road
Coventry CV4 8UW
UK
Email: graham.lewis at warwick.ac.uk <mailto:graham.lewis at warwick.ac.uk> 
Tel.: (+44) (0) 24 765 72737
Mobile: 07703100401 
Fax.: (+44) (0) 24 765 72736
Blog: http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/glewis/ <http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/glewis/> 

 

________________________________

From: educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com on behalf of notmarian
Sent: Tue 11/09/2007 12:42
To: SL Educators
Subject: Re: [SLED] Chronicle: Second Thoughts About Second Life


I was not completely surprised, nor am I daunted, by this article.  We all had to know that it wouldn't be long before the lawyers got involved.  Viewed optimistically, it means that MUVE's are being taken seriously as another viable medium for teaching.  The resulting restrictions on what we can ask students to do in these environments are inevitable.  The author discusses liability for institutions taking students into Second Life as being akin to taking them off-campus for field work, trips and etc., and getting liability waivers signed by the students, just in case. However, he does have a point about asking students to agree to the Linden Labs terms of service when they create accounts and implies that we the faculty should be responsible if the students see or experience anything upsetting in SL.  I suppose that means that we should warn students (in writing) that if they leave the established classroom or institutional area, they do so at their own risk? Or restrict the teaching area to a group?   I am excerpting less than 1/3 of the article below--eeking it in under fair use. 

I am concerned about one piece of inflammatory misinformation in this article.  There is discussion of "unwanted" sexual acts and even rape.  I am not aware of any sort of object or script that will capture and animate an avatar without the avatar's consent.  Doesn't the avatar have to "wear" an object given to them by another avatar and agree to give control to the owner of the object? Maybe I am naive on these possibilities.  I had students complain to me that "weirdos" were trying to talk to them on Orientation Island. I advised to deal with these situations as they would in real life--just walk away.  

I have recently had a major stumbling block at my own institution--our publicity people would not give me permission to use the College's logo in the our SL space (I did it anyway, filmed the space for a presentation and now have to make "fake" College logos to use there).  When I asked my Dean for assistance in helping the pub. people see the light, she said,  "well maybe they don't want the College to be associated with sex and gambling." I had to bite my tongue from saying, "well maybe we should take all of our websites down too."  Its hard to explain SL and this kind of press just makes it harder. 

My morning coffee-induced comments,

Denise/Pipsqueak




Standards versus practices. To investigate online harassment, intolerance, and abuse, I e-mailed, faxed, and sent by registered mail nine questions in a media request to Second Life. (You can read my letter at http://www.livingethics.org/Linden.html. <http://www.livingethics.org/Linden.html.> ) Linden Lab has yet to respond, although I made the request in July.

Melissa Blevins, a lawyer who practices civil law in Des Moines, believes cases can be brought against professors and their institutions when participation in Second Life is required or recommended and harassing behaviors occur there. To be released from liability, she said, professors would need to insert a clause in their syllabus stating: "Second Life participation is voluntary and lack of participation will not affect your grade." If you're requiring participation, holding classes in Second Life, you and/or your institution also may be accepting liability for virtual events that happen there.

Few campus lawyers were willing to go on the record with other suggestions or warnings because legal standards in this area have not yet been fully determined. That suggests that universities have rushed into online consumer markets without fully understanding liabilities. Until we do, we must rely on traditional academic standards:

*	Procedure: Send a copy of this article to your campus lawyer, equity officer, accountant, human-resources supervisor, teaching-center director, network administrator, and ombudsman, requesting their opinions about issues raised here.

*	Debate: Hold a public forum and/or a faculty meeting to discuss these issues openly with experts on cyberlaw, new media, technology, gaming, harassment, ethics, and other related disciplines.

*	Research: Go online to view the warnings and disclaimers included in the syllabi of computer-science professors,scholars in studio and fine arts, and in social, forensic, and medical sciences (to name a few) whose real or online environments might expose students to potentially offensive content.

*	Best practices: Prepare faculty members and students for the Second Life experience in orientations, adopting the policies already in use by campus programs that routinely expose students to unfamiliar environments, such as travel abroad, archaeological digs, social work, internships, and volunteer work.

*	Assessment: Analyze technology use in terms of cost versus learning outcomes and keep files documenting your institutional efforts to be used in accreditation as well as disputes.

Linden Lab says it has "the right but not the obligation to resolve disputes." You as an educator have the right and the obligation to use academic principles to explore harassment issues in the for-profit tech world now embedded in academe. 



 




On 9/10/07, Tim Thompson <thompsotd at gmail.com <mailto:thompsotd at gmail.com> > wrote: 

	Chris--if this is online only content, would you please sent copy to
	tim_thompson at pba.edu <mailto:tim_thompson at pba.edu>  or copy to a notecard and give to Joskie
	Despres?  I'll look for it in the hard copy at my school... 
	
	Thanks,
	Tim
	
	On Sep 10, 2007, at 5:57 PM, Chris Collins wrote:
	
	> The Chronicle's copyright policy does state it's ok to email the
	> article to a "few people" so if you're unable to access the full 
	> article, please let me know and I'll send a copy along.  (Sending
	> one to you RPZ....)
	>
	> - Chris/Fleep
	>
	>
	>
	> Chris Collins (SL: Fleep Tuque)
	> Facilitator, UC Second Life Learning Community 
	> UCit Instructional & Research Computing
	> University of Cincinnati
	> (513)556-3018
	>
	> UC Second Life Learning Community Wiki:  http://homepages.uc.edu/ <http://homepages.uc.edu/> 
	> secondlife
	>
	> At 05:31 PM 9/10/2007, you wrote:
	>> Unfortunately, it is impossible to read the full article without
	>> paying either for a subscription ($40), or an online pass (less 
	>> than $10).  The short bit I was able to read is definitely geared
	>> to scare readers about Second Life.  *sigh*
	>>
	>> I am having enough of a problem getting the word out to faculty 
	>> where I am, already, without little-informed or misinformed media
	>> chiming in.  The whole dual-enrollment hurdle notwithstanding...
	>> people's minds are much more closed by what they hear from media 
	>> bashing, and they spout this stuff like gospel.  I attended a
	>> Dean's Meeting in my department just this past Friday.  The
	>> educator sitting next to me recounted a tale of one of her
	>> students to the room...and it was all I could do not to grind my
	>> teeth in frustration.  Apparently, said student approached her
	>> saying she needed to learn French right away.  When asked why, the 
	>> student said that her husband spoke French, and lives in (some
	>> country that started with an M and wasn't France...lol...memory
	>> shot!).  The educator asked if the student was moving to that 
	>> area, and the student informed her that no, she wasn't...she and her
	>> husband had met and married in Second Life.  The educator then
	>> told the entire gathering that she knew NOTHING about Second Life 
	>> until that day, and has since seen something about it on the news,
	>> and that it was apparently "an online game like The Sims".  When I
	>> tried to politely correct the impression she had, she looked me 
	>> straight in the eye with a sweet, dismissive smile and said, "Oh,
	>> thank you" as she walked off.
	>>
	>> There are none so blind as those who will not see.  The problem
	>> is, the blind often have LARGE mouths and GREAT voices.  I haven't 
	>> yet given up...
	>>
	>> RPZ
	>>
	>> The glory of great men should always be measured by the means they
	>> have used to acquire it.
	>>   - Francois de La Rochefoucauld 
	>> Skype: ravenphoenix.zenovka
	>> SL: RavenPhoenix Zenovka
	>> E-mail: RavenPhoenix at embarqmail.com <mailto:RavenPhoenix at embarqmail.com> 
	>>
	>>
	>>
	>> -----Original Message----- 
	>> From: educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com <mailto:educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com>  [ mailto:educators- <mailto:educators-> 
	>> bounces at lists.secondlife.com <mailto:bounces at lists.secondlife.com> ] On Behalf Of Chris Collins
	>> Sent: Monday, September 10, 2007 5:04 PM
	>> To: SL Educators
	>> Subject: [SLED] Chronicle: Second Thoughts About Second Life
	>> 
	>> Hi all,
	>>
	>> I was just about to copy and paste an article from The Chronicle
	>> entitled "Second Thoughts About Second Life", but after reviewing
	>> their copyright policy, forwarding to email lists is clearly 
	>> prohibited without permission, so here is the link instead:
	>>
	>> http://chronicle.com/weekly/v54/i03/03c00101.htm <http://chronicle.com/weekly/v54/i03/03c00101.htm> 
	>>
	>> I'd characterize it as a scare article, and not very well informed
	>> since the writer talks about 9 million avatars interacting there (a
	>> number I imagine most of us know is extremely inflated by alts and 
	>> unused accounts) and there is no mention of how private islands can
	>> mitigate some of these circumstances, but still raises important
	>> legal liability issues we all need to be able to address. 
	>>
	>>
	>> - Chris/Fleep
	>>
	>>
	>>
	>> Chris Collins (SL: Fleep Tuque)
	>> Facilitator, UC Second Life Learning Community
	>> UCit Instructional & Research Computing 
	>> University of Cincinnati
	>> (513)556-3018
	>>
	>> UC Second Life Learning Community Wiki:  http://homepages.uc.edu/ <http://homepages.uc.edu/> 
	>> secondlife
	>> 
	>>
	>>
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