[SLED] Is ANYTHING out there more user friendly than Second Life?

Starry, Mary J mary-starry at uiowa.edu
Wed Mar 23 20:04:59 PDT 2011


What you are describing as this "middleware" sounds exactly like what I have been looking for.  Is this something available for other schools to use?  I would love to hear more about this, as it does sound like it addresses man of the negatives for using Second Life for medical related training.


Mary Starry, PharmD, CDE
Assistant Professor (Clinical)
College of Pharmacy
Department of Pharmacy Practice & Science
115 S. Grand Avenue, 222 PHAR
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1112
mary-starry at uiowa.edu

From: educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com [mailto:educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com] On Behalf Of padlurowncanoe Dibou
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 5:24 PM
To: educators at lists.secondlife.com
Subject: Re: [SLED] Is ANYTHING out there more user friendly than Second Life?

My answer.  Nope.  Not yet.

Have you seen the latest and greatest innovations in SL?  Maybe not.  Take another look.  You might be pleasantly delighted.  It is far beyond the notecard and prop simulations of the past and the massive orientation learning curve.

I would like to respond to some items listed as negatives in Second Life.  We have created a middleware for SL that effectively makes the platform easier to use and much more robust.  Many of you know Second Life platform in its raw form without these kinds of advancements.  The middleware we created is currently used for medical simulations but could be applied to any training/simulations.  We chose not to rely on SL to provide all the innovation, but to provide a good deal of our own.  The middleware addresses two very important factors that were listed and more:

  *   The steep learning curve.  All you need to know is how to walk, talk, and click.  You are up, running, and effectively participating in minutes.
  *   Documenting the SL experience.  All decisions and text entries are recorded and time-stamped in a searchable website database for debriefing, assessment, or research after the events.
  *   It has an instructor tool that allows you to create any medical event -- you are not limited to a finite selection of simulations or outcomes.
  *   Patient vitals and other variable are easily changed on the fly.
  *   It has a tool to see the inworld decision making of other avatars and can be used to teach, to help, to work in teams or to observe and assess.
  *   All objects like crash carts, med dispensers, etc are not just props - the drawers "open", items are in them just like in RL and selected and applied to patient care.

Bottom line, if you are wanting the sim lab experience, it supplies everything but the tactile.   So if it is exposure to situations and criticial decision making you want, possibilities for more online and hybrid classess, engagement and immersion, flexibility, multi-disciplinary opportunites, teamwork and debriefing opportunities etc.  this is a wonderful, accessible and MUCH less expensive extension for medical simulation training than adding to the RL simulation lab, and more adaptable, extendable, and "social"  than canned computer scenarios.

I laugh at the cartoon comparison when I think of the typical RL sim mannequin  Our SL patient avatars are more realistic patients (gender, race, size/shape, rashes, deformities, animations, medical attachments, etc) than their RL sim mannequin counterparts.

And one very important note -- SL Community.   My education partner, John Miller, uses the community for his students.  He arranges for his students to attend the plethora of health support group meetings where they interact and learn more about the patients and caregivers they will soon serve as nurses.  Let alone, the numerous educators and others in SL that we have learned from and are now a part of our RL lives and network.

There is still a lot here in SL, available for FREE or next to nothing.  There are many "field trips" in nearly all subject areas, assets/scripts galore to apply to the educational experience you want to create, and professional collaboration.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems the many positives of the SL platform are being overshadowed with fear and negatives by folks with a vested interest in getting others to "switch."  I am all for great discussions about opportunities in other places, but let's not fail to mention the very real shortcomings of these other places along with the SL shortcomings.

I consider myself so fortunate to have been in SL when the most innovative educators around the world  were happily immersed in this grand collaborative exploration.  SL has gone through many phases in my time here.  I was and "am" thankful for the plethora of assets when I first came in-world.  I felt so cool when I went shopping and I combined my stuff with scripts, media, and imagination for learning fun.  I didn't have to create all my own stuff to experience some success.  It was not a frustrating experience at all.  It was inspirational.

Are we looking into extending our educational vision in a different platform.  Yup.  But just like SL, we have to go into these platforms, explore and improve/innovate.  For community and functionality, SL is still the bomb.

Hugs to All --

Cathy Walker aka padlurowncanoe

 tFrom: hiro.pendragon at gmail.com
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2011 10:48:45 -0400
To: educators at lists.secondlife.com
Subject: Re: [SLED] Is minecraft more user friendly that Second Life?

Nice points, Kim.

If I may add a few:

- Minecraft doesn't pretend to be anything but what it is - a game. Second Life has an identity problem where it's a game when it's convenient to market it that way, and it's SERIOUS BUSINESS when the journalists come knocking.
- Second Life's name, and its founder, indicate a utopian outlook that's really far beyond what everyone is thinking about social media.
- Minecraft is really simple to get started in, highly personalized, and devoid of griefers. It's easier and safer.

In short, it's a heck of a lot easier for one to wrap their head around what Minecraft is and what it's useful for, whereas Second Life and other virtual worlds are much more complex, nuanced, and difficult to learn.

-Ron T Blechner
SL: Hiro Pendragon since Jan 2004.
Professional Virtual World Developer since Jan 2006.
On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 1:38 AM, Kim FLINTOFF <kimbo2 at iinet.net.au<mailto:kimbo2 at iinet.net.au>> wrote:
Lots of different reasons I would suggest - amongst them:

  *   SL is often perceived as a game environment;
  *   SL is often too heavy on available bandwidth in schools - so staff think its unviable (or misinterpret that it can't work)
  *   SL looks cartoonish to many people - hence its relegated to "not a serious option" - these same people don't read SLED
  *   SL has steep learning curve and some people think that is a barrier
  *   Documenting SL experiences is difficult for many people so gathering evidence for assessment is perceived as too hard
  *   Many people don't understand the immersive nature of 3D MUVEs and think "why would I go there when we're all together already?"
  *   Many myths persist about how pornographers and paedophiles are lining up to greet you in SL (understanding of private spaces and estate permissions elude many people)



On 23/03/11 1:27 PM, "Moriz Gupte" <moriz.gupte at gmail.com<http://gmail.com/>> wrote:
Reading the above, I could not help thinking why the Reddit or other similar online social sites are such a big fan while almost anything Second Life related gets dissed very quickly.
What could be the reason, any ideas?

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