Since most of us who are using virtual worlds in which to teach are sort of making it up as we go along, I decided that although I did want my newbies to see the island as a blank canvas, I would borrow an idea I had seen on the main grid. Some of the land available for educators to rent has been subdivided into smaller parcels divided by narrow waterways. As you can see in the video, I have done that. After briefly experimenting with prims, I gave my newbies their first problem. They were to build a sofa and matching chair with no formal directions. Thus, it was a problem they needed to solve and as you can see, they did not come to identical solutions. The boys who were with me during the last trimester of the 2008-2009 school year were given the task of working in pairs to build a furnished house based on a floor plan. Again, I gave no formal directions so they could approach this collaborative problem any way they saw fit. They had to build from scratch unless they had an item they built last trimester in their inventory. I answer questions as they come up, but do not interfere with the process.
We have some very unfortunate crashing issues despite searching out the best versions of Second Life to run on the various computers. We are even running an old but grid enabled version from flash drives on our oldest desktops, but as in all things, we will deal with it. Today we dealt with a fire drill. How do you say, “C’est la vie” in Spanish? (See video below)