Whooshup Reorganization

To reflect what this blog has become, the format has changed to emphasize the enormous number of useful links to resources we provide. To go to the whooshup blog and conversations about these resources, just scroll to the bottom of the lists of resources!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Second Second Life Virtual Discussion Section Observations

Things went much better than last week, in that there were at least 4 or 5 of us that could interact on a voice chat with a microphone. We were also struggling to follow what was being typed in by those who weren't able to join in via voice, although we had less success doing that then I had previously hoped. I think once I was drawn in by listening, I had a little trouble following what was being typed in by my mute colleagues. Maybe next time, those of us who can speak and be heard should identify ourselves, and then partner up with members of the group who can only type in their questions. That way, we could take some responsibility for bringing them into the conversation so they don't become a "victim of the scroll". When you teleport in, there is a kiosk where you can join the EdTech Group. Once you are in a group, I think you can then set up IM chat within the group, which may help with the communication issues we are trying to address.

One of the interesting things we can do in Second Life as opposed to a conference call is that when we partner up, we will be able to distribute ourselves spatially within the conference room (say one voice person with 2 typing people, connected by IM chat), and group ourselves around the table. This would somewhat mimic the associations that develop in a physical discussion session. I also felt that I had a better understanding of the dynamics of the conversation by having a rough idea of how many people were around the table. I think these are a couple of reasons to try to figure out a way to make this thing work, and taking advantage of the opportunities afforded in the virtual realm.

The conversation was more of an after class discussion with professor Dreyfus, than a virtual discussion section amongst the podcast people, at least during the first hour. I think we can regard an appearance by Dreyfus as an occasional opportunity, but we need to focus on how to interact amongst ourselves and make sense out of the podcasts. My own recollection of university days some (gulp!) 25 years ago is that you can get overwhelmed pretty quickly with the material! How are we going to keep up and interact profitably?

I think using Karl's blog as a "hub" is a start. I wonder though, in terms of discussion points, can we do some of that ahead of time before the virtual discussion section? And would we do that by forever posting to karl's page? One possibility is for each podcaster to have his or her own "blog" or "group" where they can post their own ideas, and invite comments from others. Karl might put a list of these on this site, and then we could "make the rounds" and see where people are coming from, before hashing it out in Second Life. I created a group last week in google, www.PodClearing.Com, where I am going to try to illustrate this concept. I will invite your comments!

5 comments:

Patt said...

Sorry to miss the SL discussion group on the 26 th. Can anybody tell me how I go about setting up a microphone to talk?
Second, I think the idea of setting up separate personal blogs for discuusing this course is a good one. We're all on different levels.
I'm committed to following this through though. I think I'll really be able to learn something here and even make some advances by participating in discourse with some of you guys.

andrew said...

Hello Patt, People could hear me yesterday. I was using a SONY EMC-R100 condenser mic. It has a 1/8th in jack so I just plug it into the mic input.

Also I was talking with Gilles at the forum and he suggested some lectures by drabinski. Gilles if you read this could you type in the web address. Thanks

like Patt I am committed to following this through

"Gilles" said...

http://drabinski.readerly.com/CoursesS07.html

I was actually in this course on Levinas and Derrida. It's really hard stuff but once you start to get it...it's really rewarding. He also put up podcasts on his Husserl/ Heidegger and Derrida politics course but it doesn't seem to be there anymore...regardless you click on "in sum" and u have all the podcasts available. This semester he's teaching a course on Critical Theory and Intro to philosophy where he'll actually be talking a little about Foucault and Merleau-Ponty...one of the benefits of going to or having gone to a continental philosophy friendly school.

Also, i'm down to follow this through as well though I want to say because i'm taking other courses I might not as on the ball as you other guys...everything helps though.

Karl Tyson said...

Thanks Hammerer/artsmith!

Most important outcome for now - we will meet again next week, same time and place on Second Life. Dreyfus is not planning to be there. It should be a great time for us to work out tech problems and discussion procedures.

I agree - it did go as well or better than we could have expected. We know that the Second Life approach will be very challenging on one level - but also very rewarding. There was a sense of "presence" that Dreyfus was there conducting things, and giving us guidance as to how we should proceed with the project.

I think the more blogs and groups the better. We also need more flexible scheduling so people can fit in better. One person certainly cannot plan out and implement all the possible scenarios - so let's all jump in to the best of our abilities and the extent we have the time to self-organize a way to talk about these lectures, and philosophy, and perhaps learning in general.

Dreyfus made it clear he is not against a Skype conference call. I remember that James Roome suggested just that. If you organize it James, I think Dreyfus would agree to participate in at least some sessions, but of course that's his call, on any of this from here out.

When we start new blogs or pages or find new and interesting links, please let's try to put them on this blog for now, so we can keep track of the activity, and people can find other pages of interest. I will try to catch up and add Hammerer's new group and Gilles' teacher's links. But can you other authors add to Layout - perhaps I need to give an added permission or something?

I really want people to come forward and organize and lead the effort I started. I am looking forward to following Dreyfus on his two lecture courses this semester, attending discussion sessions when I can, and keeping up discussion questions that really get to the core issues being raised in any of his webcasts.

Thanks again to everyone who has participated in any way.

Aaron said...

Hi all,

I like the idea of partnering up voice folk with typing folk so that someone can watch out for the latter. But unfortunately I was never able to get voice chat to work.

(My avatar (AA Sideways) sat at the table for 40 minutes or so while I tried to figure out how to hear what was being said and read what little was typed. Eventually I just left.)

I don't have a mic, but I had voice chat activated in the options menu and don't understand why that didn't suffice to be able to hear anything. (I sure could hear the techno and birds.)

If anyone has any advice about listening in to SL voice chat, I'd be most grateful!