Thursday, August 16, 2007


This is a must see for everyone! If you haven’t been there, go there as soon as you finish reading this blog. Once you are there, wait for everything to rez, and to the right of the telehub is a small cart you can sit in to take a tour. If there isn’t one there, wait – its worth the 6 minutes or so the tour takes.

This island is as amazing as it is beautiful. I’m certain that this is going to take several trips back just to scratch the surface. Like Spaceport Alpha, there were a number of people visiting, showing that it is not JUST events that draw people in Second Life, although this island is, itself, somewhat of an event. UNLIKE Spaceport Alpha, the lag was minimal.

One thing that is important to note, I believe those who manage Svarga limit the number of avatars that can enter. So it is possible that you might try and get the “Could Not Teleport”. Try again, if that happens

The second time back I hopped out of the telehub and headed for the giant metal doors. Clicking the welcome sign opens this huge door, with a great accompanying sound.

The big problem with Svarga is not knowing where to look first. The second big problem is not wanting to miss anything.

I headed to the northwest along the first path I saw. The thunder rolling is a great addition, total atmosphere. I eventually found myself at a building with Elven musical instruments in it. After entering I right clicked one set of drums and selected PLAY ME. The picture says the rest. I only wish I could have found others to come with me so we all could have played. I’m going to wander back around at my leisure, coming back more times than I’m sure I’ll care to recount.
[note. – while I was writing this blog, and playing the drums, I shouted out to some of the folks within 96m. A super friendly person named Mellifera Slade came and found me and played the drums with me. We learned how to interact with the environment together, enjoyed playing the drums, and had a great time. Here’s a picture of us (thanks Mellifera!).]

So, what does this have to do with education? Simple – someone built something of interest and people come to see it and experience it. I liked these musical instruments and figured out how to play them. But someone has to anticipate that I might want to play them. These drums, the alcoves, all the other wild experiences, someone had to sit down and think about what it was that would interest people. They (the Svarga Gods) figured out how to make this island “sticky”, using web terms. People come, they come back, they enjoy, and they tell others.

So how do we do that with our material. How do we get away from simply recreating the “chalk and talk”. How do we create the environment in which our students want to learn, want to explore, want to figure things out for themselves? How do you do it in real life? How do you, or do you think you would, do it in Second Life? Each day, something else about all this amazes me.

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