Monday, 15 December 2008

Professional Avatar

  • To analyse teacher perceptions about avatar appearance and professional teacher identities in Second Life
  • To consider student perceptions of appearance in Second Life teaching settings

After looking at all the listed resources and reading the posts in the forum, here are my thoughts on the following :

* Do you think avatar appearance is an important aspect of educational activities that are being undertaken in Second Life?
Context, context context. SL begs out for that response because it is virtual. In the classroom, the real life physical presence demands by its nature that the educator be aware of the surroundings, context, culture and present himself/herself appropriately to the audience. Why should SL be different in a teaching/learning environment?
* What does appearance say about us in a teaching situation in Second Life - to what degree is it the same as real-life?
There are teaching situations which I will not accept in RL, so it is therefore normal that they will certainly not be present for my avatar in SL. This also applies to appearance.
* What is an appropriate professional avatar appearance for education?
Context-dependant again :-) The teaching context in real life imposes a certain 'appearance' which is linked to the teaching/business environment and the cultural context.
* Does your avatar have a professional appearance for educational contexts? Yes, no? Why?
No, as I don't teach in SL but if I did, my avatar is appropriate as it is today. It is after all, an exaggerated form of myself I suppose.
* Is there any appearance you would never use to teach in Second Life and why? I would never use highly provocative, low-cut and sexy attire as a female avatar. I don't in teaching contexts in RL so why would I do this in SL, apart from a specific role-play.
* The ability to change avatar appearance could be described as an affordance of Second Life. How can the ability to alter avatar appearance be used as a teaching tool?
Very easily - in role plays, scenarios, you name it. I think this is a very strong point for SL and teaching in SL. It's easy and quick, once learners have gone through the basics.

Fashion Show

Mod 1, Sec 2, Act 10

"Lastly, after the event, you should write a review of the event. You could focus on the fashion, and the different tendencies, or think about identity and appearance, or look at it from a social point of view."

One of my first experiences in SL was to dance. I remember distinctly the day! It was a Sunday afternoon and I was boogying in front of my screen as my avatar went through the paces. Graham Stanley then gave me more files (he obviously recognised the disco-kid in me) and I just went wild trying them all out.

My passion for this in SL has not changed today! I thoroughly enjoyed dancing at the Fashion Show, just as if I was dancing in a disco. I've tried to capture the movement in the snapshots here.

In my workplace, real fashion shows often take place and the most spectacular and interesting moments are 'off-catwalk' rather than 'on-catwalk'. So I decided to focus on the socialising, the informal settings, the different groupings and conversations going on during the event as the 'model' avatars waited to be called upon to present their outfit or they just looked on. In SL, I could'nt see them doing their hair and putting on the make-up though :-(