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Networking and Exhibitions in Second Life

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Vasili Giannoutsos spoke about Networking and Exhibitions at VSTE Virginia's Society of Technology and Education in my last mooc. Exhibitions and networking in Sl are an important part of education too, people learn there to value the meaning of cooperating and doing projects with colleagues around the world.

 Vasili is a Graphic instructional designer. Bluebarker / Vasili took us to a nice historical trip to Virginia, where native Americans used to live. I was fascinated by the ships, the builds and the food we could see around. It felt just like being in a "museum to touch" but what I liked more was the fact that I could take a group of students over to Virginia and show them a bit of American history in two hours time any day. The place is really a permanent exhibition, a ship builder made a great work building the ships there. I can imagine some avatars not being able to resist climbing on the ships and having a closer look. Anybody who likes to explore should go to the island, they also have places to sit, woods, a bridge etc.

During the talk I was reflecting on what Vasili told us about how important social networking is if you want to do something really amazing, like building one of those islands in SL and putting history in it. You need a lot of people from different backgrounds cooperating. SL is the right place to find those people, just have a look at how many islands there are with amazing educational content, the good thing is we can all visit them, but if everybody moves to other virtual worlds where you need to be a member of the school to get in, we will be losing opportunities to cooperate and get inspiration. We will be reducing the chance of networking in a virtual world.

The fact that many people work on a SL project, doesn't mean that the project is not real. The project can be very important for RL. Vasili is quite successful in his job, he is not only involved in school education, but also in company training and he advices people to try SL although SL may seem too new to you, you should try to experience it and you should not undermine the value of social networking, attending events, taking the chances of learning new things, meeting new people and developing new skills. I couldn't agree more with him, I have learned a lot of things ever since I joined SL and I have met really interesting people. Bluebarker invited us to the island to try out new experiences. But why should anybody go into SL? He explained that nowadays communication is very important, specially if you are a leader or want to become one. You need to communicate with many people through different platforms or you will be missing something. People at companies communicate via 3D worlds like Minecraft, SL, or other platforms like google+, etc. as a consequence I think that a teacher needs to keep up with technology and teach students to communicate not only face to face, but via new technologies because, after all, we are educating the future.

When Bluebarker told us about "The International Dot Day" in SL where many people are invited to build something easy to start with and lose their fear, and later on they exhibit those builds, I found myself thinking about organizing such a day for my students too. The motivation to try something from scratch and the satisfaction when you have actually accomplished something plus the positive reaction of people who visit the exhibition makes students build confidence. Such events are good to cooperate as well, many teachers show what their students learned and created. Such an event may inspire schools to do projects together practicing a language like English or Spanish. SL is a wonderful way for like minded people to work together no matter where they live, they can communicate and generate ideas to create a new real world. Vasili's talk



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