TxDLA 2010 | Second Life Conference | Session 1 - 9:15-10:30am

Session 1 - 9:15-10:30am
Group A - Using Immersive Simulations to Learn in Second Life

JanythKU Techsan Tour Guide: Janyth Ussery
SL Name: JanythKU Techsan

Janyth Ussery (SL: JanythKU Techsan) is the Director of Web Education for Texas State College West Texas. She graduated from Hardin-Simmons University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Technology and holds a Master of Education degree from Texas Tech University in Instructional Technology and has worked in higher education for 16 years. Janyth is online content designer and a co-instructor for the professional development and job skills courses in the virtual world delivered Digital Media degree in addition to serving on the vTSTC Development team. Education and technology are her passions and she is excited about the immersive and interactive experiences that virtual worlds can offer education.

Session Description: The 3D and interactive nature of Virtual Words make them ideal for teaching and practicing "real life" skills that students need to master to be competitive in the job market. A perfect example of a skill set that has been taught effectively in virtual worlds is table etiquette. Anyone who has been seated at a formal dinner party and surveyed the maze of forks, knives, spoons, plates, and glasses will understand instantly why this situation can be intimidating. Which fork is used for what? Which water glass is mine? What do I do with my spoon when I am done eating my soup? All these questions and more are addressed and practiced in "The Virtual Dining Experience," a simulated, interactive experience created for Texas State Technical College's students in Second Life. Participants in this session will have the opportunity to take part in this interactive, informative, and entertaining class. Join us, and you just might learn an etiquette tip or two.

Group B - Next Steps

Mirt Tenk Tour Guide: Susan Medders
SL Name: Mirt Tenk

Suzie Medders, aka Mirt Tenk, works for Teaching and Learning Services in Clemson Computing and Information Technology. In February, 2007, she began working in Second Life in support of research initiatives in the position of Interactive Multimedia Services coordinator. Subsequently, she developed a Second Life training and support model for Clemson University faculty who want to explore using SL in teaching. Clemson Teaching Learning Island in Second Life is the virtual center of Clemson's Second Life support model, which was designed to maximize access to information and benefits with limited resource input. With an MA in Professional Communications, Suzie works to evaluate and provide emerging technologies as teaching tools to faculty at Clemson in her current position as Multimedia Coordinator in Teaching and Learning Services.

Session Description: Clemson University implemented a Second Life IT support model to assist faculty, staff and students using Second Life in education with limited financial and human resources. Suzie Medders, aka Mirt Tenk in SL, will give a tour of the Clemson Teaching Learning Island to show how the island has been planned, developed and used to provide training, as well as research and teaching support, for Clemson faculty, staff and students. This session will benefit campuses who are investigating the potential for supporting Second Life through academic technology services, rather than use by a few early adopter faculty.

Group C - Genome Island

Max Chatnoir Tour Guide: Mary Anne Clark
SL Name: Max Chatnoir

Mary Anne Clark is Professor of Biology at Texas Wesleyan University. She received a PhD in biology from Bryn Mawr College in 1973. At Texas Wesleyan University, where she has taught since 1979, she teaches introductory genetics for both majors and nonmajors as well as advanced genetics for science majors. She also enjoys the opportunities that her university has provided for cross-disciplinary teaching.

An enthusiastic proponent of the use of technology in education, Clark became interested in the use of virtual worlds for teaching when her husband finally talked her into playing World of Warcraft. After discovering Second Life in 2004, she began building a virtual genetics laboratory that grew into Genome Island, located in the SciLands science continent. Since 2007, she has used the virtual laboratories on Genome island for several of her classes. Other technology projects include the WhoZoo Web site and the composition of music based on protein sequences.

Session Description: A tour of Genome Island, a virtual genetics laboratory at Second Life. We will see experiments with peas and flowers in the gardens and greenhouse of Mendel's Abbey, the inheritance of coat colors in Cattery, a large cell model, and several activities in molecular and human genetics in the Tower.