Last month Irina wrote about a conference on Stepping into Literature which was sponsored by Alliance Library Systems and LearningTimes. I didn’t know anything about those folks, but I love Second Life (and have a button to prove it) so I immediately signed up. The conference began early. I was late, but technical problems caused a delay “in world” so I was right on time. I love SL but technical problems are common and they were prepared. I arrived just in time to walk now the hall to a new classroom. Start was only ten minutes late as opposed to 15 for the Real Life – RL conference I attended last month.
Desi Stockton (Beth Ritter-Guth in RL) creator of Literature Alive! in Second Life (an academic project aimed at collecting and distributing resources for the development of literary projects of collegiate worth in SL) and a real legend among educators in SL gave the opening address which was, as openings are supposed to be, inspiring and motivational and short. The sciences are well represented in SL, but the humanities and social sciences are only beginning to flourish and Desi was among the very first.
Then we broke into groups for "virtual book discussion". Sonja Morgwain (Sonja Plummer in RL) from Maine led our discussion on “Diary of a Bad Year” by J.M. Coetzee. The discussion was enjoyable and demonstrated the value of having a book club with people from all over the world. Sonja manages the garden readers book club and library in SL and is a librarian in Maine in RL
Third on the agenda were visits to literature sites. We went “Through the Looking Glass” with Alice and an incredible library built by a private patron - the Library of the Second Life Literary Foundation - by Xinoxi Han. It includes thousands of titles to read there or “check out” in ebook form and it was a beautiful “sim”.
The keynote speech was "Using Virtual Worlds to Make Literature Come Alive" - Kim Anubis who has written several books on SL including a couple in the “Dummy” series.
The panel discussion included Bryan Carter, an assistant professor of literature at Central Missouri State University. He specializes in African American literature of the 20 th Century with a primary focus on the Harlem Renaissance. Carter has been working on developing Virtual Harlem in Second Life. Desi Stockton said he was her inspiration when she first arrived. Sonja and Desi were also on the panel and they gave us many more ideas about how to use SL to bring literature alive.
The day ended with a social hour, dancing and a literary characters costume contest.
I understand blogs are to be short so that it all you get. It was well worth the time and trouble. I am sorry I missed the one on history last month.
The Learning Garden Expansion Continues!
1 week ago