- About Virtually Olivia -

Welcome to the chronicle of places I go, and events I attend in my Second Life travels. I post lots of photos and landmarks to get to stops I recommend. Most of this blog - but not all - is dedicated to educational builds or places pertaining to education. I am an ardent Second Life traveler, and this blog reflects that. Olivia Hotshot. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr

20 July 2009

All about control, or paranoia and nothing about the method or content

On the SLED list today:
"As I understand it, there is no way to prevent a student from leaving
a private sim and exploring the greater virtual world. However, is
there a way of providing an immediate alert or notice to a student (avatar)
that they are about to leave the boundaries of the sim they are in (either
via TP or moving across a boundary line) and to have a record
of the date/time and avatar name. There may be some situations (such as
in training within corporations) where the employees are expected to
stay inside of the areas provided by the corporate training department. If
they choose to explore other aspects of SL they may do so but with their own
avatar account and on their own time."

Mister Ultimate Control
Information Technology Training Consultant
Information Technology Learning & Development
Nationwide Services Company

My Take:

Spend more time on creating engaging creative methods of interacting with the employees than on tracking and containing them. Wouldn't it be wonderfully nice if people actually wanted to stay, stayed, and participated in ways that helped them to remember content and extend it to their work lives?
Scripting people into submission is not the way to do it. You can lock them in or isolate them, but that is no measure of how much they will learn or engage. If nothing else, it will make them resentful. And, don't assume the participants are all noobs. A savvy person will simply park an avatar there and do something else until the time is up. (I highly suggest inventory reorganization as something else to do.)

"If they choose to explore other aspects of SL they may do so but with their own
avatar account and on their own time," really smacks of 'you've been owned.' Don't the employees own their avatars? Where did this idea of an avatar only being used for the corporate experience come from? Can't an avatar be a substitute for the real person who does a lot more in a day than sit at meetings?

Totally an example of poor pedagogy is above. It makes me cringe when i see this sort of thing. Moving to OpenSim might be the way to go to keep the employees in veal state, but a simpler idea might just be to ask employees to lock themselves in their home office, turn out the lights, and crank up the volume of a conference call.