Category Archives: Second Life

On role plays: why on earth should I go to buy bread now?

We all language teachers use role play in the attempt to bring reality in the artificial environment of the class.

The result, let’s admit it, it’s not very satisfactory, above all when we try to reproduce in class everyday situations (like going to buy bread or opening an account in a bank).

Students feels it as artificial, and end up repeating the same sentence they have in the book or.. in the best of the cases, transforming it into an absurd situation.

Add to this that you cannot ask your students to buy bread over and over… and you will see the limit of the classical role play we use in class. You do it once. Over, finished. There is no possibility to repeat it, as we would do in our everyday life. (I do not know you, but usually buy bread more than once a week.)

So we teachers arrive in Second Life and we say “wow!”. We are not anymore inside the 4 walls in the class, we can move around, visualize things that look more or less real, even touch …. well… click on them! The perfect place to make role play work!

But is it really true? Do role play work much better in SL than in RL? And if they don’t, why they don’t?

Let’s see an example, a classical one: reservation and check in in an hotel.

I prepared it for the italianiamo group, and I will write here or my personal experience.

I built the hotel. Of course, to make it more fun and to offer more occasion to speak, I made a very strange hotel. The prices for the room were not excessively expensive for a 4 stars hotel, but the wifi cost an harm and a leg. The rooms… were … well… let’s describe them.

Room 1: shower and wc in the middle of the room. Blood stain on one of the pillow

Room 2: television set on fire. Someone was sleeping on the couch

Room 3: the bed had only 3 legs and no blankets. Someone left a “little present” in the wc.

Room 4: dirty water in the bath and merry cockroaches in the room.

I mean.. I usually go to cheap hotel, the only things I do not tolerate are bedbugs, being robbed in the corridors and large roaches, but I’ve never seen in my whole life rooms like those.

Let’s go back to our role play:

We decided to go on holiday together, called the hotel to ask information and book the rooms, arrived there and… a disaster.

The Italianiamo participants did not complain about the wifi abusive price. Well.. fine. May be on holiday they want to forget about the internet.

Then they went to their rooms… and I was waiting for enraged cries coming from the rooms… and see them dashing to the reception to complain.

Nothing. Nothing at all, no reaction.

I had to stop playing the receptionist, start playing the “teacher” and prompt them with silly questions like: did you notice that there is a wc where you should have a night table? Is it ok for you?  Do you think that you should go and complain at the reception?

So, where was the problem? Were the italianiamo participants all dumb? Were they used to 4 stars hotels with blood stained blankets and peculiar hygiene?

Or may be they did not mind.. because they actually did not have to sleep in those rooms? And did not have to pay with their money for them? That is: they did not believe in “the hotel”, it was not real to them.

Second life did not add much to “the class” them, we were facing the same problem: the lack of identification in their roles and the rather “artificiality” of the whole activity.


photo from pionia blog


Let’s imagine now that those same people take part in a Role Play Game. They created their character and have to act according to it. They are part of a larger story in which they develop relationship with others player, and their characters grow and develop in time along the story. They have purposes and aims in their life, and they will be involved in events and little everyday stories that are part of the larger story of that town, village or place.

  • They know if their character is a posh lady, an easy going adventurer or a young and naive girl. And they know that they have to act accordingly to their character.
  • Even if the game has not a “money system” for transaction inside the role play sim, they know their economic situation, and the value they give to money.
  • They know why they are going to the hotel, and the need comes from them, not from the teacher.  May be they have to go to another village to look for a person or an object. Or may be this is their honeymoon, or they want to hide from someone.

Thus, going to the hotel, will make sense to them. It’s not anymore a language exercise. It is something the story requires. It’s not as if someone would come up to me now and tell me “go and buy bread” so you can practice your Catalan.  It’s as if now I stand up, go to the kitchen to prepare some breakfast, see that I do not have any bread left and decide to go and buy it (or not. May be I decide to have some yoghurt or biscuits instead).

All this “background” will help them to take their decisions about their reactions. May be if they need to hide, they will not go to the reception to complain about their 3-legged bed with no blankets, because they try to pass unnoticed while the couple on honeymoon might have their first quarrel and then decide to leave the hotel altogether. The posh lady will make a big fuss about the roaches in her room. The easy going adventurer might wake up the sleeping guy and invite him to a glass of scotch and a cigar (lighting it with the flames coming from the TV set).

In role play games you do not perform a task. You are free to decide what to do and are guided in your choice by many internal and external factors. That’s why what you do and what you say sounds “real” and makes sense to you, because it really mirrors the way we do things in our real life: taking decisions and behaving accordingly.

And…more important from the language point of view, we can repeat the “hotel thing” more times, and we never feel that we are repeating it, because every time the situation and what brings us to the hotel will be different.

In the months I’ve been roleplaying, I introduced myself to countless people, ordered countless time food and drink at the local tavern, went many time to the doctor, quarrelled, bargained, asked information and directions and even got robbed once.

And each time was real, each time made sense, each time I was completely, totally immersed in the story and struggled with the language to say what I really wanted to say. But about the language in role play I will write in my next post.



Filed under role play, Second Life

3, 2, 1… you are on air

On saturday I was invited by Pionia to take part in an interview, together with Cyber and her, about language learning in virtual words.

Well… who can say “no” to  such a proposal?

This was an occasion as well to spend some times with two good friends and to learn about new intersting initiatives in SL, like the Teknoartia forum, whose aim is to be a meeting point for people interested in making things in SL. A real public square where you can find people with similar interests and share ideas and projects with them.

Actually, the radio that invited us, Colombiamor was born in SL, and it’s the result of the work of people leaving in different continents. A demonstration of how SL is, with no doubt, the best social network existing at the time.

Pionia, Cyber and me met a bit before just to chat, confess each other we were rather nervous, and meet some of the staff of the radio. It was nice to see some of the backstage while we were not “on air”.. you know how curious I am.. of everything and everybody :). Of course at the beginning we were tenses, but then thanks to the warmth and the competence of our hosts, we relaxed and even joked a bit.

In the end, we were asked to tell a recipe of our country… a really embarrassing task for me, because, despite being Italian, I’m a disaster and a danger in the kitchen and all my friends know that I’m rather prone to burning to ashes everything, even the saucepan.

I leave here the  link to the interview (in Spanish)

After us, was the turn of presenting a nice initiative: the Peace and Diversity  Marathon Art  2011, that will be held on 15-16 January. 24 hours non-stop of concerts, literary readings, exhibitions of visual arts and many interesting events to send a message of Peace and Unity in Diversity throughout the world. Another brilliant example of what SL and VW in general allow us to do.

For more information:

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Filed under education, interview, radio, Second Life, teknoartia

Let me introduce to you Anna, the role player

I started to be interested in Role Play in SL some years ago. I spent a whole summer exploring Sims and reading notecards, then joined an Italian one. It was summer… there was very little going around and few people to ask advice, and I admit I felt quite lost. The Sim closed in autumn. End of story.
After that, I forgot about it till this autumn, when Pionia Destiny lured me, with my enthusiastic consent, to Artstonia.

I liked the Land, a sort of medieval village:

  • It’s a one-Sim-Land. Smaller lands are better in my opinion: it’s easier to meet people and thus to integrate faster in the community.
  • Role Play is not centred on fighting, there is a lot of everyday role-play, small little stories going on.
  • Action is not always GM* lead. Most of the time a sort of input is thrown out there and then everybody contributes to the story to go on.
  • It’s well organised: they give you classes to understand and learn to role-play, but at the same time is relaxed.
  • You do not find around people not role-playing, a thing that I observed in other Sims and that I founded very disruptive
  • There are some great roleplayers,  and some are also great “integrators”, people who naturally, instintivelly help you to integrate in a community (thanks, Alexius and sir Edge).

Therefore I decided to stay and to give it a try. So… first of all, role play classes and creation of a character. This, the creation of the character, may be the most difficult, the most useful, and the most interesting part of the rpg**. In short, you sit down with a piece of paper in front of you and ask yourself: who am I and who I want to be. And write down a story of your life, explaining, with facts, why your character is  the way she is.
Now, you can understand that it’s rather intimidating, and in this short time I’ve been role-playing I’ve seen more than one giving up at this stage.

My little advice is to start form the avatar. Create it. Don’t buy a ready made one, make it, make the body yourself, look for a skin that fits on that body, looks for hair that fit the skin and the body, then look it in his/her eyes and ask him/her what he/she wants to be. You will get a rough idea, only then, dress him/her.

Now I see already many of you turning up your nose at the idea of being someone else. Well – and this is a personal opinion- I find rather absurd people who want to be themselves in SL, who make the avatar “look just like them” or even want to have their “real” name in Second Life. I personally prefer to explore my many selves, and to observes how avatars with different aspect influence my behaviour and that of other people. I like to play with identities, and I like to observe how I develop a bond, a sort of affection to this or that of my avatars, while others let me rather cold.

To be “other” gives you more freedom. We language teachers use this trick sometimes in class, above all in discussion about conflictive topics.  We divide the class in two groups, one in favour and the other against something, give our students time to decide who they are and ask them to think as well about the reasons of their stand. Usually people react a bit negatively when first asked to do it, but then enjoy a lot the dynamic of the game, find themselves participating more, and  the discussion heats up. In the end we all laugh and are still friends, although we might have quarrelled quite harshily in the “game”.

The same th9ng happens here. To be “another” helps you to put a filter between your real self (or should I say your real selves?) and what is happening to your character and to remind you that’s a game. Because, for a game to be fun, there has to be conflicts, there has to be evil characters, there has to be tension and dramatic events. I mean, if we all are constantly nice to each other… what a bore!

As you play, and observe you to play, however, you will be surprised to see how much of you there is actually inside your character, and it’s interesting to watch you from the outside. For instance, I discovered that I’m rather chatty… who wuold have ever thought it!

Anna-the-roleplayer is between 17 and 20, she is uneducated, naive, fearful and trustful. She is a little animal, very natural, curious and impulsive.

*GM: Game Master, person who are somehow responsible of the Sim and that sometimes creates storylines involving all the roleplayers.
** rpg: role play game

Wants to know more? Here you will find a very instructive post.



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Filed under learning, role play, Second Life

2 machinema project from the facilitator and the learner point of view

In October Gizmo and me presented in the Slanguages Conference some reflection on our experience with the machinema projects of Italianiamo from the point of view of the facilitator (me) and the learner (Gizmo).

For me, to sit down with one of my learner and to examine what we did and achieved (or not achieved) together was a very enriching and interesting experience.

The presentation itself… well, was as well a good learing experience :D. I’ve learned that I really have problems with slides (this time was lag, i was unable to see almost anything and to move, so it was impossible for me to show the slides that illustrated our talk) and that it’s better for me not to give presenatation in English: my level is not enough to feel confortable speaking in front of people, even if they are only avatar.

You can check yourself here, if you do not believe me 🙂

or if you prefer, you can read the text that we prepared.

Anna: Hi everybody and thank you for coming. The title of this presentation is Learning by machinima: reflection on pros and cons and we will analyse, from the point of view of the facilitator and of the participant, our experience with an Italian learning activity that involved making a short film in SL, a machinema.
But let’s first introduce ourselves.

Gizmo: I’m Gizmo, In RL I teach Spanish in Adult learning centres in the South  of England. In SL I am 3 years old and have been trying to improve my Italian in SL for probably about half that time. I have attended all three stages of Anna’s Italianiamo project.

Anna: I teach Italian in RL at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in SL and at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya. In SL, I’m almost 4 years old, and I explore the possibilities that this tool offers for informal learning of languages.

Italianiamo, is an Italian informal learning project for learners of level A2 onwards. It started as weekly, stand alone activities. I used the SL environment to stimulate learners oral production. I used this formula for almost a year, trying different variations, and I learnt a lot from it.

I also saw that, the typical SL language learner, that is the learner you already find in SL (not the students you can bring in virtual worlds yourself) is a sort of a casual learner, more interested in communication than in accuracy (At least  this was what I observed with the my Italian learners in SL). It’s someone who comes to the language activity, participate with enthusiasm and interest, but is not going to study or work on his own afterwards. Therefore I felt that this approach was not the best one because it did not offer the occasion to repeat, in a natural way, the expressions, vocabulary and structures seen in the previous activities.

So I wanted to try something new, to try to focus on accuracy as well, without making a “class”.

I finished Italianiamo first phase and invited people who usually came to italianiamo to participate in a new project, if they felt like: to make a short film together.
Of all the things I wanted to try in SL, this was the easiest from the point of view of the learner: it did not require any technical skill from their part. But it required commitment. It was not anymore something you drop into when you feel like chatting in Italian. It was a project and for projects you need a group.

There were 3 people who came regularly to the first Italianiamo, and other who came from time to time, some more other less often. Italianiamo, being an activity open to everyone, also included native speakers who participated in our activities. 3 people came to the 1st meeting of Italianiamo-the movie: Gizmo Karelia and Paloma. One week later arrived Lluis and a native speaker, Marino.
Let’s look at the composition of this group, because it will be important to understand many things later.

Gizmo: yes, Karelia , Lluis and I were good friends, did other things together in SL, and had a strong interest in improving their oral Italian. Marino was developing a strong friendship with Karelia and me. Paloma came quite regularly for a couple of months, then would disappear,  for work reasons, then turn up again for another couple of months. But basically, most of  the participants in the first film were regular and committed attendees who had also been through the first stage of Italianiamo together.
When we say committed , what I mean was committed to the group. Some of us, myself included, are learning Italian in order to keep up conversationally with Italian friends. I can’t pretend that I do homework or serious study of the language – but the first stage activities of Italianiamo gave me a kick start to where I am now, when I speak Italian nearly every day with friends that I  have made on SL.

The whys and the wherefores

Anna: the idea underlying italianiamo-the movie was… to make them talk again and again about the same topic without boring them. The film was an excuse, a little trick, the purpose for doing everything in the middle. I wanted them to use and reuse the same vocabulary, structures, sentences, but in a natural way. And I wanted to be able to work on pronunciation too.  And I wanted them to be actively involved in the project in all its phases: it had to be their film, they had to feel they had the complete control of it. I was the one taking care of all the technical, difficult bits, like the settings, organising how to work, and the actual filming and editing

Deciding the story

Gizmo: We started to decide what  the central topic was going to be, brainstorming ideas and discussing them, and we decided the story would take place in an hairdresser’s shop. The ideas were quite simple, nothing too deep, with well worn themes and some good action in the end.

Anna: We started choosing a broad subject and a setting. The participants decided who they wanted to be in the story. I help them thinking up their character, made them reflect on the relationship with the other characters, how they felt etc, just to get them in their roles.
Only then, starting from the relationship between characters, we created a plot.
This part was a creative mess. Many idea sprung up, many were discarded, we were naturally forced to summarise again and again our story. You see? Repetition, same vocabulary coming up again and again, same structures… but without getting bored or feeling that they were “repeating it”.
My role here was to put some order, to keep them on track, to avoid changing the story over and over again, give little pushes form time to time when they got stuck.

Gizmo: the story in a nutshell is that the hairdresser, the character Alessandro,  has been having an affair with a client , Venus.  They have been planning to start a new life together when Alessandro gets cold feet when Venus tries to push him to act.  There is a big argument with his wife, Venus is enraged and tries to steal Alessandro’s savings but is stopped in her tracks by an all seeing black cat  who also speaks Italian.


Anna: Once the plot was finished and we had it written, we could start with the dialogues. I first thought that everybody could prepare simultaneously their dialogues, improvising them, and then we would write them down, correcting the language when needed, so that they had their script.
But i saw immediately that it did not work. if you have been studying a foreign language you will have noticed it. When the teacher asks you to prepare a dialogue, improvising, and then present it to the class, the “original” one, the one you are improvising, is always better, more spontaneous, witty, fresh, that the one you are representing in front of the class.
This is because to us, to the people representing it, that dialogue, it’s not so meaningful anymore. I mean, when we talk to someone, we react to what he/she says. We do not know beforehand what this person will say.

So we had to work in another way: I had to write down what they said when they were saying it, the first time.
At the end, I copied everything on a notecard, read it again, corrected grammar mistakes and some vocabulary, but trying to change as little as possible of their language. If some sentence was not clear, we discussed it, I made some proposal, but they always had the last word. Above all, they had to feel comfortable reading it. the language had to be their level. It was them who spoke, not me.

The notecard then was given to the people involved in the scene . they read it again, loud, acting the scene. Here we corrected pronunciation and made little changes when necessary.

Gizmo: I’d like to talk about  my experience of creating my part in the story . It was easy for me to invent the character of a speaking cat as I am a great cat lover anyway. In our story the cat introduces the other characters with a monologue, and later has a dialogue with Andrea, played by Marino. This dialogue influenced later parts of the story because of material that came up and was taken up later. The monologue came to me fairly quickly and was then written down by Anna. The dialogue was a joint effort between Marino and me. We created it whilst Anna was recording another part of the story. So bits of the story were developing independently and we had to edit some details later so that the story flowed and made sense. In the dialogue Marino did suggest a few of the Italian phrases I used, but  it was a good dialogue exercise because we were really trying to invent something new, add a new twist to the story, not just put together a collection of phrases. We then acted it out again for Anna, who transcribed it, and did 3 or 4 takes for the final filming. Even after a few times of repeating it it was still enjoyable to do.

Gizmo preparing her monologue

Anna: For me, to have a native speaker with me (Marino) was an help. Let me say that I had to “educate” him a bit, since he is not teacher, and he is italian (Italians love to speak). They like to speak a lot… because it’s natural and easy for them, and for non native speakers it can be difficult to understand everything and to participate in a conversation with a native speaker. Or for instance, in dialogue, they tend to suggest too much, try to put their words into the learners mouth, because of course their Italian is stylistically better.
But having another native speaker who could help a couple rehearsing their dialogue was wonderful, a big help.
Of course it was not everything went smoothly. We had problems. Let’s see them.

  • I was the only Italian person who typed quick enough to transcribe dialogues. So when I was writing what a couple said, the others often had nothing to do.
  • Paloma disappeared without notice, and we had to find someone who substituted her. Luckily my colleague Cvetcka Nackt convinced one of her student to participate.
  • The day we had to shoot the scene in a bar our barman could not come. So we were stuck. But in this case, the difficulty gave us the opportunity of practicing some more Italian: everybody was scanning his/her friend list looking for Italian speaking people (often native speakers) who could come to help. They had to wrote many IM in Italian before we found someone who agreed on being our barman.

Cvetkca "lent" us a student

The whole process took quite a long time: we started at the beginning of December and the “premiere” was at the beginning of March, but we were proud of our work, we were proud of having overcome the various difficulties, and to have a little film to show to our friends.
Because of it, we decided then to go for a second one.

This time we decided to use a real SL setting, and Alice Mastroianni offered WDT planet, a wonderful Italian Sim.

WDT Planet


Let’s see who were the people in the group this time
Gizmo, Karelia, Marino, Claudio, Grinta.

Then Claudio and Grinta got some misunderstanding SL and Grinta stopped coming. And Gwen Arrived.

Then Marino fell in love in RL and he disappeared (and we understood it) but we had to look for a substitute. And Bea arrived.

Later on Donatuccio and Kalyan arrived, Donatuccio disappeared, Bernard arrived and Bea disappeared.

Gizmo: the story line that we first mooted was about Greek gods who turn out to be the opposite from what one would think , like the huntress Diana becoming a vegetarian. However as more participants joined us after the start , the plot turned out to be too complicated because a greater number of contributors wanted their say  and other story lines became added.   Indeed it was difficult to remember what the plot was and perhaps that put off some people from returning.

There was fairly frequent change in the composition of the group with some avatars from the first film leaving the group  or not turning up for the rehearsals and then the arrival of some competent speakers with many  new ideas.

Some participants who were near beginners, joined relatively late on in the process of the ‘script writing’. It was difficult to cope with this as a group when we also had native speakers who could sometimes introduce idioms which were unknown to us or a few who would come along for the camaraderie but did not want to take part in the film. That said, I did like the mixture of  both learners and native speakers in the group . They were mostly friends of Gizmo and Karelia anyway! Perhaps there was the need for firmer boundaries, but in the SL environment that is difficult.

And…Was there ever a title? The first film had a title which encapsulated the main point.

Anna: You are right Gizmo, but every time I tried to discuss the possible title, the conversation went somewhere else….(sigh)
With all this coming and going of people, I was starting to feel that it was impossible to introduce ourselves, explain the story, how we worked, to the newcomers as I would have liked to.
On the one hand, to work together you have to create bonds among people, and people to collaborate in something so complex, have to feel commitment towards the group. They as well need to understand what is involved in participating in this kind of activities, and decide if they want to join in or not. They also have to understand how everything works, and why it works in this way.
On the other hand, I could not ask people who were in the project from the start to introduce themselves each time, to repeat the story we had thought of, to change it to let the newcomers participate, or to try to find a substitute for those who disappeared and where playing a central role. And do it over and over again.

We started at the end of March and at end of July I had to admit that we were stuck. So I decided to finish it.

Gizmo: Personally I felt a bit disappointed at the sudden ending of the project, which was done unilaterally, without discussion. If people start something together it is better to end it together whatever the ending might be. This brings the process to a cleaner end and allows everyone to reflect on the process and extract the learning points for themselves. Anna probably got fed up with the whole thing in the end, but I do think she can sometimes be quite impetuous ( well she is Italian!!!)

Anna: yes, it was like finishing a love affair with a sms. You are right.

After a couple of months of reflection, we want to share with you we learnt

  • In the first italianiamo-the movie we had a group, people knew each other and had had time to develop bonds.

comparing the two groups

In the second Italianiamo-the movie, the group started with some bonds, but then due to RL issue, new inclusions and drop off, we did not have a group anymore.

  • In the first italianiamo-the movie I knew well my people, how they are, who is more shy, who is more dominant, and had my trick to balance the situation. In the second italianiamo-the movie sometimes I did not even had time to understand the language level of each newcomer, and I lost control of the situation, above all with native speakers who tended to monopolise the conversation.
  • In the first italianiamo-the movie, almost everybody had time to understand the process, and many, being themselves language teachers, understood as well why I was doing it this way.
  • In the fist italianiamo-the movie, we all knew it was an experiment, and we all knew it was risky and difficult, but wanted to give a try, because if it worked, it was going to be great.

In the second italianiamo-the movie, many came because saw the result, the movie we proudly showed in our premiere, other just to practice Italian, other just for curiosity.
Since they did not live the fist experience, where we all learnt together how to do it (me included, I’d never done anything similar in my life) and since we did not spend much time with each new comer explaining it  they did not get it. Many, for instance, did not understand why we spent so much time talking about the character and the relations among characters. They would have preferred to have me telling them, deciding for them. But if they have to create a story and above all play their character, this is a fundamental step.
However, there were some good learning moments and some unique moments. I will explain just one. Gwen Gwasi, who had to try to play aloud her monologue, said “i will stand up to say it”. And we all were expecting her avatar to stand. But not, her avatar stayed sit. The one standing was Gwen, in RL. She was so involved in what she was doing, that she needed to stand up in RL to say her monologue.

Gizmo: now a few memories of mine

  • As the character of  Diana the huntress, I spent a lot of time  shooting rabbits which I had rezzed and cloned, with a bow and arrow , whilst others were going through their scenes.
  • And  Karelia as Juno having to change her avatar shape to become more Juno-esque ( that is,  curvy and well endowed).
  • And i won’t forget the verb bisbigliare  to whisper .- Claudio often had to speak in a whisper because he was online when members of his family were asleep.. Claudio bisbiglia…

good moments

  • Anna: to conclude, some advice to those who want to try this out themselves:
  • It’s a very exciting, satisfying learning experience. But to be successful it has to be done with people who know each other quite well.
  • Keep the group small, be sure they understand what is involved in the task and ask commitment from the start.
  • If you can, try to involve native speakers, but remember that you will have to restrain them from talking too much.
  • Don’t be afraid of learning yourself
  • Be ready to become a builder (but you can find many ready to use settings and things), a personal shopper, a location finder, a film director and of course, a machinima maker and editor and many other things. Your task is to make their task easier, to that their only concern will be the language.

And enjoy the process, because the film, the result, it’s only and excuse. It’s all the other part that’s important.

Gizmo …….Well, Ok the second film didn’t ever come to light – but the result of the different stages of Italianiamo was that some of us have been enthused to take our learning and develop it outside the virtual environment in forming real friendships  with people from different parts of Italy. That must be encouraging for any language teacher!

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Filed under learning, presentation, Second Life, task based learning

back again with old friends

This year I will be sharing a little plot in Edunation with two old friends:  Daf Smirnov and Paolo Inventor (former Head Teacher). Really happy about it, and who knows, may be we will start collaborating again in some nice project.

At the moment, we are all too busy even to meet, so I will leave here a little drawing of us 3 together. Will add the “real” photo soon.


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Filed under education, edunation, Second Life

add a dimension to your learning.. with a good friend

In October 2010 Karelia Kondor and I prepared a presenation for the 3rd Virtual Roundtable Conference.

For me it was a real pleasure to be able to collaborate with Karelia: we met in Edunation thanks to Carol and became real friends by now. And I love to work with people: I like the energy that is produced and the learning and teaching that is taking place. In this case, I was the one who learned more, and I have to thanks Karelia to offer me this opportunity.

Since the conference was not on SL and then probably our “pubblic” was mostly new to Virtual Words, we decided to give an overview of what can teachers do in Second Life and to explain it from the point of view of  our personal experience.

It was nice and reassuring as well to have Gizmo, Pionia and many other friends among the attendats, and to be able to rely on the wonderful organisation of Gwen.

Here are the slides, since we had a little problem with them and were not able to show them all.

For more information:

the recording:

Karelia page:


introduction (video)

Italian Art: Gallery of the italian creativity: dynamics painting  and sculpture by Gleman Jun.
Sculpture: Both myself by Gleman Jun
Avalon Learning

For information on the project:

Slanguages 2010

sharing resources (slide)

International School
One of the many places where you can find free resources for teaching in SL.
English at Cypris Chat (slide)

Virtlantis (slide)

Goethe Institut (slide)

Teleportnovela (slide)

Italianiamo (slide)

Games (videos)
Role play (video)

Artstonia (role play sim)
Chatlog: example of role play interaction
[2010/09/29 23:50]  gadget Cyberstar: greetings, anna
[2010/09/29 23:50]  anna Begonia: greetings
[2010/09/29 23:51]  Relm Foxdale: Greetings
[2010/09/29 23:52]  anna Begonia: greetings
[2010/09/29 23:52]  Whrek Nirvana: Eya Girly
[2010/09/29 23:52]  gadget Cyberstar: ooh goodie, the rat is here
[2010/09/29 23:52]  Whrek Nirvana: shut up
[2010/09/29 23:52]  gadget Cyberstar: and why would i do that?
[2010/09/29 23:53]  Whrek Nirvana: you’ve got shit spewwin out yur gums
[2010/09/29 23:53]  Whrek Nirvana: I’m sure relm doesn’t appreciate getting covered in it
[2010/09/29 23:59]  anna Begonia: *approaches Whreck, looks at his skin*
[2010/09/29 23:59]  anna Begonia: Sir, do you paint it every day? It would take long. How many hours?
[2010/09/30 00:00]  anna Begonia: do someone help you?
[2010/09/30 00:00]  Whrek Nirvana cocks his foot to the side and sweeps his tail around it, standing up tall in front of her, “Wha, You aint meanin ta tell me you aint never seen a tatoo before girly, THis down come off, its burned on my flesh”
[2010/09/30 00:00]  Relm Foxdale suddenly chuckles. “You have longer hair than me.”
[2010/09/30 00:01]  gadget Cyberstar: aye, frieking wood elfs, they dun know how ta cut hair
[2010/09/30 00:01]  anna Begonia: Oh, my god! burned! it has to be very painful! Why did they do it to you? *with a shrill in ther voice*
[2010/09/30 00:01]  Relm Foxdale grabs his ponytail playfully
[2010/09/30 00:01]  gadget Cyberstar: hey! no pulling!
[2010/09/30 00:01]  Relm Foxdale laughs
[2010/09/30 00:01]  gadget Cyberstar: pull my hair, i steal an ear
[2010/09/30 00:02]  Relm Foxdale: You wouldn’t dare
[2010/09/30 00:02]  gadget Cyberstar: try me
[2010/09/30 00:02]  Relm Foxdale frowns
[2010/09/30 00:02]  Relm Foxdale: Nah
[2010/09/30 00:02]  Whrek Nirvana holds his hand up and traces down his arms, “Traders and brands, each of these was given to me when I was slave to one or another, the Ravinica guild added the roses every time, or was it gruuls
[2010/09/30 00:02]  gadget Cyberstar: tatoos dun hurt, actually
[2010/09/30 00:03]  gadget Cyberstar: well, much
[2010/09/30 00:03]  Whrek Nirvana: they do when theyre seared
[2010/09/30 00:03]  gadget Cyberstar: yeah
[2010/09/30 00:03]  Relm Foxdale: Not very much, no
[2010/09/30 00:03]  gadget Cyberstar: i said much
[2010/09/30 00:03]  Relm Foxdale: Depends where they are
[2010/09/30 00:03]  Whrek Nirvana: take a hot Iron, dip it in ink, then brand the flesh
[2010/09/30 00:03]  gadget Cyberstar: well, ye stop feeling much after a whyle
[2010/09/30 00:03]  Relm Foxdale smirks. “You’ve never seen mine, Gadget.”
[2010/09/30 00:03]  anna Begonia: you were a slave? *goes nearer to Whreck* how can be that you were takein slave? You are so strong *smiles half shyly half mockingly* why did you not defend yourself?
[2010/09/30 00:03]  gadget Cyberstar: did nay know ye had one
[2010/09/30 00:03]  Relm Foxdale: But then I keep it hidden, for good reason
[2010/09/30 00:04]  Relm Foxdale: When i was with those…people
[2010/09/30 00:04]  gadget Cyberstar: ah
[2010/09/30 00:04]  Whrek Nirvana: I was a boy when I was taken at as a slave, and even now not much I can do to a camp of slavers ta stop em, though I’ve slipt outta theyre grips a few times as of late
[2010/09/30 00:05]  gadget Cyberstar: ye just gotta learn how ta fight right
[2010/09/30 00:05]  anna Begonia: I was told that there are raids sometimes in the village, they catch people, children or girls. Are they slavers?
[2010/09/30 00:05]  gadget Cyberstar: mostly just monsters
[2010/09/30 00:06]  Whrek Nirvana: Wouldnt doubt it, Sparten raiders are pretty notorious fer taken breedin stock, women and girls, athenians well take workers of men
[2010/09/30 00:06]  Relm Foxdale: Well, Gadget, I need to go to bed…it’s been a long day, traveling to Flotsam and back
[2010/09/30 00:06]  gadget Cyberstar: *frowns* alright
[2010/09/30 00:06]  anna Begonia: ah…. other mostners, not the one you have in the village, i guess
[2010/09/30 00:06]  Relm Foxdale: But thanks for dancing with me *smiles*
[2010/09/30 00:06]  gadget Cyberstar: goodnight, relm
[2010/09/30 00:06]  Relm Foxdale: Night
[2010/09/30 00:06]  anna Begonia: good Night lady
The real Virtual World
art gallery (slide)

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Filed under education, presentation, Second Life

having fun… and collaborating with friends

I’ve been appointed stage technick by Gwen Gwasi 😀

That means, that I have a good excuse for doing what I like most in SL: prepare settings.

Here is the result:

The first scene of Gween play (two small pieces of “Baal”, by Bertold Brecht) will take place in a party.  So here I wanted light, opulence, and to give the idea that they are a sort of artist circle of friends.

To keep prims down, the pictures on the wall are… part of the texture. The middle of the room is empty to let some space for the actors to move.

The “prim” will be a little organ. Gwen will buy it for her rapresentation.

The second scene, is in a squallid bar, people are drunk and quarrel. Here the setting is dark, furniture are battered, lights are dim. Here actors will need more space to move, above all in the last scene.

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Filed under building, Second Life, task based learning