Media in Transition Conference (via Second Life)

mit5sl1

I managed to make a couple of sessions at the MiT5 conference being streamed into Second Life (I had to stay awake til 4am to do it though!).

What was  more interesting to me than the actual session was that of the conversations of several of the Second Life audience members who were actually physically there at the conference. It was like getting a whole back story to who the speakers were, what the general mood of the conference was, and criticisms and critiques that would likely never be aired in the physical public space.  There was also discussion of some disturbing misconceptions about Second Life, criticism that the majority of speakers and commenters were “wise men” (in the sessions I went to there were two women speakers [out of nine people], see above image for proof, and two women [out of about twenty people] who asked questions or made comments).

I also disagreed with some of the comments – one was that we should treat technology as invisible and concentrate on the people, but I think that’s very dangerous, because each technology shapes discourse and constructs us as certain types of media subjects, and I think if we don’t critically think about that we’re only serving to reify stereotypes and marginalise certain groups in society.  I was pretty shocked to hear some guy spouting that and even more shocked that nobody challenged it.  If it hadn’t been 4am for me I would have said something myself.

In one way I am thrilled that more and more conferences are including virtual streaming of sessions, but I wasn’t so thrilled trying to work today after so little sleep!

2 thoughts on “Media in Transition Conference (via Second Life)

  1. I agree with you about the technology as a mediating influence.

    As for the virtual streaming I think I was at the very first conference in Australia that combined the rl conference with streaming video and simaltaneous moo-chat which was projected above the speakers – that was Cybermind96 in Perth Western Australia held in December 1996 at Curtin University

    Cheers
    Jerry

  2. Hi Anglea (Anya). I am currently researching educational uses of Second Life. I have explored the environment many times but have not had a chance to delve deeper…yet! Could you answer soem questions if I prepare some. Basically, I am looking for some insight to your experiences with teaching in SL.

    Examples:

    – What do you like about Second Life for education?
    – What problems have you had and how were they rectified?
    – Has it improved your learning experience?
    – In what ways, positive or negative aspects?

    – Why are you using SL in education or what can you do in SL that rather than in RL?

    – What is the student reaction to SL, positive or negative?

    – What learning is involved and how do you handle this?

    (I am Boz Budan in SL)

    Many thanks in advance.

    Bluez

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