Wednesday, December 03, 2008

SecondLife as Video Development Tool - not immersive environment

One of the innovative sessions at DevLearn08 this year demonstrated how SecondLife can be used as a video production tool.  There is so much talk (i.e. Hype) about SecondLife as an immersive learning environment, that it was really cool to see how we (instructional developers) can use the same tool for creating content without ever forcing our users to enter SecondLife.

SecondLife eLearning Innovator

SubQuark (aka David Miller) was the presenter for that session and after receiving some comments during DemoFest he put together a demo of a talking avatar using SecondLife.  You can see it at his blogpost

David also was entered in DemoFest.  Check out his entry.  If you didn't think you could teach something with SecondLife Machinima then this should help change your mind.  There is some great info in his blogpost as well about the tools he used to create the video.  He also has a demo version of it that plays on a Blackberry...killer mLearning.

No SecondLife is NOT mobile yet, but your video that you created using SecondLife as a production tool CAN be.

I also did one of our GuildCasts inworld with David.  It was very fun and a very visually unique way to do an interview.

I am a firm believer that we (instructional designers) need to be MUCH more creative in our work.  And by creative I mean more visually appealing, but also utilizing tools in different and unique ways. 

David Miller is an innovator doing some amazing training development.  You can follow David at  Thanks David for sharing your thoughts and innovations with our eLearning colleagues.

Another SecondLife Innovator

If you are interested in other SecondLife talent within your eLearning Guild you can also check in with David Anderson (SL name: Oque Augustus) at David Anderson gave a workshop on Secondlife at DevLearn2008 that was well received.  He gave out DVDs with tutorials to the attendees and went the extra mile to create an inworld conference center and sandbox that blew us all away.  David is also an amazing elearning strategist working in the corporate space managing innovative learning projects of all types.

Why do I call out these 2 innovators?  Because when you're stuck in your cubicle and just cranking out another captivate movie waiting for the day to be over, its hard to see, and WANT, to do something different...perhaps better, or uniquely innovative.  You may not be able to get SecondLife behind your filewall for your employees...ever!  But that doens't mean you can't use it to create some very compelling training content.

I also hope you will be inspired to look at ALL of the tools you use in creative, new, innovative ways.  I especially look towards innovation that helps everyone do cool things on a budget.  This work fits that criteria.  Open source tools and free web apps are popping up all over the place.  I would encourage you to use them.  And then share your experiences with others.


Vijay Vukkalam said...

Well i agree with your thoughts of being creative and innovative when developing an instruction. Certainly the end user would like to see something interesting and worth using. A client or a business don't pay money if their purpose is not met or they think the product is too simple.
It is always tough to decide about aesthetics that is using 3D graphics and simulations to create good instruction. But this is only one part of large portion of instructional design.
But when trying to use a 3D simulation like Second Life a designer must also weigh the pros and cons about the particular application if it works on cross platform and also the content, users, hardware environment. There are different approaches and methods to dress up an instructional solution.
Certainly Second Life or a similar simulation medium shall have a considerable impact in the coming years.
To sum up my point, instructional solution is complete only when it is sound from all dimensions that is technically, situation, audience and aesthetics.

Anonymous said...

We at think that virtual worlds like Second Life offer some exciting possibilities. As of now they provide spaces for corporate purposes like conferencing, client feedback, community-building, and employee training. Also, business collaborators can use Second Life to construct products and process simulations to test new designs and concepts.

As educators and businesses begin to steer their students and employees toward 3D web collaboration, many users may wonder why phone calls, chat boards, and video conferencing aren't enough. When handled well, what makes 3D tools ideal?

When paired with audio capabilities, the 3D world provides a spacial environment that enhances the sense of working as a team. For example, the placement of avatars in a virtual world and the ability to organize multiple, simultaneous conversations lends itself to group collaboration and a notion of togetherness. In addition, the arrangement of objects within the world creates a natural context for group activity and conversation.

The fallbacks? 3D web is still in its infancy. While some companies and universities begin to dabble in its collaborative and economic capabilities, the fact is that we'll be waiting a while for 3D web to catch up to the efficiency of the communication tools we use on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

hey thanks Brent! lol, just saw your post now (Jan 19th). You are too kind, but I am passionate about the use of SL as a 3D application rather than a platform.

I look forward to the Online Forum I am presenting on January 30th with the Guild.

This one will have many video tutorials to really get most anyone up and running plus I re-recorded the DemoFest entry with Blue Snowball mike (really excellent for the price) and added the text to it.

Thank you again for a wonderful post and for all that you and the eLearning Guild do for all of us.

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