Sunday, October 14, 2007 - 15:38
I've been reading quite a bit lately about Universities setting up virtual classrooms in Second Life, so when Bertalan Meskó from ScienceRoll invited me to come give a poster, I decided it was time to take the plunge. Besides, I'm going to be teaching an on-line bioinformatics course this spring for Austin Community College, so this seemed like a good time to find out what the fuss is all about. Tomorrow, Bora Zivkovic (A Blog Around the Clock) and I will be the first ScienceBloggers (that I know of) to give poster presentations in Second Life. Our talk will be at 4 pm GMT, 12 noon EDT, and 9 am PST (my time zone). You're all invited to attend the session. But, if you haven't visited Second Life before there are a few things that you need to do beforehand to prepare. 1.First, go to Second Life, register for an account. You have to make yourself a new name, too. Mine is Vitro Vita. 2.Then download the Second Life application. Be warned, this is a big piece of software, almost 200 Mb! Depending on your bandwidth, it may take quite awhile to download it and, then, download and install the updates. 3.Then log in. 4.You will appear as a three-dimensional cartoon character, an avatar. You will probably want to make yourself some clothes.
5. Then practice walking around a bit by using the arrow keys on your keyboard. 6.If you're feeling adventurous, you can try searching for "Second Nature" and teleporting to island.
Otherwise, you can click this SLurl (Second Life URL) http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Second%20Nature/96/78/23 Clicking the SLurl will take you straight to the poster session. My poster and my avatar are shown below. I'm posing as Vitro Vita. Don't expect me to know what I'm doing, this is new to me, too.
8.Oh yeah, you ask questions by typing them. I think you can probably talk, too, but I don't know how to do that yet. At the end, you may want to walk around and explore. Here's "me" checking out an image of green fluorescent protein (where is the chromophore?) See ya there!