Dr. Mary Stokrocki, Professor and Area Head of Art Education, Fullbright, recently shared a story with me about using Second Life for education. Dr. Stokrocki is conducting research about multi-literacies as well as cross cultural research.
On April 26, while teaching on her sabbatical, Dr. Stokrocki arranged for her undergraduate students from the National Chiayi University in Minshong Taiwan to have an art exhibition opening in Second Life called Taiwan Now.
The university is a combination of an agricultural school and normal teaching college and is famous for its agricultural research, especially orchids and peanuts.
This was the first time for many of these students who hardly speak English to be in Second Life, and Dr. Stokrocki could not use a Chinese keyboard. Imagine the challenges they overcame!
In this introduction to Visual Culture and Art Education class, 40 students chose different avatars: robots, animals (lizards, cat, dogs, unicorns, or wolves), and the remaining avatars were human. The curator, Second Life Avatar Jules McWhinnie (RL name of Jules Crook) from the Ed Media Center in Second Life, greeted them.
Because this was their first time interacting in Second Life, they enjoyed connecting, gesture exchange, and general fun. Students scanned their artworks (many digitally made) and uploaded them into Second Life. The graduate students are also learning to use Second Life as a medium to create virtual sculpture and digital stories, and to conduct avatar interviews.
Professor June Julian from Philadelphia University of the Arts owns the island in Second Life where the exhibit is located and uses it for research. The exhibit will be open through June 1st and can be visited here.
Dr. Stokrocki also has an ArtArk parcel on the NMC Campus in Second Life that her graduate students are using to learn to create virtual sculpture and art.
If you are interested in a virtual campus of your own in Second Life, check out the available properties that NMC’s virtual campus has to offer.