Thursday, February 12, 2009
Inclement weather held me captive in my own home last week and scheduled teaching was rerouted as we hurriedly decamped into cyberspace. And that was my first experience of Elluminate which kept me engaged for a good three hours. Apart from showing a screen that looks a bit like a primitive softsynth, I was impressed by the way that it integrates a number of modes of communication. Having said that I think I prefer the illusion of embodiment that virtual worlds can provide. You also get loads of that Eurovision Song Contest stuff: I can hear you, can you hear me? No we can see you but we can't hear you, how about everyone else? No, I've just lost you. And so the medium ends up blanking out the message. But, if and when that's all sorted, and you're in a shared communicative space, it must be possible, at least possible, to learn ,assuming the design is reasonably all right. What excites me is that the participants are distributed and the immediate presence of the institution is erased. The learning is not location specific and the communication is person to person and sometimes many to many. Sounds OK. Let's see how it goes.