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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chemistry in Second Life April 09 Talks

Update: the recording is now available here

Andrew Lang and I just did two presentation on applications of chemistry in Second Life.

The first was on April 24, 2009 at the "Virtual Worlds: Libraries, Education and Museums" (VW LEM) conference on Infotainment Island. The second was on April 29, 2009 at "Education Days" on Orange Island.

This was basically an updated version of the talk we gave at the ACS last summer. We showed how the ChemTiles and Spectral Games evolved from Second Life. That is interesting because usually Second Life applications are adaptations of projects initially conceived elsewhere.

As I mentioned previously, giving talks on Second Life or using some other form of tele-presence certainly has its advantages. It does not replace face to face interaction but I think people get a good idea of what we do and they can follow up later for more discussion or possibly even collaborations.

I enjoy presenting with Andy - we go back and forth depending on the content on the slide and when it is relevant Andy does a demo of how to rez a molecule right on stage. So far we have not had any technical problems with that and I think it drives home the message of how easy it is to use the orac rezzer.

The talk on Orange Island was recorded and I'll update a link to it here when available.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

FriendFeed and Second Life chemistry networking assignment

This term I am teaching introductory organic chemistry (CHEM 241). As an extra credit assignment, students had to use FriendFeed and Second Life to find 3 people on each platform doing something related to chemistry. They also were asked to take 4 pictures of chemistry content in Second Life.

The first of 2 deadlines related to this assignment has just passed and 4 students completed the assignment. I think they did a great job - take a look.

I think the networking aspects of these platforms is immense in educational fields. But it requires overcoming a bit of a barrier to entry, which was the purpose of this assignment. Students did need a bit of guidance at our workshops to get going but they caught on very quickly.

Thanks to everyone who agreed to be interviewed!

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