Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Reflections and Predictions

Literature Alive! recently celebrated its first birthday. Literature Alive! was created because I simply could not find anything literary in SL, and I needed something of substance to offer students.

The first build was on a rental property in Knightsbridge; it was the first British Literature classroom. In these pre-Eloise days, I did all of my own building and scripting with the help of Adrian and Ligeia Westwick. Back then, it was a beautiful house with lots of things to click, but there was nothing to do other than read.

At first, we used the British Literature classroom for everything, but then gave birth to Literature Alive! We established a headquarters at Lukekini Island, and interest in literary projects caught on at the SL Insider (w Massively) where Eloise was a columnist. During her interview, she asked where LA was heading, and I explained all that I wanted to to do but recognized that my basic building skills and lack of funding would prevent any forward movement. Eloise took pity on me, and started to build interactive displays while I went out a-beggin for land grants. My thought was that people would donate land before they would donate Linden, and they would welcome builds that would help establish their own presence within SL.

Fast forward one year.

We have hosted over 30 builds in Second Life devoted to literature. We have held 52 workshops for faculty. We have been home to over 250 college students using SL to learn about literature. Through the very generous land donations of our colleagues and the volunteer efforts of Eloise, Literature Alive! has grown in leaps and bounds.

Where next?

Our main hope is to continue building environments. This summer, students will be working on WW2 and Journalism, and we hope to build a full sim Dante exhibit (inferno, purgatorio, and paradiso).

We also hope to return to offering free workshops for faculty using SL to teach. This is the best part of what LA has done in the past, and it is something that ebbs and flows with student presence.

As we look over the past year, we are amazed by what we have been able to put together with no budget. We - literally - grew out of a dream.

As we celebrate this first birthday, please let me take just one second to thank the people who have made it possible to exist and thrive.

  1. Without the help of Eloise Pasteur, Literature Alive! would still be at Lukekini hoping to do something MORE in SL. While she makes her living by building and scripting in SL, she has volunteered her time, talent, and treasure to help us grow. Without her, we would not be where we are right now.
  2. Daliah Carter is the assistant everyone dreams of having. She shops for props, she helps students get dressed, and she takes excellent notes.
  3. Our sponsors: There are so many of them, but we are eternally thankful to Finger Lakes Community College, Monroe Community College, Montclair CHSS, Georgia Southern SCU, Education UK, SLCN.TV, Cattle Puppy, the Foundation for Rich Content, The V3 Group, Liz Fherenghetti Landscaping, EduIsland II, NMC, FireSabre Consulting, MillionsOfUs, Eloise Pasteur Educational Designs, Alliance Library, Caledon Libraries, VIT World Group, Nature Island, and Drexel University.
  4. Our Friends: We have so many friends on the grid that it is impossible to list them all. However, there are a few that have been truly special to us and we want to be sure to thank them as well: Butch Dae, Marcius Dowding, Crash Thibauld, Larry Pixel, CDB Barkely, Intellagirl Tully, Bryan Mnemonic, AJ Brooks, LauraMaria Onomatopeia, Claudia Linden, Blue Linden, Glenn Linden, Sambuca Carter, Lorelei Jonot, PipSqueak Fiddlesticks, Audio Zenith, Max Chatnoir, Horace Moody, Troy McLuhan, Fleet Goldberg, Fred Fuchs, and FlipperPA.

1 comment:

Peter Miller said...

A belated happy birthday to you all. I have looked on with awe, not only at the way you guys have gone about things but also the way you have shared insights with aspiring SLeducators. Here's hoping that next year will be equally awesome!