Monday, December 28, 2009

Visiting other countries in Second Life and My Caledon Art Gallery

One of the most satisfying experiences of Second Life is the opportunity to explore other cultures, learn about other countries and meeting people from all over the world. This past holiday weekend, being snowed in and some other things going on in my life that limited my activities set me on a quest to do just that. Over the weekend I visited Little Norway, Project Murais and several Japanese sims. When visiting sites such as these ensure that you and your group respect the traditions and activities that residents may be participating in, some of these are role play sims and it maybe best to not intrude.

I visited several sims and will provide an overview of a few of them here. These include Project Murias which, according to the website, is funded by Irish Aid, and provides a venue for demonstrating the different issues that are faced by developing countries in education. These illustrations provide insight into disease, irrigation, and an avenue to provide information on those who are providing leadership in their countries. According to the Project Murias Website this sie provides:

The strategic aims of this project are:

  • to create a MUVE with rich resources, artifacts, and experiential learning experiences.
  • to promote, share and publish the work and ethos of the stakeholders and agencies concerned.
  • to use content and artifacts from global and local communities with their particular interest and focus.

As part of the Bachelor in Education final year elective course in Development Education, student teachers are using Murias to construct interactive quests which will explore their understanding of Malaria, Water, Education, Aid and Child Labour.

Keep in mind that the reference to Development Education is the preparation of teachers to teach in developing countries. The Second Life Slurl for this SL site is:

Visit this site and support it, funding ends in February 2010 according to Fli Nurmi caretaker of the site.

Below is an image of a flour mill similar to what you may see in Africa or other developing countries:

Another build at Project Murias illustrates the infestation of mosquitoes which spread malaria:

This is a critical site for education and learning about the challenges faced by developing countries, for teacher education and educating the general public at large. If you don't have a Second Life Account to visit such sites you are missing out on an opportunity to learn about other cultures such as this. We all don't have the travel budgets to travel to these countries but if yuou have a PC and Internet you are able to travel here and experience the insect manifestations, the living conditions and the activities that are necessary to irrigate and grow crops.

I also took advantage of the chance to visit several Japanese sim. I shopped, observed some activities that are part of the Japanese culture and toured and viewed some of the architecture. One sim was set in the era of the Edo Period. Now you have a chance to not only read about the Edo Period but actually visit a site designed to illustrate life during that period. The Second Life slurl is here:

Some of the photos I took while there are below:

Another Sim I visited was Little Norway. The one thing that, for me exemplifies this culture is theStav Kirke. I am very familiar with this type of church as I have often visited the Stav Kirk or Chapel in the HIlls in Rapid City, SD. The Stav Kirke in Second Life is available for rent. Some photos of the Second Life Stav Kirke are here:

Some other images from the beautiful Second Norway sim:

I had to photograph this old tractor in Second Life because I love to photograph old machinery in the world too:

All in all an adventurous SL-acation and very enjoyable as I wandered around. On any given day you can type in the name of a country in search and find a laundry list of sites to visit. Some are good and not so good. You can determine that from the terms that come up in the description. Not only are these sites visually interesting to view, with a variety of activities to participate in that are significant to the culture but it was an entertaining and educational way to spend the afternoon.

On a personal note I have spent some time in Caledon -- Glengarry setting up my own Art Gallery. I am excited and have included some pictures here. I have spent several years taking photos of my home Wyoming which lends itself very well to some gorgeous scenery as well as collecting photos of a vintage type. Some photos of my gallery in progress are here:

I am really excited by this opportunity to share the vintage photos and other artwork I am working on's a work in progress .. and an exciting one at that, I hope you join me on this adventure is always fun to be a part of the Caledon Community.

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