Looking Back…

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As the presentation is tonight and college is nearly finished for the summer. I thought I would write a post and reflect on my Virtual Environments experience.

When I first heard about this module I wanted to take it immediately, because it was different to the average college class. I loved that we had to set up a blog and record our experiences in Second Life. Setting up a blog is something I have never done before and I enjoyed writing posts about my journey in Second Life. I think the blog is an excellent way to write about ones experience when attending this module.

Our project aim is to raise awareness for the charity www.tlc4cf.ie and awareness for the disease cystic fibrosis. We set up various social media platforms and tried to plan an awareness campaign in Second Life by ‘Hold a Rose for Cystic Fibrosis’ and ask the person/avatar to pass it onto to another person/avatar. We thought that this would be an easy task but failed to hand out a single rose. From doing this project, we have learned how to brand, manage and create online content.

I feel that if we were to do the project again, we should have branded all our social media sites so they would look the same. This would make it easier for other people to identify with them. Perhaps we could have contacted other charities in Second Life and maybe research if there has been any awareness made for cystic fibrosis before in SL. I think we could have spent more time networking within SL and making friends who could have supported our project.

Even though our groups ‘going global’ didn’t happen. I have learned a lot from this module. I learned how to set up a blog, update it regularly, create my own online identity, work collaboratively with the students in the University of Akron and gain an understanding for the importance of personal branding among many other things. I feel this module and project has helped me gain confidence online especially with talking to strangers. Now, I understand how much time people put into writing a blog post and creating events, places in Second Life. Writing the weekly blog post showed me this because you want your work to be perfect because hopefully lots of people will read it! I am delighted I took this module and have a better understanding on the digital world now.

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The Unaccepted Rose

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As the deadline for our project looms I thought I would give you a little update as to how we are progressing because we are presenting our project on Thursday the 7th of May.

I have previously mentioned that our project is about raising awareness for www.tlc4cf.ie and cystic fibrosis in general. We plan to spread roses around Second Life with the logo ‘hold a rose for cystic fibrosis’. As soon as my team member Kerri (https://kbm27.wordpress.com) had the roses made with the help of Dudley (one of our lecturers) (https://dudleydreamscape.wordpress.com/), I met up with her in Second Life to learn how to hand them out.

Two weeks ago I set out to pass around the roses. I finally figured how to hand them out and prepared a short speech with all the necessary information about our project. Unfortunately passing the roses didn’t happen how I thought it would. I was unable to find anywhere that people would talk to me let alone take a rose. They were engulfed in their own conversations and if I did get a reply it was ‘I don’t care’ or ‘Go away’.

I felt very disheartened after the events that unfolded. For some reason I thought it would be easy handing out roses in Second Life and that fellow users would help us and accept them as it is a college project, but unfortunately I was a bit naïve.

Luckily at class the week before last, we told the lecturers that we haven’t had much success in handing out the roses. They assured us the project didn’t have to be successful but know where you went wrong and talk about that in your presentation.

So next week we present our project it will consist of 20 slides being displayed for 20 seconds each. I look forward to this style of presenting because the presentation will be kept to the point and hopefully no long silences!

If you are reading this join us next week for our presentation on the 7th of May at 12.30pm Ohio time!

Collaborating Across 2 Time Zones:

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Class last week took place in DIT seminar room as the Akron students our on Spring break. We discussed the group projects and how we are getting on collaborating across two time zones.

My group consists of one fellow DIT student and 2 Akron students. As I have mentioned in a previous post our main communication is through Facebook Messenger and meeting in Second Life for discussing our project in more detail.

Communication between our group so far has been good. I felt at the start of the project we communicated more and now it has started to slow down but this could be due to the Akron students having Spring Break the past few weeks.

The main difficulties we have encountered are sometimes arranging a time to meet in Second Life due to the five-hour time difference. For example if its 12pm in Akron it will be 5pm in Ireland and this is would be the time we usually finish college and be on our commute home. Other times the Akron students have basketball practice and have to leave early. Other times the time zone has been mixed up and people arrive earlier than agreed. But luckily the time that happened the fellow DIT student and myself were able to log on.

But on a positive note the benefits of collaborating online are great. We are learning how to develop relationships with people we don’t know personally and express our opinions on the direction of the project.

I feel we have reached a temporary halt with the project at the minute due to it being Easter break. Over the few days hopefully we will begin to hand out the roses and start to make awareness for our charity. Before we know it will be time to present our presentation.

How are we getting on?

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I feel so far that my group has been communicating well even though two of the members are on the opposite side of the world. We all came to agreement quite quickly on the charity we would base our project on. We chose a Cystic Fibrosis charity based in Munster, Ireland. www.tlc4cf.com. The idea of picking a Cystic Fibrosis charity came from one of the group members EBP3 (here is a link to her blog) www.memyavatarandi.blogspot.ie. She had researched lots of information about Cystic Fibrosis and the other group members and I felt this would be an interesting charity to do our project on.

I think we were quite successful in choosing a charity for the project. Once one chose our charity we all set up a social media page to raise awareness for the project. We sent each other links and discussed through Facebook messenger and meet ups in Second Life how could we spread information about our project in Second Life. One of the group members suggested to raise awareness for our chosen charity within Second Life we will give a rose to SL users in the hope that they would pass it on to more users. Here is a link that explains the idea of roses and cystic fibrosis www.cff.org/aboutCFFoundation/About65Roses/. Over the next week we are going to start handing out the roses and we plan to prepare as a group a little information post about cystic fibrosis to go with rose when we hand them out.

In retrospect, I don’t think I would change anything we have done so far. I feel I was put into a group where all the members are willing to contribute equally. I think the fact that we established a good communication basis at the beginning of the project has been extremely beneficial. I am happy with the charity we have chosen and look forward to raising awareness for it in Second Life.

Contributing To Our Group Project

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As part of the Virtual Environments module we have to complete a group project to raise awareness for a charity through social media. The group I am with chose a Cystic fibrosis charity in Ireland called TLC4CF. www.tlc4cf.ie

One of the group members came up with the idea after doing research on the illness and I recommended the TLC4CF charity, as it is a local charity in my area.

We had a meeting in Second Life a few weeks ago and broke the presentation into four sections so we could all begin to work on our parts. Also we each decided to set up a social media platform for the charity. I set up the groups LinkedIn page. I found this difficult because I am not familiar with LinkedIn. I have completed the basics of the profile for example setting a profile picture, writing in the about me section and I plan to add more to the page as the project continues.

We are also using Second Life creatively as a platform to raise awareness for our chosen charity. We plan to give out five roses each to people in Second Life and ask them to pass it on to five more people and continue the challenge. This idea came from the ice bucket challenge craze last summer. We hope this will make people read about cystic fibrosis and see why it is important to raise awareness for this issue that affects people all over the world.

Over the next week I plan to start giving out roses to Second Life users. Here is a link to our groups twitter account your support would be appreciated.

https://twitter.com/tlc4_cf

The Value of Copyright

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Everybody understands what copyright is. We see it everywhere from the inside cover of a book to a YouTube music video. The copyright symbol © is a universal sign that everyone recognises instantly. Once a person see the © symbol they instantly know that the work for example a poem is owned by somebody else. Copyright has always been important in the world of creative industries. The fact that somebody could steal your work and receive payment from it is very wrong but you can do nothing about it because you have no proof of ownership.

Nowadays copyright is very vital in the digital world due to most content being online, one must copyright their work. All throughout secondary school and now in college, teachers and lecturers have always said not to plagiarize and be careful because it is very easy to do. It is simple to post content online but also it is easy for this content to be distributed by somebody else because of this it is so important to copyright your work in order to protect it.

Copyrighting content in the correct legal procedure is also important. There is a rise in content creators making their own licenses. In the article ‘Content & Licensing in Virtual Worlds’ the writer makes the point that most ‘content creators are not lawyers, nor do the seek legal counsel in developing their license agreements.’ This leads to the agreements not being completed to the correct standard and try to ‘reverse engineer previous licensing agreements.’ (1)

The article explains the content creators can’t change their license terms after the fact. For example creators developing content for Second Life are starting to alter their terms of agreement for past purchasers. Licensing doesn’t work that way. One can’t change a license unless they have included language to this effect in the original license. (2)

I am beginning to understand a lot more about copyrighting because of writing a blog post every week. I would be quite hurt if somebody stole my content online. I believe it is very important to regulate content in online virtual worlds because as the internet continues to grow at a swift speed these virtual worlds will become more common in everyday life.

 

References:

‘Content & Licensing in Virtual Worlds’. http://www.shenlei.com. Date acessed:24-02-15. http://shenlei.com/2010/10/13/content-licensing-in-virtual-worlds/ (1&2)

Choosing how to communicate

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Part of the assessment for this module is to give a presentation with my three other group members on ‘identifying a cause or charity anywhere in the world, and taking it global.’

I first met my group outside of class time when we had to complete week three’s task. In order to arrange this meeting we communicated through second life messaging. Next we started to chat through twitter and have finally come to the decision to set up a Facebook group chat. We came to this decision because we are all constantly checking our social media accounts throughout the day. This seemed like an instant method of communication. Also it meant everyone could see each others messages and nobody would be cross communicating for example arranging to meet up in Second Life at different times.

We will probably still meet up in Second Life to do our virtual work because it easier to communicate with one another as we can put on our microphones to get our point across. This is sometimes hard to achieve when messaging through text.