Stroke Exhibit Finds New Home at HealthInfo Island

Walk-through middle cerebral artery at HealthInfo Island

Walk-through middle cerebral artery at HealthInfo Island

Our stroke awareness exhibit, with its displays, quizzes, and free gifts, is now up and running at HealthInfo Island.

…the island is home to a consumer health library and a medical library, as well as virtual outposts or displays run by the National Library of Medicine’s Special Information Services, contractors for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Accessibility Center.

Carolina Keats, who runs the island, had seen the exhibit when it was up at the OT Center on Eduisland II and asked if we would consider placing it there after the exhibit period was over. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to be part of the wonderful resources and collaboration that make HealthInfo Island a unique Second Life(R) venue.

Generous Donation to Expand Adapting Environments Exhibit

The IM came in out of the blue, from Kathee Gibbs, whom I’d never met. She and partners Lucinda Bergbahn and Pecos Kid were finalists in the Second Life and the Public Good: A Community Challenge from USC. Kathee IM’d because she wanted to talk to me about donating the award Lindens to our Center. When we had a chance to talk yesterday, I found out that we shared the same idea for a program development project in Second Life: educate people about adaptations that can be put in place at home, to improve daily life. Specifically, Kathee’s proposal was to “provide a tool that persons with mobility impairment can easily and cost effectively access to explore ways in which they can improve accessibility in their homes and thus the quality of their daily lives. ” We met at the OT Center to talk, and Kathie shared her ideas about how the adaptation exhibit at the Center might be further developed to incorporate more interactivity and consumer choice.

Kathie and Zsu discuss ideas for expansion of the adapted home

Kathie and Zsu discuss ideas for expansion of the adapted home

Today, Kathie told me she discussed the donation with partners Lucinda Bergbahn and Pecos Kid, who gave the green light to provide funding to our Center! I’m amazed at their generosity and so pleased to know that their gift will enable us to expand our work and, we hope, benefit persons with and without disabilities and raise awareness of the possibilities that can be achieved through home adaptation.

Mixed Reality Dinch (Dinner-Lunch) Philadelphia-London-Somewhere in Iowa

Part of the fun of SecondLife(R) is experimentation, whether it’s in-world or doing SL-related work in first life. Well…we experimented in both worlds (mixed reality) with a Dinch (Dinner-Lunch) shared by Gia Rossini and Dizzy Banjo (London), Penelope Drucker (somewhere in Iowa), and  Plato Pizzicato and me (Philadelphia).  Check out the YouTube vid:

Things weren’t perfect–it was hard to hear, and we couldn’t get much of a sense of what was going on in London (just that it was very noisy). And, apparently the bartender where Gia was did not have the same fascination with what we were doing as the Bonte employee. Next time, we’d like to try multiple video streams, so each can see each other’s first life setting.

It’s all about immersion..

Adaptation stations inside the exhibit at the occupational therapy center at Jefferson

Adaptation stations inside the home modifications exhibit at the occupational therapy center at Jefferson

Ideas about immersive education have gained considerable momentum recently. The new educational grid from Sun Microsystems, Project Wonderland, has stimulated even more discussion than previously. The gist of immersive education (as well as other aspects of Second Life such as identity) is summarized well in a podcast from Cynthia Calongne. I had the pleasure of meeting Cynthia (Lyr Lobo) at the Sledupotential workshop at NECC, where she led the group in a building project. Hearing the podcast, I can easily understand Lyr’s interest and expertise in building as a tool for learning, as well as a learning activity in itself. In the podcast, she discusses how abstract science concepts come alive for her computer science students.
I found similarities in the themes about immersive education from Lyr’s podcast and a number of publications including Seng and Edirisinghe’s article about teaching computer science in SL and Dickey’s frequently cited Teaching in 3D: Pedagogical Affordances and Constraints of 3D Virtual Worlds for Synchronous Distance Learning that directly apply to the OT Center’s most recent exhibit on Adapting Environments for Daily Life. As one visitor put it:

This is great information! I didn’t realize this would apply to us … a house with seniors in it.

She had read about the hazards of things like throw rugs and heard about adaptations, but it was not until she experienced the exhibit that the message really came through.

Slipping and falling on a throw rug

Slipping and falling on a throw rug

So, we’ll keep racking our collective brains to come up with more ideas on how to engage visitors and provide educational messages they’ll remember. Stay tuned…