New Directions: Virtual World Simulations

Most of our work in Second Life has focused on project based learning and disseminating information about health and wellness through student presentations. Over the past two years, an additional area has developed as a focal point for virtual world project development: A virtual training program designed to prepare students to address the needs of homeless and formerly homeless populations.  See more about this project,  which provides training for inter professional teams of graduate students in the health and human services professions, at the link below:


April is Occupational Therapy Month

I thought I should blog about OT month, before April is over. Of course, for hard core OT’s, every month is OT month 🙂
The video shows displays in Second Life (HealthInfo Island) for OT Month and Donate Life, as well as a walk around the Path of Support:

New issue, 3D Virtual Worlds for Health and Healthcare, of the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, online now

The program evaluation of the Occupational Therapy Center at Jefferson in Second Life has just been published in the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research. Occupational therapy  educator Rashid Kashani (from University of Alberta in Canada) wrote a “think piece” for the same issue that suggests occupational therapists may be especially well equipped for  program development roles in virtual worlds.  There are many other interesting articles related to 3D virtual worlds for health and healthcare, check it out!

Taking on the Challenge: Beyond Powerpoint in the 3D world

Had a very interesting and inspiring time with Gianninna Rossini, (best known for her work on Sloodle). I stopped over on Saturday to wish her a happy rez day, and she showed me a 3-D presentation she had given. Wow! It consisted of a series of blocks that appeared and when clicked, provided you with info, urls, or a quiz and fostered more active engagement. She also showed me the impressive statistics on Sloodle via a 3-D graph housed within a beautiful earth globe. Gia expressed the thought that people on Second Life need to begin thinking more 3 dimensionally, and we discussed reasons why people use Powerpoint (aka, Powerpointless) for presentations instead of 3D methods (here’s an excerpt from Powerpointless originator Tutfe’s book). Among the reasons for the absence or limited use of 3-D thinking that we discussed were lack of knowledge and skill about other ways of doing things and lack of time. After thinking about it, I’d add a third: laziness (personal experience with that one). It’s quite an undertaking to do a 3-D presentation when you’re not so comfortable or facile with scripting or other methods like Puppeteer or Holodecks. So, it’s a lot more involved and time-consuming which is where (for me) the laziness factor has come in. But, no more! I’m taking on the challenge to use as much in the way of 3-D presentation materials as possible in our Adapting Environments for Daily Life exhibit.