Tuesday, April 21, 2009

HASTAC III Traversing Digital Boundaries

Dr. Sharon Tettegah and I, as editors of a book on Identity, Learning and Support in Virtual Worlds, introduced it at the HASTAC III conference on Traversing Digital Boundaries.

What was unusual about the session was that I gave my presentation from Second Life, using an impromptu feed over Sharon's laptop into the live conference session. After all, we were traversing digital boundaries and what better way to do it than through a spontaneous connection?

Blended reality conferences are not new; we have been conducting mixed avatar and live conference sessions since 2006, but with a lot of prior planning. The photo on the right is from the October 2006 NMC Symposium with the MacArthur Foundation.

Our HASTAC III panel discussion was spontaneous, did not require advance technological planning and was designed to support a variety of delivery models.

As a presenter in Second Life, we had no audio or video feed back into Second Life, so I could not hear or see the live conference attendees nor could I hear my co-presenter. When she appeared, typed a welcome note, asked me to introduce myself, we were on our way to hosting a fun session on identity and learning. It reminded me of being a newscaster in the field, waiting for the cue to begin.

The night before the conference, I ripped my custom-created gazebo apart and into a stage, hoisted my slide viewer against the castle, and let the castle and garden plants form a backdrop for the session.

We had a great time and would like to thank the organizers of HASTAC III and the participants for such a warm welcome!

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