If you follow this blog you know that just over a year ago we did a language lesson using a modified speed dating seating object in Second Life. Here’s the article. Well, this year Chris Flesuras (co-founder in Kyoto) has located a skilled scripter in Canada to do some custom work for Skoolaborate. His first project for PacRimX is a complete rebuild from scratch of speaking pods.
We took our experiences with the canned seating object and drew up a specification of what we really needed for one on one interaction between avatars of two groups of students. The idea is the same, two groups of seats that are color coded. The two groups of students sit on their assigned color of seats.
The number of seats is fully customizable by using the associated HUD. Many other parameters are also customizable, like time to rotate seats, how many rounds the object will rotate seats, etc. Once the teacher launches the session the pods spread out in the sky, putting enough space between them so that voices don’t carry between paired students.
The seats are numbered for quick identification. One feature will be for the teacher to be able to teleport to selected pairs for observation or to help with the session. One very slick modification to the idea of a speed dating object is the ability to make unbalanced matchings.
Here is an example of an unbalanced matching of three students. This allows for odd and even groups to still have a session (without someone having to sit out or have an empty chair cycling through the pairings) and to have all participants in interactive groups, even if the pairing is two on one.
We have very high hopes for the use of this new custom seating object in various instructional settings. It will be placed on one of the Skoolaborate islands for all to use, and Skoolaborate may eventually make it available to other educational projects for their use in the greater educational community. We’ll post more info as we employ this in upcoming events.