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Real Time Minute

The Real Time Minute features tips, musings, and reflections on learning and collaborating online in real time. New RTM episodes are posted by Jonathan Finkelstein, author of Learning in Real Time and executive producer of LearningTimes. Sign Up at the top of this page to receive an email when new episodes are released.

#14 – A Second Life for Museums

In this extended edition of the Real Time Minute, Jonathan sits down with Richard Urban, Michael Twidale, and Paul Marty for a conversation about real-time, online experiences by and for museums and learners inside Second Life, a three-dimensional, socially-constructed virtual world.

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Richard Urban, Michael Twidale and Paul Marty
Richard Urban, Michael Twidale, and Paul Marty at the LearningTimes
booth at Museums and the Web, April 2007.

In this extended edition, Jonathan explores real-time, online experiences by and for museums and learners inside virtual worlds like Second Life. The conversation featured Richard Urban, Paul Marty and Michael Twidale, authors of a paper entitled, “A Second Life for Your Museum: 3D Multi-User Virtual Environments and Museums“, which is part of the proceedings of the 11th annual “Museums and the Web” conference held in San Francisco in April 2007.

About the Guests:
Richard Urban is a doctoral student at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Paul Marty, Ph.D. is assistant professor at the College of Information at Florida State University .

Michael Twidale is associate professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Michael is Rich Urban’s doctoral advisor, and in the past was Paul Marty’s doctoral advisor as well.

(SPECIAL NOTE: Jonathan’s next CSTP workshop offering of “Leading Effective Live Online Events” begins June 1, 2007. Join us, live online!)

Show notes available.

International Spaceflight Museum
International Spaceflight Museum in Second Life

Topics in this discussion included:

• Second Life (SL) as a new way to look at things in three-dimensional space
• SL as a user-driven, socially constructed space
• museums with a presence in Second Life
• examples of exciting museum-related activities inside Second Life
• what you can do in a socially-constructed 3d space, that you cannot do face-to-face.
• exploring places and objects without being limited by gravity
• what it feels like to be exploring a 3D space in the company of others
• interact with your visitors online, even outside physical museum operating hours
• a sense of persistence? things are transpiring in this virtual world even when you are not there.
• even if you feel clumsy and inept at first when navigating 3D space, there are others to watch or ask for guidance.
• using the 3D space as a reference desk
• “cyber docents” in Second Life
• historical re-creations of real-world places inside Second Life
• rapid, affordable prototyping of 3D spaces
• what SL means for museum educators and collections departments
• public relations and outreach by museums in Second Life
• quick rough and ready way for doing outreach
• museums making their resources available to the SL community, and helping SL residents co-create a presence for them in the virtual world
• don’t wait for the barriers to disppear, jump in and try things out.

3 Responses to “#14 – A Second Life for Museums”

  1. Georgina Nou Says:

    Oh yes, great to hear this interview about museums and the possibilities in Second Life. Will check out the references to Moroccan site and Space Fight Museum immediately. There is not a fabulous search function in SL and sometimes the ease with which we find things through other search engines somewhat spoils us. It can be frustrating not to easily find a place in SL that you know is there but don’t have the exact reference. The SL search by Google is helpful for tracking places down though. In the SL environment it is very much a word of mouth business. There is an events and discussion search for in world happenings but this is clearly not always used by those hosting such occasions. Many recreations starting to happen which would be great for museums to show visitors. The idea of co-creating is a good one. Resourcing subject matter enthusiasts and SL ressies to create spaces inworld – expand scope.
    Thanks for another stimulating real time moment Jonathon

  2. Jonathan Finkelstein Says:

    Thanks for the great feedback, Georgina! Pleased you enjoyed the conversation with Richard, Michael and Paul. :)

  3. Susan Manning Says:

    Not only did I love the show, but I poured through the paper and had to start visiting the ones I hadn’t heard about. My 8 year old and I found the International Spaceflight Museum a couple months ago, and I can’t get her away! She now says she wants to be an astronaut. But, like Georgia, I also get so close and yet so far away with searching. For example, we still haven’t landed on the robotic arm (anyone have coordinates?).


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