Saturday, September 20, 2008

Benefits of virtual worlds for people with disabilities has a good article highlighting the benefits of virtual worlds for people with disabilities: Second Life Frees Disabled from Restrictions of Everyday Life. The article describe several educational applications made possible by the Second Life environment:

There are a variety of skills that people learn, and that Krueger teaches, through Virtual Ability. The organization, based in Colorado - as well as in Second Life - highlights the benefits of virtual worlds for people with disabilities. Virtual Ability helps them learn how to get around in Second Life, which often makes a positive difference in their real life.

Let's discuss: Did reading the article give you any ideas for things that Extension educators might want to enable through Second Life?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

at the Extension Convention

Here are some pictures of an avatar using a wheelchair testing some accessibility features of the house.

I am at the Joint Council of Extension Professionals Convention in Indianapolis this week, doing a demonstration of Second Life. Many colleagues are learning about Second Life and the work we are doing here. It is really fun to have this Family Caregiving project as a highlight. It is inspiring a great deal of discussion about other projects that might be started in the near future, such as a demo kitchen for safe food handling. 

Last week I attended the annual Second Life convention, met many of the Linden Lab staff, and learned quite a bit about other organizations doing projects in SL. As a result of all this travel time, not much new has happened in the Live-ability House. Soon, however, we will be adding information notecards around the house, and making a video of the house to show to people who do not yet use SL.

If you have visited the house, please let us know. We would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Progress Update

The team met this morning, and we updated each other on our progress, and also came to some decisions. We thought that we would share some of this with you!

In regard to the Demonstration House, we have concluded that the model home and garden structure is about 90% completed, with shower modifications still to come. We would like to begin thinking more concretely about the additional educational content to be added. For example, we need a leader's guide for educators wanting to visit and use the project for teaching. We would really like to see some additional animated content, but we must identify what items need to be interactive, and how we will use that to our best advantage.

In regard to the Showcase of Accessible Homes Competition, we revised the timeline, and plan to have the judging and exhibition in May, which is Older Americans Month.

We are always interested in your ideas as well!