Second Life at the University of Kentucky: Internet2 Day

Second Life has been an important part of my teaching at the University of Kentucky. You can see the course wikis recording my students’ adventures here and here. Second Life was always a great way for me to bring my personal interest in digital ethnography into my political theory courses to help the students to not just “read” theory, but also to “do” theory as well.

This past Monday I had the great pleasure of participating in a presentation on Internet2 Day about my teaching and learning work in Second Life, along with our Director of the Academic Technology Group (Wildcat Thursday), and incredibly innovative librarian (Alice Burgess) and a faculty member using SL to teach anatomy and physiology, Kezia1618 Landar. I’m the tall handsome fellow, Ricetopher Freenote, in the photo below.

UKSL on Internet2 Day 2011

I really enjoyed “getting the band back together” with Wildcat and Alice. It felt a lot like the early days of our Second Life work at UK. The UK Island has come a long way since then, due to the hard work of many faculty and staff on campus. Thanks to all of them for their hard work! For more info on teaching, learning and research with Second Life at the University of Kentucky, please visit:

Second Life at UK & PS 545 American Political Thought

Since a few of you have been asking, the url for the PS 545 American Political Thought wiki is It’s where the class members are keeping their journals and group projects for the digital ethnography project.

You can also find out more about what’s going on at UK’s Second Life Island by visiting there’s a great bit up now covering Oz’s building of the new Art Gallery. Check out the UK flickr group for more pics on that.

Slideshow of my UK Second Life Island Presentation

For those of you who were unable to make it to the Totally Awesome University of Kentucky Second Life Island Grand Opening (whew!) last Thursday, here is the slideshow from my presentation.

[slideshare id=320793&doc=presentation-on-ps-545-for-uk-sled-1206452124398947-2&w=425]

Note: I’m not referring to such things as PowerPoint anymore. I’m using Keynote exclusively these days. And with other tools getting more popular all the time, we should start using generic terms like slideshows and slideware.

UK Second Life Island Grand Opening Thursday

Just wanted to post this invitation to UK’s Grand Opening for its Second Life Island on Thursday afternoon. I’ll be giving a brief talk as part of a panel at 2pm at the WT Young Library Auditorium. You can participate in events in Real Life or Second Life all afternoon. I hope to see you there!

PS, in Second Life I’m known as Ricetopher Freenote. Kthxbye.



You are invited to the grand opening of University of KY Island, a virtual campus in Second Life, on Thursday, March 20 starting at 1:00 pm in W.T. Young Library.

Second Life (SL) is an internet-based 3D virtual world launched in 2003 that has attracted the attention of educators around the world for its potential as a learning environment.  “Residents” of SL can interact in real time, through their avatars, with other individuals or with objects.  Exciting possibilities exist for collaboration, simulation, content delivery, role-playing, experiential learning, and other forms of educational interactions created through the imaginations of faculty and students.  UK is joining a growing list of campuses that offer academic experiences through Second Life.

A description of this event and a detailed schedule (which includes talks by an SL educator in England, two UK faculty who use SL in their courses, a tour of the island, a discussion of educational uses, and more) can be found at  A two-minute video invitation is at

This event and the University of KY Island are sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Education with support from the Teaching & Academic Support Center and University of Kentucky Libraries.

For more information about the event, contact Patsy Carruthers, Senior Program Manager for AV/DL Networks at the Teaching & Academic Support Center (257-8272 ext. 223,

Cat Herding and Taking PS 545 Students on a Second Life Field Trip

My PS 545 American Political Thought class is doing a major Digital Ethnography project in Second Life this semester. To get everyone on the same page, we went on a “digital field trip” in the lab the other week,

Field Trip 01

and had some fun deconstructing the meth lab simulation on UK Island. That’s me in the all-black outfit in front of the plasma screen TV, looking like an odd cross between Foucault and Spider Jerusalem.

Field Trip 02

However, getting everyone to stay on task was a bit like, well…see this video for a more accurate explanation of my feelings on the matter:


I heart my 545 class, but seriously, you guys have got to learn to stay on task, quit breaking out into spontaneous dance parties, and avoid continual avatar transformation (though Lumpy Louie [sorry] gets props for the Kool-Aid Man avatar. I went around shouting “Hey, Kids! Kool-Aid!” for days afterward). <sigh> Things that “Old School” professors never have to worry about.

But, then again, I have a hell of a lot more fun than they do. 🙂

PS, To PS 545 students: someone needs to bring snacks for Snack Friday this week. Next Friday we’ll be in the Lab.

Pedagogy 2.0 and Second Life

Boy, Slideshare is just chock full of goodness today! Wanted to put down these two presentations for my own future reference, on on “Pedagogy 2.0”, or using Web 2.0 technologies in the classroom and another on Second Life in education, of interest to me as I’m currently on U.K.’s Second Life Policy committee.

[slideshare id=178755&doc=pedagogy-20-or-web-20based-elearning-1196000420670383-2&w=425]

[slideshare id=28216&doc=second-life-for-education-17293&w=425]

Play and Digital Space

Attention Conservation Notice: I’m putting this PowerPoint up for future reference. As some of you know, I’m considering a Second Life component of American Political Thought next semester, so this is just going into the research/prep stream for that. Note to self: Read The Play Ethic now that it’s out in US paperback.

[slideshare id=118126&doc=play-and-identity-in-digital-spaces3077&w=425]