Thursday, November 5, 2009

McLuhan in Second Life: Media 's Role in Virtual Learning

McLuhan in Second Life: How Media contributes to Learning in the Virtual Community

Phylis Johnson (a.k.a. Sonicity Fitzroy, SL) - assoc. professor, Southern Illinois University
Lowe Runo, media producer, owner of Lowe Runo Productions/administrative staff, University of South Florida

a presentation at the The 2nd Louisiana Invitational Conference on Virtual Worlds in Higher Education. Overarching Theme: Getting Virtual Worlds into the Businesses of Higher Education: Teaching, Research, Scholarship, and Service.

Second Life provides a venue for virtual residents to elaborate on nearly every aspect of their mediated life. Life is an extension of real life, allowing them to overcome emotional and physical disabilities and/or challenges, and providing opportunities to extend their creativity in ways not possible in real life. This presentation explores the social realities of Second Life and how they are communicated to our students through the forming of communities as well as how they are communicated within these communities. This presentation provides an overview of the diversity of voices present within Second Life and how these ideas are represented and communicated to other residents through media. An elaborate network of media organizations has emerged over the past several years that has increasingly become the means for educators and students to express ideas, events and form social networks that extend beyond Second Life. This presentation reviews the importation of traditional media into these second spaces and the emergence and exportation of in-world media into real life, as well as how these media help to convey the validity of virtual educational experiences. Intro Video on Vimeo (VirtualSoni - McLuhan in the Virtual Mix)

My part of the presentation evolves from my research for a forthcoming book Second Life, Media and The Other Society (Peter Lang, 2010). I teach a graduate course on Virtual Communities that explores social issues inworld, including the use of media within virtual environments. Topics: use of virtual media in learning, media resources (SL educational videos and documentaries), SL media coverage of education, diversity considerations, and opportunities for the future.

Lowe Runo will present on the various genres of digital filmmaking, as well as those which help support instruction and learning and may even serve as promotional pieces for inworld institututions showcasing the virtues of virtual learning environments. Runo's video is The Many Faces of Machinima

Johnson/Runo Presentation time: Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009, 12:15pm-1:15PM SLT

Conference: Thursday, Nov. 12 and Friday, Nov. 13, 2009, 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. CST (8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. SLT), Louisiana Regents Estate in Second Life – Louisiana Regents, New Orleans, SELU Regents, Tulane Regents, and SUNO Regents Islands


sources/references (presentation):

The McLuhan Remix: Virtually Tuned

a remix, redit of Marshall McLuhan's 1968 album, The Medium is the Massage. SL founder Philip Linden is included in this new mix as well (based on his speech on the SL 1st anniversary). 7:30 minutes, edited from 45 minutes of McLuhan material - as well as other tracks from Creative Commons, etc.

Behind The McLuhan Mix

How does McLuhan's thoughts relate to today's emergence of virtual worlds and convergence of media? I decided to import Side A & B into a Protools session and edit down the nearly 45 minutes to under 10 minutes, and focus on those ideas that speak to today's media specificially - and particularly toward the emergence of immersive virtual spaces like Second Life. I radically edited the piece, but I didn't not take McLuhan's words out of context. I added some music tracks from Creative Commons (specific tunes to be listed below soon) to provide continuity to the piece. You might hear a dab of some other music, but all within the intellectual copyright regulations of this day. As for McLuhan's album excerpts, I am using them only for educational purposes :), and hope this piece can remain online to propagate the powerful role media has for distributing ideas and for shaping society in new ways, allowing for innovative perspectives. McLuhan's work remains relevant more than 40 years later. [Source for ProTools image:]
Below, a machinima mashup featuring Second Life images that accompany my McLuhan remix (LOL, think Paul Miller, a.k.a. DJ Spooky). Larger view on youtube:

Tuned into McLuhan!

The Medium is the Massage...Good reading and Good listening, or so it seems. I came across an album that accompanied Marshall McLuhan's 1967 book, The Medium is the Massage (1967). It is amazingly produced, given that there was no sophisticated digital editing software programs as there are today. You can download the album from this site. There are two tracks, Side A (19:22) and Side B (23:09). Both are downloadable at the following link For an interesting perspective on the album, visit the following site:

McLuhan in Second Life
View more presentations from SonicityFitzroy2012.