After the meeting on Aug. 3, it was clear that some people were interested in organizing groups based on topics of mutual interest in addition to committees for organizing events.
It seemed logical, then, to divide groups within SL-NET into two categories: committees, which are responsible for organizing and facilitating the group and its activities, and research or study groups, which people can set up to pursue their interests.
We have three committees already:
- Social Networking–to plan and organize strictly social activities
- Professional Development–to plan and organize discussions, classes, etc., related to the use of technology in higher education
- SL Skills Workshops (name TBD)–to plan and organize workshops to train members in SL skills like building, scripting, and so on
I’d like to have one more committee that would be responsible for communication, outreach, scheduling, etc.
At the meeting a lot of people were interested in a group to research effective practices. I expect to see some interesting things come from them.
As a result of the meeting, it was also evident that we needed some way of facilitating our organization and discussion in real life beyond the mailing list. It was suggested that we use Moodle forums on the Sloan-C web site, but another member of the group recommended that we look at a Ning social network. The Ning network has advantages over Moodle because it’s publicly visible, and members can create their own groups and forums as well as customizing individual pages.
Because a couple of people had trouble with the SL-NET social network the day I set it up, we’re doing a “beta test” by anyone who is interested to see if it there are any problems using it. So far, it seems to be okay.
As of this morning, we have 30 people in the Ning-based social network, 44 in the SL-NET group in SL, and 67 in the mailing list. I expect that we will be using the social network, and I’d like to move all discussions to it, leaving the mailing list for announcing events and any urgent situations like the one Friday where a member of the group was doing a presentation on SL and education to a group of legislators in the afternoon and requested suggestions for sites in SL to show them.