Archaeology in Second Life…. Where to begin?

emptyrwu1.jpgSo. I’m about to embark on something I’ve talked about for a while, but haven’t had the chance: an archaeological simulation in Second Life! It will form part of my introduction to archaeology class, taught using the Moodle learning management system.

Not that I know what I’m doing – yet. RWU has obtained a piece of land from the NMC, and I’m to start making it a place where RWU’s students – who are completely online, scattered across the US – can come together for teaching and learning. It will contain the usual paraphernalia for what works best in education in this context – ‘open air’ class rooms, face-to-face meetings via distance, and simulation of things/activities otherwise impossible.

Like a re-doable archaeological excavation.

My initial thought is to layer prims as strata, with links to online repositories of archaeological artefact data (like Open Context) salted appropriately throughout, and to provide ‘excavation’ type animations. Then, students would arrive, map out the site, choose where to start digging, and record everything, constructing harris matrices, etc… Anyway, you can tell that this needs careful thought. Comments and suggestions welcome!

One other of the things I’m charged with is to try to figure out how Latin and Greek might be usefully taught in a 3d online persistent environment. What I’m thinking, is to make the language(s) manipulative, that is, a giant tetris- or lego- style place, where things only fit together according to case, mood, voice, etc…

So I’m off to the Ivory Tower of the Primitives to figure out how to make this all work. If you’re interested in helping out, let me know…

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