HighEdWeb2008 Conference: Infinite Solutions

Session Details

Avatars, Embodiment & Community at a Distance

MMP1 Marketing, Management, and Professional Development Track

Plaster Student Union Ballroom


This presentation explores the multi-user virtual environment Second Life and the power of avatars as vehicles of personal expression and learning community identity. We will review a general overview of Oregon Community College Distance Learning Association's Second Life efforts - the necessary steps to generate and support a multi-institution pilot in Second Life. Questions presented include: What is Second Life? What is embodiment, and how do we embody through avatars? How does avatar expression support community? What do we know about community and best practices for education at a distance? How do we generate and support community at a distance through Second Life?


Monica Martinez-Gallagher
Multimedia Technologist, Portland Community College

In web development as a UI designer since 1997, Monica's focused on higher ed and technology since 2003. An alumnus of Dr. Gee and Dr. Squire's Academic ADL Co-Lab in Madison WI, Monica's research focused on avatars and cognition in virtual environments. Her Masters of Arts in Learning and Technology with a focus on Second Life from WGU (fully online-a great experience!) is expected to be awarded June 2008. She has been Portland Community College's Multimedia technologist for three years and counting, and LOVES working in higher ed Web technologies.