Creating the ideal academic community

emyli slivka wrote:
Subject: Re: PennMoo
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 1996 15:28:23 -0500 (EST)

Jon Harvey wrote:

Call me a cynic, but I find it disturbing that some would choose to discuss with bits of programs rather than with people. The moo should be a medium, the means to an end; let's not make the mistake of getting so caught up as to make it the end itself.

Emyli answers:

you're a cynic.

i think you're mistaking enthusiasm for the qualities of a "cyber-potato." what we're attempting is fresh and should help the educational process to progress. all our discussions about what we'd like in the moo, in the ideal virtual world, etc., will merely be a a BACKDROP for our discussions. as far as i can tell, we won't be avoiding people, since we're building in the moo for the *people* in our class. for some, this might go even beyond the spectrum of 103 and turn into a hobby--i don't think that will in any way detract from our sunday night discussions, our list-serve, or our class-time.

not only will the moo be an educational place, but it will also be a fun place. that's the great thing--you can use it for any purpose. why shouldn't al be able to pick up a virtual picture in the room and show the class how it relates to the story? environments like the moo can expand what we do in person. no one *claimed* that it would *replace* person-to-person interaction. it's just another facet to learning. it's a way to encourage learning to be *ongoing*, which is what i think students need to really *learn*. one day, we'll be able to have students who are perhaps sick, abroad, or in another country be able to participate in an environment like moo.

so, if we plan to use it as a tool and live and learn in it, why shouldn't it have some of the qualities we feel an ideal learning/living space would have? as i told al earlier, i walk to bennett hall several times a week, why would i want to go to a virtual bennett hall? we can do anything and go anywhere via this tool. we can tap into living and dead people's thoughts whether they're on-line, or merely a filmstrip or tape on the moo.

i think it's important to make the moo user friendly and fun in order to entice people to *want* to be there, to learn and have fun while in there--it can be so much more than a "talk" environment, and i think some of us want it to be and are trying to make it so.