Friday, February 01, 2008

Playing to learn

For anyone who wondered about peer pressure ending after high school, though as adults we prefer to call it healthy competition, scrap that idea. After chatting amongst ourselves for a day, my IM co-hort in crime suddenly had an avatar pictured in her IM box. Being a visual person, it automatically caught my attention and being a tech nerd and healthily competitive, I determined I had to have one.

Yahoo! Messengar has a very cool option within their requisite email account where users can design avatars called Yahoo Avatars. Choose, dress, acessorize, and place their into IM. I spent a good half hour picking clothes, hair, eye color, accessories (glasses, scarf, and earrings), and a location for my avatar (pictured above). No, we will not be using avatars in Meebo chat. But, the more we play with the Yahoo IM/chat, the more comfortable we become in the environment. Already the merry band of chatters has increased from two to four. And after being chastized for having an avatar, I was soon contated via IM for help on how to create one (see, peer pressure - er - healthy competition, feeding off of each other's enthusiasm).

This morning I updated our progress on the web page I created for that purpose. While the chat leader invites everyone to a conference chat later this afternoon, I will be busily adding library accounts with Yahoo, Aim, and MSN in preparation for our Meebo chat test page. If we can get this much ready today, early next week we will be able to test the IM client and have not only something to report at the staff meeting, but also something to demonstrate. So, if anyone walked by my open office door today they were likely to see me working on web pages, researching academic libraries that use Meebo, and happily chatting with librarians; playing to learn.

You know what? I'm really liking my little librarian avatar and may replace my photo with her ...

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