“I first came in in November 2007 to explore the teaching potentials for SL. I have a class of graduate students studying community practice in SL this semester. This is the third time I’ve used SL in my teaching. SL offers a wonderful place to sensitize students to disability issues.”
Of his own entrance into Second Life, Gabrielli remembers it was “Rocky. The documentation was horrid and nothing was intuitive.” What made him stay? “I met this wonderful avatar named Gentle Heron.” Now when Gabrielli brings graduate students into SL to do research projects or take classes, he recommends the Virtual Ability Island website entrance portal.
He also heads the Virtual Ability Research Group. This group assists people with disabilities in several ways: it provides access to information about relevant research topics, it examines proposed research studies to ensure they are in the best interests of the participants, and it offers our group members an opportunity to become a research subject and in that way give back to our real world community.
Overall, Gabrielli says, “SL has helped me make MANY contacts with some wonderful people including people from disability communities, academic colleagues from many disciplines and professions, and practitioners from many fields. I like to stay on the cutting edge of emerging technologies. SL is the ‘killer app.’”