Planning lesson for SL classes is really very time-consuming, especially when one has to start from scratch. This was one of the reasons why I have started meeting regularly with online colleauges in SL and created the SLexperiments Wiki. Besides making the transition to SL teaching and pedagogy and keeping the limitations and strengths of SL in mind, I also have to keep the costs under control. At the moment, presentation slides and pictures for SL have to be prepared out-of-world and uploaded for a cost. L$ 10 for one picture doesn‘t seem too much, but if you plan a whole course it can accumulate. As there isn‘t a tool that would replace a Real Life whiteboard*, on which you can quickly draw a picture or write a sample sentence, lesson preparation has to be very thorough and this also means that there are more slides and pictures than in a regular RL class.
But talking about money, SL residents seem to be very generous people. One day, I was preparing the class, when a lady flew in and started chatting with me. I kind of complaint about the costs of uploading pictures as I was just doing that. When she learned that the course was offered by me free of charge, she donated some Linden dollars. I was speechless! I thanked her and because she is an English native-speaker, asked whether she would like to be a guest in one of my lessons so that students could interview her. She agreed.
For another lesson, I needed flags of many countries. I found some in the onrez shop for a reasonable price. But somehow I had problems buying them. I contacted the owner, Waldo Schumann (SL name). First, he tried to help me solve my problem but then he decided to donate the flags 🙂 I was very happy, as you can imagine.