The year sure does fly by, doesn’t it? If you’re like me, you’re usually too busy with your own projects to check out some of the awesome work being done by our colleagues in Second Life. Well here’s a holiday gift from the Sl-ed community to the SL-ed community. A list of a few of this year’s projects that we can all learn from and enjoy. All of the projects here were submitted for the list by their creators.
Happy Holidays from the SL-ed blog crew!
Project Name: The Education Project Asia
Creator: Chris Smith aka Shamblesguru Voom
Description: Chris Smith (Shamblesguru Voom) is a k-12 educator based in Thailand and working across S.E.Asia … teacher professional development and web 2.0 are two of his main focuses and, of course, virtual worlds. He established (S.L.) International Schools Island in the summer of 2007, it opened to the public in February 2008. One of the aims of Chris’s work on the island is to index S.L. locations for educators in S.L. itself and also to establish a repository of teaching and learning tools … most of which are open source.
This is being done is three towers and a Medical Centre …. Technology Tower, Curriculum Tower, Information Tower.
Project Name: Religion Bazaar
Creator: Helen Farley aka Rupert Uriza
School: Studies in Religion at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
SLURL: Not yet open to the public but will be soon!
Description: We’ve tried to represent as many traditions as we can squeeze onto one small space. We’ve created a church, a synagogue, a mosque but also a Hindu temple, a Buddhist temple, a Freemasons Lodge (to satisfy my urge to know what goes on!) and some natural spaces too. One of our staff members is involved in researching spirituality and the environment. For her we have a rocky outcrop overlooking a sea full of brightly coloured fish. One of my postgraduates is investigating the ritual in ritual magic so we have some spaces to accommodate that intriguing and important research. Did I mention our very distinguished and ancient-looking Greek temple? Students will be able to adopt an identity and enter into one of our religious spaces to participate in a ritual or a re-creation. Students can swap roles; walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins. They must observe the traditions of that religion: shoes off, wash before entering, appropriate clothing only – male and female. And unlike real life spaces, there will be plenty of information and interactive activities to give students the information they need. We are not recreating genuine religious services – that’s not the point – but through them students can learn what they are like.
Project Name: Campus of Hope: Using the Virtual World to Improve Our World
Creator: Bruce R. Maxim aka BruceRobert Mizin)
School: University of Michigan-Dearborn
SLURL: UM Dearborn (http://slurl.com/secondlife/UM%20Dearborn/236/26/21)
(access is granted by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in world IM to BruceRobert Mizin)
Description: A key component of the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Metropolitan Vision is Student Engagement, an effort to help students to see the point of the knowledge they are acquiring-the real-world impact that their knowledge can achieve. Students can increase the impact of their talents by learning to work together, to lend their talents to the needs of their communities, and to achieve real passion for the fields of learning they are pursuing. This project is a core element in furthering our vision of student engagement.
The College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan-Dearborn (UM-Dearborn) is leveraging computing technology to develop and build sustainable communities that bridge virtual and real worlds to address a pressing social problem through the use of college and high school students, the Second Life 3-D (SL) virtual world and the Food Bank Council of Michigan (FBCM).
Our general approach is for UM-Dearborn students to build a Campus of Hope that will provide a structure for future development. Students will work with the FBCM as a vehicle to build a community among their network of food banks, conceptualize the parameters of their problems (e.g. efficient distribution of canned goods), collaboratively develop and test solutions (e.g. minimal cost delivery route), and then implement the solution in the real world.
Initially, we are planning three projects to implement in Second Life for our community partner. The first will be the creation of a virtual food drive to educate people using the 3-D environment about how their donations travel through the system and reach people in need. The second will be the creation of a virtual exhibit showcasing the needs of the community partner and the benefits of collaboration in virtual worlds. The third will be the creation of facilities to support meetings held jointly in real life and second life. This projects will be fully implemented by April 2009.
The use of a virtual property or island as an engineering test bed has number of benefits. It allows geographically diverse stakeholders to interact with each other in real-time while working on a problem. The virtual island also serves as problem solution repository that can be used as case studies by educators and manipulated by stakeholders as parameters change. The virtual island can also be used to help build community awareness of the problems facing the community partner as it tries to complete its mission. The virtual environment may also serve to provide a realistic face on the people served by food banks in our state and create feelings of empathy on the part of its visitors.
Project Name: Student Creative Arts and Research Symposium
Creator: Catherine Dutton, SL: Catherine Soderstrom/Lishi Nishi
School: Texas Woman’s University
SLURL: Research Symposium Greeting Area: http://slurl.com/secondlife/TWU/184/27/24
School of the Arts: http://slurl.com/secondlife/TWU/184/210/23
Description: Distance students presented research posters and conceptual builds on the TWU island as part of the university’s annual Student Research Symposium. Poster topics ranged from SL Libraries, to qualitative research in virtual worlds to a conceptual build of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory. Included in this is an art studio for dance, visual and theatre arts students. New posters and research will be released in April of 2009 when the next research symposium comes around!
Project Name: Hotel & Tourism Management – PolyU Resort Island
Creator: Paul Penfold [RL] Paul Allandale [SL]
School: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/HKPolyU Resort/121/167/26
Description: We used SL for orientation for 400 freshman students joining our Department. Started 3 weeks before the new semester, with 16 SL workshops in our computer lab first, then the last 2 weeks fully in SL. The program consisted of 7 individual learning activities: learning styles, multiple intelligences, active learning, academic honesty, classroom etiquette, citing references and hotel room design. Plus 3 competitions – parachuting, through the hoops and fashion show, and 8 live sessions on learning challenges, plagiarism, library and open Q&A finishing with a dance night and fashion show.
For details of the program see: http://virtel.shtm.polyu.edu.hk/sotel/
We have been using a couple of chat bots to help with some of the activities and also employed some student helpers to assist and support students on a roster basis so someone was always around from 9am to 9pm every day.
Project Name: Object Oriented Programming Course
Creator: Barry Spencer
School: FE PAL Bromley College
Description: I work in FE/HE in the UK and one of the courses I teach is OOP (Object Oriented Programming), and for the project this year, I decided to task my students with writing an application that would calculate the energy in Watts that could be extracted from the wind by a turbine. I started with a lecture on the basic physics involved, and then presented them with a formula, the idea being that they would be able to assimilate the various values (attributes) and any associated calculations into appropriate classes, and generally this has gone well. The next stage will be for them to code and test this in Java. Once the applications are working I will then send them of in a research kind of way, to place their devices, in an imaginary kind of way, at various locations across the UK for which average wind speeds are readily available, should be good. I had the thought, how about getting them to create a wind class that emulates the way in which wind can vary over time, as indeed it does? Then I thought, the wind blows in SL, so why not get them in-world and have the experience of design / modelling? Of course the Java code will have to be translated into LSL, but as I found this is not a major problem really. Anyway I placed my own working version on a small islet kindly provided by Tony Lusch at Greenwich Maritime, thanks again for that Tony, and now its just a matter of waiting for the student turbine crop to grow. If you would like to include this project and know how my students get on, then please feel free to visit over the coming month or so at
Project Name: RezLibris – The Magazine for Librarians
Creator: Debbie De Lousie aka Dulcie Mills
Description: RezLibris is dedicated to becoming a vehicle through which information professionals can inform, share, inspire and encourage each other as together we face the challenges to librarianship in this environment.
Our staff is pooled from a host of information-related occupations – public librarian, academic librarian, research librarian, educator, bibliographer, documentalist, software developer, even scientific informatics analyst – all very enthusiastic about the future of librarianship in SL.
RezLibris Magazine currently has a staff of 12 on its Board. This staff consists of 5 managers (the Publisher, Associate Publisher, Website Manager, PR Director, and Advertising Manager); 4 editors (News, Features, Arts, Multimedia); and 4 assistant editors (News, Features, Arts, Multimedia). Note that our Advertising Manager is also editor of the Arts section.
Project Name: Virtual State Fair (Morrill) and Virtual County Extension (Morrill2)
Creator: LuAnn Phillips aka Thynka Little
School: Cooperative Extension System
Description: The Virtual State Fair is home to the Cooperative Extension System, a collaboration of over 70 colleges and universities in the USA, providing educational outreach to communities and individuals via a network of county-based educators. Originally agricultural, the programs have expanded to include a broader range of topics such as personal finance, parenting, disaster preparedness, natural resources, and more. Faculty, researchers, and community educators are currently using the Morrill islands in Second Life to explore the potential of virtual worlds for collaboration, new teaching methods, and to extend outreach to a global audience. The Virtual State Fair offers a combination of entertaining activities and useful information for the general public.
College faculty, researchers, and educators are meeting regularly to collaborate on projects both in SL and RL. SL projects under development include family caregiving, turf grass, and integrated pest management. Classes on consumer education topics will be taught by extension educators in-world during 2009. A short video of the Morrill islands can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm96vfC-YY0. And a blog about the Family Caregiving project can be read here http://extensionfamilycaregivingslp.blogspot.com/
Project Name: Timeline of Earth
Creator: Adrienne Gauthier aka Ourania Fizgig and Chris Impey aka Cosmo Priestman
School: University of Arizona Department of Astronomy
Description: The Timeline of Earth project is a product of 2 semesters of ASTR 202 “Exploring Life in the Universe” non-major astronomy class at the University of Arizona. Students in the class create, research,
build, and script exhibits for ‘spotlight times’ during the Earth’s 4.6 billion year history. Walk the timeline in a spiral pattern and click posters and models for information about the Earth and life of Earth during that time period. Keep an eye out for local tp links to ‘immersive boxes’ where you can listen to the Moon landing or watch a dinosaur bite the dust! We’re going on our 3rd semester of building content in Second Life during Spring 2009, come watch us grow!
Project Name: InSLed (International Second Life Education)
Creator: Suzie Medders aka Mirt Tenk Clemson University, Annie Jeffery aka MissAnnie Ducatillon University of Southampton, Christine Crawford aka Silver Tomorrow University of North Dakota
Description: The InSLed (International Second Life Education) Intro to Second Life (SL) class met for six weekly sessions in-world and face-to-face at separate university labs at Clemson and Southampton from June 9 through July 21, 2008. The combination of simultaneous virtual world and real world gatherings developed both long-distance, virtual relationships and real-life relationships among enrolled faculty. Interestingly, although students interacted with each other inworld less than we expected during classes, they all expressed a desire for more international training classes and said they valued the international component of the training class. Taught collaboratively across four time zones, three institutions and two countries by three instructors (one remote for ALL students) and several assistants (both remote and in-lab), Clemson and Southampton faculty learned basic SL skills and were introduced to examples of effective teaching in Second Life. One faculty member in the class wrote, “[this] training class gave me the start I needed to begin exploring what’s in Second Life, how it is already being used for education, and how I might make use of it myself.”
Project Name: SnelgroveGallery Virtual Gallery education project
Creator: Gary Young aka Dependent Binder
School: Art & Art History, University of Saskatchewan
Description: The SGVG education project is a gallery build at the University of Saskatchewan parcel on NMC’s Teaching 6 island. It is purposed to support instruction and self-directed learning in creative exhibition design and artistic inquiry in a virtual world platform. We look forward to utilizing this platform for adding virtual dimensions to student course projects and graduating exhibitions as well as instructional support to our Professional Practices curriculum. This term we started with real world emulation of basic gallery architecture and investigated issues of site specificity, viewer navigation, exhibition coherence and image preparation and placement.
Project Name: Teaching English in Second Life
Creator: Nergiz Kern aka Daffodil Fargis
SLURL: No specific region, meeting point was on the Islamonline.net sim but we went to different places from there.
Description: Sometime, at the beginning of this year, I decided that Second Life is worth exploring and has a lot of potential for teaching and learning languages. Last summer, I planned and gave a free 6-week General English language course in Second Life. It was my first experiment with teaching in SL. Therefore, I decided to make my lesson plans public and started a blog where I reflected about how the lessons went hoping to engage other teachers in a discussion and motivating them to try it out themselves: http://slexperiments.edublogs.org I enjoyed the course very much and feedback from my students was extremely positive, too, so that I decided to continue teaching in Second Life. I gave a public presentation about my experience the recording of which is still available: http://snurl.com/8u4k5
Project Name: SLexperiments language teacher group in Second Life (teacher development)
Creator: Nergiz Kern aka Daffodil Fargis
SLURL: We usually meet on Theconsultans-E sims “EduNation” http://slurl.com/secondlife/EduNation%20II/151/93/22
Description: When I started my Second Life, I didn‘t know any language teachers in SL and it was a very lonely learning journey. Then, I finally found two like-minded colleagues, Mmvcentro Jewell and Wonderalicia Alturas, who were also interested in teaching languages in SL. We started meeting regularly and sharing our knowledge and exploring SL together. We created a wiki to share our resources and lesson plans which we called SLexperiments. There are many educational groups in SL but as far as I know ours is the only one dedicated to language learning and teaching. Therefore, there has been a lot of interest in it and our group has over 80 members now and we still meet regularly every Friday at 11 am to discuss language learning and teaching in SL, demonstrate and experiment with tools, go on field trips, work on projects together and, of course, socialize. All educators interested in language teaching and learning are welcome to join us. http://slexperiments.pbwiki.com Group in SL: SLexperiments Language Teachers.
Project Name: Republica Dominicana Virtual
Creator: Jan Herder aka Pausanius Raymake
School: Funglode (Foundacion Global Democracia y Desarollo) of the Dominican Republic
Description: Republica Dominicana Virtual is a multi sector project to bring the power of virtual worlds to the Dominican Republic. Full time residents include ITLA, The Technological Institute of the Americas
which has a campus on Ontos with 20 faculty introducing Second Life to its students and learning the platform themselves; USAD, Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, the oldest University in the new world with their Philosophy Department, Funglode’s virtual headquarters, art gallery’s, some historical landmarks and a library.
Project Name: Darton College in SL
Creator: Robby Dittmann aka Robby Kowalski
School: Darton College’s
Description: Robby Dittmann (Robby Kowalski in SL) has greatly increased Darton College’s presence in Second Life. Robby has attended college fairs in both the Teen Grid and the Main Grid, as well as redesigning the college’s parcel into an informational recruiting site. Robby is also helping Darton explore ways to use virtual worlds to help realize the University System of Georgia’s vision to prepare students for a global and technological society. Robby, who serves as the Enrollment Counselor for Darton’s Division of Online Learning, was invited to speak at the Alliance Virtual Library’s College Fair on the topic of “Common Myths About Online Education.” The talk was very well received by its international audience. Robby continues to seek new ways to apply Second Life to both the academic and student service areas of the college.
Darton is a two-year college of the University System of Georgia, located in Albany, the hub of Southwest Georgia. In addition to its excellent on-campus programs, Darton provides a wide variety of programs that can be completed totally online. For more information see the Darton College Web site or visit our SL parcel.
Project Name: The Splo
Creator: Paul Doherty aka Patio Plasma
School: The Exploratorium
SLURL: Exploratorium http://slurl.com/secondlife/Exploratorium/146/118/21/
Description: The Exploratorium runs interactive museums of: science, art, perception and humor in Second Life. The museums feature dozens of exhibits plus several large experiences. People learn while having fun at the exhibitions, they may explore with their friends and they do explore at their own speed. Avatars visit an amphitheater to watch video of total solar eclipses, watch an asteroid impact on the surface of mars, ride a galaxy cluster away from the big bang, ride the cannon ball envisioned by Newton in the Principia, ride a pollen grain in Brownian motion, toss a ping-pong ball into a large tank full of mousetraps and balls to envision a nuclear chain reaction, become Leonardo’s vitruvian avatar, view 3-D models of eclipses evolving in time and space and much more. The Splo museum is the oldest interactive science museum in Second Life and is a founding member of the Scilands Archipelago.
Project Name: Learning Gardens and Floating Worlds
Creator: GrandMasterFoo Woodget
School: Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and vgAlt
Description: The build is based upon a theme from Japanese Iconics about the leisure world of Japan in the Edo Period of Japan, where destinations within a district were considered floating worlds away from daily life. The build was conceived as a garden to move away from the constraints of buildings and typical academic symbols to create a space that would be flexible and powerful, promote interactivity, but connecting the more familiar worlds where we participate everyday: worlds of text, presence, and network on the World Wide Web, with the opportunity for fantasy, innovation, and imaginative production.
To support individual work and small group collaboration we created floating worlds, linked to an automated web based reservation and group messaging system that provides extreme ease of use and administration. Worlds are accessible through a teleportation system that provides access to 30 individual private spaces, each equipped with a Flick2SL screen that is chat controlled and allows users to display images from group or individual accounts on the Flickr image sharing service.
By integrating access to immense photographic archives and the collaborative power of the virtual world to support group work and compel engagement, floating worlds promote artistic control and empower participants to present their own visions of the material world, the world of the WWW, and of their thoughts and imagination. The explicit absence of a learning context supports continuous evolution by allowing the space to grow and change with the needs and visions of the community, and to inspire new community to share content and foster ideas, exchange, learning, and innovation.
The Learning Garden and Floating Worlds installation is envisioned to create a space that is flexible and powerful as it promotes interactivity and engagement by connecting the more familiar worlds of the everyday, the worlds of text, presence, and network on the World Wide Web, with the potential offered by virtual environments to provide opportunities for imaginative production, identity exploration and collaborative innovation while learning.
To realize this vision, we chose elements of peaceful space and openness to expand consciousness through practiced reflection and activities such as music, art, dance and meditation. A zen garden theme combines an inviting sense of calmness with exquisite detail and the softness of a garden with interesting terrain. Visitors can practice the ancient art of Tai chi chuan while a waterfall whooshes on a running stream complete with coy fish, soft breezes and jack lights at sunset. The garden is designed to calm the mind, support reflective practice, and expand creativity that can be then be displayed by members of the community through the use of shared spaces such as the group area in the garden or a photographic holocube environment suspended high in the sky.
Project Name: Project: Counselor Education in 3D Virtual Environment
Creator: Victoria Walker aka Zeana Tammas
Description: This project involves testing the use of 3D virtual learning environments in graduate level counseling courses in traditional, blended, and online programs. A counseling training facility was created in Second Life providing student counselors a location to practice and develop their counseling, interviewing, and diagnosis skills with avatars that display many of the physical and emotional features students may encounter once practicing in their communities. The counselor training facility simulates the features of a community counseling facility or a school counselor’s office while providing instructors with access to observe without distracting the student counselor or the “client” avatar during sessions.
Project Name: SLEnglish pronunciation
Creator: Wlodzimierz Sobkowiak aka Wlodek Barbosa
School: Adam Mickiewicz University
Description: English is not only grammar and vocabulary. EFL (English as a Foreign Language) is not only syntax and lexicon. Second Life EFL (SLEFL) is not only text chat. SLEnglish (http://slenglish.ning.com/) offers tutorials and consultations on EFL pronunciation in-world.
– If you want to improve your speaking skills in the voice mode,
– If you need some information or advice on English phonetics,
– If you are still not certain how to pronounce some English words,
– If you have been wondering about the differences between Britiha and American pronunciation,
– If you need to know exactly what RP (Received Pronunciation) is,
– If you have heard about Lingua Franca Core (LFC) pronunciation for EFL, but want to know more,
– If you need some additional information about SLEnglish and Virtlantis
– If you simply want to talk about English and Second Life,
…come to my launchroom at Virtlantis (slurl.com/secondlife/Virtlantis/202/196/21/) every Wednesday at SLT 12 noon. You’ll find Wlodek Barbosa there (web2 at: http://ifa.amu.edu.pl/~swlodek/) ready to serve you. You can also drop me a line (by IM in-world or by email: e-mail: email@example.com) to ask a question or fix a meeting. All suggestions for enhancing SLEFL pronunciation profile are most welcome!
Project Name: SLENZ Project
Creator: John Waugh aka Johnnie Wendt
School: Funded by New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission in conjunction with Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), Wellington Insitute of Technology (WELTEC)Otago Polytechnic, and the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.
Description: The New Zealand virtual world education group, Second Life Education New Zealand (SLENZ), has set up a research project in the on-line virtual world of Second Life for New Zealand educators to pilot at least two projects into determining how multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) might benefit New Zealand education and how this can best be done.
Using the multi-user virtual environment Second Life, the project aims to delineate and demonstrate to New Zealand educators and students the educational strengths or otherwise of learning in a virtual world.
The project team has chosen two groups of educators to work with the project team on two pilot projects, one in foundation learning and the other in midwifery. The project’s SL Literature Review is available at: http://slenz.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/slliteraturereviewa1.pdf
Project Name: Really Engaging Accounting
Creator: Steven Hornik aka Robins Hermano
School: University of Central Florida
Description: I’ve been using SL to teach a financial accounting course. I use SL asynchronously to help students learn basic concepts related to the accounting equation: Assets = Liabilities + Stockholders Equity; to learn how to manipulate the equation using debits and credits; and to become debits and credits themselves (well their avatars) in what I call the T-account game. The reason behind the project is simple, to engage the students in what is normally a very non-engaging course. I have done this since the fall of 2007 when class size averaged 250. This fall class size was close to 900 students in one section, with 75-80% of them completing assignments inside of SL (folks if nothing else we can say the platform is stable). Data I collected from the spring 2008 are amongst the first statistically significant empirical data showing a relationship between student engagement using SL and student performance.
Project Name: Republica Dominicana Virtual
Creator: Jan Herder aka Pausanius Raymaker
School: Sponsored by Funglode (Foundacion Global Democracia y Desarrollo) of
the Dominican Republic www.funglode.org
Description: Republica Dominicana Virtual is a multi sector project to bring the power of virtual worlds to the Dominican Republic. Full time residents include ITLA, The Technological Institute of the Americas
which has a campus on Ontos with 20 faculty introducing Second Life to its students and learning the platform themselves; a Community Technology Center, USAD: Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, the oldest University in the new world with their Philosophy Department, Funglode’s virtual headquarters, art
gallery’s, some historical landmarks and a library.
Project Name: The Hopkins Tibetan Treasures Multimedia Archive Project – The WylieWriter
Creator: Bill Magee aka Wam7c Macchi
School: Dharma Drum Buddhist College, Taiwan, Funded by
the Taiwan National Science Council.
Description: Wamlabs of Shipley and the Eepaw Shop of Smoky have developed a way to write Tibetan in Second Life. We call it the Wall of WylieWriters (Wylie the standard Tibetan transliteration method). Tibetan presents a challenge for Second Life educators because Tibetan words employ complex stacked ligatures. The Wall of WylieWriters overcomes this problem.
Using the Wall of WylieWriters is simple. The rezzer creates a wall of 44 WylieWriter panels. There is no limit to the number of WylieWriter panels that can be deployed, but 44 is sufficient for most lessons.
Each WylieWriter is composed of three sections, allowing for main consonant stacks to be superscripted or subscripted by vowels. When a WylieWriter receives a command it parses the string and sends vowel
information to the appropriate section. Then it sends the remaining information about the main consonant ligature to the central section for display. The result is a Tibetan ligature. In addition to being able to write directly to a Wall of WylieWriters, Wamlabs has also developed objects that can be preprogrammed and
deployed with simple commands to write to the entire Wall simultaneously or to erase it all at once. We call these objects WylieShouters. WylieShouters complement the Wall of WylieWriters by giving teachers the opportunity to prepare lessons in advance. A Wall of WylieWriters and a set of WylieShouters comprises a complete innovative teaching tool enabling fully-functional Tibetan language classrooms in Second Life.
Project Name: MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH
Creator: Dr. Beth Kattelman
School: The Ohio State University
Description: he students in my Theatre 693 class created an automated “production” of Edgar Allan Poe’s MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH on The Ohio State University’s TELRPort island. Visitors can now hear Poe’s story while being automatically transported through Prince Prospero’s castle to encounter the various rooms and scenes.
The class was composed of eight graduate and undergraduate students who had little or no prior experience with Second Life. Two acting students recorded the voice-overs and other students contributed by working on set decoration, character creation and costuming. One student who became very interested in the technical capabilities of SL programmed the tour.
The purpose of the class was to explore how Second Life can be used to support collaboration and performance by discovering the ways in which it helps or hinders the ability to present a “theatrical” text. The class was part of a Second Life Pilot Project currently being conducted at Ohio State.
Project Name: “PD in 3DV”: The Bookhenge on USDLC’s Beautiful Star Island
Creator: Cris Crissman /2B Writer and Bill Lovin / Ajax Quinnell
School: United Star Distance Learning Consortium (USDLC), NC Dept. of Public
Instruction, NC State University
Description: We’ve “disrupted class” twice – once with co-author Michael Horn, practiced a little Presentation Zen, and heard “Cool Cat Teacher” Vicki Davis and Robotics teacher Joselyn Todd in our “PD in 3DV” project on USDLC’s beautiful Star Island. Since August, we have held a monthly event, either a book club or a presentation by a well-known, innovative teacher.
Our goal is to explore online immersive environments as a medium for professional development, preK and beyond. At our conversation with Michael Horn on Dec. 16th, we had a range of elementary to middle/high
school teachers, school and central office administrators, community college teachers, and university professors.
Response from long-time residents and newly-minted ones who joined hours before just to participate in a session has been gratifying. This evaluation response sums up what we’re hearing so far: “I was impressed
with ease of use and interactions. Have done many webinars- just not in SL. Similar, but the virtual world made it more interesting” (an assistant superintendent, Center Valley, PA).
Interesting and engaging is what we’re after. We enjoy the affordances Second Life provides for production value. At the end of conversation with Michael Horn, a classically-trained jazz pianist, a grand piano rose
from the central fire pit, and Michael played us out with a hauntingly beautiful classical piece. Then he flew off into the sunset.
We have a ball planning these events. Please check out our calendar of
future events and archives of past ones at www.Literacy2Learn.org
Project Name: SL Education Roundtable (SLER)
Creator: AJ Kelton aka AJ Brooks
School: Montclair State University
Description: In the early months of 2008 the SL Education Roundtable was born. The founder, AJ Brooks, was looking for a place for educators to come together and have a focus and guided conversation on topics relevant to education and the use of Second Life. The meetings started small but eventually grew to as many as 50 visitors. The SLER has become a weekly staple for some folks, meeting each week on Tuesdays at 2:30pm SLT in the CHSSSouth Amphitheater. Even if they don’t plan to speak, visitors are encouraged to sit around the round table we use for the meetings. A part of the full-version Mystitool, the roundtable can be adjusted for the size of the group. Transcripts of past meetings are available in The HUGE Bldg Library, which is located right outside the CHSSSouth Amphitheater.
Project Name: Aggie Bonfire Memorial Candlelit Ceremony
Creator: Rochell McWhorter aka Rachelle Munro
School: Texas A&M University
Description: On Sunday morning, November 16, 2008, the Texas A&M Student Group came together at 2:42 a.m. to remember those Aggies lost in the Bonfire Collapse of 1999. The candlelit ceremony was held at the newly constructed Virtual Aggie Bonfire Memorial representing the Memorial built in real life on the Texas A&M University Campus in College Station, Texas (see: http://www.tamu.edu/bonfirememorial/). The Memorial houses the history of the Bonfire as well as the Biographies of those who perished in the collapse.
The ceremony was attended by current students, faculty, alumni and Aggie friends. Each one in attendance placed a rose in the center of the Memorial and held a candle as the group viewed a short video presentation that remembered the 27 Aggies who were injured and the 12 Aggies who lost their lives to build the 90-year tradition, the Aggie Bonfire.
jokaydia have had a few biggies this year… links are below and lead to SLurls, articles and more info.
And of course our end of year Edublog Awards bash is on Sunday – http://jokaydia.com/category/edublogsawards/