• ISTE Speaker Series Strikes Again!

7th October 2008

ISTE Speaker Series Strikes Again!

From an email from our pal KJ Hax (Kevin Jarrett irl) about an event you may not want to miss. Pop into ISTE Island (SLurl below) for what looks to be an informative hour this very evening!
Just a quick heads up regarding tomorrow’s ISTE Speaker Series session, targeted specifically for the higher education community … join Marcius Dowding (RL: Larry Dugan) and Crash Thebaud (RL: Terry Keys) who will be presenting their work on the SUNY LIVE (Learning in Virtual Environments) project, which was created to give the opportunity for up to 64 campuses the opportunity to investigate the uses of VLE’s. 22 campuses signed up and participated in this year long project, utilizing this “donut” approach to island developing and training. The results, trials, tribulations and successes will be discussed at this presentation, which will utilize voice. Please ensure you have a working voice setup prior to the event. Location: ISTE Island Bandshell: http://slurl.com/secondlife/ISTE%20Island/128/128/25

Date: Tuesday, 10/7
Time: 6:00 pm SLT (click here for your local time zone)

See you there!

While you’re there, mosey on up to Headquarters and take a good gander at the new SL entry portal resources that have been baking up there for a month or so. I blogged about it a while back, and it’s come a long way since, due to the dedicated efforts of ISTE volunteers who have tirelessly realized the joint vision of Linden Lab and ISTE. You might take a minute to click on that big ol’ FEEDBACK sign there to offer your opinion and suggestions about how the entry might be improved.

From fearless ISTE Second Life pioneer Kittygloom Cassady, “Currently, an educator visiting the education page of the Second Grid web site (http://secondlifegrid.net/programs/education) can sign up for Second Life using a simplified registration process and at the end will be dropped directly on ISTE Island for more resources and educator-friendly help.

Cheers, all! And see you tonite if you can make it!

Posted by Scottmerrick Oh

Written by Scott Merrick

posted in Events, Feedback, Learning, PD Opportunity, SL Events | 0 Comments

6th September 2008

Barry Joseph Keynote at SLCC2008–Why Second Life Can’t Tip

Barry Joseph delivered a WONDERFUL and engaging 50 minutes to us at SLEDcc2008 in Tampa. In addition to the several hundred on-location attendees, at any given time we had 30-40 or so people at a distance enjoying his talk from the feeds and at one of the three locations in Second Life there were approximately 25 avatars, also from all over the world. Didn’t see it? No problem. Sit back and enjoy. And hey, share it with at least one dubious colleague :) :

Written by Scott Merrick

posted in avatar, Events, FL Events, Learning, SL Events, SLCC | 0 Comments

3rd September 2008

Media Grid Talk in SL Today


The Media Grid Project is one that I’ve been following for quite some time, a worthy goal–providing a public 3Di platform with access for all. How’s that going to happen? Check out the Media Grid website to see for yourself.

Meanwhile, if you can get into SL TOMORROW, Thursday, September 4, at 9:00 a.m. SL time, 11:00 CDT or noon EDT (that would all be the same time, Pilgrim), you should come hear its founder talk about the project. I’ll be there, barring unforseen rw distractions. From the notecard announcement:

Aaron E. Walsh is founding Director and lead architect of the Media Grid Institute, which promotes the use of a public uility grid to develop and deliver high end virtual rality and 2-D simulation programs. He’s also a faculty member at Boston College and an international best-selling technology author. Aaron will tell us about one of the Grid’s central projects, teh Immersive Education initiative.

When: Thursday, September 4, noon-1:00EDT
Where: Train for Success
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Wolpertinger/173/87/51

Can’t make the live talk? Take sixteen minutes and 55 seconds to listen to this great eWeek “TechRising” podcast interview with Walsh?

Cross-post from Oh! Virtual Learning by Scottmerrick Oh

Written by Scott Merrick

posted in Events, Learning, SL Events, Spotlight | 1 Comment

29th August 2008

SLEDCC Wiki!

If you’re planning to attend the SLCC in Tampa, Florida (or inworld in one of the many venues that will be hooking up to it) next week, you may be confused by the multitude of internet presences. This is a hands-built event, and the history of its Web iterations reflects that. Its online “face” started out with a WordPress blog, moved to a  new address that basically revised its WordPress design but maintains the blog look and aspect; and then, to my mind thankfully, blossomed into a very tidy and comprehensive wiki. That’s the one you want, ya’ll.

Let me be very clear: This is NOT a criticism, only an observation, and an attempt to highlight the process by which beginning efforts can, with community collaboration (and in a very short time) become extraordinarily rich and helpful. Useful linkage means everything to busy people. This site has it!

The SLCC Wiki!

Posted by Scottmerrick Oh

Written by Scott Merrick

posted in conference, Events, metaverse, Opinion, SL Events, SLCC | 0 Comments

29th June 2008

NECC 08 Opening Reception

One Horse ShyFLEventWhile there were several events leading up to it, the Opening Reception was one of the events that marked the beginning of NECC 08. The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center was full and the floor was bouncing to the rocking/country sounds of One Horse Shy, playing live just down the road from the Alamo in San Antonio Texas.

Meanwhile the music was streaming into SL where the band’s avatars performed to a crowd in front of the Alamo on ISTE Island. From time to time the lead singer, back in Texas, would look at her SL Avatar displayed on a huge screen to the left of the stage – and mimic her moves. (Life imitates art, art imitates life, or we and our avatars inform each other.)

Not far from the physical dance floor, at the Second Life Lounge, those too shy to dance in FL grabbed their laptops and their dancing shoes and cut the rug on the virtual dance floor.necc-crowd.jpg

This year the National Educational Computing Conference will offer workshops, poster sessions, hour long presentations, special interest playgrounds, and exhibitors for 18,000 K-20 educators who are concerned with the role of technology in education.

- posted by Esme Qunhua

Written by Esme Qunhua

posted in avatar, conference, Events, FL Events | 0 Comments

28th April 2008

CFP: ReLIVE 08

ReLIVE08

The Open University is pleased to announce that it is now accepting submissions for ReLIVE08, an international conference for Researching Learning in Virtual Environments to be held at its campus in Milton Keynes on the 20th and 21st of November 2008.

This conference will be of interest to anyone researching learning and teaching in virtual world environments such as Second Life.

The conference organisers are keen to construct a programme that features diverse and innovative research approaches to learning and teaching in virtual worlds. Given the emerging practice associated with virtual worlds, the conference committee are also keen to receive papers reporting on the experience of learning and teaching using virtual worlds that relate practice and outcomes to literature and research in this area. We anticipate that submissions will reflect a range of research methods and will examine issues such as rigour, methods of sampling, relationships between researchers and researched, and the ethics and politics of the research process.

Our keynote speakers are Edward Castranova and Roo Reynolds.    Dr Castranova is Associate Professor in the Department of Telecommunications at Indiana University, Bloomington and an expert on the economies of large-scale online games.  Andrew (Roo) Reynolds is a Metaverse Evangelist based at IBM’s Hursley Park laboratory in the UK, facilitating the use of Virtual Worlds within IBM.

The conference will feature special guests, invited speakers and a conference dinner with an after dinner speaker and entertainment, so promises to be thought-provoking as well as entertaining and an excellent opportunity for networking in the field.  All papers will be published in a conference proceedings and a selection of papers will be published in an additional academic format.

Please find more details at our website on http://www.open.ac.uk/relive08

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26th April 2008

Dispatch from vBusiness Expo

SL Event graphic Now into Day 3 , the vBusiness Expo in Second Life has hosted a number of excellent sessions discussing the business of education in virtual worlds and Second Life. Be sure to register to attend and catch a session before it ends tomorrow! SLurl: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Clever%20Zebra%203/20/2/49

Graphic from Fleep's ppt presentation

On Day 1 of the Expo, I was lucky enough to lead off the Education Track with a session about some practical tips for “Selling the Idea of Virtual Worlds to Stakeholders”. Getting institutional support for virtual worlds projects can be a little daunting, but a combination of compelling arguments and a well put together presentation can increase chances for success. One tip, dress your avatar in the same outfit you will be wearing in the real world to help bridge the “reality” gap for your audience. Another suggestion, falling flat on your face off a building in Second Life is also good for an element of humor in your presentation. =) See a sample PPT slide set on Slideshare for Pitching Second life to Educators in 15 Minutes.

Slamander Logo

Jonathon Richter (SL: Wainbrave Bernal) spoke about the SaLamander Project in the next session, describing a very clever tool that educators can use to tag, index, and search learning objects and environments in Second Life. By creating a repository of known learning objects, educators can share resources and help determine best practices for developing educational spaces in virtual worlds. Jonathon encouraged builders and creators of educational content to submit their creations to the index for possible inclusion in a MERLOT linked repository of 3D learning objects. Be sure to pick up your own SaLamander HUD from the Center for Advanced Technology in Education in-world to tag objects you create or find!

RezEd Portal

On Day 2 of the Expo, Barry Joseph (SL: GlobalKids Bixby) of Global Kids discussed “Doing Well by Doing Good: Supporting Non-Profits and Philanthropies in Virtual Worlds” and how Global Kids has been able to successfully create experiences that engage Global Kids teens in discussing and learning about real world social justice issues, while also bringing in such groups as the International Criminal Court into Second Life. They recently launched the International Justice Center in Second Life and will continue to foster collaboration between students and non-profits. He also announced the new RezEd Hub for Learning & Virtual Worlds and encouraged educators to get connected.

Metanomics Logo NMC logo

In a special session of Metanomics, Robert Bloomfield (SL: Beyers Sellers) of Cornell University interviewed Larry Johnson (SL: Larry Pixel) , CEO of the New Media Consortium about his recent testimony to Congress about virtual worlds. Larry also discussed how NMC has engaged and supported the educational community in Second Life to explore what really works in virtual worlds, from sharing information about their experiences developing campus spaces and islands to hosting events like the recent Symposium on Mashups. NMC’s focus on community, collaboration, and creativity is an excellent example for corporate organizations at the vBusiness Expo to emulate.

Typewriter Tackleberry in Second Life

On Day 3, Aleks Krotoski (SL: Mynci Gorki) from the University of Surry and Mark Bell (SL: Typewriter Tackleberry) from Indiana University discuss best practices for performing survey research in virtual worlds like Second Life. One key affordance of doing research in virtual environments is the ability to capture reams of data, not just from the avatar, but also the environment itself. Aleks suggests researchers try to focus on the data they really want, since you can capture more than you need. Mark Bell announced a new SL HUD-based survey tool his team has created to simplify data collection while preserving the immersion of the environment. Both suggest that researchers approach campus IRB groups early on in the process to help ensure plenty of time for answering their questions about the environment.

Education Panel from vBusiness Expo

Sarah Robbins (SL: Intellagirl Tully) of Ball State University chairs a panel with Jeremy Kemp (SL: Jeremy Kabumpo) of San Jose State University and Jeremy Hunsinger (SL: buridan Simon) of Virginia Tech about the future of education in virtual spaces. As long term veterans in SL education, Jeremy Hunsinger points out that educational gaming and 3D spaces have long been a part of the academic computing tradition, and asks, “The future isn’t all face to face, is it?” Jeremy Kemp remarked that he expected to see more concrete data about effective teaching practices in SL than we have seen up to this point. “We need to be studying the efficacy of these models,” he said. Sarah asks, “Is Second Life a ‘creepy treehouse‘?” referring to the term used to describe a place (physical or virtual) created by adults to lure kids in. Jeremy Hunsinger replied, “I’m asking my students to come in here to do their own work,” rather than putting them in a space he created, and he notices that his students are spending time here of their own volition in part due to the different types of experiences students can have here powered by their own curiosity. Excellent panel!

More to come as the vBusiness Expo continues!

- Posted by Chris Collins (SL: Fleep Tuque)

Written by Chris Collins

posted in conference, Critical Perspectives, Events, SL Events | 1 Comment

17th April 2008

Windlight Information Sessions Tomorrow!

In response to all the conversation recently about educators and WindLight, Linden Lab will be holding a few inworld informational sessions with Pastrami Linden. Pastrami will discuss:
“How to optimize the latest viewers for older hardware (Hint- they will be even faster than the old ones!)”

New Media Consortium will host the first session, Friday, April 18th, 3 pm Pacific time at the Muriel Cooper Coliseum on NMC Conference Center island.
http://slurl.com/secondlife/NMC%20Conference%20Center/63/209/21/

For those of you who haven’t seen it, Torley Linden posted a Graphics Preferences Guide video tutorial here: http://blog.secondlife.com/2008/04/11/tip-of-the-week-30-graphics-preferences-guide/ to *show what just about each and every option does*.

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24th March 2008

Centralized Student Center for ALL students in SL

Wouldn’t it be great to have a location where all students know to go in order to get information, meet other students, hang out when not in class, and basically do what students do in the RL Student Center’s on all of our campuses?

This is very close to becoming a reality and here is your chance to have a part in the planning.

A number of folks who have taken an interest since it was first discussed have added their input to a blog posting dedicated to talking about this.

http://sorry-afk.blogspot.com/2008/01/sl-student-center.html

Larry Johnson (a/k/a Larry Pixel) over at NMC is one of the folks who has also shown a great interest in this idea.  He has very generously agreed to dedicate a portion of the NMC Orientation Island for this project, should things continue to work out.

A crucial initial meeting is planned for tomorrow, Tuesday March 25th, at 11:00am PDT (Second Life Time).  We’ll be meeting at the proposed location on the NMC Orientation Island

http://slurl.com/secondlife/NMC%20Orientation/69/167/29
(click the SLURL or LM and follow the “red beam of light” to the location.)

Anyone and everyone has been encouraged to attend.  In this critical phase of development, input from as many folks as possible will only serve to make this great project even better.  In addition, students who are in SL are also being encouraged to attend, if they can.  The student perspective is what will truly make this project successful.

Questions and comments can be posted to the blog listed above.

Written by AJ Kelton

posted in Bright Idea, Events, SL Events, Students | 0 Comments

10th January 2008

First Life Event: Boston Digital Media Summit

If you’re in Boston or nearby don’t miss the Boston Digital Media Summit. The topic this time around is “Enabling the Age of Immersive Education” and the speakers are some of the best: Henry Kelly of the Federation of American Scientists, the beloved Larry Johnson of the NMC, Julian Lombardi from Croquet, and Kevin Roebuck of Sun Microsystems.

With hands on workshops for Second Life and other spaces it’s bound to be a great time. Click on the pic for more info and to register.

mssrobbins.jpgSarah “Intellagirl” Robbins

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