This is not an announcement, but rather a call to contribute to re-imagining ISTE in Second Life.
|ISTE Island HQ in Second Life|
Many of us in the educational communities in virtual worlds have heard rumblings over the past few months that ISTE is revising its level of financial support for its activities in virtual worlds. Historically, that has been made manifest through generous ongoing payment to Linden Lab for a region called ISTE Island. Indeed, there was one long run where ISTE maintained four separate regions in Second Life. The virtual heyday, as it were. The realities of today’s economy requires organizations to rethink financial commitments, and ISTE has done so.
As of the last day of February, 2012, payments will no longer be made to maintain ISTE Island, and ISTE Island will no longer be.
Andy Wheelock, aka Spiff Whitfield, currently Lowly High Grand Poobah of the Special Interest Group for Virtual Environments, has been leading a task force (yes, we do call it that) to investigate options. The group has coalesced much like any SIGVE group has, more or less come together on its own as interested parties have responded to calls for discussions and collaboration. Some configuration of the group has met a half dozen times over the past several months. Andy alluded to all of this and made the collaboration document available for one and all in the closing paragraph of his open letter in the recent publication of January 2012 issue of Virtual Education Journal.
Last week we met at the campfires on ISTE Island, for somewhere around the 5th or 6th time, to discuss our findings and preferences, this time with Jennifer Ragan-Fore, the revered original catalyst for ISTE Island in the first place. Here’s a pic from that gathering.
In the spirit of sharing, I “call to comment“–either here at this post or on the document itself (which you should by all means read before you make your own suggestions or comments either here or there). Do you have any notions about how SIGVE should go about best use of a $500 per year budget for a space in Second Life? Now’s the time to share them. A decision must be made by the end of the first week in February.
Please put Friday, February 27, all day and night, on your calendars: There will be a party. There will be fireworks. I’m putting out tissue boxes the day of. This morning, I set out a notecard dropbox at the welcome table at ISTE Island Headquarters. Do you have fond memories from your own experiences at ISTE Island in Second Life? We’d like to hear them. Feel free to comment here or type out your reminisces at your leisure, paste them into a notecard, and drop them in the box at ISTE Island in Second Life. It looks like this: