• Inworld Streaming Live from Tampa!

4th September 2008

Inworld Streaming Live from Tampa!

Hey, a quick post to note the locations inworld where you can catch streaming content live from Tampa over the weekend beginning tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 5. The entire schedule of inworld events is at the SLEDcc wiki, but the quick list of streaming locations is this:


Cheerio, and I’ll be the man/avatar behind the camera for most, if not all, events! Maybe I’ll sneak up behind you in SL and sit down to join you!

Scottmerrick Oh

Written by Scott Merrick

posted in FL Events, SLCC, videos | 0 Comments

2nd September 2008

50 virtual worlds

50 virtual worlds is a video for personalizedmedia. It introduces, albeit extremely briefly 50 different virtual worlds and indicates with their introduction some of the possibilities involved in virtual worlds for learning and research.

Having just seen Joi Ito post the new Hello Kitty Game trailer on his site, I have to say it looks like things are really blooming.

Written by Jeremy Hunsinger

posted in videos | 0 Comments

12th August 2008

Metanomics: SLEDcc 2008 & Language Lab

Metanomics “On the Spot” – Fleep Tuque Discusses SLEDcc 2008

On Monday, Metanomics host Robert Bloomfield (SL: Beyers Sellers) put Education Correspondent Fleep Tuque “On the Spot” about the upcoming Second Life Education Community Conference 2008 (SLEDcc), part of the official Second Life Community Convention in Tampa, FL from September 5 – 7th.

(Click the image to view video)

Fleep discussed the genesis of the SLEDcc name and gave an overview of the six conference strands and upcoming sessions in Tampa.  She also talked about the SLEDcc Working Groups, a new component of this year’s program, that will bring participants together to address four topics to generate useful resources for members of the Second Life education community.  Educators are invited to contribute to the SLEDcc Working Group discussions in the SLEDcc08 group on RezEd prior to the conference:

SLEDcc will also have a full program in-world, with streamed sessions from Tampa and an exciting schedule of tours, socials, poster sessions, and presentations.  Register for the in-world SLEDcc here!

Metanomics Guest – David Kaskel on Language Lab

Following the “On the Spot” segment, Beyers turned to the show’s main guest for the day, David Kaskel (SL: Edgeware Marker), CEO of Language Lab.  Language Lab teaches foreign languages in Second Life and their novel curriculum uses a staff of instructors and actors to immerse people in a foreign land, where they must use the native tongue in homes, restaurants, dance halls, job interviews and even airports.

Learn more about Language Lab’s innovative use of virtual worlds for language instruction – click the image above to play the video!

Zemanta Pixie
Written by Chris Collins

posted in conference, SL Events, SLCC, videos | 1 Comment

5th August 2008

2008 Metaverse Tour Video

SpotlightEver wonder how Second Life compares to the other social virtual worlds out there? Many of us do but it takes far too much time to download, create accounts etc to just get a real glimpse of graphics etc. in other spaces. Well, not any more.

Thanks to Gary Hayes at Personalizemedia you can now see over fifthy virtual worlds in one seven minute video. It’s a fast-paced tour that’s well worth a look. Worlds included in the video: Second Life, HiPiHi, Kaneva, Twinity, ActiveWorlds, LagunaBeach vMTV. There.com, Habbo, Google Lively, FootballSuperstars, Weblin, AmazingWorlds, CyWorld, Whyville, Gaia Online, RocketOn, Club Penguin, YoVille, Webkinz, BarbieGirls, Prototerra, IMVU, Spore, vSide, Tale in the Desert, SpineWorld, Stardoll, The Manor, There.com, ExitReality, Vastpark, Qwaq, PS3Home, GoSupermodel, Grockit, Croquet, Metaplace, Coke Studios, Dreamville, Dubit, Mokitown, Moove, Muse, The Palace, Playdo, Sora City, Voodoo Chat, TowerChat, Traveler, Virtual Ibiza.

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posted in Spotlight, videos | 0 Comments

3rd July 2008

Global Kids Talk About Their SL Experiences

Find more videos like this on RezEd

TeenSLBarry Joseph and his awesome team over at Global Kids are certainly trailblazers in the SL Teen Grid. It’s exciting to hear about the SL experience straight from the kids rather than from teachers with all of our assessment jargon. After watching be sure to pop over to RezEd, GK’s new social portal for VW education, and check out the GK homepage for more info on their projects.

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posted in TeenSL, videos | 1 Comment

4th June 2008

Susi Spicoli’s Beginner’s Guide to Good Machinima

Bright IdeasSo what is machinima? Machinima is a film filmed in an interactive computer generated environment without the use of professional 3D animation software. Basically, a film filmed in a computer game or virtual world. Machinima started out on First Person Shooters and MMORPGs. Now, more people are using virtual worlds like Second life to create machinima because you can pretty much do whatever you want on Second Life, which is great for filming.

Now, what is good machinima? I (Susi Spicoli) myself have made quite a lot of machinima, and I’m going to share with you some tips and techniques on how to make a simple, but decent, machinima. Making long, very good machinima is a very complicated process, really not that different in many (but not all) aspects from making a “real” movie, but you can still make good simple machinima with not much effort and time.

So, first off you’ll need a script. This should have info on what the overall story is, but then also where the scene is and of course what an actor or narrator is saying, in subtitles or voice. Next up comes the filming. You’ll need filming software for this. For PC, a lot of people use Fraps and for Mac users (which is pretty much all I am using now) I would recommend SnapProX or Screen Capture.

Ok, now you have filming software you need to actually film it. If your filming a Story machinima then you’ll need actors. Often you can just ask some friends to help out. You’ll also need a decent set for filming. I sometimes build custom ones for the more complicated things, or I ask friends if I can use their scene (make sure you’ll give them credit in the film at least).

The rest is pretty much up to you in terms of filming but you will need to adjust your filming style to suit what type of machinima you’re filming, a storyline machinima, a commercial machinima or a machinima promoting something etc.

Here are some tips on how to avoid making your shots during filming look completely amateurish:

  • Don’t repeat the same type of shots over and over again. For example, don’t zoom in, zoom out, zoom in, zoom out, zoom in, zoom out etc.
  • Try not to confuse the people watching the machinima. Don’t randomly film someone else when someone is talking. Best is to think about what you want to accomplish (that’s what the script is for) and pick the right filming angle for that.
  • In making machinima, the one huge advantage is that it’s totally easy to film things that are very difficult and expensive to do in “real” film.  So-called dolly shots, crane shots, steady cam (the spooky angles you see in Shining), all that is child’s play in a machinima.  But as they say “a fool with a tool is still a fool”.  So if you don’t know what you are doing conceptually, your film still won’t be very good. 

Finally comes the editing.  Often this is where you really determine whether it’s going to be a good or bad machinima.  The raw footage is the basis, and you have to have some decent scenes, but you can even with bad footage improve the story a lot by what you do in the editing phase. Here you can use (I just know the mac programs), iMovie on the low end (but you can actually do a lot with it) and Final Cut Pro/Studio for the high end (and I really mean high end, big budget cinema movies are edited with this tool). Again, in editing, having these great tools, that are so much more powerful than what real film makers used to have, still doesn’t mean you’ll make a great movie. You still have to think, write, plan, work hard.

I am thinking to perhaps open a film school, with professional partners, in Second Life.  So people can learn about the concepts and practice.

Until then, if you want to come to see what others have done, bring your friends and come to my “machinima gallery”, in Ochreous.  Twenty different machinima makers all have their own invidual cinema there and can watch their movies there, or you come to one of my machinima screenings in my drive-in/fly-in movie theatre.

If you want to see a few examples of machinima, here are some of the ones I did:

A music machinima, for the launch of a RL CD by Fabrice Collette
A documentary, commissioned by the NMC about a SL sculpture exhibition  (including my own music)
or, in general, about my activities .
And, finally, my office is here.

*Written by Susi Spicoli and posted by Intellagirl Tully

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posted in Bright Idea, how to, tips, tools, videos | 1 Comment

9th January 2008

What We Do For Fun

My students always ask me if I go to clubs in SL for fun. Heh. As if I had time to go clubbing! Sir Ken Robinson, in his awesome speech at TED, does a funny little bit about academics dancing off beat at the disco. I don’t see many avatars dancing around in SL, but maybe there is a secret club for all of us? In any case, Sir Robinson’s speech about creativity in schools is wonderful.

So, in addition to watching nerdy great stuff on YouTube, I DO try to have fun with students in SL.How?

We go chair hopping.

What on earth is chair hopping??? Simply stated – it is the BEST way to pick up all sorts of free junk from around the grid. You wear a little HUD ball (0x-DOS HUD – IM me if you want one; they are free). Once you have it on, you tap the center and open your IM history. It shows you where all the chairs are that start with the first letter of your name. So, for me, it will show me all the D chairs. I teleport (using the SLurl in the history), right click, sit on the chair, and get a cool and funky gift. Now, be warned…some gifts stink. But, my assistant, Daliah, SWEARS by this ball. She gathers all sorts of things for Literature Alive! builds. She packages up the good clothing and furniture (the full perm stuff) and adds it to the School Store for students and professors.

The lucky chairs are a free and fun way to travel around the grid with students. If you want to check out all sorts of free stuff AND see some lucky chairs in action (and pick up a HUD), stop by the School Store or IM me. In my free time, I am usually hunting for chairs with Daliah and one or two students!

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posted in tools, videos | 2 Comments

8th January 2008

Creating the language to articulate Virtual Learning with community

Salamander Project logoHey SLED dogs! (and cats – of course, yes, we embrace all types here :)

How exciting to kick off the new year in virtual teaching and learning with this new community blog! Thanks to the tireless efforts of Sarah Robbins for getting this going – yeah! The need to have leaders in the community is palpable as new educators discover and add their own incredible creative energies and cumulative impacts. Sarah certainly fills a much needed niche in the rapidly transforming ecology of Second Life…. Indeed, it’s about niches that I’d like to make my first post:

I think 2008 will be a watershed year for 3D Virtual Worlds on the practical and potential applications for improving the world. This, based on the trend and other authors’ impressions. I would like to highlight the idea that while the continuous technical innovations in Second Life and other virtual world apps (River City, There.com, DarkStar, etc.) are breathtaking – the social adaptation and use of these innovations is also getting to be a real eye opener (insert list of awesome things going on in education across the metaverse here – or, uh, see Desi’s neat list above THIS entry). The challenge is – and will continue to be – for us to keep abreast of the rapid technological advances and stay informed of how the community is applying these innovations. We have a real need for forums such as this to keep us informed of changes on the horizon that will make for real differences in the way tomorrow looks for us. Aggregating and interpreting the news, informing us of changes within and across the increasing number of virtual worlds, and – what I see as paramount – creating a common language for educators in 3D Virtual Worlds to articulate efficiently what they mean, who it works best for, and how these learning environments may transfer (or not) to real-world settings is a complex and not well-defined task. Even while it’s so very important.

Within Second Life, there are a lot of niches within the education community being filled by visionary and hard-working professional educators – like Sarah – and by organizations (like NMC and ISTE) to build capacity for us to utilize these 3D worlds for teaching and learning. We have here, like the dot.com era of online learning, a need for experimentation and leadership to collaborate, even loosely, toward developing the appropriate DNA to occupy this new ecology. Someone to invent applications and tools (e.g. Eloise Pasteur and Jeremy Kemp), someone to model inspiring applications of teaching and learning (e.g. Desideria Stockton), someone to figure out how to induct newbies with grace, style, and innovation (e.g. Fleep Tuque), etc., etc. I’m not intending to make a list of who’s who (that would take a loooong time and would still be rather incomplete) – but rather, I mean to point out these examples in that there seems a set of niches that needs to be filled within this larger ecosystem for us all to evolve in a transformative way along with the assumed speed at which these 3D Virtual Worlds are changing, innovating, and interconnecting. Each “SLED Niche” being identified and occupied by a hard-working, technology wielding and visionary educator – working on the faith of their vision and without the clearest picture possible of what everyone else is doing.

The SaLamander Project – which we’re coordinating at The Center for Advanced Technology in Education at The University of Oregon – is a project that I hope will fill one of the niches needed by the SLED Community:

a) What ARE the best examples of teaching / learning builds in Second Life? — by what criteria?

b) Where do you FIND these examples?

SaLamander is a project that aims to create a community of Second Life educators – ALL of them, hopefully! – to identify WHAT is useful in Second Life for teaching and learning and to place them into categories that other educators may find most relevant. To do this, we have four interconnected elements:

  1. The SaLamander Sloog HUD: a free HUD that SLED community members may use to identify and describe learning materials.
  2. Sloog website: The HUD provides you each with a personal list of your own SL Education sites and tags
  3. SaLamander Community Wiki: The Sloog website feeds the Community Wiki – which provides a growing database of SLED places for people to check out, discuss, and vote on…
  4. MERLOT: the SaLamander Community members that vote the “best” SLED materials (ranking votes allowed one time per registrant for each SaLamander entry).

Here’s a 1st version of our video demonstrating the SaLamander Process…. Hope you like it! and we REALLY want your feedback!

~ Jonathon Richter / Wainbrave Bernal

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posted in metaverse, videos | 1 Comment

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