Friday, May 18, 2007

SL/RL Event - 6 simultaneous presentation modes!

A report by Jeremy Kemp (San Jose State University)

I had the great pleasure of assisting Dr. Daniel Livingstone of Paisley University as he presented a Colloquium at our island opening "SJSU SLIS" recently.

It was BY FAR the most complex live event I've ever been involved in. We totally geeked out – in six modes.

1) Dan was speaking to a live audience of about 30 faculty.

2) He was being video taped with the stream available on the Web live (and archive coming soon).

3) The video and slide textures where shown in Second Life on the sim.

4) I was projecting my avatar view to a projector on the back wall (so he could look out at his audience).

5) I was transcribing the chat into a Sloodle web chatroom - which was then relayed into Second Life.

6) The audience in-world of about 35 was chatting into a Sloodle chatcast box which was transferred to the web chatroom.

All worked reasonably well. The parts that DID NOT work were mitigated for audience members who just switched modes.

So, for example:

  • S0me couldn't view the QT stream. They WERE able to read my chat narrative.
  • My SL client crashed!!! I was still able to chat into the Sloodle chatroom on the web.
  • Some didn't go into SL AT ALL. They saw the video stream on the web and/or the Sloodle chat stream.

Moral of the story – "network effect" applies likewise to multi-modal presentation. Two modes are MORE than twice as effective as one mode.

Or is that the Titanic effect?


Cef^sl (Portuguese workshop in SL)

By Luis Francisco Pedro (Zes Garfield)

Cef^sl (Portuguese workshop about communication, education and training in SL)
Registrations will close next Monday (May 21st).

Next week (23-25 May) we will host a 3-day workshop at Aveiro University in Portugal.

Main topics are communication, education and training in SL and some presentations can be followed at Universidade de Aveiro island (

Most communications will be held in Portuguese. However, we'll have 2 main events in English: a communication by Robin "Linden" Harper (24th May at 11.00 GMT) and an open discussion on education issues with the presence of Katherine Milton (Ohio State University - 24th May, 19.30 GMT). More information at

Free Land Grants for UK Community Development in SL

By Chris Eggplant (Chris Swain) ...

Education UK island is a not for profit educational island being constructed in Second Life to provide a 'safe' location for U.K. virtual education and community development.

Following on from our free education land grants programme [applications close 1st June], we are now launching our free community development space programme, which offers the opportunity to apply for one of three plots of land in Second Life to support or enhance community development, social inclusion, regeneration or the democratic process for one academic year.

Applications are invited from UK organisations or groups [England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland] whose work in community participation, development, engagement etc can be extended or enhanced by using the simulation and creativity tools available within Second Life.

These could also include local or regional community organisations, such as resident associations, environmental groups, or maybe groups building communities of practice or support around areas such as safer communities, tackling racism, promoting community integration, sexual health, mental health etc. We are keen to see some innovative ideas.

Partnership applications and/or local authority led projects are fine as they may fit in with the local authority e-Government agenda.

In addition to the free land grant, the programme will also offer successful organisations:

  • A one off startup grant of $10,000 Linden Dollars.
  • A dedicated and password protected audio channel.
  • Access to other island facilities.
  • Access to a community of support for the duration of their project.
  • A hosted project weblog.

You can download further information and an application form from:

Applicants are asked to submit a completed application form, along with a delivery schedule / plan by Monday 2nd July 2007.

Successful applications will be announced by mid July 2007 and plots of land will be transferred as soon as practicable after that, so organisations or groups can plan for the inclusion of Second Life delivery within their work from that time onwards. The land will be granted free of all charges until 31st July 2008.

Documentation should be submitted in electronic format to: chris at sleducationuk . net

We would be grateful if you could forward this message onto other colleagues who you think may be interested in applying.

Request for contributions: SL's Konstrukt magazine

From Alexander Kanaev...

... With so many accusations about SL lately, we believe it is important totell the world that Sl has a great potential for creative and innovative ideas. With this in mind, we are trying to devote the next issue of theKONSTRUKT magazine to education.

We are looking for articles on the following topics:
- benefits of SL as an educational platform;
- successful experiments of using SL for educational projects;
- methodology of teaching in a fluid 3D environment;
- tips to institutions establishing or thinking of establishing a presence in Sl;
- the rationale, hopes and lessons learned from institutional "in-world" presence.

Of course this is just a wishlist, and we would be more than happy to listen to what you are willing to share. Ideas, results, problems and advice - anything you would like to share with the community, we are happy to give you a platform to do so. The issue is planned for the 16th of June, and because of limited space, we would ask you to get in touch with us asap.

With best regards
Chaos Venera
Anna Grant

About theKonstrukt: we are a free magazine about SL, available in .PDF format. We are an analytical publication, mostly focusing on WHY things are happening in SL instead of just describing places and events. Visit us in-world or just download your copy at

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Audio Channel: Basic questions answered

From a SL newbie:

"I am looking for someone with great patience to walk a relative newbie through what is involved in streaming audio into a parcel. I'm not looking for a stream that is set up already, but one where I can designate what is being streamed, to include live voice (for presentations, etc...). "

From an Expert

Some info...

Live audio streams must be in mp3 format to play on the music channel; I always test the stream first in iTunes or Media Player.

In SL, you need to have rights to edit your land; look under the About Land menu, media tab. You paste the URl into the audio field, which activates the music player for the parcel.

How the streaming is generated requires a service that can generate the stream (usually something you pay for), and you connect your audio sources via a tool that can do Shoutcast style communication form your audio source to the streaming server. We've done this via just the mike in a computer, via a device that bridges from a telephone (so guests can be on a conference bridge), or Skype.

Some details on our methods from NMC are at

by Alan Levine of NMC

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

"Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund" in SL Raises $1,000 US

In an effort to provide Second Life residents with a means of supporting the "Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund," SL resident, a RL Virginia Tech faculty member, Milosun Czervik (Ross Perkins) initiated an in-world fundraising campaign on April 19th. Hundreds of SL residents have been donating funds via donation boxes and vendors, where they can receive a Hokies t-shirt to wear on their avatar.

After a silent auction, held this past week on EduIsland (see the Chronicle of Higher Education web report), the goal of raising L$300,000 has been reached. The funds have been converted to US dollars via LindeX, yielding $1,085 US.

Once the money has been deposited to a PayPal account and can be accessed, Perkins will write a check for the full amount to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. Next up? Perkins plans to initiate a new campaign to raise more funds for the Memorial Fund and scholarships that have been started in memory of the victims of the April 16 tragedy.

More information about the SL-based memorial can be found at:

Web interoperability

J. Kemp writes, "I always thought Web interoperability was the "killer app" for Second Life. Here are a few others that look very promising:"

Weather data -
Trivia -
Chatbot f/m Web database -
Reuters News and Blog HUD -

I did a quick vid on reference experiments:

See the very last segment on the SLQuery tool.

SLBLD List, Jeremy Kemp, 14MAY07

Wednesday Voice Beta Demo at NMC

Wednesday, May 16
12:30 -1:00 PM PDT/SLT
Live demo of SL's voice features on the beta grid...
If anyone is available, please find your way to NMC Campus (beta grid! of course) Main Welcome Center -- NMC Campus (128,225,42)
SLED Listserv, Alan Levine, 15MAY07

CoSN K12 International Symposium Streaming Video

CoSN has made the entire day of the International Symposium: Using Games and Simulation for Engaged Learning available online in streaming video:

There's an agenda posted on this page, you can generally judge where in the four chapters of video various sessions occur. There's some good stuff in there.

Mark Prensky kicks it off with a keynote based on his new book, "Don't bother me Mom - I'm learning". Lord (David) Putnam gives a good presentation in the afternoon session. Both of these have individual links to their videos from the agenda.

SLED Listserv, Stan Trevena, 15MAY07

Monday, May 14, 2007

Miscelleneous notes from Jeremy Kemp

Check out this 2005 groundbreaking study on ways to maximize learning "transfer" in simulations:

The key phrase is "concreteness fading" or the assertion that REALISM in a simulation is not in itself a key goal. Most helpful is a coordinated movement of the sim from realistic to abstract representations.

Time spent heightening realism in Second Life is often WASTED time. And we should focus more on the juxtaposition of easy verisimilitude (low load) with meaningful abstraction (making principles salient).


I have a script that illustrates the "Flocking" algorithm:

You can make cool groupings of fish, water molecules, etc. Show this to a high school student and they might enjoy the spectacle (concreteness).

But by studying and dissecting the underlying script (abstraction), they might better master the concepts of mass, friction and force.

This paper asserts that students show less errors on future exams if they are presented the concrete representation FIRST followed up by the abstraction.

Second Life is uniquely effective at helping us instructional designers experiment with this technique because of its flexibility.

Take that to your administrators. :-)


SLED Listserv, Jeremy Kemp, 14MAY07

Learning Inquiry Issue 1, Volume 1

The first issue of the Journal Learning Inquiry is now online.

The first issue is centered on the theme "The Futures of Learning"
and has contributions from many leading scholars from an extensive
range of fields.

The Futures of Learning

  • Editorial: Introducing Learning Inquiry
    Jason Nolan and Jeremy Hunsinger
  • Imagining, seeking, inventing: the future of learning and the
    emerging discovery networks
    Gary Natriello
  • Learning from instruction: the case of mathematics
    Erik De Corte
  • Metaphysics and learning
    Helen Verran
  • The paradoxical future of digital learning
    Mark Warschauer
  • Learning, change, and the utopia of play
    Stuart Moulthrop
  • Critical media literacy is not an option
    Douglas Kellner and Jeff Share
  • Implementation of knowledge management in organizations
    Katrin Winkler and Heinz Mandl

SLED List, Jeremy Hunsinger, 14MAY07

Second Life and Learning Object design

From Barry Spencer to the SLED Listserv (13MAY07):

Hi everyone Skipper Abel here and anyone that has met up with me in SL or teleported over to my beach house at Shimmer Island will know that I am looking at SL as an extension to my work in using the Moodle Virtual Learning Environment at Bromley College.
Just lately I have been thinking about how Learning Objects should be in SL. I have created a number of these in RL and used them in my teaching. In fact you will find two of them that I put together using CourseGenie in my C tutorials at the Island, but these are typically web based Learning Objects, and I am thinking that when it comes to SL, I should try to make them use some of the unique features that are available.
So I would like to invite anyone who has the time to pop over to Shimmer Island and try this first attempt out.
I have rezzed the object, a short computer history lesson onto the ground floor of the beach house with a sign board next to it, just click on the screen then stand back and watch. At the moment I am only looking at the media apsects of the project, which uses chat, textures and objects, stuff like navigation will come along later. If you do have time to come over and take a look, I would of course appreciate any feedback please, an IM would be fine , just let me have your impressions, the whole thing only lasts just over 4 minutes.

ART and Web 2.0

Anthony Fontana would like to invite all of you to participate in his research:

There are three perceived art experiences in Second Life. The first is recreation of the real; mimicry to the point that a work of art may be purchased, taken home, and hung above a virtual couch. The second is that of a performance or happening in which the audience and experience become part of the artwork.

The third is that which is built by both the artist and the audience. Web 2.0-type collaborations and common space peer production are arguably the most important phenomenon happening in Second Life or on the internet. One good example would be Machinima, or machine-cinema, in which director and actors must work together to create a narrative.

In my own recent artwork, I seek to engage residents interactively, allowing them to add to the work I have started. How this affects meaning, who "owns" the work, and how the collaboration between artist and audience is valued remain vital questions.

Please visit the interactive exhibit opening this Thursday, May 17th at the Heldscalla Foundation.

3 Opening receptions: Thursday, May 17th at 10pm BST. 9pm EST. And another at 9pm PDT.

For more information visit:

SLED Listserv, Anthony Fontana, 12MAY07