Saturday, June 23, 2007

NMC Campus Roundup

by Alan Levine

The schedule at NMC Campus is ramping up after a slight lull following the exhaustive schedule of our recent conference in Indianapolis (see below for presentation/audio links). Some things coming up in the next weeks at NMC include:

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June 25, 6:00 PM SLT/PDT ( Take part on a literature class with Desideria Stockton.
Desi has invited the buzz to her class, where you can engage in the activities from a student perspective. Join her at the Women of Brewster Place classroom Quiricosta (219,41,502)

We are looking for your ideas for future meetings of the NMC Campus Teachers Buzz:

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Next Week: Call for Proposals: Building and Creating in Virtual Worlds
NMC is planning an in-world conference August 14-17 that is designed to provide hands on workshops in skills of building, scripting, avatar design, creating media in Second Life-- no lectures/presentations, but more like a studio class. Details are still being planned, but look for next week a call for proposals for sessions.

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July 13-20 2007 NMC Summer Conference Poster Sessions Reprise
Like we did successfully last year, we will bring into Second Life the poster presentations from the recent summer conference, and schedule times when the presenters will be present to talk about their projects.

From last year:

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Presentations, Audio, Photos from the 2007 NMC Summer Conference

Well over 25% of the attendees of the 2007 NMC Summer Conference wore their Second Life avatar names on their badges, and many of us met up in RL for the first time. We apologize for some of the challenges in trying to stream the live audio (a future blog post!), but all of the ones we planned to stream were recorded and are available as well as the presentation files.

Hit the Ground Running: Making the Most of Your Second Life preconference workshop by Nick Noakes / Corwin Carillon and Heidi Trotta / Heidi Teecee

Leveraging the Affordances, Minimizing the Barriers of Virtual Worlds (panel discussion)

View From Second Life Trenches: Are You a Pioneer or a Settler? (Cynthia Calongne / Lyr Lobo)

Pleasure, Play, Participation and Promise: Socio-emotional Dimensions of Digital Culture Which are Transforming the Shape of New Media Literacies (Angela Thomas / Anya Ixchel)

Building OneCleveland in Second Life presentation by Case Western Reserve University

Second Life at MIT presentation by Phil Long/Radar Radio

Recap From Second Life: 2007 NMC Summer Conference (late night discussion):

Fantasy Regnant Opening Keynote by Edward Castronova

All Conference Photos

theKONSTRUKT#11 special education

by Alexander Kanaev

A summer present or something we have really wanted to do for a long time... a special issue of theKONSTRUKT devoted to education. Why? Because we are all involved in it, in a way or another. Experiences from successful experiments, thoughts and opinions... download it and see for yourself!

Big thanks to everyone who has contributed to it. I know there are way more experiments going on, and you are always welcome to contact either me or Anna Grant (to send in your thoughts/ideas/announcements.

Table of Contents
From the Editors - By Anna Grant & Chaos Venera
Can vocational education learning outcomes be achieved in SL? - Glenda
McPherson & Malcolm Jolly
SL Best Practices in Education - by Fleep Tuque
Monthly centerfold –Show and Tell - By Maddox Dupont
Establishing a Professional Presence - by Beth Ritter-Guth
Moving Beyond the Prim: Literature Alive! & Second Life - by Beth
SL and education... What education? - by Chaos Venera

W3C TAG considering identification in Virtual Worlds

fwd by Art Fossett

from Pete Johnston @ eFoundations...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

efsym2007 revisited

by Art Fossett

For those that are interested, Pete Johnston has now written a longer blog entry on the eFoundations blog summarising the discussion at the Virtual worlds, real learning, revisited in-world discussion event on Tuesday

BBC Book of the Week : Second Lives

by Graham Stanley
BBC Radio 4's 'Book of the Week' this week is 'Second Lives' by Tim Guest

Second Lives

By Tim Guest, abridged by Jane Marshall, read by Paul Panting

A revelatory journey through the electronic looking glass of alternative life online, where 35 million people around the globe abandon reality for a virtual life.

In these computer-generated worlds, players can create a new self: with the click of a mouse they select eye colour, face shape, height, even wings.

They can buy virtual land and build houses on it, go shopping in virtual malls and buy virtual haute couture, make and sell works of art, earn virtual money and take part in a virtual marriages.

Design education by RMIT in SL - Short on-line article

by Bruce Sommerville

There is a short and quite positive article on education in Second Life in the Higher Education supplement of "The Australian" newspaper. It focuses mostly on the use of SL in Design courses at RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology). Here's the link:

Multimedia Class in Second Life - Video Conference Request

by Stan Trevena

I have a request that I would like to put out there to other teachers using Second Life with students (college or high school). I would like to set up some video conferences between our students and others using Second Life. Read on for details if interested.

I have a teacher in my district that is teaching a summer school class in multimedia over the next five weeks. These students are the first formal class to use the Second Life platform in our district (up until now the students have all been hand selected by teachers to participate, and most activities have taken place at night). These students will be working on completing the aquarium project on our Pacific Rim Exchange Island. The class meets from 3:00pm – 6:00pm PDT every day

Links to blog articles on the aquarium project:

Next Friday they will be travelling to the real Monterey Bay Aquarium and taking pictures and video for their displays on the island. The class is scheduled late in the day so we have some overlap with Kyoto for video conferences and joint projects. Tomorrow the students from Kyoto and Modesto will be interviewing each other via video conference. It should be interesting, as the Kyoto students they will be talking to have limited English language skills.

I have loaned a Polycom video conferencing unit to this class for the duration of the summer. They are very interested in reaching out to others who are exploring Second Life for education, specifically students if possible. But they would also like to talk to anyone with experience about how Second Life is used for education. Their minds are open at this point, and they know that their experiences this summer are going to help determine how many others might get to participate in the future outside of the exchange program.

If you might be interested in a video conference between 3:00pm and 6:00pm PDT with a group of students using Second Life, please email me at trevena.s -at - monet k12 ca us and we can discuss the details.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Virtual worlds, real learning, revisited

by Art Fossett

A very quick note to say that a transcript of the event is available. See the brief blog entry at

and the transcript at

We'll probably do a longer blog entry, trying to summarise the discussion, in a day or so on the eFoundations blog.

SLanguages 2007 Update

by Gavin Dudeney

The First Annual Second Life Languages Symposium (SLanguages 2007) is now full and ready to go this Saturday, June 23rd from 10:45 CET.

For more information on the symposium, please see:

If you're coming along, we look forward to seeing you on the day.

And if you're not able to come, or registered too late to get into the group, please note that all the presentations will be archived on EduNation for a month after the event. If you go to the island archive area you'll be able to watch the presentations and listen to the original audio. The island archive area is at: EduNation 178, 40, 22.

Gaming and Learning in SL

by Evonne Heyning

We are creating a cross-language gamespace that includes spaces that explore biomimicry, piezoelectricity, alternative energy sources, propulsion systems and self-generating batteries. There's also a dance floor for generating avatar power! We build these systems RL and will be featuring some of our latest art installations inworld before they are available for public viewing. We've got another month of development ahead before we start inviting the masses but you're welcome to come visit us at AMO Island anytime. There are a handful of skysphere labs and offices available for researchers who want to do experimental work in life sciences, physics or energy systems and we are accepting proposals for space use up to 500 prims.

*in kenzo*

Is the web a good place to learn?

by Gary Hayes
An example - an interview with Stephen Fry on the internet - VideoJug (Life Explained on Film)

Education UK Island in Second Life announces successful educational land grant scheme awards

by Chris Eggplant

We are delighted to announce the results of the Education UK island 2007/08 educational land grant project scheme.

Overall we were delighted by the number of applications and working through them was a tough process. We also decided that after reading through some of the applications, that not all of them were reliant on having an actual large land grant to achieve their objectives. Therefore, for those projects which met our criteria, we decided to extend the initative and offer awards of a free three story office space for an academic year.

The successful projects are:

FREE Office Space:

  • University of Hull: Analysis of Virtual Transdisciplinary Spaces
  • Association of Physical Educators: CPD Centre for Practitioner
  • Staffordshire University: Involving learners in pedagogic research with Second Life

Land Grants:

  • University of the West of England: The Research Observatory at Second Life
  • University of Derby: Blended learning revisited
  • Mid Cheshire College: National Teaching and Learning Change Programme Project [NTLCP] [QIA Pilot Project]
  • King George V College: Virtual tools for real learning
  • Literature Alive: The British literature classroom

We have setup a programme office on Education UK Island, which will continue to develop. In this office we have outlined in more detail what each of the above projects is setting out to do, what they hope to achieve and other relevant information.

Each project has also been offered a free website, with a variety of tools/software to enable them to keep a record of their journey which can be viewed via the programme office.

Over the next week, we will be transfering land and grant monies to the projects to enable them to initiate their projects.

Background to the land grants projects can be found at:

Colleagues are reminded that applications for our free UK community development land grants programme closes on Monday 2nd July 2007.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Recent articles about SL education in the Media

by Ross Perkins

Film students to get chance to shoot virtualreality []

Second Earth [MIT Review]
The World Wide Web will soon be absorbed into the World Wide Sim: an immersive, 3-D visual environment that combines elements of social virtual worlds such as Second Life and mapping applications such as Google Earth. What happens when the virtual and real worlds collide?

Real teaching in virtual world [Financial Times]

NASA launching to outer space via cyberspace []

Educational Uses of Second Life

by various contributors

Educational Uses of Second Life

It's a wiki ... so be a good community member and update it if/when you get a chance!

Video - The Next 50 Years

by Stan Trevena

This should start some discussion:

SL Article from Japan Times

by Stan Trevena

The article in the Japan Times is now out. Similar to Japan Journal, a little longer and a few extra things.

This is all still pretty new in Japan, so these are a few of the first articles there on Second Life, especially in reference to education in SL.

Second Worlds Article

by Chris Collins

it's one of the best articles I've read in a while.

Gaming and Learning in SL (Italian)

by Franco L. Fabbri

We intend to create in SL an education space related to physics and other sciences in Italian-language . It is a project of INFN ( Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare ) and ENEA ( Ente Nazionale per l¹ Energie Alternative) - two of the most important Italian scientific institutes (one dedicated to basic research in particle, astro-particles and nuclear physics, the other dedicated to applied science and search for new energy sources)-.

The project, called ³La Fisica entra in Second Life² ( Physic goes to Second Life) will be based on the contents of Italian successful educational sites and others.

An inside island will be dedicated to a scientific role game. Enrolled resident will re-discovery and re-built the history of modern physics, Space-time-controllers will guide the community to reproduce the correct historical events. Role-players will get/pay credits as they built right-wrong situations.

Credits will be changeable in Linden$-The project is in evaluation by founding agency (Italian Minister of University and Research).

Showcasing Australasian Educational Projects in Second Life event

by Sean FitzGerald

You are all warmly invited to attend an event Jo Kay (aka jokay Wollongong) and myself (aka Sean McDunnough) are running as part of the Australian Flexible Learning Framework's E-learning Networks June 19-20 Online Conference -

The event is titled 'In-World Presentation: Showcasing Australasian Educational Projects in Second Life'.

Time: 6.00pm - 7.30pm, Wednesday June 20th, AEST/Sydney time (1.00AM PDT/SLT). (see your time - ).

Location: The amphitheatre at Jo and Sean's Virtual Meeting Space -

  • 6.00pm - 6.05pm: Sean FitzGerald (Sean McDunnough) - Introduction & Overview
  • 6.05pm - 6.15pm: Jo Kay (jokay Wollongong) - Sean & Jo's Projects
  • 6.15pm - 6.25pm: Glenda McPherson (GippsTAFE Gonzales) & Malcolm Jolly (Glenda Arrow) - The GippsTAFE Project
  • 6.25pm - 6.35pm: Kathryn Greenhill (Emerald Dumont) - Australian Libraries in Second Life (video)
  • 6.35pm - 6.45pm: Aaron Griffiths (Isa Goodman) - SL Educational Projects in NZ
  • 6.45pm - 6.55pm: Gary Hayes (Gary Hazlitt) - AFTRS & LAMP (video)
  • 6.55pm - 7.05pm: Lindy McKeown (Decka Mah) - Action Learning on Terra Incognita
  • 7.05pm - 7.15pm: Greg More (Dynamo Zanetti) - RMIT's Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory (video)
  • 7.15pm - 7.25pm: Alan Levine (CDB Barkley) - New Medium Consortium and Aussie Trip
  • 7.25pm - 7.30pm: Jo Kay (jokay Wollongong) - Wrap-up
More info:

It's our first in-world event, so it should be interesting!

We hope to see you there! :-)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sim in-a Box

by Sean FitzGerald

You think holodecks are cool? How about Sim in-a Box?

National experts to keynote SLCC Education Track

by Jeremy Kemp

Two of the nation's leading experts on technology for teaching and learning have generously agreed to keynote this year's SLCC Education Workshop, August 24-26 in Chicago, IL.

Dr. Connie M. Yowell is Director of Education in the MacArthur Foundation's Program on Human and Community Development, focusing on grants relating to public education, and on the implications for education of young people's use of digital media. "The MacArthur Foundation launched its five-year, $50 million digital media and learning initiative in 2006 to help determine how digital technologies are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize,
and participate in civic life." See:

Dr. Larry Johnson serves as Chief Executive Officer of the New Media Consortium, an international consortium of more than 200 universities, colleges, museums, research centers, and technology companies. NMC Virtual Worlds helps learning-focused organizations with leased virtual space, community support and design services. Larry is both known to the Second Life education community and an avid evangelist for the educational use of SL. See:
The education team is reviewing 36 submissions and hopes to find a presentation opportunity for each one. We are working on logistics for the RL venue, the in-world venue and also possible lead-in events the week before Chicago, designed specifically for educators.
Additional slots for SLCC Education Track sponsors are still available. Contact Dr. Daniel Livingstone (Buddy Sprocket) or Jeremy Kemp (Jeremy Kabumpo) for more information.
Blog Entry:

Mitch Kapor: 3D Internet is on the brink of mainstream

by Sean FitzGerald

From the article, "The industry around virtual worlds, also referred to as the 3-D Internet, is chaotic and messy but on the brink of mainstream adoption, said Mitch Kapor, chairman of the Linden Labs and PC industry pioneer." Follow link to read more.

On Celestial Mechanics, World Clocks, and Event Planning

by Bruce Sommerville
An effective world time system, useful for planning events on a global scale (as we SLEDers must), should have at least the three following functions: a world timezone map, a forward planning capability, and the capacity to show the time in different parts of the world simultaneously. However I have yet to find one that does all three satisfactorily. What follows is a brief review of four available on the Web (for PC/Windows operating system):
1) EarthWatch (ElanWare Inc.): This downloadable freeware shows the time zones, the paths of the sun and moon, and the night shadow, over a map of the world, in real time. An almanac panel is displayed below the map. EarthWatch can be downloaded for free, although a payment of $25 is canvassed.
Strengths: It is intuitively easy to view and understand, since the earth is shown moving imperceptibly slowly from west to east, while the sun remains stationary in the centre of the screen. Areas of daylight and dark are very clearly delineated. The location of several hundred cities can be shown at once. A configuration menu accommodates forward planning, as it can be set at any future date, time, or location. Moreover, a 'fast forward' option enables the motion to be accelerated, in small increments, so the changes in the time and shadow over various parts of the earth can viewed quickly for a given period of time, past or future. The date in different east-west hemispheres is also shown by two bars across the top of the map. This is excellent for forward planning of events.
Weaknesses: While the program shows the local time quite accurately, the exact time at other parts of the earth is not shown simultaeously. The time, approximate to the nearest hour, in other time zones can only be obtained by referring to a time scale of 00-23 running accross the bottom of the screen. However, since the minutes of the hour is generally the same world-wide, the minutes can be read off one's own local time, and added on to the hour read off the scale, thus giving the exact time in another time zone. Although one's local clock can be adjusted very easily for daylight saving time, a mental recalculation must still be made when reading off the time in other parts of the planet not on daylight saving time (that is, one may have to add or subtract an hour to estimate their time). No calendar is available.
2) Tech-Pro World Clock: This can be downloaded for a free trial period, or the basic model purchased for $19.99. This is another world time zone map, showing a night shadow moving in real time across the face of the earth, also showing the local time and date in large lettering at the top. A year calendar can be viewed.
Strengths: Selected cities can be shown on the map, along with their concurrent times and dates. Thus the time and date in various parts of the world can be seen simultaneously. Daylight saving time adjustments are handled automatically. The map is visually attractive, and shows nightime cities 'lit up', based on NASA photos.
Weaknesses: Only one local time, as read from your own system clock, is available; that is, the time cannot be altered to switch the local time to another city. Furthermore, the time and date cannot be moved backward or forward, so the program has no real forward planning capability. Time zones are not shown. This program is excellent for seeing your own time, and the time in other parts of the world, 'now', and where it is daylight or dark, but is not very useful as a forward time planning tool, unless 'now' is the same time of day as when you plan to hold your event.
3) Kybtec World Clock: This program can be downloaded for free, but registering the clock for future updates will attract a once only payment of $24.95. This is a world clock, in contrast to a time zone map or sun clock map. One can set up as many clocks, set to different time zones, as one wishes. The clocks are shown as part of the desktop. Monthly and yearly calendars can be viewed.
Strengths: A wide variety of colours, sizes, and clock faces, digital and analogue, can be selected. The time settings for each clock you wish to set up are chosen from a very comprehensive menu. The clocks can be given the name of a city, or any preferred name ( e.g. 'Second Life', set to Pacific Daylight Time). A list of clocks can be created, and any or all shown on screen by selecting from a menu. Thus the clocks you wish to view on your desktop can be easily changed. A time conversion tool is also available, which enables the user to set a different date and time for any location, whereupon the corresponding time in other locations is shown immediately (this does not affect the time shown on the desktop clocks). This is a highly accurate and simple time conversion facility, excellent for forward planning.
Weaknesses: There is no time zone map or sun clock, so a graphical illustration of world time is not available. The Help menu requires some interpretation.
4) World Time Zone. This is a website, providing a variety of time and clock functions and services. The homepage consists of a world map, showing the different time zones, and the present time in all zones simultaneously. Links are provided to other pages containing a sun clock map, a world clock (in the form of a table) listing the concurrent times in many cities around the world, a call planner, and an interactive map for forward planning, which shows the time in various major cites on a map for any future date or time. A monthly calendar can be viewed with the call planner.
Strengths: The tools offered are excellent for forward planning of events, and seeing the results on a world map. This one has everything, and it is free to view; downloadable versions are offered for a fee, but it is unclear which features are included.
Weaknesses: Being a website, and offering a free service, it is peppered with advertisements, and thus is not very visually appealing.
As for Second Life, many fine clocks and watches are available, but none seem to have effective world time planning capabilities. The 'Calendar Cog' recently mentioned on this list will poll a Google calendar periodically, and provide a reminder of upcoming events via the SL chat window, but does not show the calendar itself.
In general, the choice of a good timepiece and calendar is difficult, and is a matter of individual needs and preferences. I use a combination of (1) EarthWatch, (3) Kybtec World Clock, and Google calendars for event reminders. If other SLEDers have found the perfect world clock, map, and calendar, then please let us (all) know. Those SLEDers with Apple Macs may be better served in this regard, and perhaps they can post their thoughts and findings on Celestial Mechanics, World Clocks, and Event Planning.

Live from SL to Geneva filmed from Sydney: and other Mixed Realities

by Gary Hayes

Something that may be of interest is this event captured as part of a BBC Radio 3 recording run by Paul Bennun (a LAMP mentor) who is spending a week locked in his flat capturing the views of Howard Rheingold, William Gibson (and many others - including me ;-) about life via IP....

As part of this I built him a nice lodge on the AFTRS island to spend a week in interviewing these folk and managed to actually film an event and YouTub'ise it here (check out the question at the start of Part 3!! ;-) A unedited film I did of Paul Bennun on the AFTRS Island presenting live via Second Life to a European Broadcasting Union Conference on Thurs...

Part 1 (walk-around intro) -
Part 2 (formal presentation about Radio/Social Net and Virtual worlds) -

Didn't have time to edit 'best of' but they have authenticity this way and the 'shakey' camera work was deliberate by the way!!

Also for those who are interested in other LAMP mixed reality projects you can find some here:
Emergence (live theatre and second life in parallel) -
Inworld (a live comedy magazine programme from SL) - pre-dating and also featuring the same avatar Starr Sonic! -
City Games - (a parallel, collaborative live narrative quest in real tourist hubs in the world mapped to others playing in the same virtual spaces) -
Thursday's Fictions (based on the ABC show, this is a way to explore the TF world while the programme is on) - to be posted

Got a question about SLED? Search for the archives!

by Sean FitzGerald

the archives -

which can be searched using this -

Where can we practice voice?

by Eloise Pasteur shows a map of the currently voice-enabled sims (in response to a question about where residents could practice using the voice option).

New Land Owner Looking for a Good Guide

by various contributors

QUESTION: Now that [we have] some islands, I need to get up to speed on setting land use. The SL guide is sadlylacking on specifics. Can someone point me to some useful info?

  • I have all land on my island group owned.
  • I then turn off everything for strangers, i.e no building, no scripts, no push, for everyone, nada.
  • Then in my group settings I set up roles, and give the people in those roles varying levels of permission to script, build or push.
  • This works very well, and stops random people coming along running intensive scripts and building giant elephants.
  • Just one way of doing it, the group roles are excellent, very comprehensive,

What I did was to make the portal/telehub area a main area that is open to everyone. That parcel is rather small but its left open so anyone can attend an event or visit, like today's Academic CIO meeting, without having to become part of a group.

A portion of the island is dedicated to experimentation, etc.. So that part of the island, that parcel, albeit a rather big parcel, is restricted to a group that is open to join. The remainder of the island is parceled off for specific projects. Once a project is dedicated to a parcel the project leader is given control of the parcel and can set up access as s/he wishes. The remaining parcels that are currently not assigned have been access controlled to a different group that one can only be invited to and is reserved for those involved in the project.

The set up took some thought and planning, but it seems to be working out so far.

FROM ROSS PERKINS (Milosun Czervik)

Unless there is an instructional need to do it, I would say making it public right away is not in your best interest. Anyway, it's summer - and it's likely that faculty won't be needing it ASAP. It's more likely that your university's public relations engine is more active in mid-August than it is at this time of year.

I would make at least two groups for [your group] - one public (potentially set so anyone could join) and one private (not listed, and by invitation only). You do not need more than this as member roles can be sufficiently controled within each group. Some might argue for only one group, but to me this simplifies things a bit, and it allows the private members to interact on group chat channel without broadcasting to all others.

For the private group, I'd say that this would include all faculty and staff at your university actively involved in sim developement. WIthin this group, there may be just one or two who can invite others, some who can build, some who can edit land, etc. As Chris notes, the permission settings are comprehensive and quite useful.

The public group could be by invitation only (uni students only), or indeed L$0 for anyone to join. The folks there could be limited to ONLY getting group notices, etc.

The management rights at EduIsland were not set up well at the beginning, so we've learned a lot of lessons from this (though the griefing has been limited, fortunately).