Saturday, July 7, 2007

SL Seal of Excellence?

by Allan Sturm

Editor's note: this post follows a very spirited and lengthy discussion on the SLED listserv about a suggested "stamp of approval" on SL-based educational materials.

There appears to be three camps of thought in this discussion about seals of excellence.

Just for fun, I thought I'd share what I have been reading "between the lines"... and I threw in a few perspectives just to help liven it up.

UniDiversity of Second Life

1) You can't tell me I'm the same as everyone else. (don't label me
or my efforts)
2) I promote diversity over similarity.
3) [Pretty much] toss out the old for the new. (anti-regime)
4) Don't tell me what to do or how to behave when [my vision of] the
future is so bright. (risk favorable)
5) Everyone is a peer. (the ladder of success is a pipe dream)
6) Everyone can excel if just given the opportunity or proper
[individual] setting.
7) Once a thief, not a thief forever. (if we could just 'reach' them)

UniVeristy of Second Life

1) I am more similar to others than I am different than everyone
else. (my labels define me and my efforts)
2) I tend to group over tending to separate.
3) The old works [well enough] so why reinvent it? (if it ain't
broke, don't fix it)
4) Give me guidelines or rules so that I know what to do and how to
behave. (Risk adverse)
5) I have inferiors, peers, and superiors. (ladder of success is a
6) Not everyone can or wants to excel regardless of opportunity or
7) Once a thief, always a thief. (odds are high that they won't change)

UniReality of Second Life

1) I am similar and different than others. (Labels only define me or
others as much as I allow them)
2) I am in groups and not in groups.
3) I learn from the old ways and adapt them to the new ways. ("If the
dog don't hunt, don't take him hunting anymore.")
4) Growth isn't risk averse, yet being risky most of the time will
kill me or my efforts.
5) Everyone is a peer and everyone has a purpose or a role. (play
well with others)
6) Provide opportunity and setting - some will excel, others will
fall to the wayside.
7) Once bitten, twice shy.

Think about baseball:

Team UniDiversity gets us the movie "Bad News Bears".

Team UniVersity gets us established and hard to modify Major League Baseball.

Team UniReality would be able to see that the Japanese are better baseball players than Americans, so why not examine how they do it and adapt? (adapt is the key word - keep what's working and update what's not working)

Seals of Excellence:

UniDiversity supports either no labeling at all or waiting a long time before anyone could possibly label our efforts in Second Life.

UniVersity wants approval of their efforts and authority to act in Second Life - asap.

UniReality would suggest a blend of UniDiversity and UniVersity - the time will come that labels will be appropriate and that these labels won't necessarily describe worthiness....

I was once told a disturbing fact(oid) about the military's doctors (in the past or present, I don't remember). Doctors must have an equivalent "seal of excellence" yet as the story goes, most military doctors were "C" students in college - apparently their medical classes??. If this is true, being given their version of a 'seal of excellence" (in the form of being allowed to practice medicine) doesn't mean Jack.

For those of you in UniDiversity, have a great (whatever you would feel comfortable describing it as)!

For those of you in UniVersity, have a great weekend!

For those of you in UniReality, have a great (well, it is the weekend so why not call it that?)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Guidelines for SL Etiquette?

by oliver audina

The French NGO/Association "Les Humains Associés" (The Associated Humans - have developped a
special Netiquette Charter for their Île Verte island and Second Life.

It's a development and adaptation of their Nethic Charter for bloggers :

French version here :

As you can see, everything is on a Wiki, so that everyone is welcome to
participate and cooperate in the evolution of those Charters. ;-)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Architectural Education Conference

by Kurt Rehder

You can now watch CtrlShift07, streaming live on our island "Lebenswelt" Please see our Website for information about the conference.


by Jeffrey Bardzell

Shaowen Bardzell and I have both published on Gor from the point of view of
HCI, aesthetics, and experience. We have a full paper accepted at HCI2007,
but the conference hasn¹t happened yet and so the proceedings are not yet
online. Here is the reference:

Bardzell, S., and Bardzell, J. (2007, accepted). Docile Avatars: Aesthetics,
Experience, and Sexual Interaction in Second Life. HCI 2007, Lancaster, UK.

Incidentally, Shaowen also presented a paper of SL BDSM visuality at the
Sandbox Symposium (SGGRAPH) last year.

There's also a short version of the Docile Avatars paper we did 18 months
ago available, but it was very much a first effort. It's better to read the
2007 full version. More work is forthcoming.

As others have noted, Goreans tend to arouse low quality commentary, much
like politics and other hot-button topics. Better to see for yourself,
because while there is lots to like/dislike about Gor, you won't see much of
it if you just read polarizing attacks/defenses.

Symposium on Creativity in Second Life

by Alan Levine

Below is info on the NMC's upcoming (August 12-18) "Symposium on
Creativity in Second Life" -- we are experimenting with running a
full fledged conference entirely in SL, with everything except the
airline hassles and tacky hotel buffets with the dreaded conference
chicken ;-)

What we are NOT seeking are lectures or PowerPoints to passive
audiences. We are setting up sessions in studio form, and are looking
for people that are interested in setting either guided or
independent learning activities, or active participatory sessions
that can help someone learn how to do, build, or create in Second
Life. We are working with some of the top builders, artists, and
performers in Second Life to share their craft as well. And for those
that just want to share some objects, tools, etc, there will be an
expo hall as well.

Proposals for presentations for the Symposium on Creativity in
Second Life, the first in a series of NMC conferences and events
exploring virtual worlds of all kinds, are being solicited through
Friday, July 20, 2007. This live online event will be held August
12-18, 2007, and all events will be held in the virtual world of
Second Life.

For full details, see

Please add to TSL History Wiki

by Barry Joseph

We are working to finalize the educator's component of the history of the teen grid, which we hope to use at an upcoming presentation. Please review and make sure your work is properly represented. Thanks!

Give Education a Second LIfe

by R. Kowaney

Help us create a vision for CHOICE in education… And WIN AN iPOD!

We are a group of graduate students from Pepperdine University composed of K12, Higher Ed and Corporate educators who want to make a difference in learning. We want to empower educators of all ages to give learners meaningful experiences through CHOICE.

Please join us in Second Life at the NMC Campus on the "Quad" at Teaching 2 on Sunday, July 8 at 5:00 pm (SLT/PST) or Monday, July 9 at 8:00 pm (SLT/PST) for a dynamic session of discussion and reflection on CHOICE in learning – "Give Education a Second Life". The event will feature an interview between renowned ed tech blogger Steve Hargadon and ed tech provocateur Dr. Gary Stager.

Link to site:
For event details, go to

You could also WIN AN iPOD...
We want you to help us create a vision for CHOICE in education. Share your idea of best practices that you have used with learners in your environment to empower learners with CHOICE… Or create something...
You could change someone's perspective of learning forever!
For contest details, go to

The NMC Campus Teachers Buzz will convene at the Monday session (8pm SLT/PDT) so we would like to invite regular Buzz attendees to stick around for some follow-up discussion.

Help us create a vision for CHOICE in education.
We hope to see you on the NMC Campus on July 8 or 9!

Qualitative survey of didactical approaches in SL

by Martin Leidl

We are currently holding a seminar ³Exploration of the virtual 3-D learning-space Second Life² as part of the curriculum of the division General pedagogics (focussing on "Bildung" and technology) at the Technical University Darmstadt (Germany). In the context of this seminar we want to analyze collaboratively the different pedagogical approaches and concepts within SL. Different techniques of qualitative research like interviews and visual methods shall be applied. Our results will be published under the terms of the creative commons license (data-anonymization if required).

We would kindly like to ask you for participation in the role of an interview-partner. The duration of the interview will take approximately 25-60 minutes, depending on you. There will be no strict list of questions, only some central questions will be asked. In preparation of this interview, we would like to ask you to take a sl-snapshot of a situation of your educational
offer. The image will than be a basis for discussion in-world.

Are there any questions left? Please email us!
For further Information please visit: .

Let us introduce ourselves:
We, the heads of the seminar are Antje Müller (SL: Antje Vilotta) and Martin
Leidl (SL: Toney Maloney). We both are members of the Research Training
Group E-Learning ( The participants of the seminar are Magister and Master students with different major fields of study.


by Art Fossett

I'm giving a talk later this week at the European LAMS Conference in London about the use of IMS Learning Design to manage learning activities in Second Life.

When worlds collide: learning activity management for avatars

(LAMS = Learning Activity Management System - an open source system from Australia).
I'm happy to talk from a purely theoretical perspective (err... that's all I can do actually!), but if there is anyone out there actually doing anything like this for real, then I'd be happy to mention your work.

ELVEN Institute's New HQ - Opening Ceremony!

by Craig Cunningham

You are cordially invited to attend the official ribbon cutting ceremony
and celebration of ELVEN Institute's new headquarters in Cybrary City
II. Music, champaigne, dancing under the stars.

Welcome: Puglet Dancer and Dewey Jung

Date: July 15
Time: 6:00 SLT
Map coordinates: Cybrary City II 217, 200, 38
Dress: semi-formal "elven" attire
Everyone welcome!

Metaverse Roadmap

by Theodore Ubhaus

Looking for holistic foresight into the future of 3-D Internet?

I recommend reading the Metaverse Roadmap...

Mirror Worlds & Second Earth

by Theodore Ubhaus

This article presents the aspect of Mirror Worlds in regards to the Metaverse...
Published by MIT

Investigation of the merge of technologies such as Second Life with Google Earth have been moving forward.