Thursday, July 19, 2007

Virtual campus could aid in emergency

by Pathfinder Linden

The University of New Orleans has a plan for keeping instruction going and holding onto its students in the event of another Hurricane Katrina-like disaster, and it involves holding classes in the online virtual world "Second Life."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Diversity Role Play

by Alan Levine

I did a little activity with colleagues at Johns Hopkins as a demo for a university diversity committee-- I played the part of a candidate for a position, and the rather conservative hiring committee has an adverse reaction to me being "furry" ;-)

The voice feature in the FirstLook client helped a lot to play this out-- audio issues prevented a recording, but we have pictures and the script:

Avatar as Communication

by Orion Pozo

The Avatar as Communication by Dr. Angela Thomas (Anya Ixchel) is a slide set

I found quite interesting on the topic of avatar creation. The quote that caught me up is in slide 12: "The avatar is a direct telephone line to the soul."

Phila Inquirer

by Beth Ritter-Guth

Literature Alive! and inworld librarians had a nice write up in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

German language introduction to learning in virtual worlds

by Willy Hegel

one of my (german language) presentations about learning in virtual
worlds has been recorded by the friendly techies from Technical
University of Munich using Lecturnity. It's available at:

...thought it might be useful for some of the german speaking members
of this list.

P.S.: Realplayer required

Invite (event on 19 July, 12 pm SLT)

by Mark Mullis

Join other educators and friends for a gathering on MCLC 1 and 2 on Thursday
19th July:

We hope the evening to pan out as follows:

(But we dont like structure so be warned:)

12pm pst (8pm UK time) gathering at MCLC2 for networking and sharing - take a look at the bits and pieces the Middlesbrough city learning centre have been putting together for teacher courses.

12.45pm pst (8.45pm) Discussion at 'The pit' follow the yellow brick road.(Our project focus is on Learning and not education - looking at re-imagining education in light of what we now know about learning and using the new emerging tools and technologies. This will steer our discussion)

1.30 pst (9.30pm) Party on MCLC1 - you need to be there!

(IM Marc Nomura)

Sl Problem-basedlearning (24 July at 2 pm UK time)

by Maggi Savin-Baden

Some of us in the UK are interested in developing innovative learning in
Second Life, particularly Problem-based learning

If any of you want to join us we are meeting on Coventry University at
2pm (UK time) Tuesday 24th July on Coventry University Island

Library developments in Second Life (survey)

by John Kirriemuir

My name is John Kirriemuir - or in SL, I'm Silversprite Helsinki.

I'm doing a survey on real-world libraries (public, academic, specalist, private) that have been recreated, or branched out, into Second Life. Some of the results will get presented at the 2007 ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium next week (come to Chicago!), others will be summarised into an open publication that will link from this list.

Are you involved in developing or running such a library in SL? If so, I'd appreciate the answers to a few questions. Please be aware that answers may end up in a presentation or open summary, so please don't put in anything you don't want made public:

- What was the reason for making a library in SL? Why was it set up? Who is, or was, the target audience?
- What functionality is in the library i.e. what kind of interactive "stuff" have you put into it?
- What resources (person hours) were needed to develop it, and was this official work time or self/hobby time?
- Do you have a funding source, or official sanction?
- How "busy" has the structure or facility been, e.g. for a meeting space, how many meetings have taken place and how many people have attended?
- Have there been real-world impacts, e.g. a person started using a library in the real world because they encountered it in SL?

Any response would be much appreciated.

Please send responses to [john -at- silversprite (dot) com] - I'll collate and link to a summary from here in a while.

NMC Conference Posters on the Green July 20-27

by Alan Levine

For the second year we are bringing to Second Life the poster presentations from the 2007 NMC Summer Conference, held this year in Indianapolis.

We hope to have all 23 posters represented, including "Blueprint For an Integrated Learning and Portfolio System", "Can You Hear Me Now? Pilot Study of Classroom Recording Technologies", "Digital Asset Management: Beyond the Repository", "OpenCourseWare: It's Not Just MIT Anymore", "Using VRML and Flash to Teach Three Dimensional Coordinate Space", "You Don't Know Meningitis: Injecting Interactivity Into Health Education", and much more. Each poster will have information available on notecards, as well as links to relevant web sites

The posters will be on display July 20-27 on the main NMC Campus sim, on the grassy areas surrounding the Gonick Amphitheater (NMC Campus 113,100,26,, If you have not joined one of the NMC Campus groups, you must do so ahead of time at (necessary for teleporting to many of our sims).

We invite you to join us this Friday July 20, for the opening, 1:00-3:00 PM SLT/PDT (check local time to meet the presenters in world. Strap on your headsets and the FirstLook client, and you can talk via in world audio- NMC Campus is audio enabled.

During the week, we will also provide audio, video, and slideshows form the conference on the screens at the Gonick. Full info at

The word is there will be a version of the People's Choice award winner "Seeing Sideways" poster which in Indy was displayed as an actual, RL refrigerator (psss

Any questions about this event IM myself or Ninmah Ash. We hope you can join us Friday or any time next week "on the green". Article

by Douglas Danforth

The July 6 issue (Issue 29) of The Avastar ( has a nice piece on Princeton's SL University initiative as well as a brief blurb on other Universities in SL.

A must watch new machinima from Robbie Dingo

by Nick Noakes

Watch the Worlds - you have to watch this!

Download from Robbie's blog in high, medium and low quality version, and
also on YouTube

Rent a lecture hall

by Jeremy Hunsinger

i'm not sure why anyone would need a lecture hall unless you have an
outside speaker and expect a huge audience... but even then most
'lecture halls' will only sit 40 or less. some lecture halls will
sit up to 140-160 if they are built correctly and the corresponding
sims are managed well.

however, if you are thinking of lecturing to your students or having
your students sit in a lecture hall..... you are pretty much missing
the point of sl.

in sl... you have instant messenger to groups

in sl, your students can put a video on a prim anywhere they have

these two things negate any need the professor might have to have
them copresent.

other than that, you can check out the lecture halls in kula, there
are 2 of those, then there is the rubyist meeting location which is
one of the best 'unclassrooms' around, i think. everything in kula
is free to use, just let us know that you are using it and when, so
we can avoid scheduling conflicts. is the slurl of the main ampitheater seats 160 or so, needs to be scheduled through me is the slurl of the creative commons small ampitheater should be scheduled the rccosmos mini hall, great for panel discussions the rubyists 'unclassroom' where i meet with my students

if you want to know more about what we do in kula....


by Nick Noakes

Concerning a question about Holodecks in SL..

I've been using the Drifting Thoughts (DT) rezzer since last December on
Boracay for group access, so students and teachers can have the learning
arrangements (seating and tools) they need, when they need them. The DT
rezzer works really well (although I think it cost a lot less than 2000
back then). I've used Rex-Faux for backing up and packing up permanent
builds on the island. The DT rezzer uses absolute coordinates on the
sim, whereas Res-Faux uses coordinates relative to the position of the
rezzer. I've found both to be easy to use.

The main Holodeck 'scene' rezzers, most of which have been mentioned,
are the Paradise Blanket, Stephane's Virtual Reality Room (although that
is a little different but I think is great), Production Holodeck (you
can pick up a demo but the menu system is a bit complicated), (simple to use), Horizons (good customer support). I
noticed that the Horizon's demo holodeck also had a different VRR inside
it as one of the modules, which is neat. Search for Holodeck on SLX and
you will no doubt get more.

The main advantage I see of the scene ones is that they give you a menu
system. The disadvantages though are that they are relative and you
don't see what it is in advance, but only get a menu button with a max
of 11 or so characters. I've found both Rez-Faux and DT Rezzer also to
be very easy to use and have each rezzible item separately with a pic of
each, so people can decide what to rez (but then these aren't scenes).
I've just created a couple of rezzible 'exhibition' tours for teachers
(e.g. an educational spaces tour and, thanks to Farley Scarborough, a
large corporations in SL tour). The next exhibition I will work on is a
student project exhibition.

I'll hopefully be showcasing some of this at the upcoming NMC Building &
Creativity conference next month in SL.