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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Designing Worlds’ visit to the fascinating project at the University of Arkansas region that recreates Johnny Cash‘s boyhood home, as part of a broader look at the effects of the Depression in the state, and some of the routes from the rural poverty that began there.

Painter Merriman, the well-known designer, has created many of the builds here, and he takes us through many of these as we explore a really fascinating social history project, learning not only about Johnny Cash’s boyhood home, but also about the New Deal community of Dyess and the Southern Tenant Farmers Union (which now houses the Southern Tenant Famers Museum).

Johnny Cash' boyhood home, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Johnny Cash’s boyhood home, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

You can read more about it on Painter’s own website.

The Sourthern Tenant Farmers Museum, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

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Johnny Cash' boyhood home, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Johnny Cash’s boyhood home, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Join us today, Monday 31st March at 2pm at the Designing Worlds studio in Garden of Dreams for a special viewing party of today’s Designing Worlds show as visit a fascinating project at the University of Arkansas region that recreates Johnny Cash‘s boyhood home, as part of a broader look at the effects of the Depression in the state, and some of the routes from the rural poverty that began there.

The Dyess Colony, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The Dyess Colony, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Painter Merriman, the well-known designer, has created many of the builds here, and he takes us through many of these as we explore a really fascinating social history project, learning not only about Johnny Cash’s boyhood home, but also about the New Deal community of Dyess and the Southern Tenant Farmers Union (which now houses the Southern Tenant Famers Museum).

The Sourthern Tenant Farmers Museum, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

You can read more about it on Painter’s own website.

But even better – you can join us at 2pm for a really fascinating show!

The cafe in the Dyess Colony,photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

The cafe in the Dyess Colony,photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Or – if you can’t attend in person – tune in to the web at 2pm SLT on Monday for a showing on Aview TV or on Treet – or catch it later in the week on our shows page on the Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds – or on the Designing Worlds blog – our very own version of the iPlayer!

Bedroom in Johnny Cash's boyhood home, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Bedroom in Johnny Cash’s boyhood home, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

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Join us today at 12 noon for the Prim Perfect Talk with Froukje Hoorenbeeke of Dutchie, and Colleen Desmoulins and Nardya Rousselot of The Loft, and at 5pm with Sensuous Maximus of Builders’ Brewery in the beautiful Prim Perfect Pavilion, designed by Eliza Wierwight of Patron, on Christmas Expo Wonder.

At 12 noon pm, Saffia will be talking to the owners and designers of two of the leading and most admired home and furniture stores in Second Life - Froukje Hoorenbeeke of Dutchie, and Colleen Desmoulins and Nardya Rousselot of The Loft.

meet Dutchie and The Loft

Meet Dutchie and The Loft

At 5pm she will be talking to Sen (Sensuous) Maximus about the wonderful Builders’ Brewery, home to the most highly regarded range of building classes on the grid – ranging from simple primknowledge (my level, says Saffia) to increasingly advanced mesh.

Meet Sen

Meet Sen

And we also have a full schedule of our talks over the whole of the Christmas Expo.

Date Time Topic / Interviewee Store or Business
Thurs, 5th Dec 5pm Cain Maven and Kaerri Rae Maven Homes, Quantum Luxury Homes and Kaerri
Fri, 6th Dec 5pm Elle Kirshner Second Spaces
Sat, 7th Dec 3pm Draxtor Despres & Jo Yardley The Drax Files, The Drax Files Podcasts and 1920s Berlin
Sat, 7th Dec 5pm Cracked Mirror Cracked Mirror
Sun, 8th Dec 12 noon Auryn Beorn Black Tulip
Sun, 8th Dec 5pm Callie Cline KittyCatS! and caLLie cLine
Mon, 9th Dec 12 noon Froukje Hoorenbeeke and Colleen Desmoulins Dutchie and The Loft
Mon, 9th Dec 5pm Sensuous Maximus Builders’ Brewery
Tues, 10th Dec 12 noon Debs Regent SL London
Tues, 10th Dec 2pm Jimmy Branagh and Myrtil Igaly Urchins of Babbage
Wed, 11th Dec 2pm Events of Second Life: Cracked Mirror and Isla Gealach FaMeshed, Liaison Collaborative & The Neighborhood
Thurs, 12th Dec 2pm Events of Second Life: Mikel Monk and Nikki Mathieson The MENs Department, RFL and Home and Garden Expo
Thurs, 12th Dec 5pm DeAnn Dufaux Park Place
Fri, 13th Dec 12 noon Isla Gealach Cheeky Pea
Fri, 13th Dec 2pm Ladies of Mesh: Paige Raven, Charlotte Bartlett,
Cracked Mirror & more
Cozy Himes, Scarlet Creative, Cracked Mirror & more
Fri, 13th Dec 5pm Ladies of Mesh: TBA
Sar, 14th Dec 2pm Bad Boys of Mesh: Cain Maven, Loz Hyde, Maxwell Graf,
Agustkov, Roscko Cobalt
Maven Homes & Quantum Luxury Home, MESHWORX, Rustica,
Remarkable Oblivion, Seven Emporium

In addition – have you voted for the Avie Choice Awards? Prim Perfect, Designing Worlds and Happy Hunting have all been nominated – as well as events we have played a part in organising such as Second Life’s Tenth Birthday, One Billion Rising and the Home and Garden Expo … as well as many, many friends across Second Life.

So do go and vote for your favourites!

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Our visit to the art galleries and installations of the University of Western Australia in Second Life is now available on the web – with a chance to see some of the beautiful and evocative creations that have resulted from the art and machinima challenges issued over the last few years.

Guiding us round the build is Jayjay Zifanwe of the University of Western Australia (in real life Jay Jay Jegathesan, Physics UWA) who takes us on a tour of the Second Life version of the University, and shows us the winners in this year’s challenges for art and machinima, as well as some fascinating work from this year and earlier challenges.

Art and Machinima Challenges at the University of Western Australia in Second Life

Art and Machinima Challenges at the University of Western Australia in Second Life

It’s a fascinating show as we look at how the University has become a major centre for virtual world art from all around the world -n and learn a little of the impact that has had on the real life University and individuals too.

The University of Western Australia in Second Life

The University of Western Australia in Second Life

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With the opening of the Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference on Wednesday, the announcement from Linden Lab that they were restoring the 50% discount they offered to nonprofits and educational establishments could not have come at a better time.  This was, I believe, the first year that the VWBPE had taken place in Cloud Party as well as Second Life and Open Sim … as opposed to out-reach tours. So the announcement from Linden Lab was something of a distraction, it might seem.

The Main Auditorium, spanning four regions

The Main Auditorium at VWBPE, spanning four regions

Of course, until 2010, the reduction for nonprofits and educational institutions was standard – Inara Pey has details here (including the revision that occurred in March this year).  There was a great deal of protest when the discount was abolished, with very little notice, and in the middle of the academic year (although there later emerged a way of keeping the low price for a period by paying in full in advance),  This was a policy change that was never going to win friends and influence people, and a lot of institutions began to look seriously at Open Sim. Some, of course, looked and came back to Second Life, swallowing the bitter pill.  But many others just gave up on virtual worlds. There are, after all, some alluring new technologies out there to spend money on …

Inside the Pompeii Court

Inside the Pompeii Court – a project from the University of Bristol, which moved to Open Sim in 2011

So now we are back where we started – although a number of educational institutions and nonprofits are bitter about the way that they have been treated. So an area that should be – should always be – a good news story for Linden Lab was sabotaged by a very strange policy shift in 2010.

But the Lab’s good news stories seem very much focused on new products they are developing.  I must admit I’m a little baffled by the fact that many of the positive initiatives undertaken by residents are largely ignored by the Lab. I can understand that, after all the negativity of the downside of the hype cycle, they are interested in maintaining a low profile and focusing on new products.  But no outreach for the artwork that is being done here, perhaps best expressed in terms of news through the awards given in the University of Western Australia challenges? No emphasis is given to the fact that Second Life has – over the last nine years – raised over 2,000,000 US dollars for Relay for Life – over 375,000 this year alone. Surely this is worth a few external plugs?

Relay for Life in Second Life

Relay for Life in Second Life

If the press persists in perceiving Second Life where sad and lonely losers go to have sex in a vastly under-populated world, is it really the best policy to keep saying, “Never mind that – look at the other cool things we make?”

But perhaps I’m being unfair. The Lab did make a big PR push to celebrate the 10th birthday, and have been championing Draxtor Depres’ The Drax Files.  It is always hard to keep talking when no-one’s listening.

At all events, in a good news story, the VWBPE continues until the end of today. Check out today’s events here – and you can catch up on some of the talks that you’ve missed here (currently under recent uploads but soon to have their own category).

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The Main Auditorium, spanning four regions

The Main Auditorium, spanning four regions

The largest educational Conference in Virtual Worlds gets underway today, with presentations taking place in a variety of virtual worlds – including Second Life, OpenSim/Jokaydia, and Cloud Party. The Conference as a whole will include lectures, workshops, poster presentations, machinima presentations, and a wealth of social events, and will run from 6am today, Wednesday 24th June to Saturday 27th June when the final party closes at 10pm.

Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education is a global grass-roots community event which focuses on education in immersive virtual environments. The open conference is organized by educators, for educators, to provide an opportunity to showcase the learning that takes place in this community of practice.

Some of the posters being prepared for the Exhibition

Some of the posters being prepared for the Exhibition

Over 2000 attendees representing 90 countries participate in 150-200 online presentations including theoretical research, application of best practices, virtual world tours, hands-on workshops, discussion panels, machinima presentations, and poster exhibits.

Innovative educators will be sharing their achievements and challenges that they face in enhanced learning technology as well as their vision of future collaborative learning in virtual worlds and games. The conference will be covered across virtual worlds and will host presentations in Second Life, OpenSim/Jokaydia, and Cloud Party. If you have a passion for virtual worlds, the topics covered will help shine a spotlight on the possibilities for their many uses in education.

The VWBPE Gateway

The VWBPE Gateway

Many of the presentations will be streamed and should appear embedded on the Home Page – and if not, can be accessed at: www.metaversetv.com/vwbpe. But – if you can – attending and soaking up the atmosphere will be awesome. The place to start (in Second Life) is the VWBPE Gateway. Links to all the locations – in Second Life, the Jokadia Grid and Cloud Party – are to be found here.

You can see the full schedule of events here.

Inside the Auditorium

Inside the Auditorium

Today, the opening keynote will be given by Gentle Herson of Virtual Ability at 7am SLT and Saffia Widdershins will be presenting at 11.55am, with a lecture on Turning Film Noir into Fun Noir – Creating a Narrative-driven Interactive Online Environment – just two of the many excellent events schedule for today.

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Now available on the web – our latest episode, as we visut the beautiful – and endangered – region of Arcachon Atlantique.

Arcachon Atlantique is the beautiful Francophone region based on the Languedoc region of France, which has recently come close to closure, despite offering great activities and developing a brilliant immersive language learning programme.

In this show, we explore some of the beauties of the region with Claire Pascale, the owner of Arcachon and with Cybère Placebo, who has been working on developing language courses, as well as Karelia Kondor, a teacher of French in the UK, who has used the region of Arcachon in her teaching.

Arcachon Harbour

Arcachon Harbour

We explore the region, discussing the plans to use it as an immersive language resource, and also experience some of the activities it offers, from wine tasting, to a hot air balloon trip, to harvesting (and enjoying!) fresh oysters.

And we’ll be looking at the problems owners face in sustaining such a region.

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Windmill at Arcachon

Windmill at Arcachon

Over the past few weeks, I’ve written several times about Arcachon Atlantique, the beautiful Francophone region based on the Languedoc region of France, and how close it has come to closure, despite offering great activities and developing a brilliant immersive language learning programme.

Today you will have a chance to see the region for yourselves, as Designing Worlds visits Arcachon. And, in honour of that, I thought we’d have an Arcachon jigsaw!

So here is a view of the characteristic windmill at Arcachon Atlantique, captured by Wildstar Beaumont.

Click to Mix and Solve

Windmill at Arcachon, photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

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Catch up with your Prim Perfect jigsaws (showing images of Second Life and other virtual worlds).

If you’d like to submit a photo of your own to feature as a jigsaw, send it to the Prim Perfect Flickr Group. It should be sized 800w x 600h, or else it will need to be re-sized.

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1920s Berlin - looking down Unter den Linden to the Brandenburg Gate

1920s Berlin – looking down Unter den Linden to the Brandenburg Gate – photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Join us at 2pm SLT today, Monday 28th January, for our new episode of Designing Worlds at our studio in Garden of Dreams as we explore a really fascinating region – a thoughtful and incredibly detailed recreation of 1920s Berlin.

This is a fascinating slice of history. Weimar Germany was a place of immense social deprivations and great wealth; a time of fiery politics, riots, rebellions and the growth of political parties that would dominate the coming decades. But it was also a time of enormous artistic creativity in art, architecture and the comparatively new medium of film. It was also a time of tremendous decadence – a time when all sorts of previously hidden or repressed behaviours were permitted, sometimes encouraged … and often viewed on the stages and in the cabarets.

1920s Berlin - the Alexanderplatz

1920s Berlin – the Alexanderplatz – photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

All of this vibrant life took place in a beautiful European city – a city also teeming with slums and a vibrant working class culture.

Jo Yardley, the creator of 1920s Berlin, talks about all this and more as she gives Designing Worlds viewers a fascinating guided tour of the region with a soundtrack of authentic music of the era.

It’s a show you really won’t want to miss! So do come and join us at 2pm – and see how the Designing Worlds studio has acquired a Bierkeller!

1920s Bierkeller in the Designing Worlds Studio

1920s Bierkeller in the Designing Worlds Studio

Or – if you can’t attend in person – tune in at 2pm SLT on Monday for the live show on http://treet.tv/live – where you can now chat with other audience members and even some of the participants during the show – or catch it later in the week on our shows page on the Treet.tv web site at http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds – our very own version of the iPlayer!

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Today we have two talks at the Christmas Expo – both in the gorgeous Prim Perfect Pavilion. At 3pm, Auryn Beorn will be talking about scripting, education, and her beautiful store Black Rose, while at 5pm, Isla Gealach of Cheelky Pea and The nest will be talking about her work in Second Life.

Prim Perfect Talks: Auryn Beorn

Prim Perfect Talks: Auryn Beorn

Auryn  will be talking with Cinders about the kind of products she develops =- and, we hope, will be demonstrating some of her amazing works with scripts.  “Many of my products are related to education – the rest gets distributed among tools for builders and furniture,” she says.

Prim Perfect Talks: Isla Gealach

Prim Perfect Talks: Isla Gealach

Isla will be talking with Saffia about her own well-know brand, Cheeky Pea, and about The Nest, an entire little town devoted to homes and gardens shopping.

We have a full programme of talks coming up at the Expo – make sure that you don’t miss them!

Come along and learn more at 3pm and 5pm SLT! And we don’t think we are too hard to find …

Christmas Expo 2012, photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

Christmas Expo 2012, photograph by Wildstar Beaumont

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