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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Join us this Wednesday, July 2nd at 1pm SLT, for a special recording in the Designing Worlds studio in Garden of Dreams for a discussion about Second Life’s continued viability and the ways in which Linden Lab might attract existing communities to their new platform.

Designing Worlds studio

Designing Worlds studio

We have a great panel of guests who will be live in the studio with us – including Jessica Lyon, Project Manager of Firestorm (who will be fresh from her own earlier Question and Answer session with Oz and Peter Linden), Jo Yardley, owner of 1920s Berlin, Maxwell Graf, owner of Rustica. JJ Drinkwater, Virtual and real life Librarian and Pathfinder Lester, Community Engagement specialist (and the ex-Pathfinder Linden).

We won’t be talking about the technical possibilities of the new platform; instead we’ll be focussing on what needs to be donne to keep Second Life vibrant and alive … and, at the same time, what might persuade the residents of Second Life to make a commitment to a new environment – and some of the answers may be surprising!

But you will also have the opportunity to having your thoughts and ideas discussed by the panel, either by coming along and joining the live audience, or by posting your thoughts and ideas in comments on this post.

This show will be recorded and shown again on July 14th.

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Don’t miss the recent Designing Worlds show exploring three fascinating educational projects, created by two Finnish designers, which demonstrate that Second Life can be used for education on a variety of levels.

Case Dirval and Yolanda Hirvi are the designers behind Metaverstas (in English here), and they take us through three fascinating projects – firstly a virtual microbrewery created for a technical college, then a series of biochemistry laboratories created for Finland’s largest university, and finally a history project created to teach high school students about the Winter War, when Finland was attacked by the USSR in 1939.

Microbrewery

Microbrewery

The projects demonstrates how Second Life can be used to replicate processes which would – if based in the real world – would be hugely time consuming and costly. They also offer the opportunity for students to learn associated tasks such as laboratory safety and security without needing to utilise real facilities. And they also offer the opportunity to study exactly how students learn.

Biochemistry Lab at Aalto University

Biochemistry Lab at Aalto University

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Biochemistry Lab at Aalto University

Biochemistry Lab at Aalto University

Join us today, Monday 9th June at 2pm SLT at the Designing Worlds studio in Garden of Dreams for a viewing party of our latest episode. This week, we’re looking at three fascinating educational projects, created by two Finnish designers, which demonstrate that Second Life can be used for education on a variety of levels.

Case Dirval and Yolanda Hirvi are the designers behind Metaverstas (in English here), and they take us through three fascinating projects – firstly a virtual microbrewery created for a technical college, then a series of biochemistry laboratories created for Finland’s largest university, and finally a history project created to teach high school students about the Winter War, when Finland was attacked by the USSR in 1939.

Microbrewery

Microbrewery

The projects demonstrates how Second Life can be used to replicate processes which would – if based in the real world – would be hugely time consuming and costly. They also offer the opportunity for students to learn associated tasks such as laboratory safety and security without needing to utilise real facilities. And they also offer the opportunity to study exactly how students learn.

Join us at 2pm for a really fascinating show on the potential for educational uses of Second Life.

The Winter War reconstruction

The Winter War reconstruction

Or – if you can’t attend in person – tune in to the web at 2pm SLT on Monday for a showing on Aview TV, on SLartist 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, on the Aview TV Designing Worlds channel – or on the Designing Worlds blog.

 

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Firestorm - symbol and classroom, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Firestorm – symbol and classroom, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Join us today, Monday 2nd June at 2pm SLT at the Designing Worlds studio in Garden of Dreams for a viewing party of our latest episode. This week, we’re not visiting a place so much as we’re looking at a phenomenon – the Firestorm Viewer.

We’ll be talking to Jessica Lyon, the overall Project Manager, Lette Ponnier, the English Support Lead. and Ed Merryman, Support Manager and teacher. And we’ll be tracing Firestorm from the early, rocky days of the Emerald browser through its rebrth as Phoenix to its present huge popularity as the most used viewer on the Second Life grid.

Firestorm training path, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Firestorm training path, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

And we’ll be looking at how the team develop the features that make it so popular – and above all its famous training and support – including their own training path for newcomers to Second Life. Does this offer a model for Linden Lab as they move forward?

Join us at 2pm for the story of Firestorm, a really fascinating show.

Or – if you can’t attend in person – tune in to the web at 2pm SLT on Monday for a showing on Aview TV, on SLartist 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, on the Aview TV Designing Worlds channel – or on the Designing Worlds blog.

Firestorm auditorium, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

Firestorm auditorium, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

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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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