Friday, November 6, 2009

Tueday afternoon with the Gaming Students at PCC

It's always interesting to spend time with the students enrolled in the Gaming Class, each group focuses on something different when in the sandbox on the island. The last time we were with the group, they were interested in finding vehicles to drive around on the island with. This the students enrolled in the class this term found great delight in building and wearing boxes. They were very interested in modify their avatars body shapes and clothing.

This group was the first group that were able to visit Socrates' Philosophy Garden that was build for a class at CGCC. As you can see several students enjoyed playing in the virtual water fountain.

These classes are always a bit challenging getting everyone into second life and on to the island. The experience is always fun and enjoyable!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Messy Sandbox is a Happy Sandbox.

We had PCC's Walter Morales' CIS 133G- Computer Game Programming class on the island yesterday. Each fall and spring DharmaPuppy PinkLady and I do a session for the game programming students, most of who haven't actually had experience with Second Life or heard of it. They are intrigued by the concept, but also expressed the sentiment of virtual spaces being a time sink. I don't think that will be the case for kids used to playing in these spaces so they already have avatar skills, but I do wonder about how mental play in virtual spaces via embodiment paralells or differs from physical play in learning?

We didn't get as far with this larger group- there was more technical time needed to get everyone on board, and then more requests around the classroom leads to not moving as far forward in the session as I thought we might. Everyone seemed to pretty rapidly start expressing with their avatars- two students stood around and did a stooping dance together in their boxer shorts, boots and helmets. It was a funny moment that gave me a chance to talk to the group about asking themselves as they did certain things like the squat dance- how does this make 'me' feel? In this sense, who is 'me'? As game programmers, I reminded them that this experience design was something that they had to think about when creating their own games, and I think that resonated with them.

Great stuff! I always love being in the classroom with people exploring Second Life for the first time- the students are an especially fun view, they seem to be less inhibited than instructors when it comes to being expressive through their avatars quickly, so you never know what student sessions are going to bring.

Great thanks to DharmaPuppy and her pink beacon of hair- it's easy for the newbies to follow. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Notes from Our Virtual Frontier Now Available

With enrollment through the roof we've been a busy team making sure all of our beginning of the term requirements were met. For updates on what's been keeping us busy, check out the September issue of "Notes From Our Virtual Frontier".

We present this newsletter every month to two months, depending on where we are in the school year (November and December are presented together because of holidays, March and April are also presented together because of Spring break.) If you are faculty, staff or a student group of the Oregon Community Colleges system and would like to include something in an upcoming issue which we distribute statewide, please email me your need and content to be included.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Check this out- though these platforms are hundreds of meters up in the sky, and avatars can easily fly or teleport from place to place, two of our instructional tech specialists have placed a bridge between their work spaces.

A physical bridge.

Functionally, it's superfluous in this environment. But mentally, a virtual spaces connection is made between two who work closely together in the physical world. It gets to be expressed here for others to see in pixels, forming a bond of communication between two platforms for imagination.

Have I mentioned lately that I love my job and team?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Test Scores, Training Outcomes Improved with Second Life

I'm always excited to see new studies supporting teaching and learning in Second Life. Thank you to Regulus, for sending this around via email this morning:

The article from Linden Labs can be found here:

A case study from Linden Labs on this even can be found here:

The article from the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research can be found here:

Finally, and the best for last, here's a YouTube video on how they are using Second Life at Loyalist College (cool!):

A question for instructors in our community college system: how can we support those of you exploring using Second Life in your courses in doing a bit of action research to gather some feedback about how things are going? Pro or con, gathering this data can help us learn how to support your exploration better, so please let us know.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"Teaching in Second Life - Impressions"

Greetings OCCDLA!

From the desk of "Shameless self-promotion" (but all falling under the auspices of Second Life and education! LOL):

I just wrote a "reflections" paper entitled, "Teaching in Second Life - Impressions: Thoughts and Lessons Learned During Five Quarters of Teaching Experiments in Second Life".  You can view the full text here:

Several references to the members of the OCCDLA and specifically the "OCCDLA in Second Life" group can be found inside.

See you in the metaverse!  Peace,  -- Michael Russell (SL: Regulus Darkstone), Mt. Hood Community College

Regulus at Chouchou

Friday, May 29, 2009

Here's further proof to me that avatars matter. I don't feel the same way about working on other objects as I feel while I am sitting here scripting some life into one of our virtual patients. I'm quickly learning how to use Prim Puppeteer so that I can turn this shop assistant shaped object (Thanks to Todd Borst for the awesome freebies!) into a 57 year old grouchy Catholic male with broken ribs. The animation build for this doesn't actually take much- someone with broken ribs doesn't move much. What I find interesting is that presence of another human-ish is being implied by something human shape, and I do feel less alone in the lab with Nurse OCCDLA at the front door, and this prim puppeteer stand in for our future patient laying on the exam bed. Isn't that funny? They aren't even inhabited by human agents!

I have to admit though, I also feel like this is something I'm glad I don't have to explain to people passing by behind my cube at campus- taken out of context, it looks like I'm playing some weird medical game as a mad scientist, bringing some strange new life like creature into being.

Oh, wait.... ;)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spring Report Now Available

A spring update to what projects are happening on the island is now available! You can get it here.

If you have any questions about current projects, please contact avatar MonicaMarlo Martinek.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New Quickstart Second Life Guide! New adult filtering content options coming to SL in June!

Greetings! There were two new and exciting developments in the world of Second Life this week that deserve comment here... 

The first is a new "Second Life Quickstart Guide" created by Linden Lab for new (and experienced) users. I find the guide somewhat akin to viewing an airplane safety manual (you'll know what I mean, I think, if you view the Quickstart guide), but it should prove useful to people learning about Second Life, etc.

You can view the guide here: 

The second item from Linden Labs this week consists of new filtering options for adult content in Second Life. In education, it might be nice to search for items which do not involve the, ahem!, more "mature" locations and activities in Second Life... and these changes will start occurring. You can filter your searches for adult content (and, supposedly, filter your searches for only adult content!) From what I've been able to gather, it sounds like Second Life will now be split into "PG", "Mature" (R-rated, I'd guess) and "X-rated" spaces... sim owners/operators will have to pick and plan accordingly. An "Adult Only" continent is also being developed by Linden Labs (a "sneak peak" picture of which is provided at the top of this post)... interesting!!!

The filtering options will become available in June, although next week you'll be able to see some of them enacted using as unreleased as-of-yet Release Candidate viewer (

You can read more about the new filtering system at these sites:

Both of these items should prove useful to educators and SL fans! :) See you in the metaverse; peace, -- Michael Russell (Mt. Hood Community College, SL: Regulus Darkstone)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

SLTip: Create a Tour for Others

You can easily create a tour of places in Second Life to share! The first step is to come by Oregon Community Colleges island and pick up a free copy of the open source Tour HUD* that was made for GSD&M by Digi Vox of the Electric Sheep company. You can get one here:

To use the HUD as a tour guide, you find it in your inventory and right click on it and select "wear", and the tour HUD will show up like in your Second Life viewer window like the graphic above. Then, to visit the places in the Tour, you just click on the image of where you would like to go, and a brief description of where that image links to is displayed. When you click the "go here" button, you are teleported to that place in Second Life.

To create your own tour with this HUD, you will need 1) a title for the tour stop location, 2) an image to represent the tour stop 3) a landmark for where you would like the tour stop to ultimately take you when you click "Go Here." Edit it by dragging it out onto the ground rather than wearing it, and right click on it and select "Edit". Rename it something that makes sense to you first, then, go to the content tab and right click the note titled "Locations- Fill this out to change the tour!".

When you open the Locations note, it is fully documented, and very easy to update- all you have to do is replace the information that is in the card for your 12 locations. Step by step:

1.You make a descriptive title up for each place, and put it where the notecard says Title:

2. You list the name of its corresponding landmark, which you collected in Second Life from any point by using the "Create Landmark Here" from the World Menu where the notecard says LANDMARK: !!Important note!! The title for your landmark must exactly match from the notecard to the actual landmark. You will delete the current landmarks in the Tour HUD, and drag your landmarks into it instead. Its easiest to get the title exactly the same if you find the landmark in your inventory and copy the name by right clicking and selecting copy, and then using ctrl +v to paste. replace the UUID number for the picture You find this by right clicking on the corresponding image in your inventory and select "Copy Asset UUID, then paste it by pressing ctrl+v in the script where it says Picture:

4. You create a brief description (180 characters or less) and place it in the Locations notecard where it says DESCRIPTION: for each of your 12 locations.

!!Important!! Try changing the information for a single location in the Tour HUD and test it before going any further to make sure you understand how to update it.

You just do this four step process for all 12 places in your tour, and then you can hand copies of it out to your students, colleagues, friends- Have fun exploring and sharing! If you would like additional help for any part of this process, check out our island schedule for an open sandbox drop in time.

*A HUD is a heads up display, or a small piece of software that extends the things that your Second Life program can do.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


If you have some time this weekend, come join us at Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education. Click here for a schedule of events and SLurl locations:

In the image above- Rik Riel from Global Kidz speaks about "Aha!" moments in Virtual Worlds, (A social network that acts as glue for the Virtual Ed community) Lots of excellent programming happening throughout today and tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

“I don't know what you could say about a day in which you have seen four beautiful sunsets.”

John Glenn quotes (American Marine and Astronaut, b.1921)

I wonder if John Glenn would change his quote to say “I don't know what you could say about a day in which you have seen six beautiful sunsets.”, if he spent 24 hours in Second Life?

Did you know that it takes three hours in Real Life for Second Life to go from sunrise to sunset and that nighttime only lasts one hour? Every four hours, a new day starts in Second Life

This means that for every 24 hours in real-life you age six days in Second Life and that a new year in second life starts appox. every 60 days in Real Life.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

FREE Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference

Register for free here.


"he Virtual World Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) conference originated from the 2007 Second Life Best Practices in Education Conference. This grassroots, community-based conference attracts faculty, instructors, trainers, administrators, instructional designers, technical specialists, and members of organizations from around the world. Those who create teaching/learning environments, resources, tools, support services and professional development opportunities internal and external to virtual world environments participate. During the conference, participants have opportunities to ask: What is education?, What is teaching?, What is learning? and How can we provide virtual world educational environments in which today’s learners can become all they can be.

The VWBPE Conference provides opportunities for virtual world communities to showcase projects, courses, events and research that lead to best practices in education. The end result of collaborating, sharing, and co-construction of knowledge during the conference is the creation of innovative and immersive environments in which virtual world residents can learn, work, and play."

This is an incredible opportunity for anyone interested in teaching and learning in Second Life- if you have any time available at all next weekend, I urge you to get registered and attend what you can! Hope to see you there~ :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

SL Tip: Create Landmarks (like bookmarks in SL)

Adding a landmark to return to a place once you've found it in Second Life is easy- just go to the "World" menu and click "Create Landmark Here". Once you do this, a landmark is created in your inventory folder that you can then right click on and select "Teleport" to return to that spot anytime its available.

You can drag and drop landmarks onto another avatar or to their drop box on their profile to pass them around, and you can also attach them to a note card in your inventory- this is a great way to build "tours" or guided experiences in Second Life. The next time you're wandering around exploring spaces for your teaching practice, make a note card, and annotate each landmark in the note card to pass off to others. We love trading these to share our Second Life discoveries!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Virtual Theater: Come Watch Media Together!

Up in the clouds on OR Community Colleges Isle you'll find our virtual theater- a space for up to 35 avatars to come and synchronously watch streaming media. This week playing in the theater: The Neuroscience of Emotions"- a talk given by Dr. Phillipe Goldin.

Use this link to get to the Theater

And remember, if you are an Oregon Community College instructor and would like to schedule the theater for streaming video media for a distance course, just use our island scheduling request form here. If you're ever wondering what we've got scheduled or coming up in the theater, you can find out at our island calendar available here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Welcome JoeC Portland- Our New Student Assistant!

If you come to the island and see JoeC Portland working on tasks or building and scripting in the sandbox, be sure to introduce yourself and add JoeC as your friend. Joe is a Electronics Engineering Technology student at PCC, and is working as our student assistant. He's here to help you find answers to your basic questions and learn right along with us all, so don't be shy about checking for drop in sandbox help time on the island schedule calendar (link in the upper right corner of the blog), and bringing your Second Life questions to us!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

SL Tip: Ctrl+Shift+F = Friends List

This week's beginner tip suggested by Faolan Young- to quickly access your Friends list to see whose online that you've befriended, or to communicate with someone who isn't in your immediate area, use ctrl+shift+f. Remember, you can also access a person's profile from your friends list, where you can find information about them or send them an item.

Monday, February 23, 2009

@ITC eLearning 2009- No Sandbox Hours this week

The team is attending ITC eLearning 2009 this week, presenting tomorrow as one of the final sessions in what has been an incredibly rich conference, attending to our OCCDLA quarterly reporting, and meeting the state community college librarians on Friday. Because we're especially busy getting through this week's first life requirements, we are unable to schedule drop in help.

Don't worry, assistance time will return next week!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

SL Tip: Give an Item

Thanks to Wa Nootan for asking about this week's tip! When you want to give someone else in Second Life something, you can do it a couple of ways:

1) Drag the item from your inventory onto the other person. If you have permission to transfer the object, they will receive either the item itself if its a "no copy" original, or more likely, a copy of the original item from your inventory.

2) You can give items to anyone on or offline by opening their profile (if they are on your contacts list you click the "Communicate" button to find them, or if you don't know them but know their avatar name, you can click the "Search" button, and then use the "People" tab to search for anyone in the system by their avatar name. Once you've found them and have their profile open, you can drag an item (notecard, object, script, texture, etc.) to the "Give Item" field on their profile (see the graphic above)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Embodiment and Collaboration- How Second Life and Twitter Complement

Stargazer Blazer, DharmaPuppy and I are working on Avatar Boot Camp for ITC next weekend, and we’re wanting to use Fleep Tuque’s pre-made avatar shapes at ITC’s Avatar Boot camp next Saturday, and it dawns on me as I go out to tweet our needs to Fleep- both these technologies are about communicating with communities of practice for me, but they operate to connect me to groups and goals in a very different way- and it has to do with embodiment.

When I am standing in SL with an avatar in a space, I generally know by our proximity and engagement in the environment that the human behind the keyboard is there, on task, and probably engaging in the same goals that I am if we’re working together. Our avatars give me immediate feedback and make me feel like I am in a place and a space with someone, and if I chat type or say something in that environment, I am expecting immediate feedback from the avatar I’m chatting with. Twitter gives me access to a lot of the same people as Second Life- most SL’rs I know also tweet. But when I in this instance have to go out and tweet Fleep to use her skins, I know that her likely answer will be “yes”, as she’s given them out in world as a courtesy, but the copies Stargazer Blazer have are no transfer- that indicates to me like a creative commons license use item, the content creator probably wants communication about the object’s intended use, if you aren’t going to take it and personally use it yourself. If Fleep’s avatar were standing here with us, we would know by her presence and participation that we share goals and can gain ground on them succinctly. When I tweet to her, I may wait forever for an answer, and don’t know if she was likely present to receive it. So having both Second Life and Twitter to connect to her, I can either ask to meet her in SL for immediate needs, or tweet her so that she can get back to me on her own time. In this case, there’s no immediate need, so Twitter fits the bill. (Socially, Twitter adds lots of other dimensions too, but that’s another post. ;))

Embodiment in an avatar seems to give me communication expectations from others in the system when we are both present with each other. If Rovai identifies reducing transactional distance between instructors and learners as good for building learning community*, I think this example of transactional distance in Second Life vs Twitter is a good one to illustrate how being an avatar with your students could help them become more engaged in what you have to teach them – what do you think?

*see for Rovai.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cascades Fire Pit- Temporarily Disabled

If you come on to the island between now and next Friday (2.20) you may notice a few changes, that could be a little jarring and make the place not look like what it did the last time you were here. We're doing some island upgrades- starting with our Cascades meeting area. Regulus is hunting for an upgraded fire pit, and we've cleared out the trees for now to allow for designing room.

Don't worry, even if there's no fire pit Monday, we can still meet! :)

p.s. Thanks to DharmaPuppy Pink Lady for keeping the island festive through the VDay season!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

SL Tip: Explore freely without showing group affiliation.

When you are out and about freely exploring Second Life, please keep in mind that when you are displaying your OCCDLA group affiliation, you are in essence a representative of our institutions. Of course, things are a little different in virtual spaces- in the physical world, we don't go around with glowing tags over our heads. (Though, as a teacher, don't you sometimes wish?) Luckily in Second Life, you can also turn off your group affiliation display.

** TO Show NO Group Affiliation

1) Right click on your avatar and select "Groups."

2) when your list of current groups is displayed, the one that is currently active is bold. Select "none" at the top of the list, and then click the "Activate" button.

The "OCCDLA" label will disappear from above your head. When you come back to the island (or explore other non-mature content or Ed spaces where you will want to share your affiliation information) Be sure to go back in and re-select the OCCDLA group as active- being a group member gives you additional OR CC Isle privileges. And as always, if you have questions? Bring them to the island team!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

SL Tip: Stop SL Emails, and say "I'm busy" automatically.

(First- a HUGE shout out of "Mahalo Nui Loa!" to the amazing group of instructors through OCCDLA that have just become avatars. There aren't words to express how proud I am of everyone jumping in and learning this technology together. With each session I learned so many things along with you, I'm still sifting it all out in my head! Common threads are emerging to illuminate ways I and the core team can help us all to become the teacher avatars we can dream to be. KUDOS to the wonderful crew who trained our new instructors right along with me- DharmaPuppy PinkLady, Ruby Sol, Regulus Darkstone, Faolan Young- you my friends, are avatar Rock Stars. :)

Ok, enough gushing, I just can't help it. You had to be there, maybe next time you will be!

Onto what I intend to be an ongoing tip series- first I'll be addressing questions that were asked by a few of you, so stay tuned for the bite sized way to keep gaining Second Life skills. In this tip- Stopping those Second Life emails from coming to your inbox, and letting people know when you're in world and on task that you'll be happy to chat with them at a later time.

Lets face it, we all have busy in-boxes! So,check out the graphic above- remember, you get to your Preferences menu from Edit>>Preferences or Ctrl+P (Cmd+P for Mac.) Once you open the preferences window, go to the "Communication" Tab, and make un-check the box next to "send IM to Email(your email address will display here). That stops Second Life from sending messages to your in-box. They will instead wait for you in Second Life, at least, a maximum of 25 of them will. When you get message 26, the oldest drops off the list. So if you really need someone to be able to give you a communication in Second Life, make sure to have them write you a note card, and give it to your avatar- those are stored until the person you're giving the note to logs in next.

Also on the Communications tab is a handy "Busy Mode Respose", that you can write a custom message in to let people know that you're currently heads down, trying to get something done. To set your avatar in busy mode, just go up under the World menu and select "Set Busy". Then, when other people try to IM (instant message) you in Second Life, your pre-written response is returned to them, and messages are stored until you click the "set not busy" button at the bottom of your Second Life viewer window.

Got any questions? Be sure to check out our island calendar for drop in times, swing by our meetings at the fire pit Mondays at 2, or drop me a line at PCC.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

THIS WEEK: Ed. Support Faire!

This week, Educause is holding a Second Life Education Support Faire in-world on their island. A wiki on the event is here:

The SLurl to get there is :

From their Facebook page: "The SL Education Roundtable (along with the Montclair State CHSSSouth Free Land Initiative and EDUCAUSE Virtual Worlds Group) are participating in the SL Education Support Faire.

The SLER meeting for this week (Tuesday, 2:30pm SLT) will take place from there and we have an "area" where where will be volunteers hanging our for most of the week.

The following folks have generously volunteered to hang out in our area for the hours indicated. Come by say hi, network, relax, and come back as many times throughout the week as you'd like.

All times in this description area listed in SLT" (and remember, SLT is the same time as Pacific Standard/Daylight Time (PST/PDT), or GMT-8).

Sunday, January 25
7am - Aerdna Beaumont
8am - Linda Sautereau
9am - Linda Sautereau
10am - Luipher Fhang & Margaret Michalski
11am - Luipher Fhang
1pm - Wirecutter Renard
3pm - Aedna Beaumont
4pm - Philled Graves
5pm - RubyTuesday Ballyhoo

Monday, January 26
7am - Willow Shenlin
8am - Donna Piaggio
9am - Margaret Michalski
10am - Teachergirl Razor
11am - Luipher Fhang
12pm - Luipher Fhang
1pm - Wirecutter Renard
3pm - Aedna Beaumont
4pm - Philled Graves
5pm - RubyTuesday Ballyhoo

Tuesday, January 27
8am - Donna Piaggio
9am - Wonderalica Alturas
10am - Wonderalica Alturas
11am - Luipher Fhang
12pm - Luipher Fhang
1pm - Wirecutter Renard
2:30 - 3:30 - come by the Pavillion for the SL Education Roundtable
4pm - Aedna Beaumont
5pm - Profesora Farigoule
6pm - Margaret Michalski and Profesora Farigoule

Wednesday, January 28
9am - Margaret Michalski
11am - Luipher Fhang
12pm - Luipher Fhang
1pm - Wirecutter Renard
3pm - Ignatius Onomatopoeia & Aedna Beaumont
4pm - Philled Graves
6pm - Margaret Michalski

Thursday, January 29
4am - Corwin Carillon
5am - Corwin Carillon
7am - Oronoque Westland
8am - Oronoque Westland
10am- Teachergirl Razor
11am - Luipher Fhang
12pm - Luipher Fhang
1pm - Wirecutter Renard
3pm - Aedna Beaumont
4pm - Olivia Hotshot and Logan5 Obscure
5pm - RubyTuesday Ballyhoo
6pm - Margaret Michalski

Friday, January 30
6am - Linda Sautereau
10am - Margaret Michalski
11am - Luipher Fhang
12pm - Luipher Fhang
1pm - Wirecutter Renard
3pm - Aedna Beaumont
4pm - Margaret Michalski

I urge you all to stop by and take a look around, and when you're there, please say hello!! These are some of the most friendly and helpful people you will find in your your journey to understand what it means for you to explore Second Life in your teaching practice.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Training soon? Check your audio.

If you are signed up for a training session, we'd like to remind you to log in to Second Life prior to your session to be sure that your audio chat functions are working. If you aren't sure and need assistance, we are on the island half an hour early so we can help you. These three a half hour sessions are packed with information, so the less we're dealing with technical issues during the workshop, the more we can share.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Grid Status Sunday: Log-ins Intermittent

I don't want to use this blog space to report on grid status generally, but with our training session coming up on Tuesday, (and our Monday holiday) I wanted to let those of you trying to get in this weekend know that Second Life is experiencing technical difficulties. This may effect your ability to log in prior to our training session- I will email you directly if on Tuesday if we are still having problems logging in. If this ends up being the case, we will as a back-up meet in my Elluminate virtual office, and I will provide a link for you in the heads up email.

You can always check the current status of the grid when you're unsure if the problem is on your side or theirs at this link:

"Second Life is creepy."

I recently met with one of our college administrators who just joined Second Life, to give them a few minutes of over the shoulder time to get them up to speed, and have a chat while we were at it about some of the ways we see working together to enable Second Life for our students and Faculty. They brought up that as they were creating their character at home, their daughter saw that they were doing so and commented "Oh, you're using Second Life? I think its kind of creepy." The administrator went on to explain this was primarily because of the adult side of Second Life being what was known to her daughter about the space, no doubt because this is the aspect of the world large exposure media focuses on. This led us into a discussion of the public nature of Second Life, and what pros and cons that seems to present.

I brought up Project Wonderland, and told the administrator that its possible to spawn your own instance of an open source server with many benefits re: scalability, privacy, etc.- But then also talked briefly about the idea that we could remove our students from the messiness of random interaction that is more likely when the virtual people you interact with are strangers without a campus affiliation and role to define (control) them, but is that really what we want to do? So many of Second Life's communication and learning affordances have to do with access to ideas, ways of thinking, learning cultures that aren't like our own- and I think if the chaos and messiness weren't there, we'd actually kind of miss it. I definitely think we don't yet know enough either way to make this decision for our organization.. after all, we're a team of community colleges- access to all is what we're all about.

When we participate, feelings are effected, but pixels can re-render- no avatars die. Our classrooms and real-world physical campuses hopefully offer a level of safety and comfort- how do we offer this to our virtual students, faculty and staff, considering the anonymous and open nature of Second Life participation? What about some current learning theory that states we learn more from conflict and failure than we do from safety and success? Our island is open to the public, we have a sandbox, but we also have groups that enable greater access and abilities on the island with affiliation. How is this the same/different from what we do on physical campuses?

Such a huge thing to think about really. It's a multi-faceted issue, as most are when regarding our residence in the Metaverse. I just want to boil down to finding the best way to inform our students that Second Life (like the real world) has some creepy aspects, but overall, it's absolutely NOT a creepy place.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Training Times Announcement Sent

If you are a memeber of the OCCDLA who has signed up for training during the last two weeks of January, you have been sent an email with your date and time assignment. We've also sent you a SLurl to our fire pit in the Cascades on the island- our starting point. Remember, you'll want to log in once prior to our training session to make sure that all is functioning on the machine which you wish to use for your training session.

I will be available on island a half hour prior to training beginning if you need any help getting your audio working- and our island team is getting very excited to meet you all!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Second Life Education Support Faire- Jan 25-30th!

From Michael @ MHCC- Thank you Michael! :)

A "Second Life Education Support Faire" is being organized by Linden Labs (the creators of Second Life) to be held between January 25 - January 30. You can read more about it here:

From the site:

To support the educational community, we would like to invite you to participate in and attend Linden Lab’s inaugural Education Support Faire! Over the years, Second Life has provided ways for the world of academia to put to use creativity lending to immersive education, distance learning, knowledge sharing, faculty networking–and many other ways to enhance the collective educational community’s efforts in the real world. The success of projects surrounding these efforts within Second Life can be attributed to the many innovative educators, academics, and students who have chosen to utilize Second Life for these purposes.

The main goal for the Education Support Faire is to bring together educators, academics, and students to explore the support mechanisms available to residents who use Second Life to enhance real world educational efforts.

With many networks of support provided by and for residents in Second Life, we would like especially to extend an invite to Second Life educational minds to take part in presenting at the Educational Support Faire.

Might be worth checking out! The faire will be held here:

Have a great day! Peace, -- Michael

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bloom's Taxonomy and Second Life

I found this great chart online a while back in the public domain that listed Bloom's Taxonomy like a ladder, and stacked verbs appropriate for each level beneath, and placed activities that aligned above. Taking this one step further, I've added a third tier of information to this chart. It's by no means an exhaustive list of possible ways to use Second Life for teaching and learning, but rather an aid to get your creative juices flowing when you want to use Second Life appropriately in your lesson plans. Click on the image above to get a copy in PDF you can save and print- and feel free to send me feedback or suggestions for improving it.