A pattern of NZ islands?
Long White Cloud
The original initiators of the SLENZ Project, Dr Clare Atkins (SL: Arwenna Stardust), joint project leader, and Aaron Griffiths (SL: Isa Goodman), lead developer, have always dreamed of creating an Aotearoa -New Zealand education archipelago within Second Life.
It now seems that their dream is about to come true with the movement of the University of Auckland’s land of the Long White Cloud ( http://slurl.com/secondlife/Long%20White%20Cloud/128/128/2 ) to just north of the SLENZ project sim of Kowhai, which is adjacent to the original Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology island of Koru (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Koru/150/124/27) .
“In the early days Isa and I used to talk about how good it would be to have a New Zealand education archipelago, and now it’s beginning to happen,” Atkins said in a joint announcement with Land of the Long White Cloud’s creator Scott Diener (pictured) (SL: Professor Noarlunga) (http://scottdiener.edublogs.org/) at a SLENZ meeting on Koru. Diener is currently the Associate Director, IT Services at the of University of Auckland, and is responsible for the Academic and Collaborative Technologies Group at the University. He also teaches in a large stage III research methods course in the Psychology department.
The scenically attractive University of Auckland (http://www.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/) island, houses a dedicated medical centre simulation that includes a project run in conjunction with Boise University, USA. This island is soon to be joined by another Auckland U island sim, named Kapua, which will be initially dedicated to architecture studies under the direction of Judy Cockeram (SL: JudyArx Scribe) a senior lecturer in the university’s Faculty of Architecture and Planning. She also hopes to establish an architectural community of scholars in Second Life that stimulates Real Life architecture.
Atkins and Diener said that it was planned to join the Koru-Kowhai sims to the Long White Cloud sim by a “void” ocean sim.
Diener, who will be presenting at the EDUCAUSE Australasia Conference 2009 – Innovate, Collaborate & Sustain, in Perth, Western Australia, May 3 – 6, also disclosed that his Auckland group is in the process of entering into a virtual world consortium with Australia’s Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Wollongong University and other educational institions to establish a high performance virtual world environment group.
He also noted that the Boise end of the nursing student pilot study being done in conjunction with Auckland had been receiving considerable good press in the United States over the last few months.
Meanwhile the SLENZ Project’s specialist midwifery pilot has made further progress with the virtual completion of the Learning Design stage. Lead educator Sarah Stewart (SL: Petal Stransky) has said in her blog, Sarah’s Musings, of February 21 (http://sarah-stewart.blogspot.com/2009/02/linking-objects-to-information-in.html) that she is feeling “at last I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for the first stage of the Second Life Birth Unit project.
“My feelings of frustration are changing to optimistic excitement,” she said. “Yesterday, Leigh Blackall (SL Leroy Post), Deborah Davis and I had a meeting which has led to an agreement to the learning activities and time lines for Stage 1 of the Project.”
Picture: Courtesy Sarah Stewart
Filed under: Education in Second Life, Education in virtual worlds, Education Tagged: | slenz, Atkins, Blackall, University of Wollongong, NMIT, Koru, Kowhai, Educause, Stewart, midwifery, Davis, University of Auckland, SLENZ Project, Dierner, Nelson-Marlborough Insitute of technology, Griffith, QUT, Long white cloud, Boise