The SLENZ Update – No 3, August 28, 2008

‘Must reading’ for VW educators, business

By John Waugh/Johnnie Wendt

 “ The (Virtual World) industry is now on the verge of a ‘sixth age’, when virtual worlds assimilate other Internet functions such as social networking and voice communication, and are assimilated themselves into

other platforms as a feature of a website or a browser convention, making the Internet more graphically intuitive, entertaining, and collaborative.

“Whether this current attempt is successful at reaching mainstream adoption and fundamentally changing the user interaction with other users and data, is still to be determined.”

Virtual World Industry Outlook 2008-2009- Renaud/Kane Copyright 2008, TechIntel Group

In my view this just-launched stand-out publication is must reading for all those involved in real world “business” in virtual worlds – educators, commercial entities and service organisations.

As virtual worlds become more mainstream, even in New Zealand, which has an ante-diluvian ADSL broadband system which sometimes makes their use extremely difficult, the momentum is increasing as more powerful home computers and virtual worlds become available and stability issues appear to be on the wane in some of the worlds, particularly Second Life.

However, despite increasing confidence around graphics in virtual worlds – “the current slate of graphics challenges associated with virtual worlds may soon be remembered in the same vein as 64k computers,” according to Renaud/Kane – the New Zealand experience still means that the average NZ broadband customer with a PC older than 18 months still faces immense difficulties and frustrating challenges, challenges which might yet stymie education efforts, outside the tertiary institution campus environment with its own network.

Like the Gartner Group, Renaud and Kane found that ‘The training and education market will continue to drive widespread adoption of virtual world technology, as the broad experimentation within Second Life demonstrates. Universities and other teaching institutions that initially experimented with Second Life are in the process of standardizing platforms for virtual classrooms, which will be a boom for companies that are already well positioned in this market …”

The full report is here:

So you can’t get that class on line


There have been reports of educators in New Zealand being unable to get their classes on-line through their students being blocked by Linden Labs from creating avatars in SL.

“Pathfinder Linden” <> recently advised the SLED group that the best

way to set up an IP Whitelist is to submit a support ticket (

“We’ve got Concierge Lindens who frequently handle this kind of request, and it is all done through the support ticket system,” he said.

His advice followed a heads up from LillieJay Mills who after whitelisting her community college’s IP addresses had to make the request again within four months even though given a six-month window.

She said, “I recommend checking a week or two before you anticipate the need to create avatars, either by creating an alt or asking someone who planned to create one to give it a try early.  Don’t count on the six- month window.”
The six-month window supposedly allows six months before you have to re-submit the IP Whitelist if no activity.  If your IP changes you’ll also have to re-submit.

A Design Toolkit


Ben Salt, of the SLENZ Project, has come up with an interesting article from (Conole, G. and Fill. K. (2005) A learning design toolkit to create pedagogically effective learning activities Journal of Interactive Media in Education)


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