The SLENZ Update – No 102, June 19, 2009

An invitation to  another

happening on Koru …


Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology’s Mike Baker (SL: Rollo Kohime) will be presenting a paper at The Society of Dance History Scholars Conference 2009 at Stanford University, California, USA, from Wellington Railway Station on the Second Life NMIT island of Koru [Koru: 81,57,21 (PG)] at 3:00pm SLT/PDT on Saturday,  June 20 (10am NZT Sunday,  June 21.

He has issued a special invitation to SLENZers and others to participate in the event in Second Life   and hear his paper, “In the Company of Strangers – Negotiating the parameters of Indeterminacy; a study of the Roaming Body and Departure in Urban Spaces”.

There will be a notecard-vendor  in the station proper which will, once touched, give participants instructions for the presentation, one of a number which Baker has been invited to do this year at universities and conferences around the world.

Baker, who specialises in improvisational contact dance,  is currently completing a Masters  in Art and Design, majoring in dance and video,  with  AUT, Auckland, New Zealand.

An abstract of his presentation will be available from a dispenser in the wall next to the station cafe in a corner of the concourse.

He has asked participants to select the appropriate ambient lighting for viewing the videos, making sure that their media is enabled  with loudspeakers turned off  to avoid feedback.

He will be responding to questions  from the audience  at the end of the presentation with the real life audience taking precedence over the virtual audience.

Rollo Mike & Fiona

Mike and his partner, Fiona.

The SLENZ Update – No 47, February 23, 2009

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 ( ) to just north of the SLENZ project sim of Kowhai, which is adjacent to the original Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology island of Koru ( .

“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) (  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 (  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 (  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