The SLENZ Update – No 18, October 22, 2008

Educator newbie help

Linden Lab, in partnership with ISTE, has a streamlined, educationally-focused starting point to Linden Labs for educators entering Second Life for the first time.

The New Educators’ Pilot Program has been designed to ease entry into Second Life  and provide a guide for educators who might at first be overwhelmed by the “rezzing experience” which can be made worse occasionally by some who appear to enjoy harassing new avatars as they appear on Orientation Island.

The New Educators Pilot Program (sometimes referred to in ISTE circles as the Educator’s Experience Pathway) changes all that. The NEPP begins with a dedicated sign-up form (http://secondlifegrid.net/programs/education) that guides a new user through the registration process.

SL getting younger

The 18-24 bracket now makes up 45 percent of total registrations in Second Life, a change which Linden Lab CEO Mark Kingdon has described as “the platform getting younger as we get older.”

Opening Virtual Worlds London with a brief overview of Second Life, Kingdon said the application of the world was changing  with 600 million user hours of activity and projections this would hit the billion-hour mark next year. (http://www.virtualworldsnews.com/2008/10/notes-from-vi-2.html#more)

“In the first wave, there was all kinds of very dynamic experimentation,” he said. “We’re entering a second wave as the platform expands and matures with what people can do. In the first wave there was a great deal of early adoption … It was very much about enjoyment. It was very much about escape. But it was also very much about unconnected virtual worlds. In the second wave, we see enterprises thinking about virtual worlds in a very different way. Instead of experimentation, we’re seeing businesses ask for solutions that work. We’re starting to see that the virtual world is not a substitute for the 2D Web experience. It’s what I guess you could say is the assimilation of the virtual world into the 2D Web space. And it’s a change I very much welcome.”

Driving the innovation, said Kingdon, are global workforce needs, economic pressures, and carbon and cash concerns. Those drive users to stay home instead of travel for work, which promotes the use of innovative collaboration tools.

It’s not all business, though. Social computing is going mainstream, broadband and more advanced hardware are pervasive, and sub-par substitutes for interaction, like video conferencing, are driving the need for alternative solutions, he said, noting that at Linden Lab, 20 percent of the staff work off site, spending their time in-world as a tool for collaboration.

(Mark Kingdon, Linden Lab picture)

EDUVERSE speakers

In New Zealand getting to international conferences can sometimes be difficult and expensive.

However, through the benefits of video one can get the highlights of many conferences. The third Eduverse symposium  held in  De Balie, Amsterdam, in September is no exception

With many leading educationists and Virtual World experts sharing their work, experience and ideas the videos at Eduverse website ( http://www.eduverse.org/index.php/symposium3) provide a sustainable option for those who could not get there.

Among the presenters were“Philip Rosedale (former CEO of Linden Lab);  Julian Lombardi (head of Opencroquet at Duke University www.opencroquet.org), Christian Renaud (virtual world guru), Chuck Hamilton (IBM Centre for Advanced learning), Karl Kapp (noted virtual worlds author), David Williamson Shaffer (founder of Epistemic Games), Tim Johansson (head of Opera 3D develeopment), Philippe van Nedervelde (Foresight Nanotech Institute) and David Burden (Daden Ltd).

The highlight was the panel discussion of the future of all the major virtual platforms, including: Second Life, Opencroquet, Adobe 3D, DEEP, 3Dxplorer, ExitReality and others.

1st SL paramedic course

Paramedic students studying at the Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences, a partnership between St George’s, University of London, and Kingston University, today learn how to treat emergencies  on-the-job in Second Life. (http://www.yournursing.com/2008/10/16/first-paramedic-course-to-use-second-life/)

Students entering Second Life as virtual paramedics can assess and treat “patients” in the street by doing things such as checking their pulse, dressing wounds and administering drugs. They can also access a toolkit, including all the equipment one would typically find in an ambulance, such as oxygen masks and an electrocardiogram (ECG).

After assessing the patient and giving emergency treatment, the students are able to decide how to get the patient into the ambulance and set a GPS device to take them to the hospital. Once they have reached the hospital, they submit handover notes on the patients, which are emailed to their real-life tutor for feedback.

The Paramedic Science degree, in which the Second Life component is included, has a strong practical focus, with solving problems based on real-life scenarios forming a crucial part of the course.

The application has been developed by St George’s, University of London’s e-learning unit as part of the PREVIEW project, funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). It has been tested by both tutors and students.

The SL librarian

The story of Second Life’s Alliance Virtual Library and the Second Life spaces of the Alliance Library System volunteer educators  and  what has been done in promoting libraries  in Second Life, was contained in a machinama used as an introduction to Bernadette Daly Swanson’s (HVX Silverstar) presentation at the Bridging Worlds 2008 Conference  held in Singapore.

The conference: http://www.bridgingworlds.sg/ with the conference slides at  http://www.slideshare.net/bridgingworlds2008/slideshowsThe machima is entitled: “I am Library: an ode to self-discovery and collective creativity in Second Life.” The success of the Alliance Virtual Library has been such that it now has the virtual equivalent of 1.26 square miles  in Second Life.

There is a high quality version of the machima http://blip.tv/file/1375957/

Have a giggle!

http://www.getafirstlife.com/

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