The SLENZ Update – No 19, October 26, 2008

Auckland ‘ER’ in SL

Vital signs - a patient is checked

Vital signs - a patient is checked

Dr Scott Diener (Professor Noarlunga, pictured) [http://scottdiener.edublogs.org/], at the University of Auckland, has created a simulated hospital emergency room where small teams of medical and nursing students can learn to diagnose and treat patients requiring emergency treatment.

Sited on an University of Auckland island, appropriately called the Long White Cloud [ http://slurl.com/secondlife/Long%20White%20Cloud/31/39/28 ], the medical facilities are only one of several temporary and ongoing experimental developments, all aimed at using Second Life as an educational environment.

The island project has been directed, created and currently ‘financed’ – almost single-handedly – by Diener, Associate Director IT Services for Academic and Collaborative Technologies at the university.

Speaking recently on the Emergency Room side of the project, Diener said, “This project is just in the beginning design stages, and is contingent upon grant funds becoming available.  The intent is to initially develop a hospital ‘ward’ for use with  3rd and 4th year medical students.”

A visit to the island demonstrates just what Diener has achieved from his sometimes frustrating “labour of love” with its initial goal of developing several “experimental” medical simulations (e.g. a hospital environment), along with interactive spaces for students and staff.

The simulations already created relate to medicine, surgery, nursing, psychology, and disaster preparedness. Already instructors can assess “student”  abilities in the diagnosis of instructor-determined medical scenarios in real time and it is planned to have real life actor/avatars play patient roles based on specific symptom/attitude etc scripts as a learning aid.

Diener notes that medical students/interns from distant places could be tested in this way via broadband and Second Life without the cost of either traveling to  a specific campus or the cost of having to “hire” and train actor- patients to “work” on a number of university campuses.

Currently the ground floor of the Auckland University simulated medical school houses the Medical Clinic/hospital Emergency Room and related facilities (doctor offices).   The Second floor houses an intensive care unit. The nursing unit  being built in collaboration with Boise State University, US, will attempt to mimic the real-life nursing simulation environment at Boise. A study is currently being designed to compare the effectiveness of this environment against the Boise RL simulation.

Various medical components, monitors and instruments are being or have been designed for the simulations and PBL (problem-based learning) scenarios are being developed. The interactive Emergency Room instrumentation was built by David Bodily, a nursing educator from Wyoming University.  He also is a participant in the study with Boise.<!–[if !mso]> <! st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } –>

Diener has invited international participation in the simulations.

Tim Shadbolt visited? Did he?

Tim Shadbolt or only a facsimile?

Tim Shadbolt or only a facsimile?

The Second Life paparazzi recently spied what they thought was Tim Shadbolt, New Zealand politician and Invercargill Mayor, enjoying a stroll around the grounds of the Southern Institute of Technology’s handsome build on the  Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology’s collaborative island sim, Koru. http://slurl.com/secondlife/Koru/156/122/27

“The Southern Institute of Technology’s (SIT) presence within Second Life was initially proposed by a team of three third-year Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT) students as the subject matter for the programme’s compulsory Project 701 paper,” according to a mid-year announcement of the developing SIT presence on Koru. “Primarily the team is to produce an area for the promotion of SIT, in general, while subsequently promoting current students achievements in the Arts, Digital Media, Film, and Information Technology. Additional deliverables include providing a medium in which current and/or prospective students can meet, develop, and secure positive relationships. Further investigation into the educational value of Second Life will be assessed by the success or failure of this initial stage.”

Now the paparazzi all know that Tim has been a major supporter of the Southern Institute but in handing us the picture above they just could not confirm whether it was him or not. But it sure looked like him. Dear reader we will leave it up to you to decide.

Business without borders

There has been considerable discussion in Second Life business and education   circles about “work spaces in a box” following the Linden Lab  announcement  that Rivers Run Red’s Immersive Workspaces 2.0, a comprehensive virtual world collaboration solution, is being made available on the Second Life Grid.

The companies have also announced a strategic partnership to sell and market each other’s products, either individually or jointly, and to explore developing and deploying additional offerings for Linden Lab’s growing base of enterprise customers.

Announcing the collaboration Linden Labs said that with enterprise use of the Second Life Grid on the rise, organisations were investing more in their virtual environments and moving mission critical aspects of their businesses into the virtual world such as distance learning, product prototyping and collaboration.

“This migration has created demand for a solution that enables organisations to quickly implement, configure and populate a virtual world environment suitable for their needs,” Linden said. ” Immersive Workspaces meets these needs by pre-configuring workspace options and wrapping the Second Life Grid solution in a web-based framework rich with familiar tools and interfaces.

“… Immersive Workspaces enables organisations to construct custom virtual work environments – including meetings rooms and design centers – that can dramatically change the way they collaborate and communicate. A set of tightly integrated web-based applications and the ability to seamlessly upload and integrate real world content – eg PowerPoint – brings enterprise-level efficiency and flexibility into a virtual world.

“In today’s financial climate, every enterprise regardless of size or industry is looking for ways to increase productivity, reduce costs, and boost overall profitability,” said Mark Kingdon, Chief Executive Officer, Linden Lab. “With documented benefits and use cases and enterprise-ready applications such as Immersive Workspaces from partners such as Rivers Run Red, the Second Life Grid is the ideal platform for enterprises looking to add a virtual element to their operations.”

For more information about Immersive Workspaces on the Second Life Grid please visit http://www.immersivespaces.com, http://www.secondlifegrid.net or contact business@lindenlab.com.

Useful videos

We owe  Australian SLED lister Bruce Sommerville for pointing us the five useful YouTube videos on the topic of ‘Second Life Education’ collected together on the SLEDevents playlist at:http://au.youtube.com/user/sledevents

He also noted that the AUSTAFE conference in early october was simulcast in  Second Life

Event

A special panel on Assessing the Student Experience in Second Life at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference in Orlando will be streamed into Second Life on (Second Life time) Wednesday, October 29
from 7:30am – 8:20am SLT. SL SLURL:http://slurl.com/secondlife/ClevelandPlus/191/106/25

Difficult timing for Kiwis but this panel will bring together practitioners from four institutions that have experimented with using virtual worlds such as Second Life to enhance student learning.

The speakers are:Tanya Joosten, Lecturer and Educational Technology Consultant, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; AJ Kelton, Director, Emerging Instructional Tech, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Montclair State University;Deborah Keyek-Franssen, Director of Academic Technologies, University of Colorado at Boulder; and Wendy Shapiro, Senior Academic Technology Officer, Case Western Reserve University.

The session will be moderated by Steven J. Taylor, Director, Academic Computing Services, Vassar College, and session convener is Lloyd Onyett, Assistant Dean for Technology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.