Friday, 22 June 2007
The Virtual University of Edinburgh is opening Schools on their SL Campus. So far I did not see traces of dramatic activity, but it's builder Shale Bing is doing a nice job on design of the environment and adds interesting functionality. I'd love to see in what other ways they commit themselves to a change in education on that level. I have not found student services yet, no doubt it is there or it will come soon. Shale's just started a blog about this.
Thursday, 21 June 2007
Art is always a proper medicine to heal the soul. A visit to the Van Gogh Museum is even more a wonderful experience than it was the first time. Construction is still going on and with lots of new objects to see I advise you to go there.
I spent a few weeks on holiday and missed all the fun in SL. Had a good time though. More research revealed to me what everybody knew already. I can put my brand new headset aside and keep chatting for a while. A disillusion. Enfin, second life goes on.
Friday, 15 June 2007
At America's Arctic University, the University of Alaska Fairbanks you've got a 360+ million-acre classroom out your door with spectacular natural beauty and plentiful wildlife. This is not enough, as they opened extra space in SL. Maybe it is the milder climate and 7/24 sunshine, when wanted. It is not clear what they do there apart from giving an odd lecture or 2.
Leeds College of Art and Design developed a splendid environment to prototype and experiment with digital media design. The pattern of the island itself invites creative sketching. One of the bigger buildings, completely empty, holds an almost totally black 3-d background which will provide superb conditions for playing with light, animation and photography.
For most of us SL is a health hazard as it keeps us from physical training. For others it can be an excellent and/or only environment to meet, walk, run and even fly. The Cystic Fibrosis University opened a meeting place, learning and information centre, including must-haves like a pub and theatre. I would love to play the theatre one day. To early for the pub.
Thursday, 14 June 2007
Visiting the Liberal Arts Campus it was not easy to find people or purpose of this location. Once I fell in a hole in the ground I came in touch with 3 Avatars holding hand puppets and having a somewhat cryptic communication. This section of the university gives access to people from all over the world to express themselves and thus created a cultural sandbox, rather than a technical one. Lots of visitors seem to like this spot as it is frequently visited by many SL residents with a weak spot for culture. I was pleasantly surprised by the presence of fellow puppeteers too.
The report assesses the user acceptance of Virtual Worlds, specifically Second Life. By means of a survey with almost 250 respondents this report provides first empirical results of the user acceptance of Second Life. The data has been gathered during spring 2007. The results show that 90% of respondents have less than a year experience, 70% access Second Life from home and 54% with a desktop. There are 67% of respondents who are not afraid of giving personal information. Almost 60% are very likely to buy virtual goods from Second Life, and 42% are willing to use their credit card to purchase on Second Life. About 70% perceive Second Life improves collaboration and communication, and more than 60% perceive that it improves cooperation between people. 56% of respondents perceive Second life as easy to use. Finally, the results indicate that people are using Second Life not to change their identity, but rather to explore and visit new places and meet people. If users accept Virtual Worlds as a new way and channel to communicate, collaborate, and cooperation and if institutions arrive to provide value to users, Virtual Worlds might become then next generation platform for Internet users. However, in order to become mainstream, Virtual Worlds like Second Life have many challenges to overcome and where user acceptance is probably the most important one.
Get the report on http://secondliferesearch
Get the report on http://secondliferesearch
Tuesday, 12 June 2007
CPCC Campus has grown considerably since my last visit. Their student services are impressive and the chess - sim is a beauty. It takes two to play. The elevator to other levels made me lose my cane and hat during the 500 meter lift.
The University of Amsterdam gives access to four very handy information sheets on important issues like sex, personal information, discrimination. Just plain and practical tips on how to deal with the hazards of 'living' in SL. Pity it is not very clear who made it and why it is presented here.
Linden Lab has opened a resource for educators to help explore the added value of SL for education. The area presents a lot of information, but lacks accessibility as it is not easy to find your way. It is well worth a visit though, and for far more than just getting a view on your avatars DNA.