Tuesday, 19 February 2008

3D Internet for Learning Summit

IBM and some partners organize a summit on the potential of 3d Internet for Learning. A nice venue in Active Worlds. It does not take long to get used to the client. It might be interesting to compare these two VW - clients for teaching and learning. VW is much easier to use but also misses a lot of the functionality of SL. Best news is that one has the choice! In two hours the summit will start. I spoke with some of the early visitors, they shared my high expectations. Some of it can be witnessed on the blog. They also provide a Wiki on this event and the ongoing discussion.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Benito Flores on piano in Cedar Island

Benito Flores plays the piano quite well and it is a joy listening to his performance in-world. The 3-d element strengthens the illusion of attending in a live concert in the open air. The music is live, synchronous and of excellent quality. For those who want to make an audio capture it is a pity the camera's are not silenced. Kate did a great job organizing this on Cedar Island at a convenient time.

Virtual Worlds Matrix

An amazing spreadsheet, available via Google Docs&Spreadsheets with an excellent overview of almost 50 different Virtual Worlds. The document gives details such as: target audience, owner, website, currency, ad-support, etc. The overview was developed by VirtualWorldNews.com. The image shows a picture taken in HiPiHi, a Chinese VW.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Mini-Conference on the results of my interviews

What is so compelling about Second Life that we would miss a RL meeting for? Why are we drawn back time and time again? Is there really an educational payoff for our explorations in-world? This event is for all those avatars who were interviewed on the perceived added value of Second Life for learning and teaching. The event will take place on Wednesday the 5th of March 2008, opening at 12.00 pm (noon) CST (Chicago) on Cedar Island, The Lodge. It will take, social venue included not more than 90 minutes.The meeting will present the summarized results of 50 interviews held with in-world educators, researchers, educational technologist and others involved in using Second Life for learning and teaching. During this conference we will also ask you to reflect on the research results and give recommendations for best practice educational activities. The plenary and the discussion group conversations will be recorded and will be made available to you shortly after the conference. The event is open to all, but as there is limited space avatars inteviewed come first.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Community of Inquiry

To label the transcripts we are using the COI model developed by Garrison and Anderson. This model is meant to describe the critical aspects of learning communities: social, cognitive and teaching presence. To be able to understand and use this model I did two things. First of all I read relevant articles available on the web, preferably by both authors. I also bought their book and am reading it carefully. To be able to keep an overview I created this concept-map. The idea is that the different presences are described in a more concrete way when moving away from the kernel. Feel free to comment.

OpenSim Project

The OpenSim Project maintains four grids: DeepGrid, OSGrid, OpenLifeGrid (see previous post) and CentralGrid. The last grid was established december last year and the DeepGrid opened in June 2007. All together there are over 700 regions in these 4 grids. It seems problematic to maintain them without loss of items, but apparently these 10.000 avatars carry that burden with pleasure. Read more here


An alternative for those who would like to be able to make a choice in 2d life too. Of course there are more options, but this one seems promising: The OpenlifeGrid is a 3D virtual world built on technology with Open Source Technology from the opensimulator project and is the largest GRID available today. Starting your Openlife is Free and easy and begins with registration and choosing a name for your new Openlife Avatar. To Connect to the Openlife Grid you will need a Second life or Compatible Browser. Due to some instabilities I have not been able to go in yet. More information on their website.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Presentation Added Value of Second Life

Some people gave me the opportunity(!) to present a concise overview of the research project. In not a second more than 5 minutes I showed them 18 slides with information, while I read a carefully prepared text to them. I timed myself with a stopwatch and trained several hours in using the exact lines of the script. An ordeal, I can tell you as it is not a problem for me at all to elaborate on this subject for several minutes longer. The English presentation can be viewed here.