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Virtual Education Journal


Educators Share     Why  We  Are  Here!  

March 2012


ISTE Island  Tribute.  .  .    ISTE  Headquarters,  Then  and  Now   Interview  with  Casandra  Jackson   of  FOOD  AT-­‐CAS     Visit  VEJ  Poster  at  VWBPE  2012   See  the  new  Café  Dining  Set     BEING  EPIC:   VWBPE  2012  Schedule  Inside  


VEJ        Vol.  1  Issue  4   Virtual  Education  Journal  

In This  Issue   • • •

Hello Everyone,     Like  many  trailblazers  and  pioneers  before  us,  there  comes  a  time  when  you  now  it   is  time  to  move  on.    We,  ISTE  SIGVE,  have  reached  that  juncture.  It’s  time  to  go.  As  I  write   these  words,  I  am  sitting  alone  at  the  campfire  where  we  spent  happy  hours  listening,   learning,  and  dreaming  of  what  we  could  do  to  improve,  enhance,  and  engage  our  students  in   authentic  learning.  For  so  many  of  us,  ISTE  Island  was  our  first  home  in  sl  –  our  home  away   from  home!  Each  newbie  was  welcomed  with  open  arms,  given  the  tools  needed  to  survive,   and  taught  the  skills  needed  to  build  a  new  life  in  this  strange  land.  Like  a  family  we  grew  up   together,  sharing  our  joys  and  sorrows,  creating  digital  pictures,  stories  and  memories  we   will  cherish  forever.  We  played,  we  danced,  we  worked,  we  had  fun,  and  with  each  step   forward  we  celebrated  our  accomplishments.  Together,  we  have  left  infinite  digital  footprints   for  others,  who  may  someday  follow  our  trail.     Today,  as  I  strolled  around  ISTE  Island,  it  is  quiet.  Eerie  quiet!  There  is  no  one   here.  The  Bloogers  Hut  stands  empty.  The  treehouse  that  Lori  Galli  describes  still  stands  tall,   yet  lonely.  ISTE  Headquarters  is  an  abandoned  ghost  town,  filled  with  artifacts  from  bits  and   bytes,  etched  within  the  walls  and  reluctantly  left  behind.  But  our  past  has  caught  up  with   our  future,  the  wagons  are  loaded  and  ready  to  roll.  “WESTWARD,  HO!”  as  we  journey  to   Eduisland!    9/20/75/22    Here  we  will   rebuild  the  community  we  left  behind  and  establish  a  gateway  to  new  adventures  into  other   virtual  worlds.  Get  rid  of  your  horse  and  buggy.  Trade  your  cowboy  hat  for  your  space   helmet,  and  then  HOLD  ON,  because  ISTE  SIGVE  is  launching  –  ready  for  takeoff,  to  learn,   explore,  and  claim  a  place  in  other  virtual  worlds  as  we  did  in  second  life.  Hold  On.  .  .    its  Light   Speed  ahead!  We  hope  you  will  join  us  and  become  an  active  member  of  our  SIGVE  powerful   exploration  team.  You  won’t  want  to  miss  the  next  chapter  of  ISTE!     A  Place  Called  Home!  Help   ISTE  SIGVE  rebuild.  Check   out  contest  details,   pictures,  stories,  and   more,  at:   http://sigve.iste.wikispa       In  this  special  issue  of  VEJ,  we  pay  tribute  to  what  ISTE  SIGVE  was  and  look   forward  to  what  ISTE  SIGVE  will  become.  We  celebrate  the  stories  of  nine  educators  who   share  with  us  “Why  They  Are  Here.”    And,  best  of  all,  as  we  go  to  press  on  the  eve  of  VWBPE   2012,  we  preview  the  highlights  and  look  forward  to  the  excitement  and  joy  of  learning  and   having  fun  with  each  other  as  we  share  and  network  with  people  around  the  world  and   metaverse  at  the  Virtual  Worlds  Best  Practices  In  Education  2012  Conference.  To  register  for   the  free  conference,  visit  Be  sure  to  check  out  the  posters  (VEJ  poster   included),  have  fun  at  the  socials,  attend  the  Machinima  Fest,  attend  several  sessions,  and   take  a  tour  of  at  least  one  virtual  world  you  have  never  explored!  Pooky  Amsterdam  is   hosting  the  VWBPE  Awards  show  on  Saturday,  4:00  –  6:00  pm  slt.  You  won’t  want  to  miss  it!         Sit  back,  relax  and  get  ready  to  indulge  in  this  special  issue  of  VEJ!  It  will  take  you  out  of  this   world!           Bon  Appetite!             Roxie  Neiro  (sl)  Rosie  Vojtek  (rl)        

• • •

• • • • • • •

Reflections on Six Years of ISTE in Second Life by Jennifer Ragen-Fore (rl) Too Much House by Scott Merrick (rl) ISTE Island Memories by Spiff Whitfield (sl)/Andrew Wheelock (rl) Reflections on Iste Island by Lori Galli (sl) Lori Weedo (rl) Got MOOC by Kavon Zenovka (sl)/Kae Novak (rl) Food At CAS: An Interview With Owner and Creator, Casandra Jackson by Roxie Neiro (sl)/Rosie Vojtek (rl) Café Dining Set by Food At CAS by Roxie Neiro (sl)/Rosie Vojtek (rl) The Library Art Gallery at Info Island by Samantha Chester (sl) A Virtual Kickoff to a F@F Conference by Kavon Zenovka (sl).Kae Novak (rl) 9 Educators Share “Why They Are Here” BE EPIC – It’s Time for VWBPE 2012 Epilicious is VWBPE 2012 by Izzylaunder.Kara (sl) VWBPE 2012: Where to Go, To Stay In The Know, including master schedule

To Read  VEJ  online  visit:   For  more  information  about  ISTE  SIGVE  or   to  join  the  fun,  visit:  


Reflections on  Six  Years   of  ISTE  in  Second  Life     By  Jennifer  Ragen-­‐Fore  

  I  can  recall  the  exact  moment  when  I  first  heard  of  Second  Life—it  was   early  2005,  I  was  still  living  and  working  in  Seattle,  and  a  co-­‐worker  of  mine   was  describing  how  she  and  her  boyfriend  had  created  accounts  in  Second   Life  and  were  setting  up  house.  When  I  found  out  they  paid  a  monthly  fee  for   the  privilege  of  leading  this  double  life,  I  admit  I  was  a  little  incredulous,  and   at  the  time,  couldn’t  quite  wrap  my  head  around  the  concept.  Little  did  I  know   that  a  year  later  I  would  begin  using  the  tool  in  a  professional  context.     My  first  few  visits  in  Second  Life  were  somewhat  unremarkable.  My  main   motivation  for  exploring  Second  Life  was  finding  a  good  platform  for  building   ISTE’s  sense  of  community  amongst  members.  In  mid  2006,  there  were  a  few   educational  spaces  starting  to  set  up  shop,  but  only  a  small  handful  of   educators  in  world  at  any  given  time.  Seeing  what  could  be  built  intrigued  me   and  appealed  to  my  interest  in  design  and  programming.  Still,  it  was  a  lonely   affair  in  those  early  days  and  I  considered  looking  for  other  tools  and  letting   the  whole  Second  Life  idea  go  by  the  wayside.  That  is,  until  I  ran  into  my  first   ISTE  member,  quite  by  accident,  on  EduNation’s  island.  We  chatted  for  about  


20 minutes,  and  it  was  a  deeply  rewarding  experience—really  the  first  time   I’d  been  able  to  have  that  type  of  real-­‐time  interaction  with  a  member  outside   of  a  f2f  conference.        

  ISTE  Breaks  Ground   After  a  few  more  of  these  interactions,  I  started  putting  the  word  out   through  the  grapevine  that  ISTE  would  be  interested  in  renting  some  land  and   connecting  with  educators  in  world.  We  weren’t  sure  what  would  come  of  it,   but  we  were  open  to  experimenting.  We  were  lucky  enough  to  be  introduced   to  Lori  Bell  who  had  set  up  an  island  for  librarians  and  was  about  to  launch  a   new  space  called  EduIsland.  We  quickly  jumped  at  the  chance  to  become  a   tenant,  and  started  building  our  virtual  presence.     In  those  early  days,  we  really  felt  like  pioneers—there  was  a  strong   sense  of  community  on  EduIsland  and  the  tenants  all  helped  each  other  learn   how  to  navigate  in  this  new  environment,  marveled  at  each  other’s  projects,   and  sometimes  grumbled  at  conflicting  events  that  created  full  sims  and   locked  out  participants  (just  a  sign  of  the  growing  popularity!).  As  ISTE   started  hosting  a  weekly  social  event  in  January  of  2007  and  soon  after  a   weekly  speaker  series  session,  the  sense  of  community  grew—Peggy  Sheehy,  


Lisa Perez,  Marianne  Malmstrom,  Kevin  Jarrett,  Scott  Merrick,  Lisa  Linn,   Christie  Thomas,  Lindy  McKeown,  Caren  Levine,  Scott  Swanson,  and  many   others  became  regulars  and  helped  form  the  backbone  of  our  little  PLN.     We  soon  outgrew  the  space  on  EduIsland  (even  with  our  lovely  skypark  that   was  perfect  for  hosting  our  events,  we  found  that  most  events  bumped  up   against  our  60-­‐person  cap  and  we  ended  up  turning  members  away  each   week).  It  was  time  for  a  private  island  and  we  needed  reinforcements!    

  The  Docent  Program  is  Born   Before  we  made  the  transition  over  to  our  new  island,  we  recognized   that  we  needed  a  way  to  handle  all  the  newly  generated  interest  from   members  and  educators  coming  in  to  Second  Life  in  droves.  Staff  could  only  be   at  the  building  certain  hours  (usually  in  the  evenings)  and  there  were  many   hours  throughout  the  day  when  the  building  would  be  empty.  I  remembered   my  first  few  forays  into  Second  Life  and  how  lonely  it  was  on  most  islands  and   how  thrilling  it  was  to  talk  to  real  person—not  just  a  person,  but  a  peer—and  I   knew  that  was  the  key  to  making  our  space  a  vibrant  one.  After  putting  out  a   query  to  our  group,  I  was  happily  surprised  at  the  overwhelming  response.   About  30  people  were  interested  in  signing  up  for  regular  “docent”  shifts  to   greet  visitors  and  help  them  get  started  in  Second  Life.  This  was  before  the   days  of  voice  in  Second  Life,  of  course,  so  those  early  training  sessions  with  


docents were  carefully  constructed  copy  and  paste  jobs  from  notecard  to  chat.   By  the  end  of  a  two-­‐hour  session,  my  fingers  were  tired  and  I  was   embarrassed  at  my  sometimes  poor  spelling/typing  skills,  but  I  was  recharged   by  the  relationships  being  built  and  the  exciting  work  being  done.     Life  on  the  Island   With  the  docent  program  up  and  running,  regular  programming  and   socials  happening  each  week,  and  a  look  ahead  to  the  upcoming  NECC  in   Atlanta,  we  set  about  creating  the  island—landscaping,  terraforming,  and   envisioning  spaces  that  would  best  support  connecting  and  learning  together.   Why  set  up  traditional  meeting  rooms  when  yoga  treehouses,  perched  high   upon  pine  trees  and  looking  out  over  the  crashing  surf,  could  serve  the  same   purpose?  Why  have  formal  conference  tables  when  crackling  campfire  circles   work  so  much  better?    

More  and  more  volunteers  stepped  forward  to  share  best  practices,   serve  as  tour  guides,  welcome  visitors,  and  host  events.  The  community  grew   exponentially  and  everyone  looked  ahead  to  our  first  opportunity  to  meet   each  other  face  to  face  at  NECC  Atlanta.    We  made  plans  to  host  an  activity  for   SLers  during  the  conference  opening  reception  which  was  held  at  the  Georgia   Aquarium  that  year,  and  featured  our  first  mixed  reality  event:  an  inworld   reception  in  a  replica  of  the  Georgia  Aquarium  complete  with  the  sea  life,   exhibits,  and  learning  resources  found  in  the  real  aquarium.    


  That  event  was  such  a  touching,  fun  experience—members  greeted  each   other  as  long-­‐lost  family,  most  meeting  face  to  face  for  the  very  first  time,  as   hugs,  shrieks,  and  laughter  were  exchanged.  Scott  Swanson  acted  as  the   ringleader  (or  maybe  the  barker),  welcoming  people  in  and  inviting  them  to   learn  more,  create  an  account,  and  join  us  back  on  ISTE  Island  after  the   conference.  Later  in  the  conference,  the  group  held  its  first  playground  and   lounge  and  this  was  the  moment  when  the  community  really  took  hold.    

  Building  a  World   That  first  year  was  such  a  springboard  for  the  years  ahead,  as  we  added   three  islands,  hosted  several  mixed  reality  events,  started  an  island  rental   program  for  ISTE  affiliates  and  other  educational  groups,  and  undertook   numerous  professional  development  projects.      


One of  my  all-­‐time  favorite  projects  was  building  the  Alamo  to  coincide   with  ISTE’s  conference  in  San  Antonio  in  2008.  Working  with  the  talented   Malinda  McCormick  of  the  local  San  Antonio  PBS,  a  generous  builder  who   created  the  major  structures,  and  scores  of  ISTE  volunteers,  we  replicated  the   grounds  of  the  Alamo  down  to  the  smallest  detail,  right  down  to  artifacts  and   additional  learning  resources  in  each  of  the  buildings.  During  the  opening   reception  of  the  2008  conference,  we  hosted  a  mixed  reality  event  in  which  we   recreated  the  live  band  playing  in  San  Antonio,  streamed  the  live  band  into   Second  Life,  and  displayed  the  in  world  reception  on  large  monitors  next  to   the  physical  world  band.  We  were  pushing  on  the  technology  so  hard  during   that  event  that  I  ended  up  with  a  fried  motherboard  before  the  end  of  the   evening,  but  a  volunteer  generously  stepped  forward  with  a  quick   replacement  to  get  through  the  rest  of  the  event,  which  was  a  success.      

  Other  favorite  projects  include  hosting  the  in  world  proceedings  of  the   2008  SLEDCC  event,  working  with  Linden  Labs  on  the  Experience  Pathway   project  for  educators,  and  launching  ISTE’s  in  world  television  talk  show,  ISTE   Eduverse  Talks—all  possible  because  of  the  tremendous  support  and  work  of   our  ISTE  member  network  and  volunteers.        


The Network  Evolves   In  November  of  2008,  ISTE’s  new  SIG  for  virtual  environments  was   officially  launched  under  the  leadership  of  Scott  Merrick,  who’d  been  with  the   group  since  the  very  beginning  and  was  the  perfect  person  to  unite  the   various  volunteer  efforts  on  ISTE  Island.  A  monthly  speaker  series,  a  build  on   the  Reaction  Grid,  a  new  machinima  fest,  and  the  digital  journal  were  all   launched.  New  faces  (and  new  talents)  stepped  forward  to  help  plan  socials,   provide  programming,  and  take  the  lead  on  creating  the  conference  build  and   mixed  reality  event,  this  time  an  amazing  replica  of  the  Denver  Convention   Center  and  highlights  from  Colorado  history.        

          As  the  volunteer  structure  took  on  more  and  more  of  the  leadership  of   the  island,  my  role  in  Second  Life  scaled  back,  but  I  have  no  less  appreciation   for  the  work  and  creativity  that  happened  there  during  this  most  recent  stage   of  ISTE  Island’s  history.  No  doubt  the  network  has  countless  memories  to   share  from  this  period  of  time  in  addition  to  the  highlights  I  offer  here.    


A  Look  Ahead     With  this  look  back  at  ISTE  in  Second  Life,  I  find  myself  excited  and   curious  to  see  what  the  next  chapter  will  hold  for  the  group  and  its   exploration  of  virtual  worlds.  As  I  write  this,  SIGVE  volunteers  are  leading  the   effort  to  set  up  a  new  space  back  on  EduIsland.  While  it’s  bittersweet  to  retire   ISTE’s  private  island,  I  know  it  also  offers  new  frontiers  for  exploration—both   of  the  neighbors  in  ISTE’s  new  backyard,  and  of  other  virtual  worlds  and   spaces.  It’s  been  such  a  journey  in  Second  Life  to  this  point  and  this  PLN  has   been  the  genesis  of  so  many  wonderful  opportunities—from  meeting  some  of   my  very  favorite  ISTE  members  and  volunteers,  to  learning  about  and  being   involved  in  so  many  projects  and  activities  that  pushed  the  field  forward.  I’m   grateful  to  each  and  every  pioneer  who  took  the  chance  to  be  bold  and   innovative,  and  to  step  forward  and  contribute  expertise,  creativity,  and   passion  to  this  community  over  the  years.  And  I  look  forward  to  seeing  where   the  community  goes  next!    


Too Much  House      

by Scott  Merrick  

Back  in  the  first  half  of  the  first  decade  of  the  twentieth  century  (can  you   tell  this  is  going  to  be  a  historically-­‐themed  piece?),  just  before  the  housing   boom  exploded  into  a  nightmare  field  of  shattered  dreams  and  foreclosed   mortgages,  my  lovely  wife,  Lee  Ann,  and  I  decided  that  we  were  living  rather   ridiculously  beyond  our  means.  Don’t  ever  doubt  that  we  loved  our  house,  a   1930’s-­‐built  Cape  Cod  Cottage  home  in  a  historic  neighborhood  bordering  the   "uppest-­‐scale"  one  (Belle  Meade)  in  the  fair  city  of  Nashville,  Tennessee.    In  an   odd  set  of  circumstances,  partly  related  to  parental  pressure,  partly  self-­‐ delusion,  we  had  expanded  it  out  the  back,  doubling  its  square  footage  to   5,000+  while  preserving  its  original  “street  face.”  Now,  with  our  daughter  just   a  year  or  so  away  from  moving  out  to  attend  college,  leaving  just  the  three  of   us  to  ramble  around  all  those  square  feet,  it  was  looking  like  too  much  house.       There  were  many  things  we  loved  about  that  house.  For  me,  the   detached  garage  turned  study,  where  I  first  encountered  Active  Worlds  and   Second  Life  on  my  desktop  computer;  the  brick  patio  I  had  fallen  off  one   Saturday  morning,  crushing  two  metatarsals  in  my  hand;    the  lovingly  hand-­‐ crafted  wooden  jungle-­‐gym  and  slide  play  structure;  the  spacious  upstairs   master  bedroom  (which  we  had  to  restage  on  the  1st  floor  to  help  with  the   sale);  and  the  Vignamaggio-­‐themed  painted  window  that  I  had  crafted  in  the   master  bath  to  accommodate  the  backyard  expansion  where  a  real  window   had  been—those  things  I  will  always  miss.  The  Green  Hills  home  was   conveniently  located  in  that  first  iteration  of  suburban  Nashville,  minutes   away  from  everything  of  importance  in  the  city.       Still,  it  was  too  much  house.     Very  long  story  short:  We  managed  to  sell  and  purchased  a  nice,   reasonable,  70’s  ranch  style  home  in  West  Meade,  further  out  away  into   suburbia,  just  a  mile  or  two  from  the  ranch  style  home  in  West  Meade  where  I   grew  up,  if  one  can  really  say  I  ever  did  that.  Now  we  love  our  new  home.  It’s   comfortable,  stylish  (thanks  to  my  style-­‐conscious  honey),  and  excellent  for   entertaining.  We  are  surrounded  by  great  neighbors  and  we’re  more  or  less  


living within  our  means.  We  plan  to  remain  settled  here  for  the  foreseeable   future,  to  sustain  our  family  in  our  cozy  home.     Do  you  see  where  I’m  going  here?  Cut  to  Second  Life.     Back  in  the  first  half  of  the  first  decade  of  the  twentieth  century,  the   International  Society  for  Technology  in  Education  forayed  into  virtual  worlds   in  the  form  of  a  leased  property  on  Eduisland.  That’s  where  I  discovered  them.   I  had  been  in  the  environment  for  a  couple  of  years,  having  used  it  really  as  a   kind  of  second  life,  playing  some  games,  role-­‐playing,  hanging  out  with  a   completely  disconnected  community  at  the  Elbow  Room-­‐-­‐a  legendary  tiny  bar   that  would  more  often  than  not  be  packed  with  avatars  from  every  corner  of   the  globe,  just  dancing  elbow  to  elbow  as  the  name  implied  and  trading  clever   repartee  about  every  subject  imaginable.  Once  I  discovered  ISTE  in  SL,  my   second  life  merged  with  my  first  life  in  ways  that  I  will  forever  cherish.  I  even   killed  my  first  avatar  and  became  Scottmerrick  Oh.     One  of  the  first  avatars  I  met  there,  as  I  began  to  make  the  little  ISTE   building  on  Eduisland  a  frequent  stop,  was  a  pony-­‐tailed  fellow  in  business   attire.  His  avatar’s  name  was  Kyle  Thorn.  When  I  met  him  IRL  (in  real  life),  of   course,  I  called  him  Scott,  since  his  real  name  was  Scott  Swanson.  I  referred  to   him  more  often  than  once  as  “the  other  Second  Life  Scott.”  He  was  the  first.  We   lost  him  in  2010  when  he  finally  succumbed  to  long-­‐standing  illnesses,  but  he   I  will  always  remember  him  as  the  other  Scott.      

I  met  many  other  fine  educators,  soon,  and  about  that  time  ISTE  noticed   something  happening,  a  growing  online  community  whose  dynamism  drove  


them to  upsize  their  Second  Life  home.  In  a  unique  set  of  circumstances  that   was  fueled  by  visionary  optimism  over  the  potentials  of  this  life-­‐changing   virtual  world,  ISTE  purchased  their  own  island  and  named  it  “ISTE  Island.”  It   would  boom,  of  course,  into  a  four  island  property,  but  it  would  retain  its   “street  face”  with  its  real-­‐world  replicating  Headquarters  while  adding,  over   time,  a  television  studio,  many  rental  properties,  and  at  various  conference   times  a  beautiful  and  accurate  replication  of  the  Alamo  in  San  Antonio,  Texas   and  the  Denver  Conference  Center  with  Red  Rocks  Amphitheatre  behind  it.   Those  were  good  times,  and  the  many  evenings  Scottmerrick  Oh,  my  avatar,   stood  on  the  front  porch  of  ISTE  Headquarters  and  “wircled”  (my  coinage  for   the  frequent  event  of  stepping  back  to  widen  the  circle)  to  accommodate  the   arrival  of  new  friends  and  colleagues  into  vibrant  discussions  of  educational   issues  or  teaching  strategies,  or  cooking,  or  music,  or  art,  or  child-­‐raising…oh,   my,  god—those  were  good  times.       We  met  there  in  2010  to  pay  our  respects  to  Scott/Kyle  and  to  share   memories.  It  was  a  poignant  meeting  of  dear  friends.  I  looked  around  the  front   porch.  Knowclue  Kidd,  Maggie  Marat,  Kittygloom  Cassady,  KJ  Hax,  Roxie  Neiro,   BJ  Gearbox,  Padlurowncanoe  Dibou,  Clare  Lane,  Komputer  Merlin,  Corinne   Fleury,  Lori  Galli,  Maggie  Larimore,  Mandie  Mimulus,  Louise  Borgnine,  Esme   Qunhua,  Henny  Zimer,  Joie  Despres,  Julie  Sugarplum,  ScubaChris  Wollongong,   Victoria  Gloucester,  Zsuza  Tomsen,  Mo  Hax,  Spiff  Whitfield—more  Second  Life   friends,  more  cherished  colleagues  than  I  can  name.  Most  of  them  were   Second  Life  Docents,  a  group  of  ISTE  educators  who  regularly  dedicated  time   to  helping  newcomers  see  what  this  “sense  of  place  at  a  distance”  can  mean.    



I would  quote  the  entire  list  of  them  at  here  but  for  space.  Most  of  them   I  know.  Most  are  friends  not  just  in  Second  Life  but  friends  I  see  and  share   time  with  every  summer  at  ISTE  Conferences  and  talk  to  several  times  a  year   via  Second  Life  or  Skype  or  Facebook  or  Twitter.  This  is  important:  I  would   likely  know  none  of  these  fine  educators  had  we  not  met  in  Second  Life.    There   is  certainly  no  way  I  would  have  ever  met  or  grown  to  know  and  love  the   quirky,  brilliant,  sometimes  problematic  Scott  Swanson.    

ISTE  front  porch  meetup  for  Kyle  Thorn     Cut  to  the  present.  Toward  the  end  of  the  first  year  of  the  second  decade   of  the  21st  century,  our  nation’s  economy  was,  well,  a  nightmare  field  of   shattered  dreams  and  foreclosed  mortgages.  ISTE  itself  had  suffered  major   layoffs  and  restructuring.  They  looked  at  their  investment  of  thousands  of   dollars  a  year  into  virtual  property  in  Second  Life.  They  decided  they  had  too   much  house.     Turning  to  SIGVE,  the  Special  Interest  Group  for  Virtual  Environments,  a   group  born  from  the  metamorphosis  of  annual  conference  Second  Life   Playgrounds  into  Virtual  Environments  Playgrounds,  ISTE  asked  for  a  plan  to   downsize.  The  discussions  went  on  for  months  and  considered  all  angles  that   might  be  supported  by  the  generous  though  greatly  reduced  continuing   support  from  ISTE,  and  those  discussions  are  chronicled  in  the  task  force   notes  at  for  your  reading  enjoyment,  and,  


indeed, for  your  ongoing  contribution.  We  have  moved  into  the  virtual   equivalent  of  a  cozy  ranch  style  home  in  suburbia.  It’s  comfortable  and   excellent  for  entertaining.       We  are  surrounded  by  great  neighbors  and  we  are  more  or  less  living   within  our  means.  There,  on  Eduisland  9  at  we  plan   to  continue  sharing  and  sustaining  and  nurturing  our  virtual  family  in  our   cozy  home  for  the  foreseeable  future.  Come  share  with  us.  Anytime.    

One  closing  note:  Our  new  Headquarters  on  that  property  is  being   designed  via  a  competition  that  runs  through  March  31  and  it  shall  be   comfortable,  stylish,  and  perfect  for  entertaining.  There  is  one  implicit   requirement  not,  stated  in  the  rules,  but  one  that  perceptive  competition   entrants  will  have  no  doubt  already  incorporated  into  their  design:  It  must   have  a  front  porch.  For  wircling.    


ISTE Island Memories By Spiff Whitfield

Image from

I remember..... The Alamo! No, this isn’t in reference to the classic line from the movie, “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”, although there were many big adventures on ISTE


Island. The Alamo build at ISTE Island was a stepping stone for me in so many ways, but also a powerful symbol of the work and meaning that many of us do with virtual world education. As a “newbie” when the Alamo exhibit was created in 2008, I was captivated by the thought of being able to re-create such a powerful piece of American history through a virtual world. I remember touring the space with my avatar, clicking on the links and notecard givers, and interviewing some of the tour guides. Here, the realization came to me that I was hooked on Virtual Environment Education. If this simple structure could be captured, think what else could be done? And this was the beginning of the group I would later found, The Virtual Pioneers. As a matter of fact our group’s name came from the pioneering spirit of the western settlers. Our group remains strong and vibrant, with new members showing up at our meetings and tours. As of this writing my work continues beyond Virtual Pioneers with my student-centered work on the Islands of Enlightenment. This space is dedicated to bringing students into historical builds, like the Secret Annex detailed in “The Diary of a Young Girl: Anne Frank”. To watch students faces as they interact and create powerful narrative content using avatars is an amazing way to bring history to life. The kernel of that idea all began with the Alamo Exhibit. Perhaps, had I not seen that, I would have harbored my first impressions that virtual worlds were nonsense and had no role in education. Yet, the pioneering analogy carries on in various ways with virtual environment educators, doesn’t it? When our SIGVE Task Force meetings were going on, we often discussed the pioneer notion of the work we are doing. And that analogy is so powerful for those of us that use and believe that virtual environments offer great avenues for learning for students AND adults. We are doing the pioneering work in so many ways. We are often dismissed and ridiculed like all pioneers are but we know better, don’t we? Why? Because we have looked over the mountain and seen the other side, that other educators have only guessed at. So, carry on, we must. Perhaps, The Alamo, represents our current state doesn’t it? As we leave behind ISTE Island, we could easily be daunted and depressed over its loss as that of the Alamo’s tragic history. Yet, our pioneer spirit remains intact, just as America’s pioneer spirit.


So yes, I remember the Alamo, and I will always remember ISTE Island and its inspiration to my ideas and the awesome collaborations I have made since then. But what remains is so much more meaningful, for I have great friendships, innovative ideas, and the renaissance of new undertakings to pursue! Full speed ahead. Citations: Pee Wee’s Big Adventure: The Alamo Y& The Virtual Pioneers: The Islands of Enlightenment

Cherished Memories   ISTE Island was one of the first supporters of the work of Literature Alive! in Second Life, and, truly, was one of the best places an educator could go within the virtual world. I am sorry to hear of its closing down, but do understand that the education community has dwindled down since the grids merges and educator discounts were discontinued. I will always remember the friendly faces of the (so so so) many people that made up ISTE...especially Komputer Merlin and the Docent Gang! My favorite memories include campfire chats and hanging out at the Docent station. Best of luck to all in their future endeavors!!!! Desideria Stockton (SL)/Beth Ritter-Guth (RL)



Reflections On ISTE Island

By Lori Weedo (RL), Lori Galli (Sl)

Thanks for  the  memories  ISTE  Island!     Memories  for  me  at  ISTE  Island  first  consisted  of  "living"  literally  in  one   of  the  treehouses.    My  colleague  (Laural  McCallen)  and  I  made  this  treehouse   our  "home."    We  logged  on  and  logged  off  in  this  spot  for  two  years,  while  we   learned  to  change  clothes,  went  shopping  and  came  back  to  open  packages,   etc.       I  will  never  forget  one  time  when  a  docent  flew  up  to  see  if  I  needed   help  and  I  was  dressing.    It  was  such  an  odd  feeling  to  be  embarrassed,  as  if  it   was  my  real  self,  standing  there  half  naked  and  not  "just"  an  avatar.    This   treehouse  will  always  hold  special  memories  and  I  have  tried  to  replicate  it  to   the  best  of  my  ability  at  SLEEC  Island  as  a  tribute  to  ISTE  Island.  Here  is  the   location:  Island/234/184/37       People  are  welcome  to  come  visit  anytime  (they  have  to  be  a  member  of   the  group  SL  Educators  of  Escambia  County)  and  reminisce  about  fun  times  at   the  ISTE  Island  treehouse.       I  am  missing  one  very  vital  component  -­‐  the  Nirvana  Snowy  Owl,  in   which  I  have  tried  desperately  to  track  down  but  with  no  luck  so  far.    I  will  


continue trying.    The  owner  is  Carrie  Grant  and  the  owl  is  Nirvana  Snowy  Owl   (medium)  if  anyone  has  one  they  can  sell  me!    The  creator  is  hardly  ever  in  SL   anymore,  but  I  have  sent  messages,  notecards,  and  left  a  notecard  at  her   customer  support  area.    Thanks  for  any  help  with  this!       I  am  giving  you  two  pictures  as  a  comparison  that  I  took  of  the  replica:   ISTE  Island  Treehouse  and  ISTE  Island  Treehouse  @  SLEEC  Island/234/184/37       The  other  wonderful  memories  I  have  of  ISTE  Island  besides  all  the   great  professional  development  meetings  I  attended,  are  the  incredible   amount  of  collaboration  and  friends  I  made  while  I  was  docenting  every   Monday  evening.    Good  times  were  to  be  had  almost  every  time  I  volunteered   and  I  was  always  learning  something  new  and  loved  helping  others.      I  am  so   happy  to  have  been  a  part  of  this  great  community!!  It  will  be  exciting  to   continue  being  a  part  of  it  at  the  new  location  and  I  look  forward  to  more   learning  experiences,  fun  times,  and  great  friends!      

Tree house  pictures  taken  March  1,  2012  



Got MOOC?  By  Kavon    Zenovka  (SL)   Or,  should  we  say  the  VWMOOC  is  coming!     MOOC  –  Massive  Online  Open  Course     A  MOOC  (  is   a  course  based  on  the  learning  theory  connectivism.  Since  2008,  there  have   been  a  series  of  these  free  open  online  courses  offered.  The  “Tour  of  Virtual   Worlds,  Games  and  Education”  course  is  informed  by  their  design  and   implementation.     VW  MOOC  –  Virtual  Worlds,  Games  and  Education  is  divided  into  2   parts.   The  first  part  (pre-­‐conference  portion  of  Virtual  Worlds  Best  Practices   in  Education)  will  take  place  on  this  wordpress  site  which  is  functioning  as  the  Virtual  Worlds,   Games  and  Education  Portal.    


The second  part,  which  is  the  actual  MOOC,  starts  the  week  after  the   conference  and  runs  for  four  weeks.    This  portion  will  be  held  at  P2P   U.   The  second  part,  which  is  the  actual  MOOC,  starts  the  week  after  the   conference  and  runs  for  four  weeks.    This  portion  will  be  held  at  P2P   U.   Program  streams  from  the  conference  volunteered  to  continue  the  discussion   started  at  VWBPE.   So  for  VWMOOC  here  are  the  discussion  topics  and  dates:     Week  1  –  Virtual  Worlds  Tours    Mar  19  –  24   •

Facilitator –  Aevalle  Galicia  

Week 2  –  Machinima  Mar  26-­‐  Apr  1   • •

Facilitator –  Tanya  Smedley  (Gridjumper)   Mentors  -­‐  Machinima  Working  Group  

Week 3  –  World  of  Warcraft    Apr  2  -­‐8   • • •

Facilitators –  Biggersby,  Tashidelek,  and  Zarrasia   Discussion/Social  Media  Facilitator  -­‐  Catherine  (Cat)  Flippen   Mentors  –  Cognitive  Dissonance  Guild  Members  

Week 4  –  Bleeding  Edge  Apr  9  –  16   • • •

Facilitators –  Abacus  Capalini  and  Aly  Warrior   Discussion/Social  Media  Facilitator  -­‐  Catherine  (Cat)  Flippen   Mentor  –  Kavon  Zenovka  

Follow along  in  social  media:   Hashtag  #vwmooc   Flickr  group    


Food At  Cas:  An  Interview  With  Owner  and   Creator,  Casandra  Jackson  By  Roxie  Neiro     I  was  so  excited  the  other  day  when  I  was  at  Food-­‐for-­‐CAS    and  ran  into   Casandra  Jackson.  We  spent  a  few  minutes  talking  about  her  projects  and  her   work.  While  we  were  talking,  I  told  her  that  I  stopped  by  to  get  one  of  her   waiters  for  our  VEJ  Poster  at  the  2012  VWBPE  Conferences.  She  told  me  that   she  had  something  better  and  showed  me  the  café  dining  table  that  you  see  on   the  cover  of   this  issue  of   VEJ.  I  asked   Casandra  if   she  could  put   the  issues  of   VEJ  into  the   menu  script   and  she  said,   “yes.”  If  you   are  at  the   2012  VWBPE   Conference   make  sure  to   stop  by  the   VEJ  poster  to   see  the  table   and  a  special  picnic  blanket  with  several  different  poses,  copies  of  VEJ,  and   different  food  items,  also  from  Food-­‐by-­‐CAS.  In  addition,  we  have  one  of  the   tables  at  the  VWBPE  Social  area.   Take  time  to  sit  and  play  with  the  table  and  chair  animations  and  then,  be  sure   to  VEJ-­‐Out  on  this  new  March  2012  issue!  Casandra  also  gave  us  a  picnic   blanket  with  some  of  our  VEJ  issues  for  those  long,  lazy  sunny  afternoons  and   trips  to  the  beach.  What  FUN!    


Casandra is  a  fascinating  and  very  talented  Second  Life  entrepreneur.     We  have  used  her  food  products  for  many  ISTE  socials.  Here  is  some  of  our   conversation  so  you  can  get  to  know  Casandra  Jackson,  too.    Be  sure  to  visit   Food-­‐by-­‐CAS  and   check  out  all  the  food  items.  Bon  Appetite!       Roxie:    When  and  how  did  you  get  started  in  second  life?  Are  you  in  other   virtual  worlds?     Casandra:  I  heard  about  Second  Life  in  Beta  Test  while  I  was  playing  a   MMPORG  called  TheSimsOnline  in  2002.    I  had  been  a  Beta  tester  for  TSO,  so  I   applied  to  Linden  Labs  to  test  out  SL,  but  never  heard  back.    TheSimsOnline  had   been  promising  user  created  content  for  a  long  time,  but  that  never   materialized.    TheSimsOnline  ended  up  stagnating  because  it  was  so  limited  for   the  players.    I  tried  THERE  as  well,  but  found  it  too  cartoony,  everyone  there   looks  like  Dora  the  Explorer  going  through  puberty.  A  friend  and  I  decided  to  try   out  Second  Life  (at  that  time,  there  were  no  free  accounts,  you  could  do  a  trial   week  for  free,  then  you  had  to  pay  a  monthly  fee  or  your  avatar  was  deleted).   After  being  on  Second  Life  for  3  days,  I  bought  a  premium  membership  and  paid   for  a  year  upfront.    The  possibilities  of  Second  Life  were  astounding.    I  loved  that   your  avatar  could  fly,  that  the  world  here  was  so  varied  and  that  almost  all  in-­‐ game  content  was  user-­‐created.    It  was  clear  to  me  that  what  you  could  do  here   was  only  limited  by  your  own  imagination  and  skills.           Roxie:  What  projects/work  do  you  do  in  Second  Life?             Casandra:  My  main  area  of  creation  is  food  and  drink  items  which  I  started   making  in  2005.    However,  the  idea  of  food  expands  into  furniture  and  dining   room  items  as  well.        Other  items  I  have  created  are  furniture  (dining  room,   living  room,  bathrooms,  kitchens  and  small  houses),  home  decor,  animations  (for   use  in  my  food/drink  items),  textures  (for  my  own  use  in  my  food/drink  items),   prim  jewelry,  hair,  shoes,  simple  clothing  items,  fashion  accessories,  animation   overriders  and  avatar  shapes.          I  dabbled  in  other  items  when  I  found  myself   bored  with  making  food  and  drinks  and  needed  a  little  break,  but  I  always  came   back  to  food,  its  what  I'm  best  at.         Roxie:    What  projects/work  in  virtual  worlds  are  you  most  proud  of?        


Casandra: The  first  item  of  mine  that  was  a  big  hit  was  a  bartender  that  could   change  its  image  and  gave  out  32  drinks  via  drop  down  menu.    That  idea  was   widely  copied  by  many.  The  second  item  would  have  to  be  my  food  placemats   that  I  created  in  early  2007.    My  first  placemats  rezzed  32  food  items  and  were   used  all  over  Second  Life  in  restaurants  and  homes.    My  current  placemats  rezz   out  69  different  sculpted  foods  and  49  drinks.        

  Roxie:  WOW!  That  is  quite  an  accomplishment.  I  love  your  placemats.  BJ  and  I   have  a  set  in  our  Second  Life  home!  They  are  a  lot  of  fun!  What  made  you   decide  to  focus  on  designing  and  scripting  foods  in  second  life?           Casandra:  I  loved  the  idea  of  avatars  on  Second  Life  eating  food,  it  fascinated   me  how  realistic  it  seemed.    One  thing  I  noticed  about  the  food  on  Second  Life  is   that  it  stayed  attached  to  your  avatar  unless  you  manually  detached  it.    Eating   would  be  much  more  realistic  if  you  "finished"  your  food  and  it  was  no  longer  on   your  avatar,  so  I  ensured  all  my  animated  foods  had  a  auto  detach  function  built   in.  I  started  making  simple  treats  based  on  things  like  cookies  and  baked  goods.    


Much to  my  surprise  and  delight,  other  people  thought  they  were  cool  and   bought  them.    That  was  a  big  boost  and  I  remember  thinking,  "What  else  can  I   make  that  people  might  like  to  eat  or  drink?"      In  the  very  early  days,  I  would   daily  make  several  food  or  drink  items  that  would  dispense.  As  time  progressed,   my  items  became  more  complex,  requiring  more  time  to  complete.  My  platters   (which  give  out  a  plate  and  fork  to  be  used  concurrently),  took  6  hours  from   start  to  finish  for  each  platter  due  to  custom  textures  specific  to  that  food.  It   takes  much,  much  longer  to  finish  a  project  now  since  food  items  I  make  now  are   much  more  complex.    The  new  placemats  took  over  a  week  to  make.         Roxie:    It  sounds  like  a  lot  of  work  –  but  it  is  always  so  much  fun  to  visit  Food-­‐ by-­‐Cas  and  see  your  new  food  items.  It  seems  like  every  time  I  stop  by  you   have  something  new,  especially  for  the  different  holiday  seasons.  So,  who  are   your  customers  and  how  do  they  use  your  products?        

Casandra:  My  customers  are  from  all  walks  of  Second  Life,  from  Lindens  to  new   players.  They  use  my  products  in  their  homes  to  entertain  guests,  to  feed  their  


Second Life  families  and  to  provide  an  atmosphere  of  welcome  in  their  home  or   place  of  business.  One  of  the  ways  we  show  we  care  for  people  in  our  real  lives  is   that  we  provide  them  with  nourishment,  we  feed  them,  we  break  bread  with   them.  It  should  come  as  no  surprise  that  we  do  the  same  here.         Roxie:  Funny  you  should  say  that,  because  on  of  the  skills  we  show   newcomers  to  Second  Life  is  how  to  eat  or  drink.  It  is  a  fun  way  to  help  new   people  in  Second  Life  learn  how  to  use  their  inventories  and  how  to  “wear”   different  items.  But,  you  are  right.  There  is  something  about  food  and  drink   that  makes  people  feel  warm  and  welcome.  You  have  designed  and  scripted   some  amazing  food  products  and  furniture.  As  I  said,  we  have  used  your   products  at  many  of  our  ISTE  and  SIGVE  socials  and  events.  What  design  and   scripting  tricks  and  tips  have  you  learned  that  you  can  share  with  other   educators  who  are  helping  students  learn  how  to  design  and  script  similar   objects?         Casandra:  I  would  suggest  attending  live  inworld  classes  to  learn  basic  building   skills  or  scripting  skills.  They  teach  good  basics  such  as  proper  alignment  of  and   texturing  prims  and  basic  scripting  language.    Some  classes  teach  creating  basic   sculpts  with  free  3D  programs  and  a  few  teach  how  to  create  textures  from   scratch  using  GIMP  or  PhotoShop.  Currently,  Builders  Brewery  and  Danish   Visions  give  weekly  lessons  that  are  open  to  the  general  public.           Roxie:  Actually,  I  was  just  talking  with  one  of  my  friends  about  doing  that  very   thing.  I  am  so  not  a  builder  and  so  much  a  consumer.  It  looks  fun  to  build  new   items  in  Second  Life.  From  your  perspective  and  experiences  in  Second  Life,   what  knowledge  and  skills  do  you  think  educators  need  to  know  and/or  be   able  to  do,  to  help  promote  education  in  Second  Life  and  to  make  learning   meaningful  for  students?     Casandra:  Perhaps  an  orientation  program  of  the  basics  would  be  helpful,  in   order  to  get  over  the  "growing  pains"  of  coming  to  a  world  like  Second  Life  to   get  over  all  the  confusing  parts,  like  "Where  do  I  find  things  in  my  inventory?"     "How  do  I  put  on  new  clothing?"      I  think  it’s  hard  to  learn  if  you  are  distracted   or  confused  by  a  new  environment.       Roxie:  Even  after  several  years  in  Second  Life,  I  still  need  to  learn  how  to   organize  my  inventory  so  I  can  find  the  things  I  own!  I  either  can’t  find   something  or  I  am  amazed  when  I  stumble  across  something  that  I  had  


forgotten I  even  had!  So  many  people  I  have  talked  to  in  Second  Life  will  tell   you  that  they  need  someone  to  help  them  organize  their  inventories!  It  might   just  be  one  of  the  biggest  headaches  in  Second  Life!  LOL    You  have  designed  a   new  cafe  dining  set  that  we  will  be  using  at  our  VEJ  Poster  for  VWBPE  2012.   Please  describe  the  features  and  how  you  envision  avatars  using  this  dining   set.           Casandra:  The  Cafe  Set  is  comprised  of  a  table  and  two  chairs.      The  chairs  have   29  animations  to  choose  from  to  mimic  eating,  drinking,  typing,  reading  and   different  variations  of  sitting.  The  Cafe  Table  holds  18  International  meals,   French,  British,  American,  Asian,  Italian  and  Mexican  themed  meals  and  2  sets  of   magazines.  Simply  touch  the  table  to  choose  which  nationality  of  food  you  would   like  to  appear.  You  then  get  another  blue  drop  menu  which  has  5  options  of   foods  and  magazines.      Make  your  choice  and  it  will  appear.  If  you  are  pleased   with  that  choice,  just  click  ignore,  when  another  blue  drop  down  choice  window   appears.  Touch  the  food  plates  to  get  cutlery  to  use  with  your  meal.      Touch  the   pitchers  or  coffee  cups  to  get  cups,  bottles  or  drinks  to  wear.  Simply  wear  the   cutlery  or  beverages  and   choose  the  appropriate   animation  via  the  chair.  Sit  on   the  chair  then  touch  the  chair   again  for  the  menu  of   animations.  There  are  3  pages   of  animations  to  choose  from.   Click  which  animation  you   want  your  avatar  to  be  doing,   eating,  drinking,  typing  at  a   computer  or  just  sitting.  Try   all  the  poses,  its  fun  !           Roxie:  I  agree!  We  have  been   having  a  lot  of  fun  trying  out   the  different  options  with  our   friends.  I  also  like  the  timer  so  that  you  can  set  it  up  so  it  stays  one  way  or   have  the  dishes  cleared  and  put  away  after  a  set  period  of  time.  If  only   someone  could  design  a  system  like  this  for  real  life!  J    What  are  your  future   plans  and  goals  for  your  work  in  Second  Life  or  other  virtual  worlds?      


Casandra:  I  have  a  long  "to  do"  list  of  new  projects  to  make,  older  items  to   revise  and  update.    Customers  often  make  suggestions  on  items  they  would  like   to  see  here,  so  those  are  added  to  the  list.      I  am  constantly  revising  my  previous   items  to  look  and  function  better.  I  have  created  literally  thousands  of  items   here,  so  there  is  never  a  shortage  of  things  to  do.           Roxie:  I  can  only  imagine!  So,  in  your  free  time,  if  you  have  such  a  thing  when   you  are  in  Second  Life,  what  do  you  enjoy  doing  for  fun?             Casandra:  I  love  the  myriad  of  events  going  on  in  SL,  and  enjoy  exploring  great   builds.  I  played  in  the  Xmas  Zombie  Event,  you  received  a  HUD  and  different   levels  of  weapons  to  kill  zombies  that  rezzed  randomly  over  2  sims  for  1  week.   The  Zombies  could  also  attack  and  "kill"  your  avatar.    Your  avatar  would  be   "dead"  on  the  floor  and  could  not  interact  for  30  seconds.    You  had  to  pick  up   pieces  of  energy  left  by  your  killed  zombie  in  order  to  keep  up  on  energy  points.   Occasionally  after  a  Zombie  kill,  a  small  reindeer  would  rezz  presenting  you  with   a  gift  ticket  which  you  could  redeem  for  a  prize  at  the  participating  merchants   sponsoring  the  event.    The  amount  of  work  that  went  into  holding  that  event   was  enormous,  from  the  gifts  that  were  given,  to  the  creation  and  scripting  of   weapons  that  interacted  with  both  your  avatar  and  the  zombies,  to  the  website   that  updated  constantly  with  new  game  stats.  It  was  a  game  within  a  game,   incredible!  I  revisited  the  Drowsy  sim  ,  which  sadly,  is   closing  at  the  end  of  March.    The  sim  is  just  so  whimsically  pretty  and  mystical,   everything  there  makes  me  smile.    I  recently  visited  the  area,  Captain  Nemos   Adventures   built  by  Aley  who  is  the  alternate  avatar  of  the  famous  Arcadia  Asylum.      Wow,   what  a  fantastic  build,  underwater  and  above  ground,  its  a  pirate/Captain   Nemo  theme  and  will  only  be  up  through  this  month.      If  you  have  not  visited   these  two  incredible  places,  you  really  must  before  they  are  gone  forever.    Don't   miss  the  sea  serpent  at  Drowsy!            



VEJ Poster  at  VWBPE  2012  

  Roxie:  Thank  you  for  sharing  those  two  sims  with  us.    I  can’t  wait  to  explore   the  two  sims  and  hope  our  readers  will  be  able  to  visit  them  too  before  April  1,   2012.  Thank  you  for  taking  the  time  to  share  your  work  with  our  VEJ  readers.   The  items  you  make  are  truly  amazing!  Once  again,  I  would  just  like  to  remind   our  readers  to  check  out  the  VWBPE  Social  Sim,  the  VEJ  Poster  at  VWBPE   (pictured  above),  or  Food  At  Cas  after  the  VWBPE  Conference  to  see  the   wonderful  items  you  have  made!    Thanks  again,  and  to  all  of  our  readers,      

Bon Appetite!  


CAFÉ DINING  SET  by  FOOD  AT-­‐CAS     by  Roxie  Neiro/Rosie  Vojtek     BJ  and  I  sat  down  and  checked  out  the  new  Café’  Dining  Set.  We  were  very   impressed  (do  you  think?)  with  the  design  and  scripting  options  on  the  new   Café  Dining  Set  by  Casandra  Jackson.  You  can  see  the  Café  Dining  Set  at  FOOD   AT-­‐CAS,     Or,  better  yet,  visit  the  VEJ  Poster  at  VWBPE  2012  in  the  Poster  area  for  the   conference  March  15  –  18  at 5     or  on  the  VWBPE  Social  Sim     You  will  be  amazed  at  the  details  in  this  dining  set.    Once  the  table  and  chairs   are  rezzed,  the  set  will  load  the  menu.  When  the  menu  is  fully  loaded  you  can   touch  the  table  to  rezz  your  meals.    There  is  also  timer  option  that  can  be  set   for  so  you  can  choose    the  length  of  time  you  wish  your  meal  to  stay  rezzed.  


The prim  count  for  meals  rezzed  varies  from  a  low  of  10  to  30  prims.    Only  the   Owner  of  the  table  can  set  the  timer  to  choose  how  long  meals  stay  on  the   table.    The  Timer  option  will  not  appear  for  anyone  else  but  the  owner  of  the   table.    To  rez  the  meals,  touch  the  table.    The  Meal  Options  are:       Mexican   Burritos&Margaritas     Laptops&PanConPepitas     Magazines&Cups     Tacos&Beer         American   HotDogs&Fries     Laptops&CinBuns     Magazines&Cups     Burgers&Fries         Italian   Pizza&Zinfandel     Laptops&Biscotti     Magazines&Cups     Spaghetti&Meatballs         British   Fish&Chips     Laptops&Tea     Magazines&Cups     Bangers&Mash         French   Cheese&Wine     Laptops&Croissants   Magazines&Cups     CoqAuVin&PinotBlanc         Asian   Sushi&GreenTea     Laptops&Mochi     Magazines&Cups    



BJ and  Roxie  enjoy  Italian  Spaghetti  Dinner    

Every  plate  gives  out  a  folder  of  cutlery  when  touched  to  use  with  the   animated  chairs.    Plates  with  the  laptops  give  different  breakfast  pastries.    The   glasses  and  cups  rezzed  on  the  table  are  for  decor  and  do  not  give  out  glasses.     If  there  is  a  bottle  or  beverage  container  on  the  table  it  will  give  out  beverages   to  hold.    There  is  a  19th  option  available  with  every  nationality  of  food  to  rezz   out  magazines  and  cups  for  decor.         If  meals  are  rezzed  on  top  of  each  other,  just  press  CLEAR  to  remove  all  meals.     If  food  is  rezzed  and  the  table  is  moved,  the  table  loses  the  ability  to  clear   those  plates  already  rezzed  and  the  plates  will  have  to  be  removed  manually.     Regarding  WineGlasses,  CoffeeCups,  TeaCups,  JuiceGlass,  WaterGlasses,   Chopsticks,  Spoons,  Forks  and  Knives,  with  the  infinite  variety  of  shapes  for   avatars  on  SecondLife  it  is  impossible  to  fit  every  avatar.    Simply  wear  and   adjust  positioning  of  said  items.    There  is  also  a  copyable  vase  of  lilies  (1  prim)   to  add  to  your  table  as  you  wish.         The  dining  chairs  have  29  menu  driven  animations  to  choose  from,  to  vary   your  dining  experience.  This  is  the  most  animations  per  dining  chair  in   SecondLife.  There  are  4  eating  animations,  3  drinking  animations,  2  reading   animations  and  the  rest  are  for  seating.    HAVE  FUN!                    


The Library  Art  Gallery  at  Info  Island       by  Samantha  Chester  (SL)  

The Library  Art  Gallery  at  Info  Island  reopened  March  1st  with  an  exhibit   by  Isabel  Hermano.    The  Library  Art  Gallery  began  scheduling  exhibitions  and   events  on  Info  Island  in  late  August  2007.    The  Library  Art  Gallery  is  a  non-­‐for-­‐ profit  art  gallery  that  exhibits  artistic  creations  in  Second  Life  for  display  


purposes only  (art  on  display  is   not  for  sale).    Artists  provide   notecards  describing  how  to  buy   their  art.  Artists  interested  in   exhibiting  at  the  Gallery  should   contact  Sam55  Chester.           We  enjoy  hosting  fine  art  of  all   formats  and  genres:    painting,  still   life,  modern  art,  contemporary,   photography,  abstracts,  stained   glass,  pottery,  sculptures.    We   offer  live  music  and/or  DJs  with   our  exhibition  openings  and  other   special  events  and  programs.    The   Library  Art  Gallery  is  also  available  for  art  librarians,  art  aficionados,  other   individuals  in  the  Arts  &  Humanities  and  Education  community  to  hold  their   own  events  such  as  open  forums,  Q&A  sessions,  or  tutorials.    Those   individuals  or  groups  should  contact  Sam55  Chester  for  details  and  scheduling        

Our goal  is  to  highlight  progressive  artists  who  fully  utilize  SL  as  a  creative   medium.    We'd  like  to  see  the  Library  Gallery  grow  to  participate  in  broader   SL  arts/media  events  if  possible.    We  are  open  to  partnering  with  other   groups  and  organizations,  within   and  outside  of  the  SL  library  and   arts  communities.    We  hope  that   events  at  the  Gallery  Space  can   evolve  into  inclusive  conversations   with  artists,  scholars,  and  guest   curators,  from  RL  and  SL.       Info  Island  is  part  of  Info   Archipelago  started  in  2006  by  the   Alliance  Library  System  of  Illinois.   .      


The Library  Art  Gallery  resides  on  Info  Island     ( 23/        


A Virtual  Kickoff  to  a  F2F  Conference     By  Kavon  Zenovka  (sl)  

  The  Second  Life  SITE  Building  Group  for  The  Society  for  Information   Technology  and  Teacher  Education  (SITE)  2012   Conference  invited  all  educators  to  their   conference  kickoff  in  Second  Life  on  Sunday,  March  4,  2012   In  honor  of  Austin,  the  city  hosting  the  F2F  Conference,  the  theme  of  the   build  is  Cowboys  v.  Aliens!  The  build  SITE  CITY  LIMITS  was  designed  by   volunteers  from  SITE,  ARVELSIG  and  VWBPE  and  is  hosted  on  EdTech  Island   in  Second  Life.   The  build  includes  Machinima  City  -­‐  an  Old  West  set  that  is  currently   showing  the  winners  of  the  EduMachinima  Fest  from  VWBPE  2011  Machinima   contest  (­‐and-­‐machinima-­‐winners)  ,  a   stunt  corral  with  information  on  social  presence  in  virtual  worlds,  a  Blogger's   Saloon  (  ),  a  "Western   Epic"  seating  area,  the  Gadgetz's  Workshop,  A  Tours  Office  created  by  Aevalle   Galicia  and  the  3D  Games  Lab  House  (  


The  hoe-­‐down  kickoff  included  DJ  -­‐  Barely  Texan  and  Aliens  v.  Cowboys   costume  contest.  The  winner  of  best  cowboy  costume  was  Roxie  Niero  in  a   deconstructed  western  ball  gown  and  cowboy  hat.     Edith  Halderman  won  the  best  alien  costume  in  a  version  of  an  avatar   from  Pandora  (on  next  page).   SITE  CITY  LIMTS  is  hosting  sessions  at  the  Virtual  Worlds  Best  Practices   in  Education  conference  from  March  15-­‐  March  17,  2012.     The  Blogger  Saloon  is  also  the  inworld  location  for  the  TweetChats   being  conducted  for  the  Virtual  Worlds  MOOC   (  and  will  be  the  general  inworld    gathering   place  for  the  MOOC.     Screenshots  are  up  at  the  SITE  CITY  LIMITS  flickr  group   (  


Edith Halderman  wins  the  best  alien  costume  

Second Life  SITE  Building  Group   Lisa  Dawley,  Boise  State  University   Trina  Davis,  Texas  A&M  University   Chih-­‐Feng  Chien,  Texas  A&M  University   Sabine  Lawless-­‐Reljic,  Ed.D.,  Ashford  University   Aevalle  Galicia/Stasia  Weston,  University  of  South  Alabama   Wrath  Constantine,  Constantine  Air  Werkz   Sandra  Jett,  Texas  A&M  University,  KATE  Project  Consultant  


Kae Novak,  Boise  State  University   Chris  Luchs,  CCCOnline    

Be EPIC – It’s Time For VWBPE 2012! Hold  on  to  your  hats  and  glasses!  Here  are  just  a  few  pics  to  wet  your   appetite  for  48  hours  of  networking,,  learning,  sharing,  and  just  plain  fun.   Check  out  the  VWBPE  master  schedule  at  .  Follow  the   conference  on  Twitter  #VWBPE,      


Epiclicious is VWBPE 2012 by Izzylaunder.Kara      



One of  my  friends,  a  fellow  Second  Life  resident,  asked  me  why  should   she  care  about  the  Virtual  Worlds  Best  Practices  in  Education  (VWBPE)   Conference?    What  could  have  prompted  this  question  from  this  educator  who   is  inworld  every  day?    Possibly,  it’s  because  I’ve  been  so  busy  working  on  my   part  of  the  constructions  at  the  Social  and  Poster  Presentation  venues  that  I’m   not  able  to  spend  time  exploring  the  many  wonderful  spaces  developed  in   Second  Life  by  educational  and  special  interest  groups.     Why  do  I  give  up  so  much  of  my  time  to  work  on  something  that  will  last   for  three  days  then  disappears  into  the  digital  ether?    This  year’s  VWBPE   Conference  is  “Be  Epic”.    What  do  you  envision  when  you  see  the  word  “Epic”?     Is  it  the  Great  Pyramids  of  Giza,  the  Great  Wall  of  China,  human  footprints  on   the  moon,  or  the  discovery  of  the  Rosetta  stone?    Of  course,  all  of  these  were   epic  accomplishments  of  human  kind.    But  then,  so  is  VWBPE  2012!     VWBPE  2012,  by  its  very  name  is  EPIC!    How  is  it  epic  you  might  ask.     For  one,  it’s  Virtual!    Everything  from  the  ground  conference  goers  stand  on  to   the  presentation  or  machinimas  exists  only  as  ones  and  zeros  in  computer   simulations  supported  by  a  vast  network  of  servers  and  routers.    Prior  to   2003,  how  many  of  us  thought  that  we  would  one  day  be  immersed  in  a   computer  simulation,  a  network  of  virtual  worlds?  But,  it  is  these  virtual   worlds  that  make  it  possible  for  thousands  of  educators  from  all  over  the   world  to  simultaneously  collaborate  on  a  unified  dedication  to  the  sharing  of   ideas,  research  and  experiences  that  add  to  the  advancement  of  Best  Practices   in  Education.     Yes,  best  practices  in  education.    Can  you  envision  anything  more  epic  than   the  education  of  the  human  mind?    All  the  epic  accomplishments  mentioned  at   the  beginning  of  this  writing,  were  they  accidental  achievements?    No,  they’re   all  the  result  of  educated  human  minds  working  together  toward  a  common   goal.    So,  in  this  modern  age,  I  can  think  of  nothing  more  epic  than  the  VWBE  


conference.  Thousands  of  avatars,  representing  human  minds  from  all  over   the  world,  will  converge  to  educate  and  learn  from  each  other  about  how  to   best  use  virtual  worlds  as  learning  environments  for  the  digital  natives  that   are  our  future.    This  is  what  makes  VWBPE,  “Epiclicious”!      

The  VWBPE  Social  Tea  House  Izzy  built.  Izzy  is  playing  the  flute  in  the  middle.     Celebrate   the  Year  of  The  Dragon   Join   The  VWBPE  2012     Dragon  Parade   Thursday,  March  15,  2012   1:00  pm  slt   VWBPE  Social  Sim      

Free Dragon  Costumes   At  Shopping  area  on     VWBPE  Social  


VWBPE 2012:     Where  to  Go,  To  Stay  In  The  Know   Official Website:       Master Schedule: Twitter: @vwbpe and Hastag #VWBPE Official Social Groups: Conference LinkedIn Group: Conference Facebook Page: Conference Facebook Group: Pinterest Board: Listserv: SLED listserv Flickr VWBPE Social VWBPE Posters VWBPE MOOC Virtual Worlds MOOC Bloggers: GridJumper’s Blog SmedleyVirtual Outworlding EvansCenter4EduPunx www.center4edupunx.orgKae Novak, Chris Luchs, Karla Schorzman, Kate Hagerty and Rurik NackerudCtrl + Alt + Teach FlippenSouth Alabama’s Educators in Second Life Weston Alive Learning Stylianos Mystakidis Daniel Voyager’s Blog Daniel Voyager Immersive Technology 4 Learning Gordon Holden, et al…Oh Virtual Learning! Scott Merrick Virtual Worlds, Games and Education MOOC Working Group



            We  asked  our  readers,  “Why  Are  You  Here?”    We  had  many  interesting   responses.  On  the  next  few  pages  you  will  meet  9  individuals  who  share  their   passion  for  working  and  playing  in  virtual  worlds.      


W Name:

William Burns

Why Are  You  Here?   I'm a virtual environment SME with about 15 years in the industry. I am here because from the first day I saw a virtual environment (Blaxxun) I knew that the Internet was destined to be in three dimensions and our perception of communication and experiential reality would be altered for the betterment of mankind. As a result of this vision for our future, I have devoted my academic and professional career to the advancement of this technology in all forms. Asking what I like to do in Second Life and narrowing it down to two pictures is hard. I love to build, write, hang out with my partner, go dancing, listen to music, visit art galleries, attend shows, and so much more. More importantly, two pictures may be what I don't like doing in Second Life. However, I've tried to narrow it down to four. What  Virtual  Worlds  do  you   work  or  play  in?   Worlds - 1994 ActiveWorlds - 1996/97 SecondLife - 2007 Quite a lot of others, if you would like to delve into the past as well as beta testing purposes. What  is  your  avatar’s  name?   Aeonix Aeon in SL What  year  did  you  enter  that   virtual  environment?  1994 Email  Address:


47 Â

Aeonix at Home: Building/Design is one of my passions, and also video games. Hanging out at home and playing a TRON arcade cabinet that I made as a collector item.

Aeonix at IEEE: As the Object Interoperability Lead for IEEE Virtual World Standard Group (P1828), I enjoy working with the group to handle complex tasks such as our Stargate Project. Pictured here is Tom Starai, Kevin Simkins and myself.


Name: Tom Layton Why Are  You  Here?   My goal is to discover the best virtual world teaching and learning configuration for individual educators and their students. My current experiment is “Teach From The Beach” ondlife/Cheshire Island/70/132/22and consists of four beautiful, completely furnished, homes on a homestead island in SL. Educators coordinate with each other to make sure that no more than 20 avatars are on the island at any given time. This provides attractive comfortable affordable intimate settings in which to engage with students.

If successful, these “Teach From The Beach” islands will completely surround Alice Academy , a Full Region dedicated to teaching SL skills and culture to educators and their students.


Alice Academy also provides shared facilities that can accommodate larger groups for short term events.

Educators in the first trial include Joel T. Keener (Cheyney University of Pennsylvania), Pam Wicks (Aurora University) and Sumitra Srinivasan (University of Toledo). There is currently one TFTB house remaining. Anyone interested? Alice Academy = Academy/153/128/31 Cheshire Island (TFTB) = Island/67/129/21 What Virtual  Worlds  do  you  work  or  play  in?   Second Life What  is  your  avatar’s  name?   ArthurConan Doyle What  year  did  you  enter  that  virtual  environment?   August 10, 2006 Email  Address:


Name: Peter Leong Why Are  You  Here?   I teach and conduct research in Second Life. My passion for exploring virtual worlds for teaching and learning stems from my desire to create truly immersive learning experiences for my online distance students. I have been teaching online since the early 2000s. One of the challenges of online distance education is the geographic separation between the instructor and students. I have used different communication technologies through the years to teach at a distance and the virtual world environment has, by far, the most potential to provide students with an engaging and immersive learning environment. I quote from one of my student’s course reflection, “It felt as if we were meeting face-to-face which made me pay attention a little more than in other (online) synchronous classes.”   What  Virtual  Worlds  do  you  work  or   play  in?   Second Life What  is  your  avatar’s  name?   Ikaika Miles What  year  did  you  enter  that  virtual   environment?   2007 Email  Address:


Here is the slurl of our College of Education's SL island: COE/112/193/26  

Touring the Polynesian Voyaging educational simulation created by my students


Name: David Dixon Why Are  You  Here?   I teach graphic design, illustration, and related computer art courses at East Tennessee State University. I began using Second Life to stay informed of emerging graphics technologies, and found it to be a fascinating platform for testing and sharing creative ideas. I maintain a virtual gallery on the ETSU site that includes a variety of student work: graphic designs, illustrations, paintings, drawings, and photographs.   I use the Second Life gallery as a resource for demonstration purposes and as a virtual studio for student projects. Students gain practice in using conventional graphics software for creating designs in RL, and use the virtual gallery as a venue for presentation. Students have tested their logo designs on t-shirts created in my Graphic Design I class. They have also used the building tools to make 3d models that would be cost-prohibitive and wasteful to produce in RL, such as human-scaled, point-of-purchase displays for my Display and Package Design class. My illustration class has used SL for creating illustrated narratives, too, taking snapshots to use in scenes that would be impossible in RL.

I have found that some students love it and some students hate it for a variety of different reasons. But either way, they are discovering the new and important role graphic design and illustration skills play in emerging technologies for visual communication.

Here is a blog that has a few pictures that show how I'm using SL: Here is a personal website that provides some biographical information about me, and also recent examples of my work, some of which is directly connected to Second Life: What Virtual  Worlds  do  you  work  or  play  in?   Second Life What  is  your  avatar’s  name?   Professor Bimbogami What  year  did  you  enter  that  virtual  environment?   2007 Email  Address:



Name: Dr. Jim McDermott Why Are  You  Here?   Since my doctoral research in 1995 on virtual reality simulation I have focused on the power of science simulation. In a nation of collapsing school budgets the virtual world offers both a low cost and effective solution for engaging the digital generation. Inside Second life I build science labs and holodecks in support of any school which is serious about conducting a course in world. The good news is many schools are serious and I am providing support for their success in science. We need more models of success in conducting actual classes inside Second life. This will provide the tipping point for broad use across the academic spectrum. My 5 years in Second life suggest the only limitation is your imagination and the cost of a region is dirt cheap if it is actually used for real courses. The faculty champions need to step forward and embrace what is possible in serious pilot projects leading to formal courses. ---ProfJ Merlin


What Virtual  Worlds  do  you  work  or  play  in?   Second Life What  is  your  avatar’s  name?   ProfJ Merlin What  year  did  you  enter  that  virtual  environment?   1990 --(2006 for Second Life specifically) Email  Address:

Inside a science holodeck Profj Merlin activates an acid-base chemistry titration lab using the NaOH titrant and the HCL titrate to demonstrate how it can be done in the virtual world. Profj Merlin will send you a lab cube containing a chemistry, physics, and biology lab upon request through the Second life IM system.


Name: Don Singleton Why Are  You  Here?   To learn, and then to teach, building and scripting, and to explore the use of Virtual World for communicating with others. I am disabled and homebound, yet through the use of Virtual Worlds I can teach people not just in the US but Europe, Australia, etc. What  Virtual  Worlds  do  you  work  or  play  in?   Second Life Inworldz Avination What  is  your  avatar’s  name?   Second Life, DJ Earnshaw, 11/8/2007 Second Life, Professor Viper, 5/15/2009 Inworldz, DJ Earnshaw, 9/17/2010 Avination, DJ Earnshaw, 3/2/2011 Avination, Professor Viper, 10/9/2011 What  year  did  you  enter  that  virtual  environment?   Noted above

Email Address:



Ray Hart

Why Are  You  Here?   While the number of visitors to the SL shop is less than to the website however more information is gleaned about the visitor and so better online communication and market research. Online is cheaper than fuel for car/train/plane and greater range is achieved than walking/cycling. Following a documentary on BBC TV about social networks I was very surprised at how popular virtual goods are and people around the world are prepared to buy them.


I'm pictured standing with some book stands at the book shop h2rh Trading at Emmelia(160,228) The shop has changed in its look slightly since. This is where I sell RL new and used books. The prims link to web pages and you can buy the RL books via PayPal. Payment for these with Lindens may be coming soon. We now also have an arrangement to sell books through Epiphany Island and are looking for any other suitable outlets. Web site which includes other things as well. (e.g,. Trumpet lessons within a 10 mile radius of Bristol UK.) We also sell virtual Solar Panels. These can be bought with Lindens. They are also used on the roof of h2rh Trading. An example of our real DIY solar installation can be seen at What  Virtual  Worlds  do  you  work  or  play  in?   SecondLife Avination tried OSgrid, Worlds, Active Worlds What  is  your  avatar’s  name?   Ray2009 Hazelnut What  year  did  you  enter  that  virtual  environment?   2009 Email  Address:   What  is  your  website?


Name: Dudley Turner Why Are  You  Here?   I’m busy with 2 things in SL: (1) I bring students in for a less threatening approach to “being different” and continuing with discussions of diversity, perceptions, judgments and dealing with others. (2) I am developing a quest-based game for first year students at our institution to give them an opportunity to learn about services and opportunities on our campus in ways other than lecture, speaker, or “go find it yourself” - a pilot this semester to see if this approach that is more interactive, flexible, and different is somehow “better” in helping them learn or want to learn. What  Virtual  Worlds   do  you  work  or  play   in?   I am in Second Life (only) What  is  your  avatar’s   name?   Dudley Dreamscape (and Zoeken) What  year  did  you   enter  that  virtual   environment?   I started in 2008 (under another name) Email  Address:


Name: Aggeliki Nikolaou Why  Are  You  Here?   As knowledge management has been gaining more importance among organizations and the luck of professional development opportunities are taken into consideration, 3D virtual environments are seen as a promising solution of transmitting both types of knowledge explicit and tacit knowledge (tacit is hard to take a shape and to be transmitted to other people).

Interacting in  Two  Fish  Art  Landscape:  Unconventional  aspect  of  Art  by  Rose   Borchovski.    


Moreover 3D virtual environments allowing users to communicate interactively, asynchronously and synchronously: • contribute to the diffusion of the most valuable body of knowledge (the tacit knowledge) •

provide opportunities for self–paced learning in both formal and informal context,

facilitate communication among like-minded-people globally,

encourage and facilitate users to create and develop their one learning networks.

But mainly 3D virtual environments, as Second Life, provide conductive venues for informal learning. SL provides me a way: •

to access the collective knowledge by exchanging resources and learning tools among educators,

to improve my teaching and learning practices,

to engage me in consistent dialogue,

to deepen feelings of trust and connectedness with the participants of my learning network in world.

This learning network is different from other social networks, because it focuses on learning and on specific professional interests.


Collaborative activity:  Open  workshop  by  the  Library  and  Information  Center  of  University  of   Patras.      

Concluding, I would like to add that the nature of informal learning in SL is self-directed, highly social and participatory. These are very important affordances for life-long learning and consistent evidences of future adoption of 3D environments as tools of knowledge diffusion. What Virtual  Worlds  do  you  work  or  play  in?   SL What  is  your  avatar’s  name?   Ageliki Mekanic (sl) Email  Address: email    


ISTE Island  Past  .  .  .  

ISTE  SIGVE  –  New  Horizons  

Virtual Education Journal March 2012  

The March 2012 Issue of VEJ includes a tribute to ISTE Island, ISTE Headquarters, then and now, an Interview with Casandra Jackson of Food A...

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