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Febr uar y2014


Slalom @  Grand  Canyon  North  (190,  203,  115)  

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! There is no day like a snow day! J Second Life snow days are a lot of fun! (see picture above) Snow days in real life, however, cause havoc, close schools, and make traveling difficult, if not impossible, as Atlanta, Georgia discovered a few days ago. Although most of the USA is wishing we had never heard of the Polar Vortex, I love the fact that we have yet another snow day that closed school. Today I am catching my breath and doing my best to get caught up. I am especially thankful for this snow day, because as you read this, you know that I am FINALLY able to find the time to finish editing this long overdue, issue of VEJ! YEAH!!!!! Across the USA, most preK-20 educators are feeling totally overwhelmed as we struggle to find the time to align and implement the common core standards, prepare students for the new SBAC and PARCC assessments, and deal with the new teacher and administrator evaluation system. Teachers have hunkered down. They are focused on engaging students in text complexity in all core subject areas. They are working diligently to ensure their objectives, questions and learning activities are aligned to the common core and include all levels of Webb’s Depth of Knowledge so their students are ready for the new assessments. Everyone in the trenches knows, there aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the school year to do all of this and do it well. My job as a principal of an elementary school (rl) has also morphed this year into three full-time jobs: school manager, instructional leader, and teacher evaluator. Each of these jobs by itself is a daunting task for any school administrator – yet, principals across America are living the reality, many in schools where they is the only administrator in

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VEJ        Vol.  3  Issue  2   Virtual  Education  Journal   February  2014   In  This  Issue   • • •

the building. As educators are tweeting throughout the twitterverse, we are flying the plane while it is being built! Houston, do you think we have a problem?

I share all of this because even under these adverse, overwhelming, and challenging educational conditions, the educators who have written articles for this issue of VEJ and many of their colleagues working with them in schools and universities around the world are still highly committed to exploring the metaverse and blazing new trails. Even during these turbulent storms our public school planes are navigating through, educators still manage to explore new worlds, establish new colonies of learning, design authentic virtual learning opportunities, and share their passion, their vision, and their dreams for a better way of knowing and doing with students. The articles in this issue of VEJ celebrate the ability of dedicated educators, who are tired and emotionally drained after working all day in the trenches, yet enthusiastically and passionately continue late into the evening hours to pursue their personal quests and Fiero dreams. Through collaboration with each other and their students, they are building the global curricula of the future that has the power to help learners soar above the clouds, beyond the universe, into a metaverse of opportunities and challenges. It has the ability to allow us to teleport through time and space and to permeate borders and walls so we can connect people with people anytime, anywhere. Working together, we have the power to develop the knowledge and skills everyone must acquire to be successful global entrepreneurs and digital citizens. These educators and their students are the hero’s of our future . . . To educators and students around the world, may you continue to explore these many vast new virtual 3-D environments, establish new colonies of learners, empower collegial guilds, and build the rocket to propel your visions of the future – through space and time – and lead us all – OUT OF THIS WORLD!

Cover photo  in  WoW    by   Vasili Giannoutsos (rl), Bluebarker Lowtide (sl)  

Keep Smiling J Roxie Neiro (SL) Rosie Vojtek (RL)

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Letter form  the  Editor   SIGVE  2013/2014  The  Year  So  Far   SIGVE  Annual  Planning  and   Program  Goals  2013-­‐2014   Meet  Draxtor  Despres   Getting  Ready  for  EduMavhinima   Fest  2014   Improving  Daily  Schedule   Management  W ith  Retail  Logistics   Principles   UNCP  Hospital  for  Nursing  in   Second  Life:  Professional   Education  and  Clinicals  in  the   Virtual  World   Alter  Egos,  Avatars,  and  Analytical   Writing:  Immersive  Role-­‐Playing  in   the  Composition  Classroom   VWBPE  2013:  Experience  The   Temple  of  Horus  on  Avaualive   Engage   Minecraft  and  More  UnSymposium   Virtual  Pioneers:  A  Year  of   Exploration   Gamifying  Professional  Learning:   An  Important  First  Step   Alice  Academy  for  Young   Entrepreneurs   Virtual  Communities:  Second   Norway   Update  on  The  Book  Transformed   Massive  Multiplayer  Coding:   Educator’s  Participate  in  “Hour  of   Code”   Join  The  Digital  Storyelling  Journey   Virtual  Pioneers  Tour:  Regency   Somerset   On  Walkabout:  Volume  5  –  Nautilus   The  Recipe  of  Storytelling  

To Read  VEJ  online  visit:   http://www.virtualeducationjournal.com/   For  more  information  about  ISTE  SIGVE  or   to  join  the  fun,  visit:     http://sigve.iste.wikispaces.net/   Follow  us  on  Twitter  @VEJournal  or   #VEJournal    

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SIGVE 2013/2014  The  Year  So  Far…..  

By Kae  Novak,  Lowly  High  Grand  Poobah     Hello  everyone,       I  hope  you  had  a  very  happy  and  enjoyable  holiday  season  and  have  had   an  excellent  start  to  the  New  Year!  As  we  approach  the  halfway  point,  I   wanted  to  provide  you  all  with  an  update  on  the  projects  and  progress   we've  made  in  the  last  six  months.  Below,  I've  summarized  each  goal   and  provide  details  on  our  progress  and  will  conclude  with  a  look  at  our   initial  plans  for  the  2014  Annual  Conference  in  Atlanta.  I've  also   included  an  At-­‐a-­‐Glance  reference  for  our  goals  and  objectives  for  2013-­‐ 2014  at  the  end  of  this  article.     I.              Give  members’  access  to  individual  and  collective  expertise     We  continue  to  focus  on  strengthening  our  communication  channels  to   allow  us  to  quickly  send  out  and  archive  information  on  our  various   professional  development  and  social  events.  Our  Virtual  Connected   Educator  listeserv  continues  to  serve  as  our  primary  communication   channel  and  provides  useful  and  timely  information  every  Tuesday.      

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In an  effort  to  make  social  media  tracking  more  convenient  and   consistent  to  our  members,  we  have  also  consolidated  our  social  media   use  to  the  following  channels:       ISTESIGVE  Edmodo   https://www.edmodo.com/home#/publisher/ISTESIGVE   SIGVE  Facebook  http://on.fb.me/1cyXxQi   SIGVE  Flickr  group  http://www.flickr.com/groups/sigve/   twitter  @istesigve;  hashtag  #sigve     I'd  also  like  to  announce  a  new  resource  for  SIGVE  membership.  Over   the  past  six  months,  we  have  been  developing  and  growing  our  ISTE   SIGVE  Google+  community  http://bit.ly/sigvegoogle.  This  is  another   effort  in  consolidating  our  resources  and  offering  more  flexibility  to   everyone.  The  advantages  of  the  Google+  community  is  that  it  provides   us  with  a  membership  service  resource  that  allows  for  event   registration,  email  invites,  convenient  tracking  of  responses,  and   automatic  email  reminders  for  upcoming  events  to  those  that   registered.       As  always,  our  leadership  and  membership  continue  to  support,  provide   content  and  promote  VEJ  (Virtual  Education  Journal)  publications.  I   want  to  thank  Rosie  and  Bob  Vojtek  for  all  your  hard  work  and  tireless   dedication  to  this  publication.       II.              Increase  skill  sets  through  hosted  professional  development  events   and  activities       We've  had  many  exciting  new  professional  development  events  and   activities  since  the  2013  annual  conference.  Tanya  Martin  (SL:  Tanya   Smedly)    and  Vasili  Giannoutsos  (SL:Bluebarker  Lowtide)  host   Machinima  Monday  http://sigve.weebly.com/edumachinima.html  for   those  interested  in  learning  about  machinima  and  how  it  is  being  used   in  education.  We  also  continue  to  offer  our  fabulous  Monthly  Speaker   Series  http://sigve.weebly.com/13-­‐14-­‐speakers.html  hosted  by  Andrew   Wheelock  (SL:  Spiff  Whitfield)  and  Scott  Merrick  (SL:  ScottMerrick  Oh)   and  produced  by  Beth  O’Connell  (SL:  Beth  Ghostraven).  

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Based on  the  overwhelming  interest  in  Minecraft  at  the  2013  annual   conference,  we  are  now  offering  a  monthly  Minecraft  activity.  Some   examples  are:       Minecraft  Office  Hours  recording  http://youtu.be/S36YkALBYFo   Minecraft  Open  House  July  recording      http://youtu.be/8fwligI7N-­‐M   Minecraft  Mobile  and  More  recording  http://youtu.be/PiUj2IWev5A   Minecraft  Open  House  October  recording   http://youtu.be/HutBgD6T6Lk   Minecraft  UnSymposium  Playlist  9  recordings  http://bit.ly/1dqtGLR     SIGVE  has  also  had  a  strong  presence  during  Connected  Educator   month.  We  hosted  the  Connected  Educator  -­‐  Halloween  Scary  Sim  Crawl   http://youtu.be/yhHWzrC30GE.  Based  on  its  popularity,  we  also   organized  the  Connected  Educator  –  Holiday  Sim  Crawl   http://youtu.be/Natui3ACK_0  in  December  2013.  We  also  participated   in  an  Hour  of  Code  http://sigve.weebly.com/hour-­‐of-­‐code.html  at  the   ISTE  SIGVE  HQ  in  Second  Life     III.              Spark  community  building  and  advocacy  among  members  with   similar  interests  and  passions     As  previously  mentioned,  SIGVE  organized  an  event  for  the  Department   of  Education’s  Connected  Educator  Month  in  October  2013.  Please  take   a  look  at  some  of  the  screen  captures  from  that  event  and  all  our  events   at  the  SIGVE  flickr  site  http://www.flickr.com/groups/sigve/     SIGVE  Leadership  continues  to  encourage  members  to  participate  in   events  and  with  others  that  share  their  passions  via  the  Listserv  and  the   Google+  Community.  In  addition,  many  of  our  members  were  nominated   and  became  finalists  for  the  2013  Edublog  Awards   http://edublogawards.com.  The  ISTE  SIGVE  weebly  site  was  an  Edublog   Award  Finalist  in  Best  Educational  Use  of  a  Social  Network.  Feel  free  to   visit  the  Edublog  Awards  site  to  see  all  the  finalists  and  check  out  these   new  resources.  http://edublogawards.com/     IV.              Sustain  an  evolving  forum  of  resource  and  information  sharing    

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We continue  to  grow  and  share  new  resources  and  updates  through  the   ISTE  wiki,  Weebly,  Google+  Community  as  well  as  other  shared  SIGVE   communication  channels.  The  new  SIGVE  Google+  community   http://bit.ly/sigvegoogle  has  shown  the  greatest  growth  and  use  as  we   continue  to  have  members  join  and  share.       V.              Build  volunteers’  leadership  skills  and  experience  in  a  variety  of   professional  skill  sets     Our  members  have  volunteered  with  SIGML  to  produce  Mobile,   Minecraft  and  More  sessions.    We  have  worked  with  VSTE,  Virtual   Pioneers,  Inevitable  Instructors  and  the  Games  MOOC  to  produce  two   recorded  Virtual  Worlds  tours  and  a  two-­‐day  online  event  entitled  the   Minecraft  and  More  …  UnSymposium.       There  are  additional  areas  for  volunteering  in  the  upcoming  months.  We   will  be  looking  for  volunteers  to  staff  the  SIGVE  Playground  at  the   annual  conference,  serve  on  a  committee  to  investigate  offering  a  MOOC,   and  serve  as  judges  for  the  annual  Machinima  event  at  the  annual   conference.  More  details  and  opportunities  will  be  announced  in  the   coming  months.       Preliminary  Plans  for  2014  Conference     Vasili  Giannoutsos  (  SL:  Bluebarker  Lowtide)  has  agreed  to  serve  as  the   2014  Playground  Coordinator.  Our  Playground  Coordinator  Emeritus,   Scott  Merrick  will  aptly  be  advising  him.  The  Playground  will  be  on   Monday  June  30th  from  1:30  pm  –  5  pm  so  for  those  attending  in  Atlanta   please  come  join  us!     The  EduMachinima  Fest  has  been  accepted  by  the  ISTE  Programming   Committee  and  the  day  and  time  is  TBD.  We'll  send  out  the  information   once  we  receive  notice.  We'd  love  to  have  you  attend  and  see  the   machinima  created  by  our  students  and  members.       The  SIGVE  Open  House  will  be  held  on  Saturday  June  28,  2014.  More   details  will  be  forthcoming.    

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Lastly, please  follow  us  and  continue  to  share  articles,  events,  and  other   announcements  via  any  of  the  resources  previously  mentioned.  As   always  if  you  have  any  questions,  please  feel  free  to  contact  me  at   kae.novak@frontrange.edu.     Thank  you,     Kae  Novak   SL:  Kavon  Zenovka   World  of  Warcraft:  Konishiki   @kzenovka

SIGVE Annual Planning and Program Goals 2013-2014 I.  Give  members’  access  to  individual  and  collective  expertise   1.  Continue  to  utilize  SIGVE  listeserv  for  weekly  virtual  connected   educator  blasts.     2.  Maintain  existing  Social  Media  forums.     3.  Create  and  grow  usage  of  Google  Plus  Community  and  calendar   as  an  event  registration  and  member  services  supplement.  The   Google  Plus  Community  will  automatically  send  invites  and   reminders  to  registered  members.     4.  Continue  to  support  and  promote  Virtual  Educational  Journal   publications.     5.  Investigate  membership  interest  in  a  Virtual  Environment   MOOC     II.  Increase  skill  sets  through  hosted  professional  development  events  and   activities     1.  Offer  bimonthly  machinima  meetings  where  participants  learn   to  create,  edit,  and  publish  machinima.     2.  Offer  monthly  virtual  world  speakers  series.    

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3. Offer  monthly  Minecraft  activity     4.  Offer  4  webinars  on  Learner  Analytics  and  Assessment  in   Virtual  Worlds  and  MMOs     III.  Spark  community  building  and  advocacy  among  members  with  similar   interests  and  passions   1.  Participate  in  the  Department  of  Education’s  Connected   Educator  Month  in  October  2013.     2.  Continue  to  forward  ISTE  Advocacy  effort  to  member  via   Listserv  and  Google  Plus  Community.     3.  Encourage  membership  participation  in  Connected  Educator   events  and  the  Virtual  Education  Journal.     IV.  Sustain  an  evolving  forum  of  resource  and  information  sharing   1.  Share  updates  through  ISTE  wiki,  Weebly,  Google  Plus   Community  as  well  as  other  shared  SIGVE  communication   channels.     V.  Build  volunteers’  leadership  skills  and  experience  in  a  variety  of   professional  skill  sets   1.  Collaborate  with  SIGML  and  other  SIGS  to  offer  professional   development     2.  Invite  SIGVE  membership  to  volunteer  to  staff  SIGVE   Playground  at  annual  conference     3.  Send  out  invite  to  members  to  serve  on  committee  to   investigate  offering  a  MOOC     4.  Invite  SIGVE  members  to  serve  as  judges  for  annual  Machinima   event  at  annual  conference.        

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Meet Draxtor  Despres  

By Roxie  Neiro  

I  can’t  begin  to  tell  you  how  excited  I  am  to  introduce  all  of  you  to…   Draxtor  Despres.  He  documents  the  most  amazing  things  happening  in   Second  Life  with  clarity,  accuracy,  and  fidelity.  In  order  to  describe  what  it   is  he  does,  I  believe  we  need  a  new  term  –  digital  anthropologist.  I  would   characterize  Draxtor  as  a  quintessential  digital  anthropologists…  a   personal  hero  of  mine.  I  applaud  him  for  capturing  the  essence  of  Second   Life  and  look  forward  to  all  of  his  new  ventures.     Roxie:  Who  is  Draxtor  (in  rl  and  sl),  what  makes  you  tick,  and  what  are   you  doing  in  virtual  environments?     Draxtor:    My  name  is  Draxtor  Despres  and  I  have  been  in  Second  Life   since  2007.  In  real  life  I  am  an  audio-­‐video  guy.  I  compose  music.  I   produce  music  for  all  occasions  –  film,  television,  and  commercials.   Recently  we  were  at  Sundance,  currently  with  the  METUBE   http://metube.at  project  and  we  are  following  that  up.  I  am  writing  the   music  and  I  am  recording  it  and  producing  it  so  that  is  my  real  life.  In   Second  Life  I  came  in  and  I  was  immediately  fascinated  with  what  people   do  in  the  environment.  Initially,  I  should  have  probably  done  the  same  that   I  do  here,  which  is  music.  But  I  didn’t  embark  on  the  music  thing.  I  want  to   document  what  people  do  and  push  this  out  into  the  mainstream.  That   was  clear  to  me  a  few  weeks  in.  I  didn’t  have  any  film  experience   background  then  –  other  than  working  in  the  film  industry,  in  the  audio    

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department. So,  (laughing)  all  my  training  was  from  making  home  movies   and  vacation  movies.    So,  it’s  really  learning  and  doing  with  machinima.  I   have  to  add  that  I  briefly  worked  in  public  radio.  I  ran  a  news  department   for  an  NPR  member  station  http://kazu.org/  .  And  before  that  I  was  in   Los  Angeles  at  KPFK  http://www.kpfk.org    ,  which  is  a  very  well  known   left-­‐leaning  public  radio  station  in  the  Pacifica  Network.  So,  I  have   experience  in  producing  for  radio,  but  not  for  film.  Virtual  environments   to  me  –  Second  Life  holds  the  promise  of  a  life  in  creativity,  a  life  that  is   enhanced  by  collaborating.      

Roxie:  How  did  you  get  started  in  Virtual  Environments  and  what  keeps   you  coming  back?         Draxtor:  Virtual  environments  to  me,  Second  Life,  holds  the  promise  of  a   life  in  creativity,  a  life  that  is  enhanced  by  collaborating.  The  promise  that   if  we  find  a  space  where  we  can  express  ourselves  freely,  while   collaborating  across  gender,  ethnic,  national  boundaries,  then…  that’s   what  I  believe  in.  I  believe  that  if  we  find  this  place,  we  can  make  it   flourish,  and  we  can  survive  as  a  human  race.  It  sounds  awfully  big  and   pathetic  –  sort  of  idealistic,  but  I  am  idealistic.  I  see  the  current  malaise   and  terrible  state  of  affairs  we  are  in  as  a  human  race,  with  so  many   issues.  But,  I  do  think  that  these  virtual  environments  hold  a  huge  promise.   Second  Life  right  now  is  the  closest  that  we  have  to  the  metaverse.  Of    

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course, it  is  owned  by  one  company,  which  is  a  problem,  I  think,  in  the   sense  that  it  is  a  venture  that  needs  to  make  money.  It  would  be  great  if  it   would  be  sort  of  publically  owned.  If  we  could  all  own  it  and  run  it.  .  .  .  but,   that  is  not  the  case  right  now.  Who  knows  what  is  coming.  But,  Second  Life   still  is  –  and  that  keeps  me  coming  back.  It’s  still  a  place  that  is  very   opposite  of  the  corporate,  commercial  landscape  of  real  life,  where   everything  is  dominated  by  malls  and  the  pressure  to  consume  is  a  lot   higher.  Of  course,  people  consume  in  Second  Life  (laughing).     Roxie:  (laughing  too)  And,  I  am  the  ultimate  consumer!  Thank  goodness   for  shopping!       Draxtor:  Yes,  but  it’s  different  because,  in  Second  Life,  people  buy  from   someone  like  you.  You  have  a  trade  between  two  equals.  Not,  a  big   corporation  that  pushes  products  down  to  you.       Roxie:  I  so  agree!  Thank  goodness  for  all  of  the  artistically  talented   people  who  are  producing  for  the  ultimate  consumers  like  me.  I  couldn’t   survive  in  Second  Life  if  it  weren’t  for  them.  I  think  I  love  shopping  in   Second  Life  as  much  as  I  do  in  real  life!    (laughing)  So,  what  are  your   favorite  virtual  environments,  what  are  your  favorite  sims  or  interesting   places  to  visit?    

Draxtor:  I’m  continuously  baffled  by   what’s  out  there.    I  don’t  distinguish.  I   go  from  sci-­‐fi  role-­‐play  sims,  for   example,  InSilico   http://insilico.gemini-­‐cybernetics.net/   comes  to  mind,  which  has  been  around   for  a  very  long  time  –  I  think  2008.  It  is   build  entirely  with  prims.  InSilico  still   has  a  flare  around  it,  the  city,  that  sort   of  really  teleports  you  and  facilitates   immersion  in  an  incredible  way.  It  is  a   testament  to  what  can  be  done  with   the  simple  prim  building  capability   that  Second  Life  has.  I  go  to  art   exhibits.  Those  are  my  favorite  things  –    

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when people  really  push  the  envelope  in  artistic  expression  -­‐  the  surreal   immersive  places.  Something  that  you  can’t  do  in  a  museum,  something   that  you  could  only  do  if  you  had  a  huge  warehouse  and  unlimited  funds.   Then,  you  could  maybe  do  this  in  a  museum.  But,  that  people  can  fill  these   spaces  with  their  vision  and  then  me,  the  visitor,  can  actually  go  through   it.  I  think  that  has  been  sort  of  the  focus  for  what  is  seen  in  the  Drax  Files,   although  I  try  to  do  an  overview  –  of  different  activities.  Some  people  have   said  that  the  emphasis  is  sort  of  on  art.         Roxie:  I  so  agree  –  Your  machinima  series,  Drax  Files,  is  very  artistic  and  

creative, especially  the  way  you  use  photography  and  cinematography   to  engage  viewers  and  enrich  what  your  guests  in  each  segment  are   sharing  about  their  work.    On  your  twitter  profile  you  describe  yourself   as  a  “machinima-­‐holic.”  How  did  you  get  started  making  machinima’s   and  what  is  it  about  this  media  that  keeps  you  so  addicted?       Draxtor:  It  is  interesting.  My  son  is  ten  years  old.  He  plays  Minecraft  and  I   play  Minecraft  with  him.  He  has  his  own  Minecraft  video  podcasts  already.   We  constantly  discuss  what  is  the  difference  between  digital  animation   and  machinima.  There  are  a  bunch  of  Minecraft  machinimas  out  there.   They  call  themselves  animation,  which  I  think  is  more  accurate  because  

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they are  not  filmed  in  real-­‐time  in  Minecraft.  They  are,  in  fact,  made  in   Blender  and  then  really  frame-­‐by-­‐frame  animated.  They  recreate  the   entire  environment  in  Blender  and  then  animate  it.  So  nothing  is  filmed  in   real-­‐time.  And  that  is  the  big  difference.  In  that  sense,  I  am  a  machinima-­‐ holic  because  I  believe  that  machinima  is  the  democratization  of  cinema   because  it  enables  everyone  to  have  a  Hollywood  Studio  and  play  around   with  it.  To  film  in  real-­‐time  with  other  actors,  avatar  actors,  is  just  so   different  from  solitary  sitting  there  and  animating  it.  There  is  nothing   wrong  with  digital  animation,  but  to  be  on  the  ground  in  a  space  and  film   it  in  real-­‐time  is  so  much  more  related  to  Guerrilla  type  film-­‐making  or   documentary  film-­‐making  where  you  have  a  little  camera  and  you  go  into   a  chaotic  zone  of  whatever  it  is  and  you  film  it  with  your  little  camera  over   your  shoulder  and  then  you  go  home  and  put  it  together.  But,  you  are   there  in  real-­‐time  and  you  are  observing  and  you  are  capturing  it.  That  is   what  machinima  is  in   the  digital  realm.  So  it   is  much  more  related.   That’s  what  keeps  me   addicted.  (laughing)     The  addiction  comes   from  the  fact,  again,   that  it  holds  the   promise  of  opening  up   the  ivory  tower  of   Hollywood  and  film-­‐ making  which  is  very   exclusionary.       Roxie:  How  did  you  get  started  doing  the  Drax  files?       Draxtor:  I  got  started  doing  the  Drax  Files  because  I  saw  a  void  in   documenting  what  people  do  there  [in  Second  Life].  There  is  no  such   format;  the  format  that  I’m  doing  has  not  been  applied  to  documenting   what  Second  Life  residents  do  in  the  artistic  field.  It  is  a  commercial  for  a   creative  life.  It  is  a  continuous  advertisement  campaign  for  creative   engagement.  It’s  not  an  ad  campaign  for  Linden  Lab.  I  am  not  advertising   Linden  Lab  as  a  service.  I’m  advertising  the  power  of  creative  thought  and   practice  –  how  that  can  make  a  better  world  for  all  of  us.  That  is  what  I   haven’t  seen  since  I  did  it  early  on.  But  then  I  stopped  doing  this      

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REPORTAGE stuff.  I  did  Flufee,  with  comedy  –  it  was  really  great.  But,   nobody  has  done,  really,  that  kind  of  mixed  reality  profile  where  you  also   get  a  glimpse  behind  the  avatar,  which  I  think  resonates  with  the   uninitiated  pubic.  The  folks  out  there  don’t  understand  Second  Life.  They   dismiss  it.  They  haven’t  heard  of  it.  You  know,  there  are  a  lot  of  people   who  have  never  heard  of  it.  There  are  people  who  are  inherently  afraid  of      

 

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anything in  the  digital  realm  or  anything  that  says  virtual  on  it  because   they  feel  the  matrix  is  taking  over.  And  then  there  are,  of  course,  the   people  who  have  a  negative  opinion  on  Second  Life  because  of  the  hype  or   the  scandals  during  the  hype  days.     Roxie:  Yes,  and  then  there  are  the  people  who  say,  “Why  do  I  need  a   second  life  when  I  don’t  have  time  for  my  first  life!       Draxtor:  My  series  http://www.youtube.com/draxtordespres  is  geared   towards  that  audience  to  dispel  some  of  these  myths  and  to  bring  to  the  

fore the  positive  aspects  of  that.  Nobody  is  doing  it  –  at  least  along  the   mainstream  media,  which  keeps  continuing  to  hammer  home  this  notion   that  Second  Life  is  a  place  for  losers,  or  something  like  that.  And  that   drives  me  nuts!  Somebody  needs  to  create  a  counter  narrative.       Roxie:  I  so  agree  with  you  and  it  is  your  mission!  That  being  said,  which   episode  of  the  Drax  files  is  your  favorite?  Which  was  the  most  fun  or   interesting  to  make  and  why?     Draxtor:  I  don’t  have  a  favorite.  They’re  all  different  and  hopefully  they   all  stand  on  their  own.  Actually,  I  do  have  a  favorite.  The  favorite  is  the  

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one I  haven’t  made  yet.  The  favorite  is  the  one  that  is  in  my  head  –  and   that  can  be  any  one  of  the  hundreds  (laughing)  that  are  in  my  head  right   now  –  about  people  that  I  haven’t  met,  about  activities  that  blow  me   away,  and  the  creative  applications  of  the  tools  that  are  given  to  us  by  the   environment.  That  is  my  favorite  episode.  They  are  all  fun  to  make,  but   they  are  also,  because  I  tend  to  be  a  bit  of  a  micro-­‐manager,  they  are  also   a  little  scary  to  make  because  they  consist  of  so  many  moving  parts.  They   depend  on  the  delivery  of  so  many  tiny  little  components  from  different   sources.  The  managing  of  those  sources  across  all  time  zones,  getting  the   deadlines  in  order  is  incredibly  difficult  because  it  is  a  hobby.  I  am  not   getting  paid.  So,  I  have  to  do  this  on  the  side.  And,  everybody  who  is   involved,  who  is  delivering,  for  example,  real  life  footage,  also  has   probably  a  full-­‐time  job.  It  is  incredibly  difficult  to  get  all  of  that  stuff  on   deadline  .  .  .  because  I  do  produce  on  deadline,  on  a  calendar  at  a  certain   frequency.  I  am  not  veering  away  from  that  frequency  because  anything   that  is  in  the  media  has  to  have  a  certain  frequency  to  build  an  audience  –   otherwise,  you  can’t  build  an  audience  and  you  will  lose  it.  So,  I  am  putting    

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myself under  too  much  pressure,  but  I  am  approaching  it  as  if  I  were  an   executive  producer  or  show-­‐runner  of  a  network  show  or  whatever  it  is.  I   take  this  very  seriously  and  thereby  it  does  cause  a  little  bit  of  anxiety.  I   am  confident  that  I  can  create  compelling  stories.  It  would  be  very  cool  if  I   could  fly  all  over  the  world  and  shoot  the  stuff  myself,  but  then  again,  it’s   actually  quite  exciting  that  they  come  to  life  this  way  by  me  sending   storyboards  and  shot  lists  to  the  interview  subject  and  conducting  what  I   need  in  terms  of  what  they  need  to  film  on  their  end  to  get  the  story  going.   Then  I  fly  it  all  together.  So  it’s  like  working  with  multiple,  global  stringers   that  give  me  material,  so  that  is  pretty  cool,  too!     Roxie:  How  do  you  get  the  ideas  and/or  decide  on  who  or  what  you  will   feature  in  your  Drax  file  series?    

Draxter:  The  ideas  and  the  subject  matters  of  the  Drax  File  video  series   depends  on  the  end  game  or  the  main  goal  -­‐  which  is  to  weave  this  quilt,   the  tapestry  of  diverse  activities  in  Second  Life.  My  goal  is  to  really  capture   the  diversity  that  is  present  in  Second  Life.  .  .  the  diversity  in  age,  ethnic   background,  and  global  physical  location.  Now,  this  of  course,  is  very   difficult  because  I’ve  already  featured  way  to  many  people  from  the  U.S.     Of  course,  it  is  easy  to  get  them.  It  is  harder  .  .  .  I  have  friends  from  all  over   the  world  in  Second  Life,  but  it  is  very  difficult  sometimes  to  convince      

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people to  take   that  step  and   present   themselves  in   front  of  the   camera.  Not   everybody  is  an   extravert.  So,   that  is  a  big   obstacle.  The   other  one  is  to  go   into  other  cultural  realms.  Japan,  for  example.  I  have  several  friends  from   Japan.  Some  of  them  have  declined  to  be  in  the  show  because  they  are  very   private.  Others,  I  have  communication  issues.  They  are  fans  of  mine.  I’m  a   fan  of  theirs,  but  we  haven’t  really  communicated  what  I  want  from  them.   I  have  a  guy  from  Turkey,  which  is  fascinating  to  me.  So  I  am  trying  to  get   into  the  Middle  East,  maybe,  and  see  what  is  happening  over  there.  I  have   done  some  stuff  with  the  “Kansas  to  Cairo”  project,  but  I  want  to  do  this   under  the  umbrella  of  the  Drax  Files  as  well.  I  want  to  have  African   Americans.  I  have  three  scheduled.  I  want  the  different  ages  –  all  this  stuff.   I  want  to  create  this  mosaic.  That’s  the  reason  or  the  decision  that  I  make.     It’s  important  to  find  who  has  a  compelling  story.  I  do  believe  that   everybody  has  a  compelling  story.  But,  it’s  also  a  matter  of  how  can  they   present  that  story.  These  mini-­‐documentaries  are  very  labor  intensive   because  they  are  based  on,  sometimes,  a  two-­‐hour  conversation.  From   that   conversation  I   can  glean   who  that   person  is.     Then,  I   whittle  it   down  to  the   essence  and   put  it   together.    But   it  is  very   important    

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that this  is  not  a  formal  interview  –  that  it  starts  with  a  casual   conversation  so  the  people  get  comfortable  and  I  earn  their  trust.  Then   they  open  up  and  that  is  where  I  get  to  the  story.     Roxie:  On  your  website  http://draxtor.com/2013/02/cap-­‐trade-­‐ immersive-­‐journalism/  you  have  a  machinima  called  “Cap  &  Trade  –   Immersive  Journalism.”  Please  tell  us  about  it  and  what  you  hope   viewers  will  gain  by  watching  the  machinima  and  visiting  the   Annenberg  Pulbic  Diplomacy  Island  in  Second  Life.     Draxtor:  The  “Cap  &  Trade”  is  an  old  piece.  I  think  it  is  great.  But,  it  is  old   –  old  in  the  sense  that  it  is  three  years  old.  I  guess  it’s  not  that  old,  but  it  is   old  in  digital  terms.  It  was  a  great  project  done  in  collaboration  with  The   Center  For  Investigative  Journalism  and  my  friend,  Nonny  de  la  Pena,  who   is  a  leader  in  Immersive  Journalism.  She  also  did  “Virtual  Guantanamo.”   But,  it  didn’t  go  anywhere.  This  is  one  of  those  frustrating  things.  You   show  things  like  that,  and  there  is  no  understanding  at  the  level  of   decision  makers.  We  wanted  to  have  an  entire  island  present  there  for   people  to  explore.  People  pulled  out.  No  interest.       Roxie:  That’s  too  bad.  You  have  a  really  important  message.     Draxtor:    It’s  always  a  bunch  of  people  pushing  and  then  there  is  one   person  that  is  either  above  them  or  gets  to  that  above  spot  and  says,  “No,  I   don’t  get  it,  gone.”  Ok,  so  that’s  what  happened.  You  know,  viewers  will   gain  by  watching  the  machinima  and  wanting  to  go  in  and  experience  it,   but  the   problem  is,   it’s  not   there  any   more.  That   stuff  is   gone.          

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Roxie: What  about  “The  VIRTUAL    Mine”   http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2011/07/deep-­‐down-­‐second-­‐life-­‐virtual-­‐ mine-­‐emmy-­‐nomination.html  ?  It  received  a  2011  Emmy  nomination  in   the  category  “New  Approaches  to  News  &  Documentary  Programming.”   Tell  us  about  this  PBS  machinima   http://video.pbs.org/video/1628364599/  and  some  of  the  new   approaches  to  news  and  documentary  programming  that  were  used  in   this  machinima  as  well  as  some  of  the  other  new  approaches  you  are   using  in  other  productions.     Draxtor:  The  video,  “The  Virtual  Mine  Deep  Down”  was  a  documentary   film  –  companion  project.  We  got  a  nomination.  This  is  exactly  in  the  line   of  Immersive  Journalism.  You  go  in  there  and  you  experience  the  story   yourself.  You  can  be  sort-­‐of  a  citizen  journalist.  You  can  practice  that.  You   can  make  your  own  story.  That  is  what  we  wanted  to  present  with  the   “Deep  Down”  project,  but  again  they  stopped  paying  for  the  island.  The   island  is  gone.  There  are  so  many  possibilities,  so  many  possibilities  with   these  new  approaches  –  because  what  is  more  powerful  than  reading  a   book?  And  again,  this  is  not  to  replace  anything.  This  is  complementary.   But  there  is  something  more  powerful  than  reading  a  book.  Or,  reading  a   great  well-­‐researched  news  article.  Or,  watching  a  great  documentary.      

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There is   something   more  powerful,   and  that  is  to   go  in  there  and   experience  it   yourself  – sharing  it  with   other  people,   like  we  did   with  “Virtual   Guantanamo.  “   Yeah,  you  can   read  in  the   paper.  You  can   read  accounts   of  prisoners.   You  can  watch   documentarie.   But,  how  does   it  feel  to  be  a  prisoner?  How  does  it  feel  to  be  grabbed  somewhere,  put  on   a  plane,  and  put  into  prison?  How  does  that  feel?    The  3-­‐D  persistent   environmental  game  technology  can  do  that.  We  are  just  scratching  the   surface.  Nonny  de  la  Pena  is  doing  a  project  on  Syria  right  now   http://www.immersivejournalism.com/project-­‐syria-­‐premieres-­‐at-­‐the-­‐ world-­‐economic-­‐forum/  with  goggles  that  are  similar  to  the  Oculus  Rift.   She  is  presenting  at  the  Davos  World  Economic  Forum  Annual  Meeting   January  22-­‐24,  2014.  http://www.india-­‐at-­‐davos.ibef.org/?gclid=CM-­‐ v2srRjbwCFYw7OgodFFIAbQ       Roxie:  All  of  your  projects  sound  so  exciting!  I  am  in  awe  watching  the   work  you  and  your  colleagues  are  doing  –  especially  the  Drax  Files  –   they  are  amazing!  What  tools  do  you  use  to  get  such  high  quality   resolution,  video,  and  sound?     Draxtor:  I  am  an  audio-­‐video  editor.  That  is  my  day  job,  so  I  have  a  studio   here  that  I  built  in  my  garage,  which  is  not  inexpensive.  The  studio  total.   But  the  tools  –  that’s  the  fascinating  thing  –  the  tools  today  are  obtainable    

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for everyone.  Not  for  everyone,  but  for  people  who  can  afford  an  Internet   connection  and  have  a  computer.  They  can  also  get  those  tools  and  then   they  just  have  to  practice.  And,  they  have  to  train  their  ears.  My   machinima  PC  is  about  $1,000.  The  microphones  that  I  have  are  expensive   microphones,  but  I  also  have  microphones  that  are  $200.  They  now  have       microphones,  even  USB  microphones  that  you  don’t  even  have  to  put   through  a  pre-­‐amp  for  under  $100.  If  you  look  up  a  podcast  package  on   Amazon  or  wherever,  you  can  get  headphones,  a  microphone,  and   speakers  for  $150.  Multi-­‐track  recording  software  is  free  these  days  on  the   Mac  GarageBand  works.  I  use  Pro  Tools.  You  get  Pro  Tools  free  if  you  buy   a  microphone  in  some  cases.  Anybody,  and  that  is  really  the  amazing   thing,  can  put  together  a  recording  studio  in  their  home.  You  can  build   your  own  booth  to  kill  some  of  the  reflections  when  you  record  your  voice.   You  can  build  that  at  home  for  50  bucks  with  foam  and  stuff.  There  are   tutorials  out  there  on  Youtube.  But  of  course,  I  have  an  ear  for  how  it   should  sound.  I  also  want  to  add  that  the  flow  is  really  important  for  my   shows.  Each  one  of  those  episodes  has  underneath  an  audio  multi-­‐track   session  of  at  least  20  different  tracks.       Roxie:  Wow!  20  tracks?  I  would  never  have  guessed  that  you  had  that   many.  No  wonder  the  sound  on  your  Drax  Files  is  so  amazing.    

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Draxtor: A  lot  of  people  don’t  realize  that.  There  are  about  20  tracks.  The   different  voices,  the  ambiance  sound,  the  different  music,  so  that  totals  up   to  20  tracks  that  have  to  be  mixed.       Roxie:  Many  of  our  readers  are  educators  who  work  with  students   PreK-­‐20  and  are  starting  to  use  machinima  to  help  their  students  tell   their  own  stories.       Draxtor:  I  think  this  is  marvelous  and  that  is  exactly  the  power  of   machinima.      

Roxie:  Yes.  So,  what  suggestions,  tips,  and  tricks  do  you  have  that  can   help  them  to  work  more  productively  and  effectively  with  students  in   this  media  form?     Draxtor:  The  simplest  thing  is  to  have  a  task  for  the  students.  Go  in  world.   Find  a  place  that  you  like.  Track  down  the  owner  or  the  creator  and  ask   them  to  do  an  interview  with  you.  OK?  So  the  task  is  to  do  a  little   REPORTAGE  about  a  creative  person.  Now,  as  you  know,  it  is  sometimes   difficult  to  have  people  get  back  to  you.  So,  you  have  to  tell  the  students,   don’t  sit  around  with  one  thing.  Approach  ten  people.  Maybe  two  or  three   will  go  through,  and  then  you  pick  one.  And  then  you  conduct  an  interview   with  them,  and  then  you  chalk  that  up,  film,  and  put  it  together  as  a  little    

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3 minute  REPORTAGE.    That  is  what  I  would  do,  if  I  were  the  educator.   That  creates  multiple  skills  that  are  being  used  here.  So  a  journalistic  –   sort  of  on  the  ground  –  what  is  interesting?  Find  these  places.  Track   people  down.  Ask  them  good  questions  and  then  edit  the  stuff  together.  So   all  of  these  video  editing  skills  and  bringing  them  to  a  form  that  can  be   enjoyably  consumed.  Tips  and  tricks?  Keep  it  exciting  like  that.  And  again,   the  tools  are  all  out  there.  Video  capture  is  very  simple.      

Roxie:  Who  is  Flufee  and  how  did  that  series  come  about?         Draxtor:  Flufee  was  the  first  mesh  non-­‐human  avatar  that  was  on   Marketplace.  I  saw  it  on  the  Second  Life  Marketplace  and  said,  “I  want  to   create  my  own  comedy  program.  I  want  to  create  a  comedy  program   based  on  a  Second  Life   character  and  prove  that   we  can  do  comedy   vignettes  that  are  equally   as  good  as  what  is  on  TV   or  the  cartoon  network   right  now.”  That  was  the   goal.  Also,  other  virtual   worlds  games  like  World   of  Warcraft  and  other    

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games have  fabulous  comedy  and  Second  Life  doesn’t  have  it.  Second  Life   has  some  pretty  terrible  stuff.  I  am  honest  about  that.  (laughing)  I  mean,   call  me  an  elitist.  Who  cares?  World  of  Warcraft  has  several   http://olibith.blogspot.com/  ,  very,  very  funny  comedy  series  that  are  long   running.  Halo  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_vs._Blue  has,  of  course,   red  versus  blue.  Second  Life  doesn’t  have  a  tradition,  and  I  wanted  to   create  that  and  that  is  what  we  did.    Then  we  cancelled  it  because  the   creator  of  Flufee  made  a  big  fuss  about  intellectual  property  rights.  I  felt   that  I  am  working  with  a  creature  that  I  didn’t  even  create.  I  love  Flufee,   but  I  don’t  have  any  rights  to  him.  Flufee  was  created  by  Bytegang,  a   company  out  of  Prague.  They  liked  what  we  did  with  him.  It  was  a  free   advertisement.  They  sold  20-­‐30  thousand  avatars,  or  something  like  that.   But,  I  felt  like,  I  want  to  push  this  forward,  do  real  life  merchandise,  and   make  it  bigger.  Then  I  realized,  “Hey,  wait  a  minute,  I’m  doing  all  this   stuff,  and  I  am   popularizing  a   figure  that  I   don’t  have  any   rights  to  later   monetize,”  so  I   stopped  doing  it.       Roxie:  Tell  us   about  the  Drax   Files  Radio   Hour  and  your   future  plans  for  this  show   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMGzkzDvgAw&list=PLI0b2jAH3o Fvr6J0AhWroB9lmOXRN2xLV  .  What  do  you  hope  to  accomplish  with   this  show?  What  can  viewers  look  forward  to  in  future  episodes?       Draxtor:  Again,  the  same  thing  as  with  the  Drax  Files.  We  determined   there  was  a  need,  a  void.  We  needed  to  fill  this  void  with  a  podcast  to  bring   the  community  together  –  to  really  bring  the  diverse  community  together   with  news  and  commentary.  You  know,  this  is  not  REPORTAGE,  this  is   commentary.  I  would  love  to  do  something  more  investigative  and  in-­‐ depth,  but  I  can’t,  so  we  just  talk  about  stuff.  But,  we’ll  make  it  interesting   with  sound  bytes.  I  can  produce  these  things  because  I  have  done  it  in  the   past.  I  am  very  confident.  We  have  tons  of  awesome  stuff  planned  for  the    

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show. We  have  really  big  names  in  virtual  world  evolution,  revolution,   whatever  you  call  it.  There  is  a  whole  bunch  of  hardware  developers  that   are  very  young.  They  are  all  in  their  20’s  and  the  funny  thing  is  they  have   no  idea  about  Second  Life.    

Roxie:  Really?     Draxtor:  Because  they  were  probably  too  young  when  it  was  the  hype  and   everything,  you  know.  And,  maybe  their  parents  told  them,  “No,  don’t  go   there.”  But  now  we  have  the  seal  of  Oculus  Rift  tools  23,  we  have  these   other  platforms  –  Razor,  the  treadmill.  These  people  are  in  their  20’s  and   they  have  no  idea  that  there  is  a  world  that  wants  to  interface  with  their   hardware.  That’s  something  we  can  also  bring  together.       Roxie:  Your  January  17,  2014  Drax  Files  Radio  Hour,  features  “The   Legacy  of  Osprey  Therian”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQWk-­‐ JhuToI.    Who  was  Osprey  and  why  did  you  do  this  tribute  show?       Draxtor:  Osprey  Therian  was  an  accomplished  artist  that  interfaced  with   the  Linden’s  a  lot  in  the  early  days  of  Second  Life.  She  was  beloved  by   many  and  was  very  inspiring  to  many.  This  is  something  that  gave  us  the   opportunity  to  talk  about  what  the  relationship  is  between  avatars  and   what  happens  when  somebody  dies.  I  wanted  to  talk  about  Osprey  Therian    

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and her  accomplishments,  but  moralistically  the  relationship,  how  deep   these  relationships  are.  That  they  are  more…  not  more,  but  they  are   equally  on  pare  with  relationships  between  people  who  know  each  other   in  the  physical  world.       Roxie:  Yes,  I  know  exactly  what  you  mean.  Many  of  us  have  lost  friends   and  colleagues  that  we  may  not  have  known  in  real  life,  but  were  so   much  a  part  of  our  Second  Life.  Friends  and  colleagues  who  inspired  us   and  filled  our  lives  with  richness.  In  fact,  VEJ  has  lost  people  that  we    

have  highlighted  in  past  issues.  We  will  always  miss  them.  What  is  really   strange  and  continues  to  baffle  me,  is  how  once  you  sit  behind  the   avatar  you  have  created,  you  begin  to  become  that  avatar,  and  that   avatar  becomes  more  like  you,  sometimes  than  you!  I  am  always   amazed  at  how  much  Roxie  (sl)  and  Rosie  (rl)  have  in  common!        

 

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Roxie: On  your  website  you  encourage  visitors  (if  they  dare)  to  visit   Escapades  Island  in  second  life.  Tell  us  what  we  can  expect  to  do  or   see  if  we  visit  the  island.       Draxtor:    I  encourage  visitors  to  visit  Escapades  Island.  Very  simple.   Because  I  live  there.  I  just  put  it,  “If  they  dare.”  I  live  on  Escapades.  It  is   made  by  a  friend  of  mine  named  Loki  Eliot  http://www.lokieliot.com  .   He  is  in  the  UK.  It  is  just  amazing  what  he  does  in  Second  Life.  He   creates  clothing.  He  creates  games.  He  runs  the  island.  A  very  creative   person.  Loki  Eliot  is  among  the  top  ten  people  in  SL  that  really  try   everything  that  Linden  Lab  throws  out  feature-­‐wise.  I  mean,  you  know,   they  throw  out  some  new  game  in  the  scripting  language  that  I  don’t   know  where  to  start  with,  and  he  goes,  “  Oh,  cool,  I  am  going  to  do   something  with  it.”  So,  Escapades  Island  is  a  great  example  of  what   Second  Life  can  present.  Escapades  is  also  “G”  rated,  so  I  let  my  son  run   around  there,  too,  with  supervision.  But,  Escapades  is  a  great  example   of  interactivity  that  a  lot  of  people  don’t  know.  I  mean,  it’s  fantasy  –   pirate  themed.  You  go  in  there  and  immediately  you  get  little  tools,  you   get  tasks  to  look  for  rats…  to  get  rid  of  those  rats.       Roxie:  (laughing)  Sounds  like  fun!    

Roxie enjoys  Sushi  on  Escapades  Island   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Escapades/193/192/34  

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Draxtor: If  you  are  hungry  you  can  go  to  a  Sushi  bar,  so  there  is   interactivity  and  playfulness  about  the  place  that  I  really  love.  So  I  moved   there,  and  I  think  that  by  moving,  this  is  really  my  home.  There  are  tons  of   visitors  that  come  there  –  random  visitors  because  it  continues  to  be  on   the  destination  guide.  There  are  also  newbies.  It’s  funny.  I  am  sitting  there   in  my  office  and  sometimes  people  just  come  into  my  office  and  then  they   see  me.  Often  times  they  apologize  and  I  say,  “No,  no  problem.”  So,  it’s  very   cool.  It  is  like  being  a  writer,  and  instead  of  hermitting  in  your  garage  .  .  .   as  I  am  sitting  in  my  physical  garage,  I  am  sort  of  out  in  the  open  on  this   island  with  a  lot  of  just  foot  traffic.  So,  it  is  kind  of  cool!  It’s  like  having  a   studio  apartment  downtown  in  a  big  metropolitan  area.  It  is  kind  of  the   same  thing,  almost.       Roxie:  Absolutely.    (laughing)  I  know  exactly  what  you  mean.  Five  years   from  now,  where  do  you  think  your  work  will  take  you?  What  do  you   hope  you  will  be  doing?  What  do  you  hope  the  media  and  the  state  of   virtual  environments  will  allow  you  to  do  that  you  can’t  do  now?    

Draxtor:  I  hope  that  I  will  still  be  doing  the  same  thing.  I  hope  that  maybe   some  body  gives  me  a  budget  to  do  it  better  or  to  have  less  anxiety  about   getting  it  done  (laughing).  That  would  be  very  cool.  Maybe  I  will  do  a  kick-­‐ starter  campaign  and  have  this  sort  of  crowd  funded  –  what  I’m  doing.  I    

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hope the  media  will  have  gotten  over  its  ridiculous  ignoring  the  virtual   environment.  I’m  confident  that  because  we  have  all  these  hardware   devices  coming  in  –  I  don’t  know  if  it’s  going  to  be  all  mainstream  or  not,   but  I  do  hope,  also,  that  people  have,  maybe  by  then,  forgotten  about   whatever  their  opinion  of  what  Second  Life  is.  I  hope  that  Second  Life  will   flourish  and  bring  people  in.  I  really  do  hope  that  I  can  continue  to  do   what  I  am  doing.  I  hope  that  I  have  the  financial  resources  and  the  time  to   devote  –  as  much  time  as  I  can  to  this  hobby  –  or  somebody  pays  –  but   then  the  catch-­‐22  is  that  the  freedom  I  now  have  maybe  compromised  if   somebody  sponsors  it  and  wants  to  have  editorial  control.  I  will  not  give   that  away!     Roxie:  Twitter  users  can  follow  you  on  twitter  @Daxtor.    Who  are  the   people  you  follow  and  what  are  some  key  ideas  or  resources  you  have   learned  from  them?     Draxtor:  I  follow  a  lot  of  people  from  media,  from  independent  media.  Bill   Moyers  [@BillMoyersHQ]  .  I  have  great  respect  for  Bill  Moyers.  There’s  just   a  whole  bunch  of  people  who  are  so  important  in  this  day  and  age  with   corporate  media  taking  over,  so  I  follow  “Democracy  Now!”  with  Bill   Moyers  and  Jeremy  Scahill  [@jeremyscahill]  from  “Blackwater”   http://www.amazon.com/Blackwater-­‐Mercenary-­‐Army-­‐PM-­‐ Audio/dp/1604861010  book  and  the  DIRTY  WARS   http://dirtywars.org/the-­‐film  Movie.    I  follow  some  Second  Life  folks.   Yeah.  These  are  probably  more  political  people,  I  think,  I  would  say.  I  don’t   know.  But,  tweeter  is  a  great  tool  to  get  interesting  links.  That’s  how  I  use   it.  I  don’t  converse  much.  But,  when  I  get  up  in  the  morning,  I  scan  through   and  then  I  pick  a  few  articles  from  publications  that  I  trust.  But,  I  also   read  physical  magazines,  (laughing)  paper  magazines!  For  example,  “The   Nation”  magazine.  They  have  a  great  digital  version,  but  I  actually  now   subscribe  to  the  paper,  and  the  paper  comes  in  the  mail,  and  I  sit  on  the   porch,  and  I  read  it.  So  the  single  tasking,  I  think,  is  very  important  to  get   a  balance  going.       Roxie:  Who  are  the  people  in  the  world  of  machinima  and  virtual   environments  that  you  most  admire?       Draxtor:  Oh,  I  admire  so  many  people.  If  I  start  mentioning  names,  other   people  will  get  disappointed.    OLE  ETZEL    

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http://www.youtube.com/user/oleetzel who  I  did  a  story  about  is  a  friend   of  mine  from  Germany  and  he  is  fantastic.  Natashia  Randt   http://www.youtube.com/user/NRandt  ,  and  Tutsy  NAvArAthnA   http://www.youtube.com/user/TutsyNavarathna.    I  don’t  necessarily   admire  the  stuff  that  is  technically  polished.  There  is  some  stuff  that  is   incredibly  unpolished.  Natasha  Rand  for  example,  she  can  deliver  polished   stuff,  but  she  chooses  not  to  do  it  sometimes,  and  I  love  it!  She  has  one   thing  that  is  called  “Trash  TV.”  That  freedom  is  just  such  anecdote  to  the   Pixar  polish  that  I  hate  sometimes.       Roxie:    What  projects  are  you  working  on  now?  What  can  we  look   forward  to  seeing  in  future  episodes  of  the  Drax  Files?     Draxtor:  I  am  working  on  so  much.  Coming  up  on  the  Drax  Files,  virtual   ability,  people  with   disabilities,  people  in  the   educational  sector,  young   people,  and  African   Americans  entrepreneurs.     These  are  the  three  things  I   can  tell  you.  I’m  not  going   to  name  any  names.  But,  I   have  a  person  who  is  21   who  has  the  leading  brand   and  particle  effects.   http://slmagic.com/about.    He’s  been  in  Second  Life  for  8  years  or   something.  He’s  21  now.  He  is  the  kind  of  young  person  that  I  admire  who   looks  at  a  set  of  tools  and  says,  “Hey,  I’m  going  to  be  actively  engaged  in   shaping  this  rather  than  just  passively  consuming  stuff.    Then,  virtual   ability,  of  course,  everybody  we  know  –  we  know  who  they  are,  but  the   people  outside  don’t  know  it.  I  have  many  good  friends  there,  and  I  want   to  do  pieces  .  .  .  and  the  mainstream  media  has  done  a  few  pieces  that  are   not  bad.  By  the  way  they  are  floating  around  out  there.  But,  I  think  I  can   do  a  better  job.  (laughing)  Does  that  sound  arrogant,  or  what?  I  just  think   I  can  do  a  better  because  I  just  know  the  space  better.  Right?  I’m  not  a   parachute  journalist.  I  don’t  parachute  in,  I  live  there!       Roxie:  What  a  great  term!  I  love  how  you  say  you  are  not  a  “parachute   journalist!”  And  I  think  that  is  what  really  makes  the  difference  –  it    

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shows in  your  work!    So,  of   all  of  the  work  you  have   done,  what  are  the  most   proud  of  and  why?     Draxtor:  You  know,  I  would   be  very  proud  .  .  .  Let  me  twist   this  a  little  bit  .  .  .  I  would  be   extremely  proud  if  my  son  in   twenty  years  gets  up  at  an   acceptance  speech  or  some   sort  of  keynote  for  some  sort   of  virtual  world  conference  –   and  let’s  just  say  he  has   created  an  awesome  virtual   world  with  zero  lag  and   every  problem  that  we  complain  about  now  is  resolved.  And  he  gets  up   there  and  says,  “I  want  to  thank  my  dad  who  did  some  pioneering  work  in   documenting  what  people  do  in  creative  virtual  worlds.”  And,  if  that   happens,  if  I  live  long  enough  to  see  that  happening,  I  don’t  know.  .  .  But,   it’s  not  .  .  .  pride  is  such  a  weird  word,  and  I  can  talk  about  this  word  for   hours.  I  am  privileged  to  be  able  to  be  this  translator  between   misunderstood  people  and  the  ignorant  mainstream.  If  I  succeed  in   translating  –  if  somebody  who  rolled  their  eyes  at  me  for  years  comes  to   me  and  calls  me,  and  says,  “Hey,  now  I  understand.”  Then  I  am  proud.       Roxie:  You  should  be  very  proud  of   everything  you  are  doing  now!  We  are  so   fortunate  to  have  someone  like  you   documenting  the  early  pioneers  who  are   sharing  their  gifts  and  talents  through  their   work  in  virtual  spaces.  Thank  you  for  taking   time  to  share  your  vision  for  the  future  and   the  creative  work  you  are  doing  in  Second   Life  with  us.  We  will  continue  to  follow   your  work!     [Follow  Draxter  at  http://draxtor.com/  ,   http://www.youtube.com/user/draxtordespres  ,   https://www.facebook.com/draxtor  and  @  draxter]  

 

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Getting Ready  for   EduMachinima  Fest  2014

 

 

 

 

          By  Que  Jinn  (SL),  aka  Kae  Novak  (RL)    

So  what  is  Machinima?  Machinima  is  the  portmanteau  of  the   words,  machine  and  cinema.  Machinima  is  a  product  of  21st  century   skills.  It  is  the  screencapture  and  production  of  video  from  3D  games   and  virtual  worlds.  Gamers  worldwide  use  Machinima  to  show  their   latest  accomplishments,  have  fun  or  for  entertaining.  They  also  use   Machinima  as  tutorials  to  change  tacit  knowledge  into  explicit   knowledge.    

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The 2014  EduMachinima  Fest  will  focus  on  how  teachers  have   been  using  Machinima  with  their  students  to  create  authentic  learning,   experiences  and  assessments,  and  to  foster  digital  citizenship  through   global  collaborative  projects.  In  its  fifth  year,  the  EduMachinima  Fest   has  global  participation  from  both  students  and  educators  submitting   their  work  in  a  variety  of  categories  and  languages.     The  Special  Interest  Group  for  Virtual  Environments  (SIGVE)   invites  you  to  attend  professional  development  sessions  on  the   production  of  Machinima  and  its  use  in  the  classroom.  In  2014,   Machinima  Monday  starts  up  on  Monday,  February  10,  2014.  It  will  be   held  every  other  Monday  evening  in  Second  Life  on  Front  Range  island   at  9  pm  ET.     http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Front%20Range/108/26/35   Tanya  Martin  (Gridjumper)  and  Vasili  Giannoutsos  (Blue  Lowtide)   are  facilitating  a  biweekly  meet-­‐up  for  educators  making  Machinima.   These  sessions  include  props,  sets,  costumes,  avatars,  and  other   production  related  resources.     To  read  more  about  the  production  of  Machinima,  please  go  to   Grid  jumper’s  blog  at  http://gridjumper.net/2013/09/15/machinima-­‐ for-­‐education/.   You  are  invited  to  learn  more  about  the  ISTE  EduMachinima  Fest   and  how  teacher  are  using  it  to  assess,  build  21st  Century  skills,  and   global  citizenship.  Click  here  http://slidesha.re/1hJFYS8  to  see  the   slideshare  done  by  ISTE  Machinima  organizers  for  the  Global  Educator   Conference.    

Social media  associated  with  EduMachinima  Fest   ISTE  SIGVE  Google+  Community   https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/107257205905775229015   Twitter  @EduMachinima   ISTE  Special  Interest  Group  for  Virtual  Environments  (SIGVE)   http://sigve.weebly.com/  

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IMPROVING DAILY  SCHEDULE   MANAGEMENT  WITH  RETAIL     LOGISTICS  PRINCIPLES    

 

By Fleet  Goldenberg    

 

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SUMMARY   As  school  principals  and  administrators  have  an  ever-­‐greater  number  of   responsibilities  placed  on  them,  often  coupled  with  less  money  and  staff,   the  escalating  burden  can  edge  them  closer  to  the  point  of  burn-­‐out.     However,  coupling  computers  and  mobile  devices  with  the  logistics  of   large-­‐scale  retail  industry  stock  control  and  distribution  can  greatly   simplify  the  management  of  a  busy  daily  schedule.  

INTRODUCTION     Education  is  a  people-­‐oriented  vocation  that  aims  to  personalize   relationships  wherever  possible  and  recognize  the  individual.    This   works  excellently  for  inter-­‐personal  relationships  at  the  classroom  and   staff  room  level.    Once  one  moves  into  the  higher  echelons  of  the  school   hierarchy  though,  personalization  of  management  processes  can  be   detrimental  to  the  health  of  an  administrator  –  If  you  take  your  work   seriously  then  you  will  become  seriously  stressed.     The  suggestion  of  taking  work  less  seriously  does  not  mean  that  you   should  not  carry  out  a  task  to  the  very  best  of  your  ability.    Rather,  it   means  that  if  you  regard  every  item  on  your  schedule,  as  being  of  equal   importance,  then  every  single  workday  becomes  an  epic  battle  against   almost  insurmountable  odds.    And,  this  continual  battle  can  lead  only  to   fatigue,  frustration,  and  impaired  decision-­‐making.     In  the  realms  of  business  and  industry,  doing  a  job  in  the  most  efficient   way  possible  matters  as  much  in  factories,  distribution  warehouses  and   retail  outlets  as  it  does  in  the  school  principal's  office.         Just  like  with  a  school,  a  business'  relationships  with  its  employees  and   customers  matter  hugely.    The  difference  between  a  business  and  a   school  though  is  that  a  company  is  more  likely  to  utilize  impersonal   mechanisms  to  efficiently  manage  the  processes  involved  in  those   personal  linkages.    School  administrators  can  therefore  get  more  done   in  their  day  by  adapting  some  of  the  tricks  of  the  commercial  world's   logistics  playbook.    

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PICK, PACK,  STACK  AND  TRACK     A  commercial  retail  distribution  operation  is  separated  into  four  distinct   sections  –  (a)  picking  stock  from  a  warehouse  shelf  to  fill  an  order;  (b)   packing  and  preparing  that  stock  to  leave  the  warehouse;  (c)  keeping   track  of  precisely  where  each  order  is  stacked  in  the  warehouse);  and   (d)  tracking  the  product  to  its  destination  once  it  leaves  the  warehouse.     These  processes  can  be  loosely  related  to  the  operation  of  a  school.    The   students  –  the  stock  items  –  arrive  at  the  school  and  are  sorted  into   locations  (classrooms.)    They  undergo  preparation  (classes.)    After  each   class,  they  change  location  within  the  campus,  and  both  they  and  their   teachers  and  administrators  need  to  adhere  to  a  schedule  that   determines  precisely  where  they  should  be  'stacked'  at  a  specific  time.         Finally,  the  school  must  ensure  that  students  safely  exit  the  campus  at   the  end  of  their  schedule  and  are  connected  up  with  the  appropriate   means  of  being  'delivered'  home,  such  as  school  bus  or  pick-­‐up  by  a   parent/guardian  or  other  family  member/  friend.     Whilst  regarding  humans  as  resembling  stock  inventory  may  seem   undesirable,  it  is  perfectly  reasonable  to  do  so  in  terms  of  the  mechanics   of  process  management  so  long  as  face-­‐to-­‐face  relationships  remain   personalized  at  ground  level.    In  any  care-­‐oriented  institution,  whether   it  is  a  hospital  or  doctor's  practice,  the  names  of  individuals  turn  into   numbers  in  the  systems  of  the  back-­‐offices  that  the  public  never  see,  nor   want  to  see.    It  is  not  ideal,  but  it  is  the  only  way  to  manage  and  analyze   mass  batches  of  information  and  statistics  and  make  good  decisions   based  on  it.         The  important  thing  is  that  this  de-­‐personalization  is  strictly  limited  to   these  support  systems  and  never  leaks  beyond  the  administrator's   office  door  or  mobile  device  to  interfere  with  relationships.    A  good   administrator  should  be  like  an  artist:  taking  raw  data  and  finding  ways   to  paint  it  into  a  form  that  is  more  pleasing  and  easy  to  understand  and   accept.    Microsoft  once  said  about  their  Xbox  game  console  business   that  their  engineers  willingly  take  on  headaches  so  that  their  customers   don't  have  to!      

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SCHOOL MANAGEMENT  THROUGH  A  VIRTUAL  WORLD   INTERFACE     The  average  school  or  school  district  is  not  going  to  be  able  to  afford  to   implement  the  kind  of  industrial-­‐scale  scheduling  hardware  and   software  that  businesses  use.    Nor  is  it  likely  that  they  would  even  need   a  system  that  deals  with  such  large  quantities  of  logistical  processes  and   data.         But  if  funds  can  be  made  available  to  develop  a  virtual  reality-­‐based   school  management  system  then  there  are  a  number  of  ways  in  which   such  a  project  could  be  approached,  using  a  range  of  different  virtual   world  platforms.     Whatever  virtual  world  is  used  as  the  foundation  of  the  system,  the  key   principle  of  the  project  should  be  to  build  it  around  a  multi-­‐level  design   reminiscent  of  Google  Earth  that  begins  with  a  simple  circle   representing  the  top-­‐most  level  of  the  hierarchy  that  one  wants  to   manage  and  reveals  an  increasing  amount  of  information  as  the  user   descends  downwards  through  the  hierarchy  levels  below  –  for  example,   deputy  principals  and  school  department  heads  -­‐  towards  the  ground   level  of  the  hierarchy  (individual  classrooms  and  their  teachers  and   students),  where  the  deepest  volume  of  information  is  available.         This  methodology,  where  the  user  only  sees  as  much  information  as   they  need  to  and  can  search  as  much  or  as  little  data  as  they  need  to  –   thus  helping  to  prevent  the  disorientation  of  information  overload    –  can   be  referred  to  as  'Unfolding  Layers  of  Information'  (ULoI.)     My  non-­‐profit  company  Sambiglyon  employed  the  ULoI  methodology  in   its  website's  “Ideas  Archive”  repository  of  ideas  on  a  broad  spectrum  of   subjects  that  anybody  can  adopt  for  free  and  modify  for  their  own   projects.    In  our  version  of  the  concept,  the  user  begins  at  the  peak  of  a   tree  canopy  and  descends  downwards  through  the  tree-­‐branches  until   they  reach  the  greatest  level  of  information  at  ground  level.    Below  is  an   example  from  the  Ideas  Archive's  education  category.    

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In a  management  system  that  focuses  on  a  single  school,  the  top  level   might  be  the  principal's  office,  whilst  in  a  larger  system  that   incorporates  all  of  the  schools  in  a  district,  it  may  be  the  school   superintendent's  office.    It  could  even  by  expanded  into  a  state-­‐wide   system  where  Education  Department  staff  could  view  all  schools  in  their    

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state and  then  zoom  down  to  individual  districts  and  the  schools  within   them.     Some  other  key  design  points  of  a  virtual  school  management  system   could  be:     -­‐    A  2D  top-­‐down  view  is  used  instead  of  a  3D  environment  so  that  staff   who  are  not  familiar  with  virtual  worlds  such  as  Second  Life  and   OpenSim  can  operate  the  system  without  requiring  training  in  control  of   a  3D  avatar.     Such  an  environment  could  be  set  up  quickly  simply  by  purchasing  a  set   of  pre-­‐made  building  models  that  are  modifiable,  removing  their  roofs   and  setting  up  a  mechanism  that  forces  the  world's  camera  view  to  look   top-­‐down  on  the  3D  buildings  to  give  them  the  appearance  of  a  2D-­‐ish   architectural  blueprint  of  the  school.         An  even  simpler  approach  would  be  to  place  a  map  of  the  internal   layout  of  a  school  on  a  flat  board  on  the  floor,  overlay  interactive   elements  onto  it  and  then  point  the  camera  down  at  it.    Whilst  in  this   camera-­‐lock  mode,  the  user's  avatar  would  no  longer  be  controllable,   and  using  the  movement  controls  would  instead  scroll  the  user  around   the  map  so  that  they   can  change  their   view  from  one  area   of  the  school  to   another.       -­‐    The  data  that  the   system  displays   could  be  streamed  in   live  to  the  virtual   world  environment   via  secure  'HTTPS'   web  URL  connections   to  the  computer   servers  in  a  school,  a   district    

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superintendent's office  or  even  state-­‐level  Department  of  Education   servers.    The  user  could  even  edit  that  information  from  within  the   virtual  world  via  the  two-­‐way  web  connection.     -­‐    All  of  the  teaching  and  admin  staff  in  a  school  could  be  given   password-­‐protected  access  to  the  system  so  that  they  can  access   information  and  statistics  relevant  to  their  job  post,  with  access  filtered   on  a  need-­‐to-­‐know  basis  (e.g  a  teacher  could  look  up  everything  related   to  their  classes  but  not  access  data  relating  to  other  teachers  in  the   school  or  higher  hierarchy  levels  such  as  department  heads.)     There  is  no  need  to  construct  information  databases  from  scratch  either.     If  an  existing  reservoir  of  data  is  accessible  over  the  net  then  it  should   be  able  to  be  viewed  and  edited  in  the  virtual  environment.    This   includes  the  Moodle  content  management  system  that  is  dear  to   educators'  hearts.     -­‐  If  a  virtual  world  platform  is  chosen  that  supports  access  of  the  virtual   environment  via  mobile  device  then  staff  can  carry  the  management   system  with  them  to  any  place  where  there  is  a  wi-­‐fi  connection  (or   phone  signal  if  the  device  supports  it.)     Mobile  versions  of  3D  virtual  worlds  have  in  the  past  been  severely   limited  compared  to  their  computer-­‐based  parents,  but  this  situation  is   improving  as  the  power  of  mobile  devices  grows  greatly.    For  example,   an  Android  viewer  application  for  Second  Life  and  OpenSim  called   'Lumiya'  http://www.lumiyaviewer.com  now  offers  a  walk-­‐around   experience  that  is  comparable  to  the  full-­‐blown  viewer  software  on   computers.     An  alternative  to  a  dedicated  mobile  viewer  is  to  use  a  type  of  computer   software  called  VNC  to  stream  a  virtual  environment  running  on  a   computer  to  a  mobile  device  as  a  platform-­‐agnostic  video  transmission   over  a  web  connection,  similar  to  streaming  gaming  solutions  such  as   OnLive  and  Sony's  'Remote  Play'  system  for  sending  a  game  from  a   home  PlayStation  console  to  the  screen  of  their  PlayStation  Vita   handheld  games  machine.    

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For those  who  are  confident  in  their  software  development  capabilities,   meanwhile,  a  web-­‐enabled  virtual  environment  could  be  constructed  in   the  widely  used  Unity  game  creation  engine  http://www.unity3d.com   and  exported  to  just  about  any  home  computer/console  format  you   could  think  of,  or  to  the  web  browser  via  the  'Unity  Web  Player'  plugin   so  that  it  can  be  integrated  with  existing  school/district/state  websites.     With  imagination,  time  and  a  little  money,  the  sky  is  the  limit  when  it   comes  to  using  virtually  to  enhance  a  school  system's  administration!    

EASY SCHOOL  MANAGEMENT  FOR  THE  TIME-­‐POOR  AND  CASH-­‐ POOR     Whilst  imagination  is  not  in  short  supply  among  principals,  time  and   money  may  well  be.    It  is  possible  though  to  adopt  the  spirit  of  these   systems  –  if  not  the  substance  -­‐  for  little  or  no  money.    We  can  see  how   this  is  possible  if  we  look  at  another  aspect  of  retail  distribution  –  the   timing  of  stock  shipping.         Stock  is  only  shipped  from  the  warehouse  on  the  exact  day  that  the   customer  needs  it  to  arrive  and  sits  in  the  warehouse  until  then.    The   computerized  distribution  system  will  use  the  transportation   knowledge  stored  within  it  to  calculate  roughly  how  long  it  will  take  for   a  shipment  to  reach  a  specific  customer  location  within  a  specific  time   window  during  the  day  (e.g  2-­‐4  pm)  and  send  the  delivery  at  a  time  of   day  that  ensures  that  it  should  arrive  at  its  destination  during  that   window  and  not  before  or  after.     The  warehouse  would  probably  be  very  happy  if  it  could  move  the  stock   out  of  its  storage  before  then  but  is  compelled  to  exercise  strict   discipline  with  its  scheduling  in  order  to  prevent  their  stock  control   from  descending  into  chaos  and  also  satisfy  the  needs  of  the  receiving   customer  (who,  for  example,  may  not  yet  have  the  space  in  their  own   storage  area  to  accommodate  a  new  stock  delivery.)     Likewise,  a  school  administrator  should  exercise  carefully  judged   discipline  about  how  they  prioritize  the  tasks  on  a  heavily  loaded   schedule.    An  easy  way  to  do  so  is  to  highlight  tasks  with  a  traffic  light-­‐ style  scale  of  red  (most  urgent,  do  today  as  a  priority),  amber  (slightly    

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urgent, do  tomorrow)  and  green  (non-­‐urgent,  do  during  the  next  week   or  later.)           The  timing  of  some  items  will  be  determined  by  other  people  (e.g  a   colleague  who  is  only  available  on  a  Wednesday  or  a  parent  who  can   only  come  in  for  a  teacher-­‐parent  conference  on  a  Friday.)    One  can   apply  the  red-­‐amber-­‐green  grading  system  to  these  appointments  as   well,  and  re-­‐grade  their  urgency  during  a  daily  check  of  the  schedule  as   the  date  approaches  and  then  arrives.         By  doing  so,  you  can  “block   out”  from  consideration  the   tasks  that  are  not  a  priority  yet   and  focus  on  those  that  are.     Alternatively,  you  could  just   allocate  an  entirely  different   color  to  such  appointments  so   that  you  can  consider  them   separately  from  your  regular   schedule  and  adjust  your  day   to  fit  around  your  urgent   priorities  without  having  to   undertake  the  labor  of  re-­‐ grading  their  color  each  day.     An  important  reason  to  review   the  schedule  once  a  day  to  see   if  a  task  that  seemed  red-­‐ urgent  when  it  was  added  to  the  calendar  actually  only  merits  an  amber,   a  green  or  even  does  not  have  to  be  done  any  more  because  of   something  that  has  happened  since  the  task  was  scheduled.    After  all,   many  jobs  will  seem  like  the  most  vital  thing  in  the  world  that  you  need   to  do  until  you  have  had  the  opportunity  to  sleep  on  it  and  reconsider  in   the  morning  with  a  fresh  perspective!     Most  planning  and  scheduling  software  will  let  you  set  color  highlights   for  tasks,  so  you  can  implement  the  above  color  system  on  your  existing   software  and  apps  that  you  are  already  comfortable  with  without    

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having to  spend  a  single  cent.    You  could  also  reinforce  the  habit  of   evaluating  which  tasks  to  prioritize  by  adding  a  sign  to  your  office  that   states  a  mental  prompting  message  to  the  effect  of  “Is  what  I  am  doing   at  this  moment  the  best  use  of  my  time?”    

CONCLUSION   Part  of  the  recipe  of  success  and  efficiency  for  massive  logistics   operations  such  as  FedEx  and  UPS  is  that  their  scheduling  is  heavily   computerized  and  so,  without  a  human  element  in  their  decision-­‐ making,  they  are  excellently  equipped  to  make  good  decisions  about   how  best  to  go  about  getting  things  done  most  effectively  in  the  least   amount  of  time.     Human  school  administrators  do  not  have  the  benefit  of  such   completely  logical,  unstressed  judgment,  nor  can  they  think  as  fast  as  a   computer  or  simultaneously  consider  multiple  ways  to  achieve  their   desired  outcome.    Computers  do  not  feel  pressure  from  bosses,  parents   and  politicians  that  may  skew  their  planning  decisions.           But  by  applying  smart  prioritizing  to  school  management  and  not  trying   to  be  a  superman  or  superwoman  (even  if  others  expect  it),   administrators  and  principals  can  have  the  best  of  both  worlds:  they  can   get  a  lot  done  each  week  without  harming  physical  and  mental  health,   and  they  can  apply  the  human  flexibility  and  inspiration  that  machines   lack  in  order  to  find  an  ideal  balance  between  being  a  manager  and   being  a  person.     Work  to  live,  not  live  to  work!     ******     Fleet  Goldenberg  is  the  Community  Manager  of  Sambiglyon   (www.sambiglyon.org),  a  non-­‐profit  organization  that  provides  real-­‐ world  and  virtual  reality  support  services  to  consumers  and  educational   professionals  in  the  education,  librarianship  and  business  sectors.    He  can   be  contacted  at  marty@sambiglyon.org  or  instant-­‐message  to  'Fleet   Goldenberg'  in  the  virtual  world  'Second  Life.  

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UNCP Hospital  for  Nursing  in  Second  Life  -­‐   Professional  Education  and  Clinicals     in  the  Virtual  World  

Dr.  Anthony  Curtis.  Professor,  Mass  Communication  Dept.,  University  of   North  Carolina  at  Pembroke  (SL:  Stone  Semyorka)  acurtis@uncp.edu       Dr.  Judy  Curtis,  Assoc.  Professor,  Mass  Communication  Dept.,  University  of   North  Carolina  at  Pembroke  (SL:  Sage  Bright)  jcurtis@uncp.edu    

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Learning nursing  skills  takes  time  and  practice.  With  competition   for  clinical  space  on  the  rise,  class  time  in  short  supply,  and  traditional   clinical  opportunities  lacking,  a  virtual  approach  was  explored  with  the   use  of  Second  Life  by  the  Nursing  Department  at  the  University  of  North   Carolina  at  Pembroke  (UNCP).    

The entrance  to  the  Hospital  for  Nursing  on  the  campus  of  the  University  of  North   Carolina  at  Pembroke  in  the  virtual  world  Second  Life  

    A  detailed  "Hospital  for  Nursing"  where  students  can  work  closely   with  faculty  members  in  the  Bachelor  of  Science  in  Nursing  (BSN)   program  was  constructed  on  the  university's  Second  Life  campus.    

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The SLURL  for  the  UNCP  Hospital  for  Nursing  is:   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Dasom/118/240/1101      

  The  virtual  hospital  provides  experiential  learning  for  both  pre-­‐ licensure  and  RN-­‐BSN  students,  allowing  students  to  immerse   themselves  in  real-­‐world  clinical  scenarios  in  the  safety  of  the  virtual   world.     Simulations,  created  and  facilitated  by  faculty,  foster  student   ability  to  care  for  diverse  client  populations  across  the  lifespan.  

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The simulation   includes  eight   private,  fully-­‐ equipped  client   rooms;  a  nurse's   station  complete   with  workstations,   storage,  client   charts,  medical   reference  texts,  a   medication   administration   area  with  Pyxis,   computers  with   Internet  and   Intranet   connections  and  email  and  voice  capabilities  and  live  video  streams  into   Second  Life  from  real  world  sources;  X-­‐ray  lab  and  examination  room;   physician's  lounge,  conference  space,  sleeping  quarters,  dictation  room;   nurse's  lounge  with   conference  table,   storage  for  personal   belongings,  and   kitchenette;  OB/GYN   facility,  ultrasound,  and   incubator;  hospital   administration  suite   with  meeting  spaces;   helipad  on  the  roof,   and  ambulance.           The  facilities  are   available  24/7  so   students  can  practice   at  their  own  time  and   pace  in  addition  to    

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working their  scheduled  clinical  hours.    (Visitors  also  are  welcome  to   stop  by  to  look  around  at  any  time.)         Exposure  to  practical  skills  allows  students  to  explore  and   respond  to  complex  scenarios  in  a  safe,  non-­‐threatening  environment.     Students  and  faculty  are  prepared  with  a  three-­‐hour  information   session  explaining  Second  Life  and  working  out  issues  with  uniforms,   navigating,  and  using  voice  in  the  virtual  environment.  Scripted  nursing   practice   scenarios   mirror  those   found  in  a   real-­‐world   hospital.     Once  a   scenario  has   been   completed,   faculty   debrief  the   clinical   group   discussing   key  skills  in   each   scenario.     To  evaluate   students'  perceptions  related  to  the  effectiveness  of  the  Second  Life   experience,  data  are  collected  with  weekly  self-­‐reflections  and  a  survey   tool  focusing  on  the  problem-­‐based  learning  experience,  how  well  the   simulation  aided  in  the  understanding  and  application  of  nursing  skills   presented  in  the  didactic  portion  of  the  course,  the  usefulness  of  pre-­‐ simulation  preparation,  time  requirements  for  the  activity,  and   perceptions  of  the  safety  of  the  virtual  environment  to  explore  more   controversial  subjects.      

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Weekly self-­‐reflections  require  students  to  identify  new  areas  of   learning,  provide  insight  into  the  learning  experience,  identify  clinical   objectives  met  by  engaging  in  the  activity,  and  discuss  how  the  activity   added  to  their  understanding  of  nursing  practice.     This  constructivist  approach  to  learning  fosters  critical  thinking,  

clinical decision  making,  enhances  self-­‐efficacy  and  allows  students  to   make  meaningful  connections  to  previous  learning,  while  in  the  safety  of   a  virtual  environment.        

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The process  fosters  collaboration  and  communication  between   students,  faculty  and  other  university  departments,  effectively  modeling   teamwork.     The  University  of  North  Carolina  at  Pembroke  Department  of   Nursing  is  accredited  by  the  Commission  on  Collegiate  Nursing   Education.    

Here is  an  example  of  using  the  hospital  for  nursing  instruction.     Dr.  Dena  Evans  (SL:  DREVANS  Restless),  an  associate  professor  in   the  Nursing  Department,  wanted  to  teach  nursing  students  about    

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conflict management  in  the  workplace  in  a  hands-­‐on  way  so  they  could   identify  what’s  called  lateral  violence  in  the  workplace  and  they  could   practice  how  to  successfully  use  skills  to  resolve  conflicts.     Conflict  resolution  strategies  are  a  core  requirement  for  the   Bachelor  of  Science  in  Nursing  degree.     Scripted  scenarios  were  a  good  method,  and  she  used  Second  Life   to  make  the  scenarios  more  real  for  students  and  at  the  same  time  safer   for  students.  She  was  able  to  design  complex  scenarios  that  could  be   acted  out  in  a  safe,  nonthreatening  environment.     What  is  lateral  violence?    It’s  defined  as  sabotage  directed  at   coworkers  on  the  same  hierarchical  level.    It  can  include  humiliation,   sarcasm,  denying  opportunities,  or  gossiping.  Researchers  have  found   new  graduates  may  face  lateral  violence,  especially  in  their  first  jobs.   Studies  have  found  60  percent  of  new  graduates  leave  their  jobs  within   6  months  because  of  lateral  violence.     Second  Life  gives  students,  under  the  guidance  of  their  faculty,  the   opportunities  to  learn  about  lateral  violence  and  practice  strategies  to   effectively  manage  it.     Here’s  what  Dr.  Evans  did.    Twenty  senior,  pre-­‐licensure  nursing   students  attended  a  3-­‐hour  training  session  and  were  prepared  with   avatars  for  the  semester.     The  conflict  management  scenarios  were  scripted  and   synchronous.  Students  divided  into  groups  and  had  roles  to  play  in  the   scenarios,  such  as  bullying,  sabotage,  and  withholding   information.    Scenarios  were  role-­‐played  twice.     She  used  a  survey  instrument  and  weekly  self-­‐reflection  papers  to   gauge  student  perception  of  using  Second  Life.     n 72  percent  said  they  were  more  comfortable  exploring  conflict  in   the  virtual  environment  than  they  would  have  been  role  playing  in   face  to  face  scenarios.   n 89%  said  they  could  effectively  apply  the  strategies.    

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n 95% said  the  experience  represented  real  life  lateral  violence   situations  they  might  encounter.     She  found  all  the  students  were  able  to  demonstrate  how  to   successfully  implement  the  skills  they  had  learned  in  conflict  resolution.    

About the  campus     The  hospital  is  on  UNCP's  large-­‐scale  campus  in  the  virtual  world   where  academic  colleagues  from  the  real-­‐life  institution  use  the   facilities  to  teach  a  variety  of  RL  classes,  convene  faculty  development   seminars,  and  produce  grid-­‐wide  educational  meetings,  symposia,    

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colloquia, and  conferences.     SLURL  for  the  campus  welcome  center:       http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Dotoorak/227/165/63         The  campus  regularly  entertains  visitors  from  other  colleges  and   universities  around  the  state,  nation,  and  world.  It  has  some  50   buildings  and  outdoor  learning  sites.  Dr.  Anthony  Curtis,  a  professor  in   the  UNCP   Department  of   Mass   Communication,   designed  the   facility  and  is   director  of  the   facility.  He   assists  faculty  in   hosting  classes   and  a  variety  of   other  events  in   SL.  Numerous   students  and   faculty  have   been  provided   new  learning   experiences   through  courses   at  the  virtual  campus.     The  campus  has  a  Virtual  Accessibility  Center  designed  to  meet   World  Wide  Web  Consortium's  (W3C)  Web  Content  Accessibility   Guidelines  1.0  by  incorporating  their  accessibility  features.  The  site   functions  on  the  standard  Second  Life  viewer.  It  offers  free  wheelchairs,   guide  dogs,  and  other  necessities.    

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Alter Egos,  Avatars,  and  Analytical   Writing:  Immersive  Role-­‐Play  in  the   Composition  Classroom    

By Tanya  T.  Sasser  (RL),  Dr.  Mina  ZedWord  (SL)     English  Instructor,  Jacksonville  State  University  

What  happens  when  you  ask  a  group  of  twenty-­‐five  college  freshman   to  adopt  alter  egos  for  the  term  and  then  turn  them  loose  in  Second  Life   and  Blogger?  I  was  crazy  enough  to  try  and  find  out.       Background       A  little  background  on  the  class:  our  First-­‐Year  Composition  course  is   a  two-­‐semester  sequence,  with  the  first  semester  (101)  focusing  on   introducing  students  to  the  various  rhetorical  modes  and  the  second   semester  (102)  focusing  on  three  main  learning  outcomes:  an   understanding  of  and  familiarity  with  three  literary  genres  (poetry,   short  fiction,  and  drama);  practice  in  textual  analysis  and  critical   writing;  and  understanding  of  the  research  processes.  Needless  to  say,   the  FYC  course  is  not  our  most  popular.  I’ve  particularly  struggled  with   engaging  students  in  the  second-­‐semester  102  class,  mainly  because  of   their  lack  of  engagement  with  the  literature  and  their  struggles  with   learning  to  analyze  a  text  and  respond  to  it  in  a  piece  of  critical  writing.     In  order  to  make  the  course  more  engaging  and  to  increase  students’   creativity  in  how  they  communicated  their  analyses  of  the  literature,  I   decided  to  transform  the  class  into  a  role-­‐playing  game  (RPG).  Role-­‐ playing  is  an  important  component  in  learning  among  children;  by   inhabiting  personas,  such  as  doctors,  mothers,  or  soldiers,  children   learn  through  imagining  all  of  the  possible  actions  their  persona  might   engage  in  and  then  experimenting  with  those  actions.  There  are   numerous  examples  of  role-­‐play  being  used  as  a  learning  tactic  for   adults  in  the  military,  legal,  and  medical  fields.  For  example,  Imperial    

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College London  trains  doctors  and  surgeons  in  how  to  manage  a   massive  influx  of  patients  to  an  already  near-­‐capacity  hospital  by   simulating  a  zombie  outbreak.  Role-­‐play  allows  us  to  practice  behaviors   and  arguments  in  a  safe  (fictional)  environment  in  which  attention  is   directed  away  from  our  own  identity  and  actions.  In  their  article,  “A   Critical  Role  for  Role-­‐Playing  Pedagogy,”  Shapiro  and  Leopold  argue  that   role-­‐play  has  been  shown  to  increase  students’  motivation,  engagement,   creativity,  and  self-­‐confidence  in  the  classroom,  as  well  as  “facilitate  a   deeper  and  more  critical  understanding  of  course  material.”  Because   role-­‐playing  requires  adopting  an  alter  ego,  many  students  experience  a   reduced  fear  of  failure  and  are  more  open  to  experimentation  and  risk-­‐ taking,  all  prerequisites  for  deep  and  transformative  learning.       In  terms  of  using  role-­‐play  in  a  composition  class,  in  many  ways,   RPG’s  have  a  lot  in  common  with  writing.  Just  like  dedicated  gamers   become  immersed  in  the  game,  good  writers  become  immersed  in  their   writing  and  research.  As  Colby  &  Colby  point  out  in  “A  Pedagogy  of  Play:   Integrating  Computer  Games  into  the  Writing  Classroom”:  “[Game]   immersion  occurs  because  gamers  learn  as  they  play:  solving  puzzles,   learning  strategies,  and  meeting  the  challenges  of  the  game  while   staying  within  the  constraints  of  the  game  world.”  Replace,  if  you  will,   the  words  “gamers”  and  “game”  with  “writers”  and  “writing”  and  you’ll   have  an  accurate  description  of  the  act  of  writing.  Just  as  gamers  learn   to  play  the  game  by  playing  it,  making  mistakes,  learning  from  their   mistakes,  and  trying  again,  no  writer  ever  learned  to  write  by  listening   to  someone  lecture  about  how  to  write.  Instead,  they  immerse   themselves  in  the  role  of  writer.  In  fact,  Andrea  Lunsford  has  argued   that  all  writing  is  performance.  If  so,  then  writing  is  just  another  kind  of   RPG.  I  hoped  that  by  foregrounding  the  role-­‐play  aspect  of  writing,  my   students  would  become  more  comfortable  and  experimental  with  the   performance  aspect  of  writing.       The  next  challenge  I  had  to  tackle  was  where  the  role-­‐playing  would   take  place.    I  wanted  an  environment  that  would  aesthetically  simulate   the  spaces  that  the  students’  alter  egos  would  inhabit  in  real  life,   allowing  them  to  immerse  themselves  in  their  role  aesthetically,   kinesthetically,  verbally,  and  socially.  Creating  3-­‐dimensional  avatars   and  interacting  with  others  within  these  virtual  environments  would,  I   hoped,  both  contribute  to  role  immersion  and  require  complex  decision-­‐  

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making and  analysis  of  both  textual  and  visual  elements.  Interactions  in   virtual  environments  also  facilitate  greater  possibilities  for   collaborative  learning  because  of  the  more  relaxed  communicational   context.       For  my  student’s  virtual  environment,  I  selected  Second  Life  for   several  reasons:  it’s  free  and  open  to  all  users;  it  provides  many  virtual   replicas  of  the  kinds  of  real-­‐world  spaces  the  students’  alter  egos  would   inhabit,  such  as  forensic  labs;  and  it  demands  participation.  In  addition   to  facilitating  immersive  role-­‐playing,  I  hoped  Second  Life  would  also   help  them  to  hone  their  writing  skills,  as  they  interacted  and   communicated  with  other  characters  using  the  text  chat  feature.  I  did   send  out  an  email  to  all  students  enrolled  in  the  class  before  the  first  day   outlining  what  we  would  be  doing  in  an  attempt  to  filter  out  any   students  who  were  averse  to  role-­‐playing  or  who  did  not  have  the   technology  skills  to  learn  Second  Life.                               Students   learning   how  to  use   Second  Life  

     

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The Process     At  the  beginning  of  the  term,  each  student  selected  a  role  to  adopt   for  the  entire  semester  from  a  list  that  included  detectives,   psychologists,  historians,  and  journalists.  Three  students  selected   journalist  roles  and  the  rest  of  the  class  evenly  divided  themselves   into  detectives  and  psychologists.  Their  first  quest  was  a  research   project  in  which  they  performed  both  primary  and  secondary   research  about  their  role.  For  the  primary  research,  they  had  to   interview  either  a  professional  in  the  field  or  a  professor  who  taught   in  the  discipline  related  to  that  field.  The  students  used  their   research  to  create  expository  essays  that  explained  how  to  role-­‐play   their  selected  role  and  all  essays  for  each  role  were  collated  into   textbooks  for  them  to  use  as  a  resource  throughout  the  term.  Once   students  had  a  better  understanding  of  their  role,  their  next  quest   was  to  develop  their  character.  This  involved  creating  a  name  and   backstory  for  their  alter  ego,  creating  and  personalizing  an  avatar   and  profile  for  them  in  Second  Life,  and  creating  a  Blogger  blog   where  their  character  would  record  their  work  during  the  term.     The  rules  were  simple:  they  had  to  remain  true  to  character;  they   had  to  treat  the  texts  as  though  they  were  real  events;  and,  while   they  could  imagine  possibilities  and  events  not  described  in  the  text,   they  could  not  alter  the  text.  Students  were  placed  in  role-­‐based   guilds.  Their  quest  for  each  unit  involved  selecting  a  “case”  (i.e.,   story,  poem,  or  play)  to  investigate  and  creating  some  kind  of   material  representation  of  their  theory  (in  the  case  of  detectives  and   psychologists)  or  story  (in  the  case  of  journalists)  about  the  case  on   their  blog.  After  reading  the  assigned  texts,  students  met  with  their   guilds  in  Second  Life  to  discuss  the  week’s  “cases.”  Because  not  every   text  warranted  attention  from  every  role,  part  of  the  challenge  for   the  students  was  determining  which  “cases”  they  should  spend  time   analyzing.     After  discussing  the  cases,  the  students  decided  which  case  their   character  would  tackle  and  then  met  once  again  in  Second  Life  with   their  guild  to  discuss  their  ideas.  The  next  week  was  spent  creating   their  character’s  blog  post.  Once  the  week’s  posts  were  published,   everyone  had  to  pick  three  posts  to  read  and  comment  on  in-­‐  

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character; so,  if  they  were  a  detective  and  they  read  a  psychologist’s   post,  they  had  to  respond  in  a  way  that  a  detective  would.  Rather   than  grading  each  blog  post,  students  had  a  single  long-­‐term   objective:  to  produce  a  post  that  was  both  authentic  and  creative.   Students  completed  five  units  following  this  process.  You  can  see  a   sampling  of  the  blog  posts  here.    

The journalist  guild  meeting  in  the  Future  Extreme  Media  Conference   Center  in  SL  

  Quantitative  and  Qualitative  Results     In  an  end-­‐of-­‐term  survey,  94%  of  students  reported  enjoying  the   role-­‐play  aspect  of  the  class,  89%  reported  that  role-­‐playing   increased  their  engagement  with  the  class,  and  83%  reported  that   they  would  take  another  class  that  utilized  role-­‐play  as  part  of  the   coursework.  72%  of  students  reported  they  enjoyed  using  SL,  77%   reported  that  SL  increased  their  engagement  with  the  class,  and  56%   reported  that  they  would  take  another  class  that  utilized  SL.      

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In my  own  observations,  I  saw  increased  participation  in  the  class,   perhaps  directly  correlated  to  the  increased  engagement.  This  is   reflected  in  an  increase  in  the  number  of  students  who  completed  all   assignments  for  the  class  as  compared  to  previous  iterations  of  102   that  I  have  taught,  in  which  only  a  very  small  minority  of  students  did   so.  While  I  was  able  to  identify  several  examples  of  students  learning   and  practicing  complex  analytical  and  critical  thinking,  reading,  and   writing,  I  am  not  sure  that  students  recognized  the  complexity  of   their  work.  I  suspect  that  there  was  quite  a  bit  of  what  James  Gee   calls  stealth  learning  taking  place,  the  phenomenon  “....  when  the   learners  are  so  caught  up  in  their  goals  that  they  don't  realize  they   are  learning  or  how  much  they  are  learning  or  where  they  actively   seek  new  learning.”  My  goal  for  the  next  iteration  of  the  class  is  to   identify  ways  in  which  to  make  student  learning  and  progress  more   explicit.      

The  psychologist  guild  “having  fun”  on   The  Theorist  Project  island  in  SL  

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In the  end-­‐of-­‐term  survey,  several  students  suggested  that  I   integrate  more  f2f  role-­‐play  and  rely  less  on  virtual  environments,   while  some  wanted  more  interaction  in  virtual  environments  in  the   form  of  more  explorative  and  challenge-­‐based  activities.  A  few   students  reported  enjoying  SL  but  reported  that  their  engagement   was  diminished  by  their  peers’  lack  of  seriousness  while  in-­‐world.  I   think  this  last  point  underscores  an  assumption  engrained  in  many   students  that  play  is  fun  and  learning  is  serious  and  never  the  twain   shall  meet.       Some  students  expressed  surprise  that  learning  could  be  fun  and  vice   versa.  The  idea  of  learning  through  play  has  been  conditioned  out  of   students,  but  21st  century  educators  may  find  themselves  having  to   work  to  reverse  this  conditioning  as  we  face  classrooms  full  of   gamers  who  are  used  to  highly-­‐immersive,  interactive,  challenge-­‐ filled  environments  that  allow  them  to  adopt  alter  egos  and  test  out   various  behaviors  and  arguments  with  others  in  those  environments.       Overall,  I  feel  that  the  use  of  role-­‐play  and  Second  Life  in  this  class   was  a  success  and  that  not  only  did  the  students  meet  the  course   learning  outcomes,  but  many  realized  creative  capacities  that  they   did  not  think  themselves  capable  of.  As  a  group,  the  class  produced   the  most  insightful  and  interesting  literary  analyses  of  any  class  I   have  taught.  And  they  had  fun  while  doing  so.  

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AVAYALIVE ENGAGE  is  an  online,  immersive  collaboration   environment  that  lets  you  communicate  with  others  as  though  you  were   face  to-­‐face.  AVAYALIVE  ENGAGE  runs  on  the  UNREAL  2.5  gaming   engine  and  is  embedded  as  a  browser  plug-­‐in  that  integrates  with  your   local  network,  security  and  business  software  tools.  Knowledge  flows   freely-­‐from  instructor  to  students,  peer  to  peer,  coach  to  team  –  all   while  presentations  and  materials  display.  MellaniuM  is  leveraging  this   3D  virtual  environment  platform  to  be  capable  of  both  importing  all  3D   file  formats  with  photorealistic  textures  generated  both  by   photogrammetry  and  laser  scanned  items  and  monuments  for   archaeological  and  educational  use.     The  Unreal  engine  has  been  promoted  in  the  past  as  a  complete   solution  for  the  accurate  rendering  of  archaeological  reconstructions   and  museum  exhibits1.  However  until  the  advent  of  the  UNREAL  engine   version  2.5  and  the  wide  acceptance  of  hardware  3D  graphical   acceleration  video  cards  and  DIRECTX  8.0  it  was  highly  impractical  to   produce  virtual  buildings  and  accessory  items  with  high  polygon  static   meshes  and  photo-­‐realistic  textures  and  2D  graphics  which  were  not   subject  to  debilitating  pixellation  on  close  inspection.    Maria  Sifniotis2   has  compiled  an  excellent  summary  of  the  game  engines  and  their   strengths  and  weaknesses.        

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FIG 1.      Entrance  to  the  Temple  of  Horus  at  Edfu  

 

Jeffrey Jacobson3  has  been  working  for  several  years  on  VR   applications  using  the  extensive  features  of  the  UNREAL  game  engine.   His  thesis  and  an  UNREAL  environment  of  the  Temple  of  Horus,  now   being  used  in  the  Carnegie-­‐Mellon  museum,  is  available  on  the  PublicVR   website.                                However,  it  has  to  be  accepted  that  the  key  to  effective  virtual   realism,  especially  for  fields  like  archaeology,  is  the  creation  of  an   environment  so  well  conceived  interpretively  that  the  user  becomes   emotionally  involved  in  the  content  of  the  simulation.  Users  obviously   desire  to  experience  a  design  that  has  been  created  in  terms  of  lighting   effects,  finishes,  surface  textures,  layout  and  construction  details  which   will  lend  itself  to  a  complete  suspension  of  disbelief.        The  MellaniuM   application  allows  for  the  importation  of  high  polygon  models  and  rich   textures  that  are  being  used  now  in  the  Temple  of  Horus  complex  to   create  the  realism  necessary  for  a  true  reduction  of  cognitive  friction   and  the  subtle  transcendence  to  a  believable  immersion.      

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FIG 2.    Inner  Courtyard  at  the  door  to  the  Hypostyle  Hall    

FIG  3.    Inside  the  Throne  Room  of  the  Temple  of  Horus  

   

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In addition  comprehensive  descriptive  metadata  relating  to  the   original  source,  age,  design  and  existing  knowledge  on  associated   artifacts  can  be  connected  effectively  to  any  3D  item  in  the  environment.   By  introducing  small  unobtrusive  portal  icons  within  the  3D  models,   which  can  be  approached  on  the  screen  the  participant  will   automatically  be  directed  to  URL  or  local  links  (web  pages  and  movies)   with  pertinent  information  to  the  item.  This  type  of  semantic   interactivity  is  vital  to  produce  an  environment  that  will  encompass   both  a  truly  informative  and  a  sensory  experience  resulting  in  an   academically  accurate  and  effective  educational  space.                                It  is  entirely  possible  with  one  URL  web  link  click  to   enter  along  with  up  to  50  others  to  explore  and  learn  about  the   fascinating  details  of  the  Temple  Complex.  For  a  demonstration   of  the  Temple  of  Horus  go  to     http://wa3530.avayalive.com/     REFERENCES     1. DeLeon,  V.  and  Berry,  R.  (1998),  'Virtual  Florida  Everglades',   Proceedings  of  VSMM    Virtual  Systems  and  Multimedia     2. 3D  Visa  Bulletin,  Sept  2007  Featured  3D  Method:  3D   Visualisation  using  Game  Platforms  Maria  Sifniotis  University  of   Sussex,  UK  http://3dvisa.cch.kcl.ac.uk/paper_sifniotis1.html     3. Ancient  Architecture  in  Virtual  Reality  “Does  Visual  Immersion   Really  Aid  Learning?”    Jeffrey  Jacobson,  PhD  University  of   Pittsburgh,  2008   http://publicvr.org/publications/Jacobson2008.pdf      

You can  view  more  pictures  at   http://www.flickr.com/photos/65696862@N08/10557196594/  

 

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Minecraft and  More   UnSymposium  

By Que  Jinn  (sl),  aka  Kae  Novak  (rl)  

  On  December  6th  and  7th,  2013,  The  Minecraft  and  More  ...   UnSymposium  was  hosted  by  the  Inevitable  Betrayal  WoW  Guild,   rgMOOC,  SIGML,  VSTE,  and  SIGVE.  This  event  occurred  in  Minecraft   and  Second  Life  using  Google  Hangouts  on  Air  livestreams  as  the   unifying  platform.  All  the  following  sessions  can  be  found  at  the   Minecraft  and  More  UnSymposium  Playlist    http://bit.ly/1dqtGLR               The  mission  of  the  Minecraft  and  More…UnSymposium  was  to   continue  the  discussion  that  began  at  the  ISTE  2013  Conference  at  San   Antonio.  The  most  popular  virtual  world  or  game  (depending  on  your   viewpoint)  at  the  conference  was  Minecraft  https://minecraft.net  a  lego   looking,  easy  to  navigate  8  bit  digital  sandbox.    

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Our purpose  was  to  bring  a  group  of  educators  together  to   discuss,  plan  and  play  in  Minecraft.  That’s  exactly  what  happened.  We   used  mixed  media.    We  livestreamed  and  had  discussions  over  Google   Hangout  while  we  toured  and  played  on  multiple  Minecraft  servers.     At  the  UnSymposium,  we  had  the  following  activities:    

Friday December  6     First  Session:  Morrowcraft    

We  started  with  a  very  quick  welcome  and  then  on  to   Morrowcraft.  We  didn’t  know  a  better  way  to  start  this  UnSymposium   than  with  a  tour  of  this  highly  successful  Minecraft  program.  We  spent   two  hours  touring  and  discussing  with  Marianne  Malmstrom,  Bron   Stuckey  and  kids  and  parents  of  Morrowcraft.        

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Speakers Marianne  Malmstrom  (Knowclue  Kidd),  The  Elisabeth  Morrow  School  in   Englewood,  NJ  http://morrowcraft.wikispaces.com/     Dr.  Bronwyn  Stuckey,  independent  consultant  in  gameful  design  and   community  development     Resources:     Video  Recording:  http://youtu.be/qB4Gcg_Hs6M     Interview  with  Marianne  Malmstrom   http://g.a.m.e.shivtr.com/pages/episode2resources     World  Peace  Game  Site  https://www.worldpeacegame.org/       Second  Session:  Science  in  Minecraft     Dr.  Farah  Bennani  and  Lucas  Gillispie  engaged  in  a  general   discussion  of  Minecraft  for  STEM,  particularly  focusing  on  the  use  of   redstone  for  computational  thinking.     Speakers   Dr.  Farah  Bennani,  Online  Chair  for  Math  and  Science,  Front  Range   Community  College     Lucas  Gillispie,  Instructional  Technology  Coordinator  at  Pender  County   Schools,  North  Carolina;  Minecraft  in  School  Wiki   http://minecraftinschool.pbworks.com     Video  Recording:   http://youtu.be/Yvito9Tx5Ic   Red  Stone  Project  25:00  –  31:18   Computational  Thinking   Definition  http://bit.ly/1gpRxjK          

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Third Session:  Machinima  and  Minecraft     Tanya  Martin,  Vasili  Giannoutsos  and  Kae  Novak  from  the  ISTE   SIGVE  (Special  Interest  Group-­‐  Virtual  Environments)  and  Dr.  Chareen   Snelson,  Associate  Professor  of  Educational  Technology  at  Boise  State   University  (http://tubeteaching.blogspot.com/  ),    held  an  open   discussion  on  Machinima  and  Minecraft.  Also  discussed  was  the   possibility  of    students  submitting  Machinima  to  the  White  House   Student  Film  Festival    http://www.whitehouse.gov/filmfestival     Suggested  Music  Videos  from  students   Don’t  Mine  at  Night  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_XGxzMrq04   Diamond  Sword  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1w7tdltcMg     Additional  Resources     ISTE  SIGVE  Machinima  Directors   Tanya  Martin   Vasili  Giannoutsos   Kae  Novak     If  you  would  like  more  information  or  would  like  to  submit  a   machinima  for  consideration  for  the  2014  ISTE  SIGVE  EduMachinima   Fest,  please  email  gridjumper2@gmail.com.       SIGVE  http://sigve.weebly.com/   SIGVE  EduMachinima  http://sigve.weebly.com/edumachinima.html   @istesigve   @edumachinima      

Saturday December  7       Fourth  Session:  Minecraft  &  Educational  Administrators  Discussion     On  Saturday,  we  started  with  a  discussion  with  leaders  from  the   SIGVE,  the  Games  MOOC,  rgMOOC,  VSTE,  SIGML  and  Inevitable    

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Instructors on  Minecraft  and  learning.  During  this  session,  Rosie  Vjotek   called  for  an  alignment  of  Common  Core  Standards  to  the  activities  we   had  been  seeing  and  also  hearing  about  in  Minecraft.     Speakers   Chris  Luchs,  Inevitable  Instructors,   http://inevitablebetrayal.shivtr.com/pages/weekendwebinars     Kae  Novak,  Games  MOOC  http://gamesmooc.shivtr.com/     Laura  Briggs,  VSTE  Island  Facilitator,  ISTE  SIGML  Professional   Development  Chair  http://sigml.org/     Mellody  Collier,  Inevitable  Instructors,   http://inevitablebetrayal.shivtr.com/pages/weekendwebinars     Sherry  Jones,  rgMOOC,  Rhetoric  and  Philosophy  Faculty,   https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/782878     Robert  and  Rosie  Vojtek,  Virtual  Education  Journal  (VEJ)   http://virtualeducationjournal.com/     Video  Recording:    http://youtu.be/RJzdoi6_PAE       Fifth  Session:  Tour  of  Massively  @  Jokaydia       At  3  pm  ET,  we  toured  with  Jokay  in  the  Massively  @  jokaydia   server  and  students  who  have  designed  and  built  the  servers.  The   speaker  talked  extensively  about  their  use  of  Minecraft  and  how   Jokadia@  Massively  has  formed  into  a  successful  global  educational   community  of  peers,  parents  and  educators.       Speaker   Tour  of  Jokaydia  @Massively,  http://minecraft.jokaydia.com/     Video  Recording:  http://youtu.be/GBaL9STH-­‐oU  

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Sixth Session:  Starting  a  Minecraft  Club     Trish  Cloud  speaks  about  the  formation  and  growth  of  her  after   hours  Minecraft  Club  and  their  successes  and  challenges.       Speaker   Trish  Cloud,  Technology  Associate  at  Grand  Oak  Elementary,   Huntersville,  NC     CMS  Minecraft  Club  Wiki   http://cmsminecraftclub.cmswiki.wikispaces.net/     Grand  Oak  Technology  -­‐  Techy  Owls   http://techyowls.weebly.com/techy-­‐owls-­‐blog.html    

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Video Recording:    http://youtu.be/_oJdrFQNUz4     Slides  http://bit.ly/1fkuAvp       Seventh  Session:  Basic  Building  in  Minecraft     We  had  a  basic  building  session  with  middle  school  students   giraffe619  and  mousymoose  and  Trevyn  Slusser,  Community  Manager   for  Games  MOOC  server,  on  the  Games  MOOC  server.     Video  Recording:    http://youtu.be/sFGbnx6qS3g       Eight  Session:  Minecraft  Challenge     Our  participants  competed  in  The  Minecraft  Challenge  that  the   rgMOOC  used  for  their  Rhetoric  class.  Sherry  Jones  and  Steve  Getter   from  the  rgMOOC  (Rhetoric  and  Games  MOOC)  talked  to  us  about  using   Minecraft  and  the  Minecraft  challenge  in  a  community  college  English   composition  course.  The  contestants  were  given  30  minutes  to  build  a   representation  of  an  iconic  game  in  Minecraft.  More  specifics  can  be   seen  in  the  rules  as  to  the  colors,  material  and  size.       Minecraft  Challenge  Rules  http://bit.ly/1bKvSRk.       While  the  constestants  built,  Kristina  Thoennes,  Media  Coordinator,   Mooresville,  NC,  gave  us  a  fifteen  minute  talk  on  Minecraft,  Minecraft   fans  and  the  maker  movement.     Minecraft  and  Makers  Video  Recording    http://bit.ly/1c40VaW   43:56  -­‐1:01:37     Challenge  Designers     Sherry  Jones,  rgMOOC,  Rhetoric  and  Philosophy  Faculty   Steve  Getter,  rg  MOOC  a.k.a.  TheGameMole    

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Congratulations to  the  Minecraft  Challenge  winner  giraffee619!  You  can   see  a  screenshot  of  her  winning  build  at  bit.ly/1dBsLrV.      

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VSTE Social  on  Second  Life       Hosted  by:  Laura  Briggs,  VSTE  Island  Faciliator   SIGML  Professional  Development  Chair     After  wrapping  up  in  Minecraft  we  headed  over  to  VSTE  Island   (Virginia  Society  for  Technology  in  Education)   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/VSTE%20Island/59/110/24   for  a  Minecraft  themed  social  in  Second  Life.  This  was  also  be  the  online   pre-­‐conference  event  for  the  annual  VSTE  conference  which  started  on   Sunday.       The  Second  Life  Social  environment  was  built  by  Vasili   Giannoutsos  (Bluebarker  Lowtide  in  SL)  VSTE  designer,  VSTE  member,   and  Inevitable  Instructor.    

Flickr  sites     If  you  would  like  to  see  any  additional  screenshot  from  the   Minecraft  UnSymposium,  please  go  to  the  following  Flickr  groups.       ISTE  SIGVE  http://www.flickr.com/groups/sigve/    

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Makers, Hackers  and  Gamers   http://www.flickr.com/groups/makershackersgamers/    

Spring  2014  Mission  for  Minecraft  and  More     The  Minecraft  mission  has  not  ended,  instead  look  for  us  to  be   working  on  these  projects  and  holding  additional  events  throughout  the   new  year.       1)  Crowdsource,  a  one  page  document  that  teacher  can  give  their   administrators  on  using  Minecraft  in  their  classroom  to  be  distributed   electronically  and  on  site  at  the  ISTE  2014  Conference.   http://bit.ly/1avcD8a     2)  Crowdsource  a  5  –  10  page  white  paper  on  Minecraft  in  education  to   be  distributed  electronically  and  on  site  at  the  ISTE  2014  Conference.   http://bit.ly/19f3bGg     3)  Brainstorm  the  logistics  of  a  virtual  and  geographically  located   Minecraft  themed  Hackathon  on  Friday  April  4  and  April  5,  2014.   http://bit.ly/1c9rypC     4)  Crowdsource  an  annotated  bibliography  of  Minecraft  academic   research.    

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Virtual Pioneers:  A  Year  of  Exploration   by  Andrew  Wheelock,  Beth  O’Connell,  and  Mary  O’Brien    

Virtual Pioneers  Headquarters;  photo  by  Beth  Ghostraven  

Looking back  at  the  Virtual  Pioneers’  tours,  it  seems  like  a   whirlwind  year.  At  the  annual  meeting,  remembered  highlights  included   Virtual  Harlem  and  1920s  Berlin  in  January,  the  War  Poets  Exhibition  in   April,  and  the  Middle  Passage  tour  in  June.  We  visited  Viking  Folkvang,   four  medieval  sims,  two  Victorian/steampunk  venues,  the  1920s,  the   1930s,  World  War  I,  World  War  II,  the  1950s,  and  two  present-­‐day   locations.  All  but  one  was  in  Second  Life;  Professor  Illuminati’s  World   War  II  Anne  Frank  sim  is  on  the  Islands  of  Enlightenment,  a  private   OpenSim  grid.  Virtual  Pioneers  has  developed  a  gallery  of  free  historical   costumes  on  the  second  floor  of  our  building,  to  help  members  get  into   the  character  of  each  sim.  

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Virtual Pioneers  Costume  Gallery;  photo  by  Beth  Ghostraven  

Our group  continued  to  have  a  consistent  number  of  avatars  join   us  each  week  with  new  members  stopping  in  at  each  one.    It’s  safe  to  say   this  was  due  to  our  renewed  commitment  to  getting  our  tours  out  using   various  social  media  outlets.         We  use  our  Website:    http://virtualpioneers.weebly.com   Our  Facebook  Page:    https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-­‐Virtual-­‐ Pioneers/106690332686885    Our  Google  Plus  page:     https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/106489810002825914219.     Perhaps  most  importantly  we  have  used  Second  Life’s  Events  page   and  our  in-­‐world  notification  system  to  get  the  word  out.     Special  thanks  must  be  paid  to  Serena  Offcourse  as  our  tour    

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scheduler/ planner,  and  Beth  Ghostraven  who  was  integral  in  getting   the  word  out.     Our  goals  for  this  year  will  be  to  try  to  get  our  members  to   contribute  their  photos  from  our  tours  to  our  flickr,  Facebook,  or  Google   plus  pages.         We  also  are  hoping  to  add  Machinima  to  our  tours  with   Gridjumper  and  Bluebarker  leading  the  way  with  this  initiative.   Here  Are  The  Highlights  of  Our  Year!    

Jan 27,  2013  -­‐  Isle  Of  Dee   Original  Celtic  Legends  of  the  1400's   Our  Guide,  Runa,  led  this  tour  of  the  Isle  Of  Dee,  an  Historical  Medieval   Fantasy  Sim.  This  roleplaying  community  welcomes  all  kind  of   creatures:  Human,  Elves,  Beasts,  Goblins,  Faeries,  and  all  others  found  in   European  myths  and  legends.      This  gave  us  insight  on  how  to  use   historical  roleplay  and  fantasy  as  platforms  for  student  learning  and   creativity.      New  SLurl:   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Zebre/132/130/4005    

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February 10  -­‐  Virtual  Harlem   Artist  Indea  Vaher  was  our  guide  for  Virtual  Harlem.  The  Virtual  Harlem   Project  is  a  virtual  representation  of  Harlem,  NY  as  it  existed  during  the   1920s  Jazz  Age.    Highlights  of  this  tour  were  Harlem  Hellfighters   Museum,  The  Cotton  Club,  and  the  Apollo  Theater.     (No  longer  in  Second  Life)    

February  24  -­‐  1920s  Berlin  Project  -­‐  Learning  From  Role  Play     Virtual  Pioneer  Augusta  von  Nassau  (Gardengirl),  shared  her  experience   role  playing  at  the  1920s  Berlin  Project.  Augusta  is  a  high  school  history   teacher  who  has  found  that  role-­‐playing  has  been  a  source  of   enrichment  and  professional  development  that  has  benefited  both   herself  and  her  students.      This  presentation  gave  us  powerful  food  for   thought  on  how  immersive  learning  can  give  valuable  historical   perspective.    SLurl:   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/1920s%20Berlin/250/233/75 1  

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March 10  -­‐  Independent  State  of  Caledon   Virtual  Pioneer  Beth  Ghostraven  gave  us  an  insightful  tour  of  the   Victorian  sim  of  Caledon.  This  tour  included  many  of  the  interesting   sights  and  ended  at  Beth's  lovely  Pub  for  some  spirits  and  good  old-­‐ fashioned  conversations.    SLurl:   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Victoria%20City/1 32/128/24  

March 24-­‐Islands  of  Enlightenment   In  a  Virtual  Pioneer  first,  we  visited  the  opensim,  Islands  of   Enlightenment.    Professor  Illuminati  (aka  Spiff)  gave  a  tour  of  the  NY   BOCES  Sim  that  highlights  two  important  times  in  history  -­‐  the   Holocaust  and  Medieval  Times.  The  first  part  of  the  tour  will  include   seeing  the  replica  of  Anne  Frank’s  Annex,  then  there  was  a  tour  of  the   Medieval  castle  and  village  of  Stormfield.  This  tour  provided  an  example   of  how  virtual  world  can  be  successfully  integrated  into  the  middle   school  curriculum.      

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(Contact Andrew  Wheelock  for  information  on  visiting)     April  7  -­‐  First  World  War  Poetry  Digital  Archive     We  returned  to  the  amazingly  creative  World  War  I  Poetry  Sim   conducted  by  creator  Csteph  Submariner.    This  sim  is  well  organized   and  provides  a  wealth  of  primary  source  documents  to  explore.       SLurl:   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Frideswide/219/198/646  

First World  War  Poetry  Digital  Archive;  photo  by  Beth  Ghostraven  

May 5th  DrM  -­‐  Culturally  Delicious  Tour  of  Italy   This  tour  was  a  culturally  delicious  exploration  of  Italy.  DrM  Magic  and   her  Teacher  Education  Students  at  St.  Francis  College  in  Brooklyn,  NY.     They  had  us  visiting  a  variety  of  Italian  based  sims,  and  also  provided   participants  with  some  of  DrM’s  fantastic  Sicilian  recipes.       City  of  Venice:   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Venice%20Passion/94/71/21  

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Sistine Chapel  (No  longer  in  Second  Life)   Sardinia:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sardigna/98/97/24:       May  19    -­‐  Tour  of  London  Village   This  fun  filled  place  is  one  part  London,  and  one  part  English  fandom.   There  are  some  famous  landmarks  such  as  the  Tower  Bridge,  London   Eye,  and  the  BT  Tower.  In  addition,  there  are  tributes  to  English  shows,   Sherlock  Holmes  and  Doctor  Who.    This  tour  was  a  cultural  wonder!   (No  longer  in  Second  Life;  Britannia  Village  sounds  similar:   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Green%20Park/181/140/26)  

London Village;  photo  by  Beth  Ghostraven

June 2  -­‐  Folkvang   Folkvang  gave  us  a  beautiful  Norse  themed  tour;  Folkvang,  home  to   Goddess  Freja  and  her  Valkyries.  This  large  public  park  dedicated  to  the   Norse  legends,  features  Viking  homes  and  artifacts  as  well  as  free   earthly  and  magical  rides.    Janet  Rossini,  Nightshade  Fugu  and  Dizzi   Sternberg  are  the  creators  of  this  world  and  were  our  generous    

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hostesses. Ever  need  a  norse  outfit?    This  is  the  place  to  visit.   SLurl:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Lexicolo/192/15/2999      

Folkvang; photo  by  Beth  Ghostraven  

June 30th  Middle  Passage     Christopher  (khoisan.fisher)  will  lead  a  tour  of  the  Middle  Passage   Experience.  This  tour  made  history  come  alive  by  assuming  the  identity   and  clothing  of  one  of  10  Africans  before  that  identity  is  stripped  and  an   American  one  substituted.  This  was  one  of  the  most  powerful  and   emotional  experiences  we  have  ever  had.     (No  longer  in  Second  Life)    

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The Middle  Passage;  photo  by  Beth  Ghostraven  

July 14  -­‐  Rumsey  Map  Museum  &  Virtual  Spencer  Museum  of  Art   Leko  Littlebird  led  us  on  a  tour  of  two  very  different  museums  that  were   united  in  their  incredible  abilities  to  communicate  through  visual   interactivity.       First  we  visited  the  The  David  Rumsey  Map  Museum,  which  provides  a   highly  interactive  introduction  to  the  largest  private  map  collection  in   the  United  States.  One  can  explore  this  collection  for  weeks,  while   walking/flying  within  the   unusual  maps  and  globes..     SLurl:   http://maps.secondlife.com /secondlife/Rumsey%20M aps%203/116/75/55     The David Rumsey Map Museum; photo by Serena Offcourse

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Next we  visited  an  astonishing  art  installation  at  the  Virtual  Spencer   Museum  of  Art,  (RL  location  in  Lawrence,  Kansas,  USA).  Visitors  to  a   Petrovsky  flux  can  explore  the  inside  of  the  organic  architecture.   SLurl:   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Spencer%20Art%20Museum/5 7/36/21     July  28  -­‐  Visit  the  1930's   Instructional  Designer  Lorraine  Charron  took  us  on  a  tour  of  a  small   1930s  town  used  for  an  American  Studies  college  course.  The  students   use  the  town  to  immerse  themselves  in  the  culture  of  the  1930s,   including  clothing,  activities,  arts  and  architecture  of  the  times.    Sights   included  the  old  radio  station,  hobo  camp,  art  gallery,  cafe,  movie   theatre  and  a  speakeasy.   (No  longer  in  Second  Life)  

The 1930s  Speakeasy;  photo  by  Beth  Ghostraven  

August 11th  -­‐  Spiff    -­‐  US  Holocaust  Museum   This  tour  involved  the  incredible  experience  of  taking  you  back  to  the  

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dreadful event  of  Kristallnacht,  the  Night  of  the  Broken  Glass.    This  sim   relates  the  terrible  destruction  of  Jewish  owned  businesses  and   synagogues.   SLurl:   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/US%20Holocaust%20Museum1 /1/35/27  

Kristallnacht at  the  US  Holocaust  Museum;  photo  by  Beth  Ghostraven  

August 25th  -­‐  Victorian  Summer  Party     Our  second  annual  Virtual  Pioneers  Victorian  summer  party  was  held  at   our  Headquarters.    DJ  Coz  OKelly  played  summer  tunes  for  some  fun   socializing  and  of  course,  dancing!    A  dunk  tank  with  our  fearless  leader,   Spiff  Whitfield,  helped  us  raise  some  lindens  for  our  events.     September  8  -­‐  Medieval  Musical  Instruments     Mikki  Miles,  a  musician  in  both  SL  and  RL,  gave  a  fascinating   presentation  on  Medieval  Music  and  gave  us  a  visit  to  his  store  in  a  14th   Century  medieval  market,  Some  instruments  we  saw  and  listened  to   were:    Panflute,  Shawn,  Lyre,  Vihuela,  Carnyx,  Hurdy  Gurdy  Violin,   Clavichord,  and  Bagpipes.    

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SLurl: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Montisigard/173/58/79  

Mikki Miles’  Medieval  Instruments;  photo  by  Serena  Offcourse  

September 22  -­‐  1950's  Tour  and  Sock  Hop     Instructional  Designer  Lorraine  Charron  returned  to  take  us  on  a  tour  of   a  small  1950s  town  used  for  an  American  Studies  college  course.  Her   students  use  the  town  to  immerse  themselves  in  the  culture  of  the   1950s,  including  retro  clothing,  a  beatnik  poetry  cafe,  a  modern  art   museum,  a  rock  and  roll  diner,  and  even  a  functioning  boxing  arena.     SLurl:   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Alora%20Bay/163/81/1502

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Doing the  Bunny  Hop  at  the  1950s  Sock  Hop;  photo  by  Beth  Ghostraven  

October 6  -­‐  A  Chat  with  Shamblesguru   Shamblesguru  led  an  informal  campfire  meeting  sharing  his  experiences   and  cultural  memories  of  24  years  in  Hong  Kong  and  10  years  in   Thailand.  He  also  discussed  some  of  the  following:      ~  history  teachers  as  curators  and  free  web  tools  to  support  them  and   their  students     ~  building  time  lines  ...  real  and  virtual       ~  history  on  mobile  devices  ..  especially  the  iPad  and  iPhone     ~  ICT  tools  to  support  the  learning  and  teaching  of  history     ~  online  professional  development  for  educators     ~  sources  of  online  history  videos    

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~ Australia  in  the  1930s      

Shamblesguru; photo  by  Beth  Ghostraven  

October 20  -­‐  Borobudur   Sim  owner  aryluke  gave  us  a  cultural  extravaganza  tour  of  Yogyakarta,   Indonesia.  We  visited  the  famous  archaeological  site  called  Borobudur,     the  largest  Buddhist  Temple  in  the  world,  built  in  the  ninth  century.   SLurl:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Ceti/86/60/25       November  3  -­‐  Scotland  Rising  DunCarron  Fort   We  joined  Brielle  MacXaris  (brielle.coronet)  and  Rik  Xaris  for  a  tour  of   Scotland  Rising  DunCarron  Fort–  Scottish  Medieval  Fortified  Village.   This  is  a  replica  of  an  early  Medieval  Fortified  Village  to  promote   Scottish  culture.  The  fort  is  typical  of  a  Scottish  Clan  Chief’s  residence   from  the  early  11th  Century.     SLurl:   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Shades%20Rest/209/176/400 1    

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Photo of  Borubudur  by  Serena  Offcourse  

    Scotland   Rising;  photo   by  Beth   Ghostraven  

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December 17  -­‐  Steelhead   TotalLunar  Eclipse  and  Tensai  Hilra  gave  us  a  tour  of  Steelhead   Territories  -­‐  19th  Century  Pacific  Northwest  Independent  regions   known  as  the  Washington/Oregon  Territories.  Highlights  of  this  tour   included:  Steelhead  Station  &  Steelhead  Welcome  Center  (based  on   Central  Railroad  of  New  Jersey  Terminal  at  Liberty  State  Park,  NJ  built  in   1889),  Steelhead  City  Hall  (based  on  the  Maximilianeum  of  Munich    

Germany  built  in  1857)  and  the  Steelhead  Public  Library  (based  on  the   Library  of  Congress  built  in  1800).   SLurl:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Steelhead/79/230/25    

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December 1  -­‐  Hunter  Valley   Alexander  (mudbuddha)  and  partner  Gwenyth  (rumour.ghost)  hosted  a   tour  of  Hunter  Valley  -­‐  an  adult  sim  that  is  realistic  yet  a  fantasy   environment  based  on  Celtic/European  mythology.     SLurl:   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Hunter%20Valley/6/11/25  

Serena Offcourse  at  Hunter  Valley;  photo  by  Beth  Ghostraven  

December 15  -­‐  Winter  Historical  Costume  Ball   To  end  our  year  we  gathered  as  friends  for  an  evening  of  Gala  dancing   and  prancing.  Our  fellow  pioneer  Coz  Okelly  played  some  lively  tunes  of   the  season  for  us.    The  Roof  Top  Club  in  Antiquity  Bexar  provided  our   extravagant  surroundings.   SLurl:   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Antiquity%20Bexar/40/36/56  

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The Roof  Top  Club  in  Antiquity  Bexar;  photo  by  Beth  Ghostraven  

ISTE 2014   Atlanta   June  28  THRU  July  1     https://www.isteconference.org/2014/    

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The First  Step  to  Gamifying  Professional  Learning   By  Cat  Flippen  

Making   you   professional   development   more   game-­‐like   can   be   simple   and  effective.  The  beauty  of  gamification,  or  the  using  of  game  mechanics   in   a   non-­‐game   environment,   is   that   you   only   need   to   pick   one   game   concept   to   incorporate   and   you   are   still   “gamifying”   your   professional   learning.   Additionally,   even   bringing   in   that   one   concept   can   lead   to   increased   motivation   and   interest,   which   are   aspects   that   professional   learning  designers  and  leaders  need  in  order  to  have  successful  programs.       Following  the  recent  SIGML  Webinar  and  VSTE  Mobile  Monday  session   on   Gamifying   Professional   Learning,   a   lively   backchannel   and   discussion   brainstormed   some   amazing   ideas.   The   concept   sparked   interest   in   many   administrators,   educators,   and   PD   designers,   but   there   was   notable   discussion  around  garnering  buy-­‐in  from  skeptical  teachers.  Unfortunately,   one   of   the   direct   inhibitors   to   any   professional   learning,   not   just   a   gamified   approach,   is   the   doubt   and   confusion   of   those   receiving   the   learning.   So,   before   incorporating   experience   points,   badging,   and   quests,   we   need   to   approach  the  buy-­‐in  as  our  first  step  and  consider  some  ways  in  which  we   can  negate  negativity  before  and  during  any  gamified  professional  learning   endeavor.       • Gamify   PD   at   Your   Local   School   Only:     Gamification   at   the   district   level,   especially   if   this   would   be   your   first   time   doing   so,   would   not   only   be   a   huge   undertaking   for   you,   but   also   would   confuse   the   process   and   minimize   effectiveness   at   the   local   school   level.    

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However, in   gamifying   PD   at   your   local   school   only,   the   game   mechanics   you   select   would   be   specific   for   your   own   faculty   and   could   be   easily   evaluated   and   reimagined   with   less   work   than   at   a   district   level.   This   fact   applies   whether   you   work   in   a   K-­‐12   independent  school,  a  large  public  school,  or  an  institution  of  higher   education.     • Use  Understandable  Game/Non-­‐Game  Terminology:    The  next  time   you  step  into  your  place  of  work,  approach  the  first  person  you  see   and   start   talking   about   XP,   achievements,   badges,   and   guilds.   Even   without   actually   conducting   this   experiment,   we   probably   know   the   reaction   to   expect.   Most   educator   likely   are   not   versed   in   game   terminology,   and   they   will   write   off   both   the   words   and   the   activities   if   you   start   speaking   using   phases   that   are   a   foreign   language   to   them.   Take   time   to   translate   what   you   are   doing:   use   “PD   Points”   instead   of   XP,   “Wins”   instead   of   achievements   or   fiero   moments,   “certifications”   or   “classes   completed”   instead   of   badges,   and   even   just   “lessons”   instead   of   quests.   Using   familiar   terminology   will   get   teachers  to  participate  without  being  confused.         • Flexible   Timeframes   and   Topics:     Gamifying   professional   learning   inherently  provides  opportunities  to  scaffold  and  differentiate  –  two   methodologies   that   we   ask   educators   to   incorporate   into   their   own   classrooms  but  are  rarely  used  in  professional  learning.    The  easiest   way   to   support   scaffolding   and   differentiation   is   by   providing   PD   within   a   blended   learning   and/or   online   learning   environment.   Teachers  can  then  conduct  their  professional  learning  any  time  they   could   or   want.   Seeing   as   one   of   the   biggest   complaints   of   PD   is   the   need  to  sacrifice  time  during  the  school  day  which  educators  would   be   using   for   planning,   grading,   or   researching,   taking   professional   learning   online   can   allow   for   teachers   to   keep   their   daytime   sacred   and,  instead,  participate  online  in  the  evenings  or  weekends.  Another   excellent   way   to   provide   a   variety   of   activities   that   support   various   skill  levels  is  by  using  quest-­‐based  learning.  Just  as  in  a  video  game  or   MMORPG  (massively  multiplayer  online  role-­‐playing  game),  learners   with   more   knowledge   can   level   up   quickly   to   the   more   challenging  

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material while  those  who  need  more  assistance  can  slowly  level  and   receive  extra  support.       • Communities   of   Practice:     A   major   aspect   of   ensuring   a   successful   game  experience  is  participating  in  an  online  informal  community  in   some  way  that  involves  the  game-­‐like  experience.  Wenger  and  Lave’s   Communities  of  Practice  is  a  key  tool  in  the  gamified  PD  program  to   encourage  buy-­‐in.  Teachers  want  to  work  together  and  talk  together,   so  by  developing  a  Community  of  Practice  for  your  faculty,  they  can   both   play   together   through   the   activities   as   well   as   create   a   backchannel  in  which  the  learning  will  be  reinforced  and  go  beyond   the  school  environment.           Most   likely   the   most   efficient   way   to   do   this   is   by   creating   several   communities:   First,   an   overall   community   for   the   entire   school;   second,   a   community   for   a   team   or   department   who   can   both   complete  activities  together  as  a  group  as  well  as  seek  each  other  out   for   guidance,   and   third,   an   optional   community   for   anyone   interest   that   excludes   administration   and   PD   leadership.   Allowing   teachers   to   talk   more   frequently   with   each   other   online,   and   without   fear   of   administrative  repercussions,  can  make  the  PD  experience  a  positive,   collaborative  one.    If   you   are   looking   for   locations   to   build   these   communities,   one   of   the   best   places   to   start   is   Edmodo,   due   to   the   Facebook-­‐like   interface   that   is   less   confusing   and   has   an   amazing   mobile,  device  agnostic  application.         • The   ARG   Approach:     Perhaps   one   of   the   best   ways   to   bring   in   gamified   professional   learning   is   by   incorporating   aspects   of   alternate   reality   games,   specifically,   the   concepts   of   “Breadcrumbs”   and  the  “Rabbit  Hole.”  Using  seemingly  random  events  or  items  that   are   linked   together   to   draw   or   lure   educators   to   do   something   that   ends   with   some   kind   of   reward   can   be   either   the   start   of   a   conversation   about   gamification   or   the   first   step   toward   gamifying   PD   overall   without   any   need   for   a   conversation   or   explanation.       One  example  of  how  to  use  ARG  approaches  in  professional  learning  

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involves nothing   more   than   four   colored   and   laminated   cards   and   your   monthly   faculty   and   department   meetings.   After   the   first   meeting,  hand  out  one  of  the  cards  and  simply  say,  “You  may  want  to   hold  onto  this.”  The  next  meeting  or  department  meeting,  distribute   a  different  color  card  and  say  the  same  statement.  After  a  particular   period   of   time,   send   out   a   nondescript   email   asking   for   teachers   who   have  all  four  of  the  different  colored  cards  to  bring  them  to  you  at  a   particular  time  since  you  need  them  back  for  a  random  reason.  When   the   teachers   arrive   at   the   prescribed   place   and   time,   tell   them   that   they  have  just  won  the  opportunity  to  opt  out  of  one  faculty  meeting   and   one   PD   session   for   the   next   semester   and   thank   them   for   participating.   You   may   even   incorporate   experience   points,   saying   that  they  only  have  to  earn  400  XP  from  professional  learning  rather   than  500  XP,  although  they  still  achieve  the  same  PLUs  or  SDUs  at  the   end.  The  “winners”  will  tell  everyone  else  about  what  happened,  and   you  will  have  increased  participation  and  interest  in  future  events  in   the  hopes  that  there  will  be  another  similar  ARG-­‐like  event.    

Gamifying   your   professional   learning,   even   in   the   most   doubtful   and   disinterested   of   faculties,   is   possible,   so   long   as   PD   organizers   focus   first   on  

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the buy-­‐in.  Once  the  foundation  is  established,  you  can  build  upon  the  base   in  any  way  that  is  best  for  your  particular  school  environment.  Finally,  one   of  the  best  reasons  to  gamify  professional  learning  is  not  necessarily  just  to   increase  teacher  interest  and  participation  in  PD.  In  teaching  the  teachers   while   using   game   mechanics   and   other   aspects   of   game-­‐based   learning,   they   can   see   for   themselves   why   it   works   and  how   to   do   it,   and   then   are   more  likely  to  incorporate  gamification  in  their  own  classrooms.  If  that  can   happen,  imagine  the  possibilities!     Cat  Flippen  is  a  secondary  educator,  a  Google  Certified  Teacher,  and  a  doctoral   student  at  the  University  of  Florida.  She  recently  was  named  Georgia’s  Foreign   Language   Teacher   of   the   Year   2014   for   her   uses   of   technology   and   emergent   trends  such  as  gamification  in  her  classes.  You  can  find  her  on  Twitter,  Google+,   her  blog  Ctrl+Alt+Teach,  and  playing  World  of  Warcraft  on  the  weekends.  

             

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Alice Academy  for  Young  Entrepreneurs     BY   Tom  Layton  (RL)  ,  retired  technology  teacher   ArthurConan  Doyle  (SL),  resurrected  doctor  and  author       "If  we  teach  today’s  students  as  we  taught  yesterday’s,  we  rob  them  of  tomorrow."                                                                                                                                                                                                                              John  Dewey      

We are  entering  a  global  entrepreneurial  age.  Increasingly  work  is  not  a   place  you  go,  but  the  thing  you  do.  Applying  for  a  job  may  no  longer  be  a   matter  of  competing  with  other  job  seekers  in  your  city,  but  competing   with  other  job  seekers  on  your  planet.       The  mission  of  educators  has  always  been  to  prepare  our  students  for   the  life  they  will  lead  as  adults,  not  necessarily  the  life  we  have  led  as   adults.  We  can  no  longer  expect  that  our  students  are  destined  for  a   single  lifelong  salaried  occupation.  The  world  is  simply  changing  too   much  and  too  quickly.  One  thing  we  can  do  is  to  give  our  next   generation  (college  bound  or  not)  a  global  entrepreneurial  work   experience.    

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Alice Academy  for  Young  Entrepreneurs  is  a  world-­‐wide  learning   community  for  16  to  18  year  old  high  school  students.  It  is  not  a   business  school  in  the  traditional  sense.  It  is  a  virtual  environment  for   those  who  want  to  start  their  first  enterprise  in  a  relatively  risk-­‐free   environment.  Think  of  Alice  Academy  as  a  start-­‐up  business  incubator   for  young  people  all  over  the  world.       There  is  no  standardized   curriculum,  no  textbooks,  no   tests,  no  grades,  no  credit  and  no   teachers.  But  there  is  a  global   technology  based  platform  (Alice   Academy  in  Second  Life)  with  a   Local  Consultant  (local  teacher   or  experienced  parent),   educators  and  Second  Life   advisors  who  want  student   virtual  businesses  to  thrive  as  a   preparation  for  real  world   enterprises.           ArthurConan  Doyle  in   Students  are  encouraged  to   Second  Life   collaborate  with  their  global   counterparts  to  form  small   virtual  businesses  that  allow   them  to  display  their  creativity,   resourcefulness,  hard  work  and  passion.      

Alice Academy  for  Young  Entrepreneurs      

Second Life  is  a  wonderful  platform  for  forming  entrepreneurial   learning  communities.  Everything  students  see  in  this  virtual  world  was  

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created by  Second  Life  “residents”  and  a  great  deal  of  its  content  is   bought  and  sold  (using  Linden  Dollars  L$)  in  the  Second  Life   Marketplace  .  .  .    

. .  or  in  Second  Life  shops.      

 

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“If you  can  imagine  it,  you  can  build  it  and  sell  it.”  Of  course,  like  the  real   world  there  is  plenty  of  competition.       What  about  students  who  are  not  builders?  Here  are  some  other  income   generating  ideas  .  .  .       • shoot  &  edit  machinima  (video)     • perform  music     • offer  event  management   • develop  virtual  games   • publish  a  newspaper,  magazine  or  novel   • perfect  a  stand  up  act  or  present  Hamlet  to  the  virtual  world   • provide  accounting  services  for  other  Young  Entrepreneur   businesses   • advertise  &  market  the  products  of  other  Young  Entrepreneurs   • write  (program)  scripts  to  bring  objects  to  life  (LSL  -­‐  Linden   Scripting  Language)   • open  a  virtual  travel  agency   • provide  personal  Second  Life  training  for  newbe  teachers   • offer  IT  backend  services  for  other  Young  Entrepreneur   businesses    

How to  Participate  in  Alice  Academy  for  Young  Entrepreneurs      

To participate  you  must     • be  between  16  and  18  years  of  age   • be  enrolled  in  school   • have  a  Local  Consultant  (local  teacher  or  experienced  parent)   • have  parent  permission       We  are  looking  for  schools  who  would  like  to  participate.  There  is  no   cost  to  participate.          

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For more  information  and/or  a  tour  of  the  facility,  contact  Tom  Layton   at  Thomas.G.Layton@gmail.com  or  ArthurConan  Doyle  in  Second  Life.  If   you  just  want  to  look  around  go  to   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Alice%20Academy/112/155/3 1     Tom  Layton  told  us  that  the  following  video  is  an  excellent  example  of   what  can  be  achieved  by  a  Young  Entrepreneur.  It  was  filmed  by  the   eminent  Second  Life  filmmaker  Draxtor  Despres,  and  is  the  ninth  in  his   latest  series  "World  Makers."    http://goo.gl/eU5zlU     Be  sure  to  read  more  about  Draxtor  Despres  in  “Meet  Draxter  Despres”  in   this  issue  of  VEJ.  Also,  follow  him  @Draxtor  and  check  out  YES:  SL  +  Leap   Motion    =  gesture  MAGIC!!!!  I  am  demoing  THE  WELL  game.     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mso4D8sOLmY     Also,  be  sure  to  listen  to  the  Drax  Files:  podcast  on  Rod  leaving  but  if  you   have  only  5  min:  watch  embedded  video  about  Linden  $$$  feeding  kids  in   Kenya  http://draxfiles.com/2014/01/31/show-­‐4-­‐the-­‐sky-­‐is-­‐falling/  

Young Entrepreneaur, Draxter Despres

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Feeding Kids  In  Kenya:  Feed  A  Smile  Project  

From the  Notecard  at  Lavender  Fields:   Live  music  events  Art  shows  and  a  place  to  come  and  meet  people  and  relax  -­‐   that  is  what  The  Lavender  Field  is  all  about…   and  at  the  same  time  we  will  be  feeding  over  450  poverty  stricken  children  living  in  the   slums  of  Kenya  on  a  daily  basis  with  the  proceeds  and  donations.    100  Lindens  will  pay   for  a  meal  to  feed  a  smile...  We  have  some  of  SL's  finest  musicians  performing  on  a   charity  basis.   Come  to  The  Lavender  Field  anytime  you'd  like.  Enjoy  the  relaxing  atmosphere   at  our  location.  Read  about  sponsoring  childs  or  have  a  look  into  the  Charity  Shop.   Chat  or  dance  with  friends,  inform  yourself  about  Live  and  Learn  in  Kenya   International  and  have  an  enjoyable  time.    Have  a  look  at  the  newest  pictures  from   Kenya.  Children  -­‐-­‐laughing,  eating,  learning…  look  at  their  eyes  and  you  will  see  how   they  appreciate  your  help.  Please  join  the  group  to  keep  informed  about  events.     Visit  Lavender  Fields  in  Second  Life   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Feed%20A%20Smile/58/164/23     Learn  more  at     https://www.facebook.com/groups/FeedaSmile/     http://www.llk-­‐selb.de          http://feed-­‐a-­‐smile.blogspot.de/  http://www.bluesflavor.com/feed-­‐ a-­‐smile/  

Be sure  to  watch  embedded  video  about  Linden  $$$  feeding  kids  in  Kenya   http://draxfiles.com/2014/01/31/show-­‐4-­‐the-­‐sky-­‐is-­‐falling/  

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Virtual Communities:

Second Norway   by  Beth  Ghostraven,  Ewan  Bonham,  and  StarLight     The  Cultural  Community  Hub  Group  is  in  the  process  of  developing   a  resource  directory  and  cultural  hub  of  ethnic,  cultural,  and  historical   communities  in  Second  Life  for  use  by  educators  and  students  for   research  and  learning.  Second  Norway  is  one  of  the  first  communities   we  found.  Ewan  Bonham  and  StarLight  interviewed  sim  founder  and  co-­‐ owner  Ey  Ren  aboard  his  sailboat  to  learn  more.  Beth  Ghostraven  also   visited  sites  in  Second  Norway  with  the  help  of  Roberto  Viking,  another   Second  Norway  resident.     Second  Norway  offers  a  chance  to  visit  and  socialize  with  Norsemen  (in   Norwegian,  if  desired),  a  place  to  explore  the  architecture  and  history  of   Norway,  and  music  and  dance  events.       Landmark:  Welcome  to  Second  Norway  -­‐  The  region   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Second%20Norway/128/128/ 22     Near  this  landing  point  is  a  club  where  you  can  listen  to  music  and   dance,  with  live  DJs  6  days  a  week.  A  store  nearby,  Varehuset  Norden,   offers  free  Nordic  clothing,  furnishings,  food,  and  plants.    

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Ey Ren  aboard  his  sailing  yacht  in  Second  Norway  -­‐  photo  by  Ewan  Bonham    

Ey Ren:  This  is  the  very  outskirts  of  Second  Norway.  This  is  our  main   region  and  as  close  to  a  "downtown"  area  you  will  get  here.  The  estate  has   existed  since  2008,  and  we  moved  here  to  Blake  Sea  the  spring  of  2012.  We   had  9  regions  then.  Now  we  have  25.     Q:  Do  you  have  activities  that  are  Norwegian  in  nature?  Celebrations,   gatherings  etc?     Ey  Ren:  We  have  a  rather  special  take  on  our  Constitution  Day  and  we   have  tried  to  bring  that  into  Second  Life.  Every  part  of  Norway  has  its  own   traditional  costume.  We  gather  up  and  march  through  parts  of  the  estate  -­‐    

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some of  these  costumes  are  reproduced  in  SL  by  Norwegians.   http://www.secondnorway.com/2012/05/17-­‐mai-­‐2012/     Q:  When  you  have  built  the  structures,  do  you  keep  to  other  Norwegian   traditions  such  as  architecture?      Ey  Ren:  Yes,  the  dock  part  we  passed  through  in  the  beginning  is  a  semi-­‐ replica  of  a  real  dockside  environment  from  the  city  of  Bergen.  Opposite   that  [is]  a  similar  reproduction  of  the  Stavanger  docks.      

Dock area  at  main  landing  point  in  Second  Norway  -­‐  photo  by  Beth  Ghostraven  

Ey  Ren:  We  have  a  stave  church  modelled  after  a  real  one,  and  most  of  the   houses  built  by  us  are  typical  Norwegian  coast  houses.  

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Stave Church  in  Second  Norway  -­‐    photo  by  Beth  Ghostraven  

Q: Does  everyone  who  lives  here  adhere  to  Norwegian  types  of   buildings,  lifestyle  etc?     Ey  Ren:  We  try  to  give  people  an  area  with  the  feel  of  Norway,  but  we  do   not  have  strict  rules  for  people  to  "be"  Norwegian.  Real  Norway  is  a  multi   cultural  society,  and  so  are  we.”     Q:  Are  there  particular  meetings  and  committees  to  keep  this  area  up  to   the  standards  ?     Ey  Ren:  No,  we  have  a  general  guideline  that  people  should  make  their   landscaping  and  builds  fit  in,  but  we  don't  have  very  strict  theme  or  style   rules.  Hence,  Second  Norway  looks  a  lot  like  present  RL  Norway.     Q:  So  aside  from  the  architecture,  how  do  the  persons  who  live  here   operate  as  a  community?  Are  there  activities,  traditions,  values?     Ey  Ren:  We  have  changed  over  the  years  from  a  community  of  mostly   Norwegians  and  Scandinavians  to  rather  become  a  geographical  area  

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including a  number  of  sub  communities.  We  have  kept  some  main   traditions,  like  presenting  a  Christmas  tree  to  the  London  sims,  adapting   the  RL  tradition  of  the  WW2  memorial  gift  from  the  city  of  Oslo  to  London.   We  have  our  annual  Christmas  calendar  hunt,  celebrating  Norway's   Constitution  Day  on  May  17,  celebrating  midsummer.”     Q:  What  do  you  most  enjoy  about  living  here?     Ey  Ren:  I  am  first  and  foremost  a  creator  and  thus  a  provider  of   geography  and  infrastructure  in  which  people  can  live,  form  communities,   do  activities  etc.  We  are  always  changing  this  place,  and  that's  really  the   fun  part  of  it.  We  have  the  typical  coastal  Norway  nature,  a  Norwegian   style  airport  and  train  line.  Our  roads  are  typical  for  Norway,  in  other   words  in  bad  shape  etc.     Q:  How  does  one  join  this  community  and  are  visitors  welcome?     Ey  Ren:  We  have  a  little  over  1500  community  members,  perhaps  a  few   hundred  who  are  still  active  and  come  around  every  now  and  then.  The   group  is  free  to  join.  Living  here  means  leasing  a  parcel  of  land  and  create   ones  own  vision  of  a  spot  in  Norway.  And  visitors  are  very  welcome  indeed.   With  our  connection  to  Blake  Sea,  we  have  a  lot  of  people  sailing  through,   flying  to  and  from  with  aircraft,  and  people  to  come  here  to  drive  on  our   roads.  MC  [motorcycle]  clubs  come  here  to  have  rideouts,  for  instance.     Q:  How  might  this  community  be  an  educational  experience  for  students   and  others?     Ey  Ren:  Since  we  have  a  majority  of  Scandinavians,  interaction  with  us   would  of  course  be  a  bit  like  visiting  and  socializing  with  Norsemen.  The   architecture  which  we  have  built  ourselves  is  very  typical  for  different   time  periods  in  Norway.  And  those  who  come  party  with  us  would  get  an   overdose  of  Norwegian  popular  music  ㋡  We  even  have  people  who  live  

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here for  the  purpose  of  trying  to  learn  Norwegian  language.  On  a  side  note,   the  SL  Esperanto  community  has  their  home  in  SL  here.     Q:  Do  you  have  regular  entertainment  such  as  dances,  or  other  activities   for  groups?     Ey  Ren:  Yes,  we  have  a  couple  of  venues  who  offer  regular  music  and   dance  events.  And  each  year  in  October  we  celebrate  our  anniversary  as   an  estate  and  usually  have  stand  up  comedy,  radio  talk  shows  and  of   course  a  good  number  of  DJs  running  events.     Q:  Do  you  have  a  picture  you  would  like  us  to  use  to  represent  Second   Norway?     Ey  Ren:  That  picture  won  a  photo  contest  we  had  a  couple  of  years  ago,  to   take  a  snapshot  presenting  Second  Norway  ㋡    

Second Norway  -­‐  photo  by  Njorl  Longfall  

Q:  Is  there  anything  else  you  would  like  to  tell  us  that  perhaps  we  did   not  think  to  ask?  

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Ey Ren:  Well,  I  guess  you  just  have  to  get  around  here  to  really  experience   it,  so  I  recommend  you  come  back  and  visit  ㋡  As  you  may  notice,  the  fall  is   upon  us,  and  we  also  have  a  period  of  snowy  winter  here.  The  Rainbow   Sails  Yacht  Club  area  which  is  [part  of  Second  Norway,  is]  a  very  active   gay  sailing  community.  I  think  the  only  thing  missing  is  a  high  mountain   area.  There's  a  lot  of  that  in  Norway.  ㋡  The  estate  co-­‐owner  Mialinn   Telling...  is  also  one  of  the  founders  of  the  Second  Norway  community  with   whom  I  came  in  contact  with  and  got  the  idea  to  establish  it  as  an  estate.     Q:  You  have  a  beautiful  sim  and  I  can  see  how  much  time  and  effort  you   have  put  into  it?     Ey  Ren:  It  is  ever  changing,  and  that's  the  fun  part  for  me.  The  people  who   live  here  create  their  own  activities.  But  a  lot  of  nearly-­‐done  work   everywhere,  or  so  I  feel  it  myself.  hehe     Q:  What  do  you  mean  that  they  create  their  own  activities?     Ey  Ren:  Well,  there  are  sailing  races,  I  mentioned  the  MC  rideouts,  people   drive  in  their  car  to  your  restaurant  for  a  romantic  dinner  or  to  have   picnic  somewhere  in  the  countryside,  they  do  ad  hoc  DJ  sessions,  arrange   concerts  and  parties,  create  skating  rinks  in  the  winter,  etc  etc.  And  that  is   on  private  initiative  and  not  driven  by  us  who  own  the  estate.  Above  us   now  is  also  a  huge  racing  track  for  race  bikes  and  cars.  We  have  also  had   convoys  of  boats  coming  from  other  estates,  aviators  coming  here  as  a   part  of  grid  flight  events  etc.  So  we  are  more  a  geographical  community   than  an  event  driven  one,  but  there  are  always  people  who  make  things   happen.    

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Photo by  Ewan  Bonham  

Ey  Ren:  The  red  top  lighthouse  next  to  us  is  a  replica  of  the  southernmost   lighthouse  in  Norway,  Lindesnes.  If  you  want  to  see  a  good  presentation,   we  appeared  on  the  Designing  Worlds  TV  show  last  year   http://designingworlds.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/join-­‐designing-­‐ worlds-­‐as-­‐we-­‐cruise-­‐through-­‐second-­‐norway/     Ey  Ren:  We  have  actually  rearranged  the  sim  layout  since  then  as  we  did   a  major  change  last  winter.  Oh,  I  should  mention  that  we  have  plans  for  a   maritime  museum  as  well  as  an  interactive  exhibition  dedicated  to  the   Norwegian  arctic  explorer  Frithjof  Nansen.  Those  will  add  an  educational   touch,  I'd  say.    

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Q: When  do  you  think  they  will  open?     Ey  Ren:  I  really  don't  know.  A  week  ago  I  took  over  30  regions  of  what   was  the  Sailor's  Cove  estate  just  south  of  there  and  we  are  in  the  middle  of   getting  it  up  and  running  again.  But  I  hope  some  time  early  next  year.     Q:  Thank  you  so  much  Ey  Ren,  it  has  been  a  pleasure.  You  have  been   very  generous  and  this  is  an  amazing  sim.     Ey  Ren:  Thank  you,  have  a  good  evening  onwards.     Contacts:  Ey  Ren  or  Mialinn  Telling  in  SL.     Landmark:  Second  Norway  -­‐  Norge  -­‐  Train  station   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Norge/134/145/28                 Ey  Ren’s   yacht  in   Second   Norway  -­‐   photo  by   Ewan   Bonham            

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If you  belong  to  a  community  that  prides  itself  on  cohesiveness  in   culture,  traditions,  rituals,  and  values  that  are  embodied  within  the   collective  identity,  we  would  like  to  hear  from  you.  Please  contact  Ewan   Bonham,  StarLight  (jasmine.lordenwych),  or  Beth  Ghostraven  in  Second   Life.      

The Cultural  Community  Hub  at  the  Whole-­‐Brain  Health  Fairground  -­‐  photo  by   Beth  Ghostraven  

 

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Update on   The  Book  Transformed   By  Dana  Paxson    

A bit  of  the  CITY  in  Kitely.  

In the  June  2013  issue  if  VEJ,  Dana  Paxson's  article  "The  Book   Transformed"  outlined  a  rather-­‐involved  process  for  entering  his  virtual   world  on  Kitely  (www.kitely.com).  That's  too  much  work.       Elan  Tochner,  the  mastermind  of  Kitely,  offers  a  simple   configuration  and  login  option  for  its  users.  First,  pick  the  world  you   want  to  access.  (Jeddin's  world  is  now  called  TarnusCity.)    For  Jeddin  

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Laval's City,  just  press  the  big  Enter  World  button  on  his  world's  World   Page:  http://www.kitely.com/virtual-­‐world/Jeddin-­‐Laval/TarnusCity       The  Enter  World  button  provides  an  easy  way  to  setup  access  and   login  into  the  desired  destination.  Pressing  the  Enter  World  button   provides  the  user  with  an  installer  for  the  Kitely  Plugin  if  one  isn't   already  installed.  Once  the  Kitely  Plugin  is  installed  the  button  provides   the  user  with  an  installer  for  a  compatible  viewer  if  none  is  detected.   Once  all  the  required  software  is  installed,  pressing  the  Enter  World   button  in  a  world's  World  Page  launches  the  viewer,  sets  it  up  for  access   to  Kitely  and  logs  the  user  directly  into  that  world.  This  means  that  you   can  send  people  your  World  Page  URL  and  just  ask  them  to  press  the  big   Enter World  button  and  follow  the  instructions.       For  additional  details  about  setting  up  access  for  Kitely  please  see:   http://www.kitely.com/startviewers"       Dana  presented  at  Rochester’s  Main  Library  in  the  Monroe  County   Library  System   (http://www3.libraryweb.org/eventsIndividual.aspx?id=483761)  for   their  Self-­‐Published  Book  Festival  on  February  8,  2014.  His  presentation   is  based  on  the  article  he  wrote  for  the  June  VEJ  2012  issue.  The   presentation  included  updated  information  about  his  work  and  venture   into  Kitely.  Dana  has  converted  his  presentation  slides  to  PDF  and   uploaded  them  on  his  website,  with  annotations  available  from  the   balloons  at  the  upper  left  of  each  page.         You  can    view  the  PDF  file  of  his  February  8th  presentation  at   http://www.danapaxsonstudio.com/The%20Book%202.pdf and view additional work by Dana at http://www.danapaxsonstudio.com/  

 

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Massive Multiplayer  Coding   Educators  Participate  in  “Hour  of  Code”   By Grid Jumper (sl), aka Tanya Marin (rl)

  As  students  participated  in  the  Hour  of  Code  in  their  classrooms,   ISTE’s  Special  Interest  Group  for  Virtual  Environments  (SIGVE)  and  the   Inevitable  Betrayer  Educator’s  Guild  in  World  of  Warcraft  (WoW)  coded   “in  game”.    The  Hour  of  Code  campaign  in  early  December  got  attention   and   support   from   educational   and   technology   organizations   across   the   country.   According   to   Code.org   founders   Ali   and   Hadi   Partovi,   computer   science   education   is   declining   and   the   campaign   served   to   generate   awareness   and   advocate   for   the   teaching   of   coding   in   general   and   Computer   Science   in   particular.   Learning   to   code   stimulates   computational   thinking,   an   integral   part   of   the   Common   Core   State   Standards  (CCSS).          

IB guild  members  meet  on   Google  Hangout,  sharing   World  of  Warcraft  screens  and   Macros  as  they  live-­‐stream  the   Hour  of  Code  event.  

The  IB  Guild  activity,  including  a  short  presentation  on  developing   Macros,   was   livestreamed   and   is   available   on   the   Gamemooc   Youtube    

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Channel.   Educators   from   around   the   country   gathered   online   just   outside  WoW’s  major  Horde  city  of  Ogrimmar  to  spend  an  hour  coding   macros  to  animate  characters,  cast  spells,  use  weapons,  and  make  more   efficient   use   of   time.   A   macro   is   generally   developed   to   combine   a   set   of   commands,   that   would   otherwise   have   to   be   initiated   and   repeated   individually,   thus   wasting   precious   time.     Some   macros   have   a   more   cosmetic  purpose,  initiating  chat  or  an  emote  at  the  click  of  a  particular   icon  rather  than  using  in-­‐game  commands,  again  taking  time.           Hour   of   Code   participants   did   not   necessarily   have   a   computer   science   background,   nor   had   they   knowingly   ever   coded   before.     The   event  demonstrated  that  coding  involves  logical  thinking  and  the  use  of   a   particular   language   or   set   of   codes   to   activate   a   particular   response   from   a   computer,   in   this   case   a   character   in   a   computer   game.     Individuals   were   able   to   access   code   for   macros   from   a   variety   of   websites,   some   of   which   did   not   quite   work   due   to   being   outdated,   generating  the  need  to  debug  the  code.    Familiarity  with  game  character   attributes  and  preferred  rotations  is  useful  in  developing  a  macro  that  is   effective  in  game  play.           SIGVE  Headquarters  in  Second  Life  was  the  site  of  a  second  online   immersive   environment   Hour   of   Code   championing   coding.     Educators   met   in   avatar   form   and   developed   very   simple   programs   using   the   Linden   Language.       Virtual   Worlds   have   many   opportunities   for   creativity   including   building   and   artistic   endeavors,   sometimes   leaving   the   coding   activities   to   those   with   a   computer   science   background.     Again,   the   language   is   basic   but   syntax   must   be   followed   precisely   in   order  for  the  program  to  work.    Developing  a  code  that  produces  change   to   happen   on   the   screen   (animation,   sound,   color,   chat)   makes   for   a   more  interesting  experience  in-­‐world.     [Be   sure   to   check   out   Gridjumper’s   blog   at   http://gridjumper.net/   and   follow   her   @GridJumper.]    

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Join The  Digital  Storytelling  Journey   Join  other  teachers  from  around  the  globe  in  a  unique  media-­‐rich   online  course  -­‐    "The  Art  and  Soul  of  Digital  StoryTelling"  hosted  by   Bernajean  Porter.    Presently  teachers  from  Turkey,  India  and  Australia   as  well  as  US  teachers  are  gathering  to  experience  the  course's   StoryPath  Journey  .  .  .         Meet  Us  at  the  CampFire!    See  image  attached  that  monitors  and  charts   the  learning  adventure  of  crafting  a  personal  media-­‐based  storytelling  -­‐  conducted  like  a  writer's  workshop,  learning  and  mastering  skills  and   processes  along  the  way  useful  for  ANY  media-­‐making.  May  the  Winds   of  Time  Send  Your  Stories  Far  and  Wide.    

Dates -­‐  January  13  -­‐  March  9,  2014   Register  -­‐  bit.ly/StorySmarts   Email  Questions  -­‐  Bernajean@DigiTales.us    

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Sun. 2/9  Virtual  Pioneers  Tour:  Regency  Somerset  @  5:30  pm  SLT  

Join  Virtual  Pioneer,  BrendonPatrick  MacRory  (brendonpatrick)   in  Port  Austen  Seaport  in  1814.  You  may  meet  the  ghost  of  Jane  Austen,   who  had  just  published  Pride  and  Prejudice.  We  will  learn  the  history   while  exploring  the  port.  Some  may  want  to  have  tea  in  the  Inn  or  enjoy   rum  at  the  Tavern.  There  are  some  free  dresses  of  the  Regency  era  for   the  ladies  and  a  nice  shopping  area.       Regency  Somerset  Preview  Video,  by  Bluebarker  Lowtide  and   Gridjumper:       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcWoPlrk7I0&feature=youtu.be      

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On Walkabout  

by Cyrus  Hush  (aka  Matt  Poole)   Volume  5  -­‐-­‐Nautilus  

Hello  travelers!    Are  we  ready  for  another  virtual  voyage  of  Second  Life   intercontinental  discovery?    Then  off  we  go...     Not  to  be  confused  with  Nautilus  City,  the  continent  of  Nautilus  is  a   splintered,  fjordy-­‐looking  landmass  to  the  northwest  of  the  Blake  Sea.     Unlike  the  previous  continents  we  have  explored,  Nautilus  does  not   have  a  well-­‐developed  road  system  except  in  the  north.    Route  12  spans   the  northern  part  of  the  continent  running  east  to  west,  and  there  are  a   couple  of  other  roads  but  for  the  most  part  the  land  masses  of  Nautilus   are  a  hodgepodge  of  stores,  clubs  and  private  sims  that  challenge   ground-­‐based  travel.    However,  the  many  waterways  that  criss-­‐cross  the   continent  make  boat  travel  easy.        

Nautilus

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Beginning at  the  northwest  tip  of  the  continent,  Route  12  forms  a  loop   around  a  small  hill  and  heads  to  the  east.    Be  careful  here  as  ban  lines   bar  access  on  either  side  of  the  road,  and  any  large  unwieldy  vehicles   are  likely  to  be  catapulted  to  large  unwieldy  vehicle  heaven!    However,   as  the  road  rounds  a  bend  and  descends  we  find  our  first  pleasant   surprise...  Acorn  Valley!    

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Elsa/28/124/39   I  don't  know  exactly  what  this  is  supposed  to  be,  but  it's  cool...    a  faint   piping  flute  refrain  loops  as  we  clamber  up  and  down  hills  filled  with   acorn  shaped  huts,  terraces  and  balconies.    I  thought  the  place  was  a   store  at  first  but  it  isn't,  although  you  can  purchase  an  acorn  house  for   your  "tiny"  avatar  here.    'Vaguely  hippie;  'vaguely  druid...  mostly   spherical.    It's  definitely  worth  a  visit!    The  build  belongs  to  an  outfit   called  the  Acorn  Planters,  which  is  enigmatically  identified  thus:     "We  love  acorns.    We  plant  a  lot  of  acorns.    We  protect  great  acorns."     I  reckon  they  must  like  acorns.    We'll  move  on.     We  follow  the  road  south  and  east,  passing  a  gigantic  Ferris  wheel  and   some  interesting  architecture.    Heading  south,  the  road  enters  a  cool   little  Russian  build  called  Glan's  Park  which  features  a  beautiful  sky  

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park, a  monstrous  automobile  race  track  and  other  amenities  at   multiple  levels  that  are  accessed  with  a  centralized  teleporter  system.     There  is  a  really  great  music  stream  here  as  well,  or  there  was  during   my  visit  -­‐-­‐playing  sort  of  an  ambient  trance,  African  world  music  groove.    

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tumblebrutus/35/93/38  

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Mignon/135/140/202    

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As we  proceed  to  the  east,  to  the  left  and  right  of  the  roadway  are  a   jumbled  collection  of  parcels,  with  occupied  or  unoccupied  rentals   predominating.    A  couple  of  these  send  menacing  pop-­‐ups  into  my   viewer  windows,  and  one  unceremoniously  teleported  me  home.         If  you  "own"  a  parcel  of  virtual  land  in  Second  Life,  you  can  set  an  access   list  on  who  is  allowed  on  it.    Those  not  on  your  access  list  are  faced  with   "ban  lines"  if  they  attempt  to  cross  -­‐-­‐what  appears  to  be  a  force  field   impeding  further  progress.    This  will  wreak  havoc  upon  your  car  or  boat   if  you  come  across  it  unawares,  but  is  a  very  effective  method  of   insuring  only  private  access  to  your  parcel.    Parcels  in  or  adjoining   popular  airways  or  waterways  not  publicly  owned  will  typically  require   something  along  the  lines  of  a  homeowner's  association  agreement  from   landowners  to  ensure  rights-­‐of  way  for  passers-­‐by.         People  who  are  subletting  or  renting  parcels  typically  do  not  have  the   management  ability  to  set  access  lists,  however,  so  often  they  will   instead  use  a  "security  orb"  -­‐-­‐a  scripted  object  that  will  automatically   send  nasty-­‐gram  warnings  and  then  forcibly  eject  strangers  from  an   area.    We  are  running  into  these  a  lot  as  we  attempt  to  explore  cross   country,  so  we  decide  to  go  the  aquatic  route.    

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Elsa/136/73/60    

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I think  the  proper  vehicle  for  the  aquatic  leg  of  our  journey  will  once   again  be  my  trusty  TUFF  sailboat.    These  boats  are  highly  detailed,  low   prim,  easy  to  steer  and  can  be  operated  without    actually  knowing  how   to  sail  in  SL.    They  take  passengers  and  are  smooth  and  generally  good   for  sightseeing.     Soon  after  we  launch  off  the  eastern  seaboard  we  see  a  pyramidal   structure  looming  ahead.    Our  friends  the  Moles  (Second  Life   Department  of  Public  Works)  have  been  at  it  again!    Looking  like  a  great   sea  beacon  from  Roman  times  (Egyptian  or  Phoenician  perhaps??),  this   lonely  outpost  guards  the  eastern  channels.    

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Cividale/170/122/44   Heading  south  from  the  pyramid  we  quickly  come  across  another   absolute  gem  that  is  for  public  use...  Emin  Marina!       With  free  sailboats,  free  scuba  suits  and  diving  and  gorgeous  sunsets,   this  luxury  vacation  suite  provides  a  nice  stopover  from  exploring.     Tacking  west,  we  cross  through  a  rather  touchy  strait  and  enter  a  gulf   where  the  sims  all  seem  to  bear  names  from  Moby  Dick.        

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http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Emin/206/49/23     After  passing  through  Melville,  Ishmael  and  Queequeg  we  see  a  really   eerie  skeletal  shape  take  form  in  the  distance.    We  are  approaching   Ahab's  Haunt!    

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Ahab%27s%20Haunt/160/77/ 22    

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The sun-­‐bleached  rib  cage  of  a  long-­‐dead  sea  monster  forms  a  canopy   over  a  beautiful  tropical  lagoon  with  free  inner-­‐tubing  and  free   sailboats.    This  doesn't  look  much  like  a  sperm  whale  skeleton...  more   like  a  big  scary  turtle  or  a  chubby  mosasaur  perhaps.      

  More  attractions  can  be  found  underwater.    The  rusty  wreckage  of   several  boats  and  a  submarine  provide  structure  for  virtual  marine  life.     As  we  continue  our  voyage  south  towards  Nautilus  City  and  the  Blake   Sea,  we  find  more  and  more  sea  lanes  and  markers  indicating  sailing   courses.    Also  the  seascape  is  becoming  more  themed  and  organized.     Our  last  stop  is  a  picturesque  lighthouse.  

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http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Rodel/119/127/22     Once  again  we  have  taken  a  quick  pass  through  a  Second  Life  continent.     Obviously  there  is  more  stuff  to  be  found  here  than  we  can  possibly  visit   in  one  fly-­‐by,  but  now  that  you  have  had  a  taste  at  least  I  hope  you  will   visit  again  and  do  some  exploring  on  your  own.         Once  again,  thank  you  for  your  excellent  company  on  this  voyage,  and         I'll  see  you  again  next  time!       Your  friend,   Cyrus      

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The Recipe  of  Storytelling:  Step  2  of  3   By:  Bluebarker  Lowtide  (Vasili  Giannoutsos)       As  in  any  part  of  a  story  or  narrative,  you  have  the  main  eight   basic  ideas:  setting,  character,  conflict,  plot,  action,  climax,  resolution   and  conclusion.  But,  we  are  talking  about  the  special  things  in   storytelling  that  not  many  know  about.  These  will  certainly  improve    

your  stories  and  separate  you  from  the  rest  of  the  formula  fiction  out   there.  Let’s  call  these  the  secret  ingredients  to  making  a  great  story.     Today’s  secret  ingredient  is:  Imaginative  Settings.     Settings  not  only  include  the  time,  date  and  place,  but  more   importantly  the  geographical  locations  and  the  historical  contexts  that   help  develop  the  mood  and  backdrop  for  your  characters.  Other   important  parts  to  keep  in  mind  that  can  affect  your  story  significantly  

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could be  the  time  of  day,  the  season,  and  the  culture  in  which  your   characters  find  themselves.       The  cultures  your  characters  find  themselves  in  tend  to  be  bits   and  pieces  of  exaggerations  of  the  society  in  which  the  writer  exists.   Previously,  we  used  an  apocalyptic  setting  for  our  survivor.  The   apocalypse  setting  does  pose  a  time  of  struggle  and  rebuilding  but  also   lends  itself  to  the  grand  scheme  of  a  dystopian  society  they  feel  they  are   in.  Our  nation  is  currently  trying  to  recover  from  an  economic   depression  and  the  boom  of  dystopian  society  novels  is  at  an  all-­‐time   high.  The  settings  for  dystopian  novels  tend  to  be  considered  urban   wasteland,  post  apocalypse,  or  a  land  besieged  by  military   occupation/oppression.  The  reoccurring  themes  of  these  novels   normally  are  change,  revolution,  and  rebirth.     Storytelling  has  been  an  art  form  passed  down  from  generation  to   generation:  from  those  age  old  plays  in  an  open-­‐aired  amphitheater  of   ancient  Greece  to  the  tall-­‐tales  told  around  campfire  or  kitchen  table.   The  power  of  our  imagination  has  no  limits  and  we  can  give  life  to  new   things  and  places.  As  artist  Bob  Ross  said,  “This  is  your  world,  you’re  the   creator,  you  have  freedom  on  this  canvas”  and  as  an  artist  our  words  are   our  most  powerful  tools  to  create  an  enriching  world  that  tantalizes  the    

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senses and  the  minds  of  our  audience  and  our  students.  But  how   do  we  create  something  you  can’t  see?     Let’s  examine  two  in-­‐depth  worlds  with  rich  culture  and   distinctive  landmarks;  James  Cameron’s  Avatar  Space  World,  Pandora,   and  Blizzard’s  World  of  Warcraft  known  as  Azeroth.  The  earth-­‐like   world  of  Pandora  has  similar  qualities  to  our  planet  with  some  very   distinct  differences.  Due  to  the  high  volumes  of  carbon  dioxide,  humans   are  unable  to  breath  the  atmosphere,  however  this  doesn’t  stop  them   from  trying  to  colonize  and  mine  the  alien  planet’s  resources.       The  atmosphere  has  given  way  to  the  peculiar  developments  of   the  terrain  –  the  flora  and  the  fauna.  Most  of  the  animals  have  extreme   color  patterns  unlike  that  of  any  Earth  animal,  with  most  having  six  or   more  legs.  Like  the  fauna,  the  flora  also  sport  bright  pigments  and   fluorescent  biochemicals  allowing  them  to  glow  and  light  up  the  night.   The  rich  history  of  the  background,  the  setting,  is  supported  by  the   religious  beliefs  of  its  inhabitants.  The  blue  anthropomorphic  felines   known  as  the  Na’vi,  have  a  strong  connection  to  their  planet  and  believe   that  all  things  are  connected  through  Eywa,  an  all-­‐powerful  deity  they   worship.      

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The story  hasn’t  even  begun,  and  already  the  audience  is  blown   away  and  sucked  into  a  world  of  fantasy  and  theory.  For  the  Massive   Multiplayer  Online  Role  Playing  Game  (MMORPG)  World  of  Warcraft,   the  setting  of  Azeroth  has  changed  from  a  mere  solo-­‐player  real-­‐time   strategy  (RTS)  game  called  Warcraft:  Orcs  and  Humans  to  an  ever   changing  and  ever  evolving  world  that  well,  virtually  live  and  breathes.   With  the  addition  of  multiple  expansions,  the  world  of  Azeroth  has  gone   from  the  two  continents  of  the  Eastern  Kingdoms  and  Kalimdor  to  the   map  expanding  to  the  Lich  King’s  cold  shores  of  Northrend  to  the   eruption  of  demonic  and  dragonic  energies  erupting  the  birth  of  the   blasted  Outlands  and  to  the  now  recent  arrival  of  the  lost  Mist-­‐shrouded   lands  of  Pandaria.  Azeroth  has  a  deep  lore  from  its  creation  myths  to  its   most  current  events;  it  is  such  a  wondrous  and  rich  history  for  a  place   that  is  of  a  work  of  fiction.  The  races  have  been  the  shakers  and  the   movers  of  the  world  of  Azeroth  and  by  extension  its  players,  giving  them   a  sense  of  power  not  found  in  their  Action  bar.  It  is  a  world  filled  with   adventure,  mystery,  magic  and  excitement  that  draws  in  its  players  and   engages  them  every  time  they  log  in.       A  setting  does  not  come  just  from  books,  but  from  games,  from   music  and  from  all  sorts  of  things  around  us.  The  differences  and   similarities  of  real  world  and  fictional  worlds  can  be  small  or  large.   Imagine  if  you  will,  what  kind  of  world  we  would  live  in,  if  a  secret  race   of  elves  delved  too  deep  into  magic  and  our  world  was  torn  a  sundered.   The  magical  backlash  might  cause  cities  to  be  destroyed,  but  could  give   normal  individuals  access  to  magic.       That’s  how  it  could  have  happened,  but  here’s  what  really   happened…     A  hidden  moon  that  began  to  orbit  our  Earth  had  caused  strange   things  to  happen:  such  as  the  tides  of  the  ocean  grew;  the  new  forced   gravitation  caused  humans  to  move  in  wheelchairs;  and  the  rise  of  giant   earthworms  changed  the  order  of  the  food  chain.  What  kind  of  scientific   principles  or  what  areas  of  science  could  help  us  survive  in  these   desperate  times…     Such  scenarios  may  seem  bizarre,  but  they  are  no  different  from   what  is  told  to  soldiers  on  an  exercise  scenario  or  an  engineer  during  a    

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disaster drill.  Imagine  setting  the  stage  for  your  students  with  a  story   that  would  put  them  in  the  driver’s  seat.  This  goes  beyond  the  math   problems,  “if  a  train  left  Washington  another  left  from  Las  Vegas,  which   will  get  to  Wyoming  first”…  We  aren’t  trying  to  make  finding  the   variables  so  obvious.  That  doesn’t  support  critical  thinking!     Well,  let’s  take  a  different  approach  to  the  whole  matter  entirely.   You  might  be  able  to  make  a  small  video  to  help  illustrate  for  your   students  when  you  think  outside  the  box.  Math  problems  were  never  my   forte,  so  bear  with  me  as  I  turn  to  a  problem  in  Science.    

We are  studying  the  glorious  unit  of  DNA  and  let’s  just  imagine   that  our  next  unit  would  be  on  dinosaurs.  Let’s  try  to  help  plant  the   seeds  for  both  and  do  what  we  can  with  narrative  prompt,  and  with  a   superb  imaginative  setting  as  our  backdrop  opener.   Taking  a  play  from  Steven  Spielberg’s  Jurassic  Park  and  giving  it  a   twist  all  our  own,  we  are  Genetic  Scientists  that  have  stumbled  upon  a   rare  find  of  a  mosquito  trapped  in  ancient  amber.  Let’s  say  we  sample   them  and  we  find  multiple  strands  of  dinosaur  DNA.  How  can  we  tell   what  DNA  belongs  to  which  species  and  whether  it’s  a  male  or  female?          

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All of  this  can  be  done  with  a  little  research  of  catalogued  DNA  of   dinosaurs.  But  wait,  this  brings  in  Punnett  Squares  and  the  discussion  of   half-­‐life  for  DNA  strands.  Let’s  say  we  happened  to  have  a  database.  We   can  put  on  a  closed  network  and  we  can  be  a  bunch  of  images  of  bird   species  DNA.  We  have  to  match  and  count  the  chromosomes  with  the   species  and  see  if  they  have  an  extra  Y  chromosome  to  indicate  gender   of  the  particular  specimen;  not  to  mention  the  other  sections  of   hereditary  genes  and  traits.  We  could  also  throw  in  the  differences  of   animal  and  plant  cells.       With  just  this  elaborate  narrative,we  were  able  to  conceive   possibly  a  month  long  course  covering  multiple  units  of  Science  and   Biology  for  middle  school  students,  nay  Junior  Genetic  Scientists.   Instead  of  treating  them  like  students,  they  become  more  involved  and   enriched  when  working  in  groups,  all  trying  to  reach  a  goal  –  pulling   from  each  other’s  strengths  and  weaknesses.  They  would  have  to  keep  a   Field  Journal  at  the  beginning  and  end  of  class  to  illustrate  what  they   were  working  on  and  what  they  learned.  But,  that  journal  would  serve   as  a  study  guide  for  any  tests  they  would  have.  Imagine  the  look  on  the   children’s  faces  when  they  were  able  to  tell  the  difference  between  an   animal  and  plant  DNA  specimen  based  on  what  they  learned  and   perhaps  even  discovering  it  was  the  DNA  of  a  Pterodactyloidea   Pterodactylus  ,  more  commonly  known  as  a  Pterodactyl.  But,  they  know   the  scientific  name  because  they  also  did  research  on  scientific   classification  and  the  five  (possibly  six)  Kingdoms.  My!  What  an   encompassing  and  engaging  Biology  Curriculum  we  would  have!   Especially  if  we  stopped  thinking  in  just  terms  of  textbooks  and   powerpoints!     This  was  just  one  way  to  apply  the  power  of  narration  to  spice  up   every  day  ordinary  things.  Being  a  storyteller  is  something  you  can  do,   too!        

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Be sure  to  visit  us  at   http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/EduIsland%209/21/39/22  in   Second  Life,  our  website  at  http://virtualeducationjournal.com/,  and   follow  us  on  twitter  @VEJournal  and  #VEJournal.    To  learn  more  about   ISTE  SIGVE  events  visit  http://sigve.weebly.com/.         Write  For  VEJ     The  theme  for  the  next  issue  of  VEJ  is  “The  Avatar  Generation.”  Please   submit  articles,  approximately  500  –  1800  words  (in  Cambria  14pt)  and   the  highest  resolution  possible  for  photos  (png,  tiff,  jpeg)  to   rvojtek@edovation.com  (be  sure  to  put  “VEJ”  in  subject  line)  by  April  1,   2014.  We  are  especially  interested  in  what  students  are  learning  and   doing  in  virtual  worlds.  We  also  want  to  know  how/what  they  are   learning  in  3D  virtual  environments  (in  school  as  well  as  outside  of  school)   is  preparing  them  to  become  successful  digital  citizens  and  global   entrepreneurs.  We  are  also  interested  in  how  teachers  are  instructing   differently  as  classrooms  morph  from  traditional  19th  century  learning  to   classrooms  of  the  future.       If  you  have  questions,  email  rvojtek@edovation.com  or  give  Roxie  Neiro   (sl)  a  notecard  in  second  life.        

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VEJ February 2014  

This issue of VEJ is . . . OUT OF THIS WORLD! Meet digital anthropologist and investigative journalist, Draxtor Despres. Discover how educat...

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