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
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
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.
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).
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
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
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
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 –
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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]
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.
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/
IMPROVING DAILY SCHEDULE MANAGEMENT WITH RETAIL LOGISTICS PRINCIPLES
By Fleet Goldenberg
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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 email@example.com or instant-‐message to 'Fleet Goldenberg' in the virtual world 'Second Life.
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) firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Judy Curtis, Assoc. Professor, Mass Communication Dept., University of North Carolina at Pembroke (SL: Sage Bright) email@example.com
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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,
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.
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
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-‐
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
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-‐
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
FIG 2. Inner Courtyard at the door to the Hypostyle Hall
FIG 3. Inside the Throne Room of the Temple of Horus
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/
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.
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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
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
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
Congratulations to the Minecraft Challenge winner giraffee619! You can see a screenshot of her winning build at bit.ly/1dBsLrV.
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/
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
(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
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
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)
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
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
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.
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
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
~ 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
Photo of Borubudur by Serena Offcourse
Scotland Rising; photo by Beth Ghostraven
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
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
The Roof Top Club in Antiquity Bexar; photo by Beth Ghostraven
ISTE 2014 Atlanta June 28 THRU July 1 https://www.isteconference.org/2014/
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
“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.
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 $$$ feeding kids in Kenya http://draxfiles.com/2014/01/31/show-‐4-‐the-‐sky-‐is-‐falling/
Young Entrepreneaur, Draxter Despres
Feeding Kids In Kenya: Feed A Smile Project
From the Notecard at Lavender Fields: Live music events Art shows and a place to come and meet people and relax -‐ that is what The Lavender Field is all about… and at the same time we will be feeding over 450 poverty stricken children living in the slums of Kenya on a daily basis with the proceeds and donations. 100 Lindens will pay for a meal to feed a smile... We have some of SL's finest musicians performing on a charity basis. Come to The Lavender Field anytime you'd like. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere at our location. Read about sponsoring childs or have a look into the Charity Shop. Chat or dance with friends, inform yourself about Live and Learn in Kenya International and have an enjoyable time. Have a look at the newest pictures from Kenya. Children -‐-‐laughing, eating, learning… look at their eyes and you will see how they appreciate your help. Please join the group to keep informed about events. Visit Lavender Fields in Second Life http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Feed%20A%20Smile/58/164/23 Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FeedaSmile/ http://www.llk-‐selb.de http://feed-‐a-‐smile.blogspot.de/ http://www.bluesflavor.com/feed-‐ a-‐smile/
Be sure to watch embedded video about Linden $$$ feeding kids in Kenya http://draxfiles.com/2014/01/31/show-‐4-‐the-‐sky-‐is-‐falling/
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.
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 -‐
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.
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
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
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?
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.
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.
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
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
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
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/
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
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.]
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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?
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!
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org or give Roxie Neiro (sl) a notecard in second life.