Monday, April 27, 2009

Being new to Second LIfe

I am still a newby but that doesn't mean that I don't like to help out new people just arriving in Second Life just as much as I can. This week I have been able to work with a couple of new arrivals.

In addition to my own space I like to take them to the New Media Consortium and show them the orientation street, etc. I am not a NMC member but I appreciate the value of what they have put into place there.

Usually the first thing that a new arrival to second life wants to do is change their appearance..great fun! and a hard thing to explain. I have tons of skins and shapes in my inventory that I have picked up at the various freeby sites, which I probably should discard..they are someone else's idea of an evil joke I think. But what I can transfer over to a newby I will.

I also think it's important to share with new people the animations and use of HUDS. A good walk makes things much more easier in SL..the bouncy walk you are born with just wanders you all over the place.

I also took Nat, who is from Russia, to a live music event last night. Finally after about 20 minutes or so she mastered the dance ball at Rythym Fabius Aries and learned about shopping. After almost two months in Second Life she said she was happy she found out about it. She left early..I am sure to shop somewhere or just take a break from all that dancing.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Drawbacks of technology

I am the first person to jump on the bandwagon and promote technology in improving the delivery of course content, distance education and a quality learning experience, that is because I generally have few problems with technology. This weekend though has been a totally different experience. One computer has been put on the "dead" list because of a virus and another is a bit older...and very slow on the internet.

This experience has not been a totally bad's good for us, who generally have all the access and up-to-date bells and whistles to have to experience some of the hurdles our students may have to go through to access education. Then we can realistically appreciate and value their persistence in achieving their goals through online education.

All too often our focus is on how to address issues of plagiarism, cheating, and lateness in submitting assignments without realizing the external factors that maybe impacting our student's fact I contend that it is all too easy to do that when dealing with an online student because we don't have that face to face interaction with them

Would commucation with students in a virtual world such as Second Life alleviate that..perhaps, but it must be acknowledged that the technology it takes to support Second Life is still at a level that maybe beyond the reach of most students.

My slow computer makes things "rez" super slow in Second LIfe today this is the only computer plugged into a 2m internet connection. I was thinking of the student who needs to review online materials, has a family and a job willing would he/she be to wait for these course materials to appear on screen while cooking dinner?

It's a step back into reality, but a good one..something we all need to do from time to time! I am still an advocate for Second Life but think that educational experience using Second Life should be designed accordingly..with the student technology in mind. If nothing else perhaps a survey of the student's tech resources should be conducted before creating a course or learning opportunity in SL.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Future of Education discussion Monday Night

Hello everyone,
Mnoday evening reflection..the future of education; 6 pm/7pm/8pm/9pm􀀀
A freeflowing discussion every Monday evening regarding the future of education ; higher education. The topic can be anything we choose, perhaps an article caught our attention, something at our institutions, the economy, technology, K-12.
If you just want to reflect and get ready for the coming work week is the time!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Web 2.0 tools

If you want to know more about Web 2.0 tools I highly recommend Jane Hart's site. I think one could easily spend hours here reviewing the information she has on her site.

The tools I am most familiar with are those like Facebook, Twitter, Google tools and applications and groups.

There is much more here..

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SLASSesment or VWAG

Hello everyone,

Our next meeting is Friday April 24th at 7 am/8am/9am/10 am....

Well if you are following my blog you can see that I have strayed a bit into music ..which I love and enjoyed immensely the last couple of days. I can't wait to see who shows up next...well there I go.

Anyway Assessment is at the forefront of what we do in education to ensure that we are justified in what we are doing and that students are learning! So Assessment in Second Life marches on.

Possible agenda for Friday/s meeting?

1. Review of what we discuss last time see minute below
2. What do we mean by assessment in SL..what do we need to know to justify what we are doing?
3. What is available
4. What are the questions
and how do we measure

Any other ideas?

Real Life music experiences from Second Life

Hi the music is hot in Second Life. It is hard to believe that this virtual world can bring so man wonderful artists to someone like me sitting in the middle of the US ---but here I am listening to some gret talent from all over the world. Would I be doing this with out SL..I think not!

I listened to Dexter last night and he was amazing even better than the first time.

I was chatting with someone before his show started and she told me that he had been following Komuso Tokugawa and that he had a show following I went to his show..let me tell you this guy is a fantastic talent.

You can learn more about this artist and others:



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Assessment in Second Life

Please check back as I add more resources, including my Google Groups site with articles and other research available.

The blog below is my attempt to put together the resources that have appeared on SLED in the last couple of weeks on assessment:

Computers and Educators, has now come> out:>> Jarmon, Leslie, Traphagan, Tomoko, Mayrath, Michael, & Trivedi, Avani.> (2009). "Virtual world teaching, experiential learning, and assessment: An> interdisciplinary communication course in Second Life," Computers &> Education 53: 169-182. Elsevier.>

Resources from Eloise Pasteur:

Instructional Alchemy:

Calendar of research discussion events:

Journal of Virtual Worlds:


Educational Technology, Pedagogy, and Distance Education Journals (most are online).
AACE Journal: International Forum on Information Technology in Education (AACEJ); (formerly Educational Technology Review (ETR))
All AACE journals:
Advanced Technology for Learning;
ALT-J (Journal of the Association for Learning Technology) (ALT) (UK) and
American Journal of Distance Education:
Asia-Pacific Cybereducation Journal:
Asia-Pacific Education Review:
Asian EFL Journal:
Australian Journal of Educational Technology:
British Journal of Educational Technology:
Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology (CJLT):
Canadian Journal of Univ Continuing Educ:
Computer Assisted Language Learning:
Computers and Composition:
Computers and Education: An International Journal:
Computers in the Schools:
Computers in Human Behavior:
Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (special sections on Science, Math, Social Studies, English, and Educational Technology General).
CyberPsychology and Behavior:
Distance Education:
Distance Learning:; formerly the USDLA Journal: (ended in April 2003)
E-Journal of Instructional Science and Technology (E-JIST):
Educational Media International:
Educational Technology and Society (Athabasca):
EDUCAUSE Quarterly:
eLearning and Education (eLeed):
ETR&D (Educational Technology Research and Development): and current edition online:
First Monday:
HRD Quarterly:
HRD International:
Information Research:
Innovations in Education and Teaching International:
Innovate: Journal of Online Education:
Instructional Science:,1:102905,1
Interactive Learning Environments:
Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects:
International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (IJ-SoTL)
International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education:
International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning:
International Journal of Distance Education Technologies (from IGI):
International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET)
International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education (from IGI):
International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning:
International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning
International Journal of Web-Based Communities (IJWBC):
International Journal of Web-Based Learning and Teaching Technologies (from IGI):
International Journal on E-Learning (IJEL) (Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education);,
The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning:
The Internet and Higher Education :
Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks:
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning:
Journal of Computing in Higher Education;
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication: (replacement)
Journal of Distance Education: (Canadian Assoc for Dist Ed (CADE))
Journal of Educational Computing Research:,1:300321,1
Journal of Educational Media and Library Sciences (Taiwan):
Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia (JEMH) from AACE
59. Journal of Educational Technology and Society:
Journal of Educators Online (JEO):
Journal of Interactive Media in Education: (UK journal)
Journal of Interactive Learning Research,
Journal of Interactive Online Learning:
Journal of Learning Design:; (new journal)
Journal of the Learning Sciences:
Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT): (from MERLOT)
Journal of Research on Technology in Education:
Journal of Technology and Teacher Education:
Language Learning and Technology (LLT):
Learning, Media, and Education (formerly Journal of Educational Media)
Online Journal of Distance Lrng Admin:
Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning:
Pedagogies: An International Journal:
Performance Improvement Journal:
Performance Improvement Quarterly:
Quarterly Review of Distance Education (AECT)
QWERTY: Journal of technology, culture, and education:
Social Education (perhaps for online global education articles):, Pedagogy, and Education:
79. System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics:
Technology, Pedagogy, and Education:
The Technology Source: (ended November 2004, archives at) and the Wayback machine:*/
Tech Trends:
Theory and Research in Social Education (perhaps for online global education articles):
Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education:
WebNet Journal: Internet Technologies, Applications & Issues is

Another list of technology journals:
List of ed tech journals and acceptance rates:
Educational Technology Magazines, Blogs, and Newsletters
Campus Technology (formerly the Syllabus Magazine):
Chief Learning Officer:
Chronicle of Higher Education (information technology section):
Converge Magazine:
Digital Knowledge:
Education Week
Educational Leadership
Educational Technology Magazine:
Education World Technology in the Classroom:
eLearn Magazine:
Electronic School
eSchool News:
IEEE Potentials Magazine
Learning & Leading with Technology
Learning and Training Innovations:
Media and Methods Magazine:
New Horizons for Learning
Performance Xpress: (Int’l Society of Perf Improvement)
Perspectives: Policy and practice in higher education
Phi Delta Kappan:
Rethinking Schools
Stephen’s Web (Stephen Downes’ Blog):
Technology and Learning
T.H.E. Journal
Training Magazine:
Workforce Performance Solutions:

Teaching and Learning Journals:

College Teaching:
Innovations in Education & Teaching International:
International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (IJ-SoTL) at
Journal on Excellence in College Teaching:
Teaching in Higher Education:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Steely Decosta and Funky Freddy Republic

Ok all..just when I thought it couldn't bet any better does..Steely Decosta rocks in Second Life.

Showing up at the Tranquil Cafe..late as usual I lucked out in picking Steely's performance to view tonight. He has it all..this guy can really sing, perfect in every way..but to demonstrate his strength he plays the guitar like no one else.

Steely's profiles states: "I play a variety of covers csny beatles jimi hendrix ben harper james morrision firefall jason mrazu2 ben e king eagles plain white ts sam cooke and do original jams..." and the great thing is that he does them with enough original flair that you don't findyourself focused on the original tune.

Despite some technical problems and other glitches FunkyFreddy Replubic was well worth getting through it all and digging deep..showing at Molaskey's PUb. Ok the guitar this guy can play ..when he digs deep is awesome...

How did I get so lucky as to pick to such outstanding acts? Tip the venue which have the ability to spot great talent.

Web 2.0 tools

Right now I am reading a book by Clara Shih entitled The Facebook Era...this just reinforces my feeling that we are now entering an era of great social change driven by social networking tools such as facebook. Social networking will change not only how we use technology to interact and communicate but also how we interact and communicate face to face. There is a change occurring in the world..are you ready? How do you feel about it?

Didn't do much in Second Life over the weekend music events really have me hooked and I stumbled across Dexter Moore...this guy is a great talent..I had to buy a CD. I can't wait to listen to it in my treks across South Dakota.

Another great up and coming talent playing at Rythym Park (I think) if I am wrong about the name of the venue I will correct that...he is there on Sundays..Fabius Aries ( I think) ...plan your fun using the events calendar from Second LIfe's website. I thought maybe traffic on SL would slow down now that Spring is spring up ..but I think last night was the highest number of people I have sen in-world at one time 86,000 and I thought I had read somewhere that 80000 was all that could be in world at one time. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. Find info on Fabius here:

Still working on assessment ...need to get focused on this important issue.

Friday, April 17, 2009

HI! Reality Check

Well being somewhat new to Second LIfe I am still learning...there is as much going on there as any real world economy, life, and solar system. So I am cutting out the second life fun for a few days. I really love the live music, shopping and other things that second lifers can do. This could be due, in part, to the isolated area where I live. Enough said..I am more and more fascinated by the growth that Linden Labs is currently reporting here..

Interesting! It's hard to believe that SL has such a growth economy while the rest of the worlds and world seems to be in a holding pattern right now.

So what is the draw. Second life seems to get into your's the creativity and fundamentally I believe we are all creative this could be related to a story I heard..probably on NPR or something about a study that was done with elementary school aged Kindergarten the kids were asked "who is an artist in this classroom.." all the kids jumped out and down and raised their hands, about the same next year..then the next year a few kids didn't raise their hands when asked, and the next year a few more, then a few more then a few more finally only one or two or none...

So it goes we lose, somehow our desire to be creative! or believe we aren't or shouldn't be...I think SL taps into this kid in us that got lost along the way ...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Next Assessment Meeting

HI everyone,

Assessment is more important than ever..not just to make sure that we are doing all the right things all the right way but to also provide us with the information we need to justify why we are doing what we are doing and the data to make improvements or make direction.

I have tentatively scheduled our assesment in world meeting for February April 24th at 7 am SLT/PST...
Sorry this is a short post..

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Here is what I am looking at right now!

Science schools:

Raine and I just had an article published in the new fully onlineEDUCAUSE Quarterly. It's about our SL operating room simulation.
In this article, we provide an in-depth examination of the design,development, and use of one of these virtual world learning spaces,our Nurse Anesthesia operating room simulation for learning the basicinduction process. We also briefly describe the learning spaces wedeveloped for several other projects. Our goal is to provide you withsome insights into developing virtual world learning spaces andhighlight the advantages of those virtual world spaces over real worldspaces. Most importantly, we want to encourage you to target yourvirtual world development efforts on specific learning spaces forspecific project needs. In this way, course objectives and learningtasks can truly drive the learning space development, rather thanhaving to adjust objectives and tasks to the limitations of anexisting learning space.
Pietro_______________________________________________Educators mailing listTo unsubscribe

The depths> of those kinds of immersive builds are as yet unplumbed.> > This is exactly why I built Cancerland (,>;> I wanted to create another example of exactly this in order> to justify my interest in SL to some of my more skeptical> colleagues.> > > Unfortunately SL is largely seen as a failed venue for> traditional classrooms, which makes this an uphill battle.> > R.

And much more!


Monday, April 13, 2009

copyright issues

Issues with copyright laws have been in the back of my mind since I started playing in SL. I found this AP story here:

I am beginning to use Google Reader a lot to keep track of RSS ..check out their services ... a great tool to have if you are an information junky.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Events upcoming:

ALA National Library week:

Celebrate National Library Week Using Second Life
From the Announcement:
In celebration of National Library Week, the American Library Association (ALA) will host a series of “Worlds connect @ your library” events in Second Life. “Worlds connect @ your library” is theme 2009 theme for National Library Week.
This year’s attractions and events in Second Life mark the second National Library Week to host “in-world” activities. Attractions open throughout National Library Week will include:
* An ALA / Information Island Archipelago Treasure Hunt. Visitors are invited to explore the Information Island Chain while picking up fun and useful freebies along the way.* A celebration of ALA Allied Professional Association’s (ALA-APA) National Library Workers Day, Tuesday, April 14. ALA Island will feature the Gallery of Library Stars, where visitors can pose for a picture and have it added to the gallery.* Build-Your-Own-Tour of Libraries in Second Life. SL users can use the pictures on the ALA Island to visit different library locations throughout Second Life.* A Youth Media Award art gallery. Visitors are invited to stop by the Lorlei Junot Gallery to check out this National Library Week art exhibit featuring cover art from Caldecott, Pura Belpré and Coretta Scott King award winners and honor medal recipients.
Make sure to read the full an

Friday, April 10, 2009

Great meeting !

We really had a great meeting today and covered a lot of territory. We established a charge to this committee:

Catalog assessment and data that maybe out there and in bits and parts in order to aggregate into a this way you can use this data on the effectiveness of Second Life as a Virtual World Learning Environment.

Encourage more research

Providing events and support to those who wish to use events to disseminate their research

Reporting on research that is program specific

Instead of reinventing the "wheel" reviewing those survey and research tools that others have used that maybe applied by other institutions.

Hopefully this group will evolve into a multidisciplinary group which will bring all kind of perspectives to the table as many of us have to justify programs and services in SL to business offices, student affairs, academic affairs and technical officers...especially to faculty!

What different point of research needs done:

Effectiveness of SL as a learning environment
The extent to which students felt they were engaged in the second live learning environment and activities
Return on investment
Student participation levels and their reported level of social interaction
Use of SL for Masters level students to Ph. D.

Discussion about our next meeting ... we will put the word out to the group to get an idea about the next meeting and best times/days.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Agenda for tomorrows Assessment meeting February 10, 2009

Agenda as follows;

1. Introductions
2. charge for the committee what we are about and what we will do
3. What we are looking for;
ideas strategies for assessment in the Sl
how to house the information data
4. meeting when and how often?
need to be frequent yet avoid fatigue ;)
If you would like to participate and have not yet contact me or Kavon Zenovka please email me at


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Second LIfe presentation

What I am working on right now:

What Second Life is and is not

Second Life is a virtual world that allows participants to develop, build, and engage in activities with others. Second Life is not a themed game centered on a specific goal or outcome. It is what the individual participant makes or creates. However, the environment of Second Life as a virtual world that allows for already created virtual games, role-play, and social activities that anyone can join.
Using the tools available in Second Life, some creative thinking and a great deal of work an educator can develop an immersive learning environment. Thinking creatively role-play scenarios can be created, other experiences, and group activities that can contribute to and enhance a student’s learning. Second Life does not provide a template for content management however; content management systems such as Merlot and, according to John Baker CEO of D2L, D2L can also be interfaced with Second Life. Second Life allows for an individual to establish a group based upon personal interests and to network with others who share those interests.
While in Second Life I have observed presentations that realistically guided me through a cancer patient’s emotions and experiences from diagnoses, treatment of and recovery from cancer. It was incredibly moving and would be an excellent experience for students in the health care industry. I have observed motors replicated with an excellent presentation from the instructor, and a math presentation that interfaces with the internet and teaching tools available on the web.
I think the fatal error that some universities and businesses are making in Second Life right now is to not make the distinction between what they are in “real life” and what they can be in Second Life. I have observed that replicating your current campus environment in Second Life may seem to be logical for marketing and providing student tours, but replicating classrooms for traditional lectures does not necessarily make sense. In other words, students are not going to be engaged with or see the logic in entering second life to do what they can do in real life. I have learned little things through navigating an avatar around Second Life that may not bother students who play video games that bothered me such as opening doors and going up and down stairs. Having a lot of things such as plants, vases, furniture, around a site makes sense to us as people but are difficult for an avatar to maneuver around. Bottom line chances are students are at your university to learn and if these things get in the way of or interfere with the learning process students will find another way to access what they need to know. Building these, as they exist in “real life” for avatars in Second Life doesn’t make sense. I will demonstrate some of these issues in my presentation today.
I have also participated in conferences in Second Life and toured through Virtual Harlem, the Theorist Project, reviewed Cisco’s site, Adobe’s site, and Sun Micro Systems, all amazing sites. The most valuable experience I have gained from being a part of Second Life is the opportunity to meet with people from other countries. I have met people from all over the world and I am now taking advantage of the opportunity to work with them to improve teaching and learning in Second Life.
There is great potential in virtual worlds, not just Second Life, in developing an engaging learning environment that provide students with learning experiences that we can now only imagine. After some discussion with others in the system I would recommend that a ‘virtual worlds” committee be established or EUC be given the responsibility of developing policy and procedure on how the system defines their presence in a virtual world.

Pictures from the VWBPE

Assessment of Education in Second Life

Hello everyone

And if you signed up for the assessment of education in Second Life or the Assessment of Second Life as and education environment welcome! I have a lot of stuff going on but this is a priority for me so I will try to stay focused and make sure we see some things happen consistently to build this data warehouse of information and data on the effectiveness of SL as a learning environment!

We will have our first meeting on Friday morning April 10-- at 8 am SLT/PST at the Front Range Community College site. I can't wait to see our discussion unfold as it seems this is quite a diverse group coming together.

First of all I want to say Kudos to AJ Kelton from Montclair University for his roundtables and the one he had on Assessment specifically ....because a lot of my rl job requires a focus on this area it was a natural spring board for me to want to work in this area in SL as well. So base upon the initiatives at Montclair I established this group.

Having this data warehouse will help us in many ways. For those who may currently be teaching in SL you may wonder what sort of strategies or changes you need to make to improve...based upon the continous quality improvement model this sort of data and information will help you identify improvements and hopefully best practices to make those improvements.

I am currently using google groups/docs to store articles and research I have found. if you have something better out there that I am not aware of let me know. This could all be moved or even stored in a couple of places.

If you have something to share let me know...this is a collaborative effort of information sharing based upon a social networking model.

More later!

Thanks so much to the wonderful folks at Front Range Community College for coordinating this effort!

Watch for more on the Small Business Management / Entrepreneurship Roundtables..those are great fun and informational!


Just a heads up that I will be working with Merlot conference organizers to put some sessions into Second Life..this conference is in August. If you have a build in Second Life that has provided a mean to present learning objects such as note cards, PPts, videos, games, simulations this would be a perfect time to demonstrate the links between Learning objects repositories and second life. Contact