OpenSim-OpenLearning at K12Online 2009

Here is the accompanying blog post for my presentation, OpenSim-OpenLearning at the 2009 K12 Online Conference. It was a pleasure to be a part of such an awesome conference. Let me know if you have any questions by posting here or at

Here are a few resources to get you started. This surely isn’t a complete list. It should get you started though. Please comment. I would love to hear what you have to say about OpenSim. Stay tuned to this blog (or some of the resources below) for more.

Books to prime the pumps

More about generation V

Games mentioned in the presentation

Hardware mentioned in the presentation

Movies in the presentation

Moore’s Law Bits

Virtual worlds mentioned in the presentation

Relevant OpenSimulator Links

Places to go online

  • OpenSim Worlds – Rich White has created this site for people to share worlds they build with others. This is the peice I think is very important for use in learning.
  • IndieMetaverse – A new ning network for people to discuss and share using virtual worlds.
  • RezEd – RezEd (BETA) is an online hub providing practitioners using virtual worlds with access to the highest quality resources and research in the field to establish a strong network of those using virtual worlds for learning.

Where to professionally host virtual worlds

  • ReactionGrid – My recommendation for hosting when it comes to OpenSim. Great people and progressive open technologies. They have a great focus on education.
  • SimHost – Another great option for having someone do the dirty work for you.

Clients to connect to OpenSim (or Second Life)

Other resources in the presentation

A few people to pay attention to

  • Rich White (Twitter) – Of Greenbush Labs fame, a true virtual world pioneer. Check out his amazing CSI build in ReactionGrid.
  • Vikki Davis aka CoolCatTeacher (Twitter) – Powerhouse teacher from Camilla, Georgia doing great things with kids in virtual worlds.
  • Jani Pirkola (Twitter) – Blogs at Maxping which reports on open source virtual worlds, 3d web, and immersive internet.
  • Chris Hart (Twitter) – CTO for ReactionGrid.
  • Kyle G (Twitter) – CEO of ReactionGrid
  • Justin Clark-Casey (Twitter) – OpenSim core developer and independent OpenSim consultant.
  • Trevor Meister (Twitter) – Former K-12 Educator turned social media/network and Virt. Wrld Explorer. SL/Wonderland/Croquet, mostly exploring Immersive Educ. in Opensim on Reactiongrid.

Messalonskee Middle School Presentation Resources

Here are some quick links to resources I talked about in the session at Messalonskee Middle School on December 3, 2009.

Games to try out

Books to read

Other Good Resources

Dr. Ruben Puentedura also has a series of great lecture entitled Game and Learn: An Introduction to Educational Gaming, availalble through iTunesU. (you will need iTunes installed on your computer.)

I am presenting at K12 Online 2009

Alright! Just saw the list of presenters at this years K12 Online Conference and I am one of them. My presentation, OpenSim: Open Learning, will focus on the learning opportunities enabled by the fantastic open source software OpenSimulator. There are also three other Mainers presenting at the conference. Sarah Sutter is doing a session called Show & Tell : Exhibit, Reflect & Critique with blogs, which will surely be as awesome as she is. The Kelly brothers from Newport (Kern and Keith) are doing The iPod Touch in the Classroom and Skateboard respectively. Make sure you check out the rest of the great presentations planned.

Raw notes: Wednesday Morning Session: Designing Rigorous and Globally Connected Assignments

Just starting the process of digesting the PD feast that was NECC09. Here is another bit of notes from wednesday morning.

Designing Rigorous and Globally Connected Assignments

Alan November

What word would the average teacher in your district use to describe their geeling about thechnoogy in the classroom?
promethean student response system
reaction – why wan’t alan do the response. doesn’t hit home for ease of use with promethean
words used – ug, scared, etc. negative things. no surprise there

All of our students have working collaboraticely while in school with people in different counrties.
most for “Are you nuts? We are blocking SKype?”

Teacher over seas there seems to be a general heightened aware that kids should be connected to kids in other countries.

Have you visited a K-12 school outside of the United States?
No was the majority.

Global work ethic
-self directed. don’t need a boss to tell you what to do. understand the valeu of life long learning
-have good global communication tools. creating communities
-have fantastic control over information

Do your students have  a global work ethic?
No was the very dominate majority.

I think the “close the book” exam will be replaced by the “open source knowledge” exam in:
a. we did it last year, b. 1 year, c 5years, 10 years, e in your dream
surprisingly the top one was c followed closely by e

makes a point here about the pointlessness of closed book tests. Tests are harder if they have access to the facts they would otherwise remember. students have

very important to see where technology is going to so we know how to adjust teaching and learning
-looked at the 6th sense MIT video
-heard an audience say “can you see what good this is for?” WHAT how can you not see the ramification of this technology for learning.
-even november thought the image of the kids with tag cloud was scary. why? what is the problem with meta information

Let’s assume that Internet access for kids will be on their body 24/7
-what would we do now to prepare kids for this world?
-need to get to teaching ethics of having access to this information
-we shouldn’t approach it by teaching the latest tech fad not using it for a deeper understanding of information
-are there hooks in your curriculum that allow a teacher to
- “General Gage” “American Revolution”
-file not found then went to the way back machine, off the web from 2006
-when you show students dissidnece, a different point of view, you can capture there attention and imagination
-we are giving the same assignments as we always have that don’t fit in to the model where we have this ease of access
-teacher need to design assignments that make sense in this environment
-Pedegogy trumps technology
-assignment design should be built into PD
-The real revolution isn’t the technology but the information and connections it provides.

Talk about NING.
-Washington International
-student had beureaus aroud the world contributing to this space
-also working on it outside of school. that is his measure

Marco Tores
-showed his students talking about what they want from teachers
-hi-tech high – school with the highest test scores for minority students
-students finding their own way to solving a problem. not one directed by the teacher

Kids are social by nature – duh
-best tool for teacher would be something like skype
-idea – skype family into the room when a kid may be doing a presentation. easy to bring parents in
-why is it scary to include parents in their students learning? why is that a privacy issue?

-Stanford has first grade at standford
-e-learning courses for gifted and talented students

Makes the case for pushing content and learning opportunities online for all ages.

“Who owns the learning?” Kids should, not teachers.

2009 Spring Teacher Institute


Here is a great PD opportunity. For all the information for this online only conference head over to Download the flyer and pass it around. The more participants the better.

I am doing the first session on the docket. Rez your Teaching will walk participants through the great opportunites availible to them for teaching in virtual worlds such as Second Life.

Student Teacher Workshop Links

Here are links to some of the programs/websites I mentioned in the student teacher workshop on 2/6. For those of you not at the workshop, these are a few of my favorite tools that can be integrated into a teacher’s professional life at any grade level. This list is not comprehensive and does not attempt to list all the diverse tools out there. However, I have every letter of the alphabet covered. :)

ACTEM – Association of Computer Technology Educators of Maine. Great group to belong to. Awesome conference in the fall. $400 professional development funds.

Animoto – Create animated slide shows from you own media.

Blogger – Free blogging tool from Google. May be blocked.

Boxee – Turn your computer into a media player.

Comic Life – Create great looking comic books.

CamTwist – OS X only. Free tool to add video effects to your webcam.

Class Blogmeister – Free blogging tool specifically developed for education.

Delicious Library – OS X only. Track and check out books from your laptop.

Diigo – Great web bookmarking tool. Social aspects great for finding new information.

EduBlogs – Free blogging tool for teachers. Probably not blocked.

EduSim – Virtual World Software for your interactive whiteboard.

Flickr – Online photo sharing site.

Foldit – Protein fold by playing a game an help cure cancer.

Freemind – Free mind-mapping tool.

Garageband – OS X only. Music creation, podcasting, and learning tool.

GeoGebra – Free tool to help understand geometry, algebra, and calculus.

GIMP – Free image manipulation tool.

Google Anything – List of Google tools.

Google Docs - Office suite on the web. Best part are the collaborative features.

Google Earth – Google + Earth = Awesome.

Google SketchUp – Build 3-D objects.

Handbrake – Backup your DVDs.

iMovie – OS X only. Movie making tool.

Inkscape – Free vector graphics drawing tool.

Jing – Free screencasting tool.

Kindlelab – Free interactive whiteboard software.

Library Thing – Online book management and social tool.

Mahara – Free web-based electronic portfolio tool.

Miro – Free Internet TV and Videocast player.

Moodle – Free online course management tool.

Ning – Create a social network around anything. – Free office suite. SCHOOLS SHOULD NOT BE SPENDING MONEY ON MICROSOFT OFFICE!

PHUN – Fun free 2-D physics simulator.

PortaPortal – Easy bookmarks on the web.

PosteRazor – Make large poster out of any image using regular paper.

Qik – Stream video to the web with your cell phone.

Quicktime – You probably have it. If you get the pro version you can easily download quicktime media and record short audio and video shorts.

RSS Readers – Google reader and Bloglines makes reading web content so easy.

Scribd – Share your documents online.

Second Life – Virtual world. The COEHD has an island, Black Bear Island.

Skype – Free Internet Telephony. Talk for free over the Internet with video.

Stellarium – Free planetarium software.

Textorizer – Images into text. Try it

Twitter – Micro-blogging service. Great for creating a personal learning network.

uStream – Stream to the Internet from your computer.

Virtual Box – Run other operating systems on your computer.

Wikipedia – The largest collaborative encyclopedia. You are misinformed if you are not utilizing the wisdom of crowds.

Wikispaces – Free wikis for collaborative editing.

Xcuts – OS X widget for looking up keyboard shortcuts.

Your Fonts – Create computer fonts from your own hand writing.

Zotero – A Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources.

Must watch videos:

Did You Know By Karl Fisch

An Anthropological Introduction Introduction to YouTube. – Michael Wesch