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.

2009 Spring Teacher Institute

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Here is a great PD opportunity. For all the information for this online only conference head over to mltiolc.wordpress.com. 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.

Announcing the UMaine OpenSim Project

As many of you know I am involved with Educational Games and Simulations, including Second Life. The College of Education owns virtual space (Black Bear Island) on the Second Life Grid. This space has been used to teach EDT598 Teaching and Learning in Second Life as well as operated as a meeting area for Maine educators.

Today, I am announcing the start of the UMaine OpenSim Project. Its aim is to study the use of the Open Source 3D Application server, OpenSimulator. The goal is to provide a private virtual space for teaching and learning. When I say private, I mean the creation of our own Grid. A Grid that we control from top to bottom and can expand as we see fit. If that doesn’t make much sense to you, I encourage you to follow this blog or even sign up for the Teaching and Learning in Second Life course in the summer of 2009.

This project is not meant to replace the work already going on in Second Life. It is meant to compliment it. We plan to keep Black Bear Island going for the forseeable future and even plan to expand our in-world presence. However, that doesn’t mean that all our eggs should be in one basket.

To get people started, I have started a wiki for the project. You can access it at opensim.umeedu.maine.edu. Eventually, everything you will need to know will be there. There is still a lot of work to do, but it is a start.

I should also say that this is meant as a research project. We make no promises to the stability or security of the system. However, if you want to be on the cutting edge of virtual worlds, then this project is or you.

If you want to get involved, you should send me an email to get an avatar name and sign in. I am limiting accounts to people who have some experience in SL as it isn’t ready for prime time yet. Hopefully, in the future we will be able to open it up for more people and spread the project to more people. I don’t want to do that without studying the platform, which is what this project is about.

There is’t much on the main island yet. Since it isn’t attached to the Second Life grid, all objects have to be created by users. This is where you come in. Hopefully, this will be a group effort. If you love building, then please get involved. We need “stuff.”

I will be blogging about this project in the coming months. Stay tuned. Think this is too good to be true? Well, here is a pic. Notice the name above my avatars head. That isn’t a Linden assigned name.