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.

Learnus Maximus Speaks on BBI

Monday night, the Maine Educators Interested in Second Life group met on Black Bear Island. We were lucky to have Learnus Maximus (Chris Baker in real life) speaking about his experiences with Teen SL. Learnus/Chris is a high school science teacher in the Philadelphia suburbs. He is using Teen Second Life as a learning platform for some of his students. You can learn more about his experiences on the Hatter Island Blog.

Learnus Maximus

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.

Second Life New Educators Pilot Program

Are you an educator wanting to get into Second life but don’t know where to start? Worried that you will get lost? No worries, I am here to save the day. Actually, ISTE and Linden Labs are, I am just going to tell you about the best way for new educators to get started in Second Life.

In October Linden Labs launched an Educators Pilot Program in partnership with ISTE. Its aim is to ease entry into SL. A task that can be pretty daunting for even the most initiated.

Linden Labs is calling it the New Educators Pilot Program or NEPP for short. To start, new users visit the dedicated sign-up form (http://secondlifegrid.net/programs/education) which guides you through the process of creating your Second Life account.

When these new users login, they will rez (appear) at the NEPP landing zone on ISTE Island. Normal users first rez on Orientation island. The NEPP landing zone is geared towards educators and offers a targeted welcome experience. It is also nice that the welcome area is on ISTE Island, one of the most popular places in Second Life for educators.

New Educators Pilot Program Landing Point

Spread the word to all new teachers interested in SL.