NoEL visits “Rockcliffe University Consortium”

On Wednesday October 8th the NoEL group will visit Phelan Corrimal to learn about the Rockcliffe University Consortium in SL.

Rockcliffe University Consortium is a distance learning organization servicing worldwide virtual learners and businesses. Located in Canada, the United States and the metaverse. Rockcliffe University Consortium provides education, training and real time collaboration for its virtual members by incorporating interactive 3D immersive learning environments.

Phelan is the President of Rockcliffe and will tell us about his visions and work in-world while showing us selected locations.

We have to meet Phelan at 20:30 on the Rockcliffe island – use the landmark send via notice in-world :-)

/Mariis

NoEL visits Zotarah Shepherd’s MI build

On Tuesday September 30th the NoEL group will visit Zotarah Shepherd on the Koru Island to learn more about her creation of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences. Zotarah is currently working on her MA in Education CTL at Sonoma State University (California).

Zotarah asks her guests to consider the following questions:

  • Would you use the information in a classroom for teens?
  • Looking over the topics in the curriculum which of them would be most useful to teens?
  • Do you think that SL is an appropriate venue for presenting this information to teens?
  • Would you use interactive builds in SL to teach classes?
  • How well do think my builds work for illustrating the concepts?

We have to meet Zotarah at 20:30 on the Koru Island – use the landmark, including Curriculum send via group notice in-world :-)

/Mariis

NoEL visits “Percipitopia”

On Monday September 22nd NoEL will visit Gunhild Soderstrom and Bitterleaf Menges on their island, Bifrost property of University of Southern Denmark (SDU).

Cynthia M. Grund (alias Gunhild Soderstrom and Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern Denmark, SDU) and Jesper Pilegaard (alias Bitterleaf Menges and SL-Developer) will lead the NoEL group on a tour of Percipitopia and SDU-SL.

About the tour:

SDU-SL is the virtually real campus of the University of Southern Denmark, of which Percipitopia is an extension. Percipitopia takes as its point of departure a “virtual Whitehall” in which visitors are introduced to the ideas of Irish philosopher George Berkeley, and from which further examination of philosophical issues and the history of philosophy is facilitated. The actual Whitehall was Berkeley’s American home 1729-1731, and now functions as a museum for his life and work. Berkeley (1685-1753) is best known for his doctrine of immaterialism, the view that the objects of perception have no extra-mental existence, that reality consists solely of perceivers and perceptions. While Scholar in Residence at Whitehall during July 2007 and July 2008, Cynthia M. Grund experienced firsthand the positive influence which authenticity of setting exerted when teaching visitors about Berkeley, his philosophy and the Enlightenment. Percipitopia is being developed cooperatively by Gunhild Soderstrom and Bitterleaf Menges. Percipitopia seeks to build upon Grund’s experiences with research and teaching in a real-life museum context by experimenting with the notion of the teaching museum in a virtual context.

For 2 recent papers on the project, please see

As an added bonus, the tour will be concluded by teleporting to Mercantec-SL in order to see how the needs of this sort of educational institution may be met in Second Life. Bitterleaf Menges – who is responsible for the look and feel of SDU-SL’s main campus – has just put the finishing touches on Mercantec-SL.

We have to meet Gunhild and Bitterleaf at 20:00 (11 AM SLT) at the town square in Wonderful Denmark to socialize and test sound settings – see in-world notice for further landmarks and info.

/Mariis

If only Danish-speaking avatars show up, the tour will be conducted in Danish; if any English-speaking avatars are present, we will be happy to conduct the tour in English.

“Historiens Hus” visit – review/log

On Monday September 1st NoEL members meet with Charlotta Jenkins to learn about her House of History, and her ideas on design and work in SL.

A side from some minor problems with clothes/body parts not rezzing and voice falling in and out (you know!), we had a great evening visiting Charlotta. TY :-)

We started outside in the garden, where Charlotta had set up a screen for the occasion. Via a few slides Charlotta told us about her background (MA in Nordic Folklore), her RL job (Webeditor, freelance writer), her interest in e.g. authenticity, history, genealogy, cultural heritage and her design and work in SL.

After the presentation, incl. Q-and-A we moved inside the house, where Charlotta talked about the different objects and showed us how the interactive ones function.

Our final location was outside on a neighboring field, where Charlotta currently is building a replica of an old farm.

During our visit we had some interesting discussions on especially the educational use of SL. All of us have met potential users (students, colleagues, friends etc.) who for many different reasons are against the usage of SL. We found several explanations for the resistance:

  • Conservatism – people are creatures of habit and many do not appreciate change
  • General fear of new media, new technology
  • The Press’ constant belittlement of SL and its residents
  • Fear of exposing yourself (e.g. as a somewhat helpless newbie)
  • SL’s steep learning curve

Even though I personally think that a steep learning curve is expectable if we appreciate SL as a world and not as a simple application, this issue is recurring among many residents and most certainly constitutes a real problem for those of us, who have students, clients or visitors in-world regularly.

I know that Heidi Ballinger, who’s an official Linden Lab SL Mentor, is very concerned about this (especially the so called Help or Orientation Islands), so I encourage you to contact her for advice and/or read her blog. Other explanations for resistance can be identified, and for sure we’ll return to this topic in forthcoming meetings.

Focusing on the positive we discussed the following means in trying to solve some of the above mentioned problems:

  • Act as role-models, communicate our own/shared examples of best practice
  • Do f2f workshops to facilitate the birth and infancy of new residents
  • Design in-world newbie-events (legitimate peripheral participation)
  • Possible creation of avatars that students, clients and visitors can use for a short period of time
  • Use the NoEL group to help and assist each other – also IRL

Many more things were said, but this was my take on the most interesting parts. Feel free to object, agree, or just comment.

In a related matter, this was the first time I got to use my “meeting log”. As expected the actual use resulted in some changes, as new topics dawned on me while trying to fill it out. I sent it to Charlotta for review, and I want to thank her again for helping me filling out the blanks :-)

I regard the “meeting log” as a work in progress and would very much appreciate feedback. Hopefully others will find it useful too :-)

You’ll find a pdf-version of the log here:
sl-meetinglog_house_of_history_090108

/Mariis