“Wonderful Denmark” – review/log

On Wednesday September 10th the NoEL group visited Dr. Asp on 3 Danish islands to learn more about 5 specific attractions.


Wonderful Danish Island Complex, including Heidi Ballinger‘s PowerMatch and the Virtual Worlds Research project’s island; Research Island Denmark.

As usual some of the NoEL members meet at 20:00 at the town square on Wonderful Denmark for informal chat and sound rehaersal. Here we also had the opportunity to welcome a SL newbie, Preben Mortenwold and invite him to join our group :-) Don’t give up, Preben – you’ll get the hang of it .. it is a whole new world!

Here Dr. Asp told us a bit about his SL-based company, his work as a realtor and the services he and his team have to offer in-world. Please see the log below for further information on this.

Then we headed off to our first location, Holodækket (The Holodeck), which offers 9 different settings/contexts.

We were all quite baffled when standing inside the uterus of a pregnant woman looking straight at the fetus – what a surreal experience! Imagine the learning potential if the different stages of a pregnancy were made like holodecs. A great example of using SL to create things NpIRL!

In fact we all agreed that the holodeck technique has a huge pedagogical potential – both in terms of respectful and radical remediation, role-playing, living history and more traditional informative purposes.

Next location was e-lærings huset (House of e-learning), where Dr. Asp showed us different 2D and 3D techniques applicable for e-learning in SL.

A recurring topic in our NoEL conversations is to what extend educators should remediate RL into SL. There are no easy answers, but in my opinion the overload of respectful remediation, doesn’t necessarily stem from lack in pedagogical imagination, but is also a consequence of the steep learning curve. I think most educators will experiment with more radical remediation as their building and scripting skills improve … but I may be naive …

Our third location was Baltic Sea Solutions, which serves as a Community for Testing Facilities within Energy and Environmental Studies build also with the upcoming Climate Conference in Copenhagen, 2009 in mind. On location Dr. Asp and his team have build a Hydrogen test facility (RL), and on the ground you’ll find orange dots, that will guide you through in the most pedagogical/informative manner.

Looking through the lens of climate change we continued the tour to Science on a Sphere, a respectful remediation of NOAA’s similarly named project;

Science On a Sphere (SOS)® is a room sized, global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six foot diameter sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe. Researchers at NOAA developed Science On a Sphere® as an educational tool to help illustrate Earth System science to people of all ages. Animated images of atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperature can be shown on the sphere which is used to explain what are sometimes complex environmental processes, in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating.

As I understand it the RL SOS has been extremely expensive and complex to build, so there is a reasonable cost-benefit argument for re-building in-world and potentially more people will have access. This is a project in progress, and Dr. Asp hopes to be able to animate the Sphere in more ways (based on RL data e.g. wind, temperature, demographics) in the future.

Finally we went to see one of Dr. Asp’s personal favorites, Mariager havnekran (Crane of Mariager Harbour). Dr. Asp is fascinated by old buildings and enjoys rebuilding them as authentically as possible in SL.

Dr. Asp’s SL version of Mariager Havnekran and below RL

All in all it was a very inspirational tour, and even though I personally was jetlagged, I sensed that the NoEL group had a very nice evening. Dr. Asp and his team often build new things and we only saw a few of the many possibilities these islands have to offer, so I’m pretty sure we’ll return!

Thanks to Dr. Asp for not only guiding us, but also for helping me out in filling out the blanks in the sl-meetinglog_wd_091008 :-))

/Mariis

Note:

At the town square on Wonderful Denmark you’ll find landmarks to all sorts of interesting locations

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.

MILs meeting spot in the air

Ok, the super-hero look didn’t work for me, so I had to change my looks .. this time with a real hero on the t-shirt ..


L. Cohen near the heart!

To change my appearance privately, I went up in the air to MILs meeting spot.


MILs airbourne meeting spot

It is a less respectful remediation compared to our office on ground, and some students find it difficult to associate this type of rough environment with the MIL education.

It is however good to have a place to meet more privately, and if you right click on the steel bars next to the ventilator the room will change since Dr. Asp build it as a holodeck.

If you fall down you’ll land right next to a beautiful old mill in the outskirts of WD1 ..


There is a reason why it’s called Wonderful Denmark :-)

/Mariis