Webinar – Virtual Worlds: Teaching in Second Life for Higher Education

Play the archive of the presentation.
Download the PowerPoint slides.

This presentation was delivered live online for Wimba’s Desktop Lecture Series on January 27, 2009

Description: A growing trend in education is the use of virtual worlds to complement or replace physical and web-based classrooms. With the availability of services like “Second Life”, the barrier to entry is being lowered dramatically. This presentation will examine the strengths and challenges of using Second Life from two perspectives and two institutions: a faculty member using SL to teach Business concepts at University of Northern Iowa and an educational developer supporting Nursing faculty and students who use SL at Cal State University, Chico. Please join us as we explore effective practices in use and deployment of Virtual Worlds.

Spotlight on Faculty: Vista Community for Criminal Justice Students & Faculty

Lori Beth Way facilitates the Criminal Justice Community

by Lori Beth Way

At CSU, Chico, Criminal Justice faculty and student majors are all members of the Vista CJ Community. The main purpose of the community is to foster communication between faculty and students. Specifically, there is a great deal of resource information that students can find on the community site. Majors can find there resources about careers, internships, graduate school, student groups, faculty office hours, and advising information. We also use the Vista Chat and Discussion tools so that majors can ask questions of the faculty and other students. Other tools that are well utilized are Announcements and the Calendar. Student response to the community has been very positive. They like having the resources organized and easily available whenever they wish to investigate them.

We have also started a Syllabi folder that is hidden from students because the function is to help the faculty make sure that we’re minimizing redundancy in courses. Hence, we’re also starting to use the Community Group in ways that not only helps students, but also helps coordinate faculty as well.

Spotlight on Faculty: Synchronous Transcription Online, Getting it “Write”

Graham Thurgood teaches linguistics at CSU, Chico

by Dr. Graham Thurgood

Play on words intended. One obstacle I have faced with online, or distance teaching, involves English transcription. The task involves basic transcription of English sounds (what a linguist would call phonemics) not a finely-tuned analysis (what a linguist would call phonetics).

However, this semester my class and I worked out a system that seems to get the job done. The students originally had a PDF crib sheet, downloaded and printed out, consisting of symbols for the basic consonants and vowels, along with carefully chosen words containing the various sounds and using appropriate symbols. So far, so good.

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Education Support Faire in Second Life – January 25 – 30

Location In Second Life beginning January 25, 2009: Support Faire

This event, which is the first of its kind, will run on 4 dedicated sims from Jan. 25-30. The purpose of the faire is to allow faculty and administrators from many institutions to gather to discuss best practices, show off projects, and network.

To read more about this week long faire go directly to the Second Life Education Support Blog.

If you happen to go to the faire on Thursday, January 29, between 4 and 5 pm, look for Chico State TLP consultants, Ann Steckel (Olivia Hotshot) and Peter DiFalco (Logan5 Obscure) who are volunteering to assist the SL Educators Roundtable group and the EDUCAUSE Virtual Worlds group at their area.

Resources for Virtual Worlds: Teaching in Second Life for Higher Education Webinar

Media Grid: Immersive Education: The Immersive Education Initiative is an international collaboration of universities, colleges, research institutes, consortia and companies that are working together to define and develop open standards, best practices, platforms, and communities of support for virtual reality and game-based learning and training systems.

Linden Script Language – Second Life Wiki Tutorials: You will find – Beginner Tutorials, In-World Tutorials, External Tutorials, Scripting Tools Tutorials here.

Jeff Barr’s Blog: Jeff Barr is the Lead Web Services Evangelist at Amazon.com . He spends a lot of time on the road speaking to audiences comprised of entrepreneurs and software developers. He is also the originator and developer of Syndic8.com, Headline Viewer, and the Text On a Prim.

Instructables: This site is all about “Getting started in LSL scripting in Second Life.” LSL stands for “Linden Scripting Language” and is used to script the objects you will encounter and make in Second Life.
These tutorials are intended for those who have never programmed before, Second Life or elsewhere. However, the tutorials will make little sense outside of Second Life.

Creation Portal: This portal is about all things content creation-related in Second Life. Whether it’s learning the user interface to build better or discovering Resident-created tools to make cool stuff easier, it belongs here. Since content creation is such a vast field, we’re starting small and growing — please add resources you find helpful!

Bob Sutor’s Website and Blog

Virtual Worlds and the Transformation of Business: Virtual Worlds, immersive and collaborative environments on the Internet, also referred to as Web 3D, are likely to transform the global business environment. Developed out of online games, social networking, and Web services, Virtual Worlds benefit from several technologies that enhance their usefulness, including massively scaled games, avatars, cloud/on-demand/grid computing, on-demand storage, and next-generation networks.

Texture-making Programs: The purpose of this page is to increase awareness of resources that will help you texture better in Second Life. Texturing is a fundamental part of a building skill set, as evidenced when you put that dang plywood texture on everything. This list includes but isn’t limited to: programs, tutorials, and packs of textures themselves.

Torley Linden’s You Tube Tutorials: Torley Linden (formerly known as Torley Torgeson or Torley Olmstead) is a resident who works for Linden Lab as a “Resident Enlightenment Manager”. Torley answers questions in the Second Life Answers forum, assists with bug testing and helps improve the user experience in Second Life through interface suggestions and community participation (among other things).

Video Tutorials Available in Multiple Languages

2008 METAVERSE TOUR – THE SOCIAL VIRTUAL WORLD’S A STAGE Excellent You Tube overview video of virtual worlds.

Giving a PowerPoint Presentation in Second Life: If you ever plan to give a talk or presentation in Second Life, you might want to back yourself up with something like a PowerPoint presentation. The problem here is that you can’t import a PowerPoint presentation into Second Life. Except you can if you follow this tutorial.

Chapter & Metaverse: The journal of a wanderer in the 3D Metaverse.

Terraforming Basics

Beginning of the Year Tips: Five Things Students Should Know Before Creating Their Second Life Accounts

Heaton SL Resources: Would you like to learn to script or build in Second Life? Heaton has three books that will help! Each of these books can be bought for Linden Dollars (using the SLExchange links). They can also be purchased in paperback form.

Santa Clara University Law School (Media-Newswire.com) – SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 21 — Santa Clara University Law School is entering another world this Thursday evening, inviting prospective students to learn about applying to the law school through a workshop taking place in Second Life, the “virtual world” inhabited by 15 million “residents” who turn themselves into cartoon “avatars.”

Silicon Alley SL Insider – What Linden Labs can do to “fix” SL.

PlayOn: Palo Alto Research Center blog about the social dimensions of virtual worlds.

Second Life System Requirements: Your computer must meet these REQUIREMENTS, or you may not be able to successfully participate in Second Life.

2008 NMC Educators in Second Life Survey: A survey sent out to members of the NMC, their in-world educational community, and the Second Life Educators Listserv (SLED) in May 2008. This survey represents the interests, activities, and demographics of more than 350 educators. Overall, the results reflect the highly social interaction of Second Life and how educators have formed and contribute to a vibrant community in this virtual world space.

Reading Materials
Assessing the Value of Virtual Worlds for Post-Secondary Instructors: A Study of Innovators, Early Adopters and the Early Majority in Second Life
Innovate- Using Second Life with Learning – Disabled Students in Higher Education
Proceedings of the Second Life Education Workshop at the Second Life Community Convention – San Francisco, CA – August 20, 2006
Educause Review – Back To Virtual School – September/October 2008
Educause – 7 Things You Should Know About Second Life
Beginning of the Year Tips: Five Things Students Should Know Before Creating Their Second Life Accounts
The Chronicle of Higher Education – Information technology – What Happens in a Virtual World Has a Real-World Impact
The New Media Consortium – Spring 2007 Survey of Educators in Second Life

Second Life Educator Groups
Educause Virtual Worlds
Impossible In Real life
Insight Virtual College
Instructional Designers
SL Education Roundtable
Discovery Education Network
SL Shakespeare Company
Science Friday
Health Care Education Group
Virtual Worlds Education

2009 Horizon Report released – Six Key Technologies for Ed

Mobile devices, cloud computing, geo-tagged information and more! Six areas of emerging technologies in education are the focus of the 2009 Horizon Report, released by The New Media Consortium (NMC) and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI).

We’re just getting started reading the document and we’ll post more about the ways we’re already wading into these technologies here at Chico State, and what might be in our future.

Download the 2009 Horizon Report [PDF, 367 kb] or read the press release.

Survey Reports Many Online Learners Never Seek Help Before Dropping Out

Financial challenges, life events, health issues, lack of personal motivation, and lack of faculty interaction are all cited to be contributing factors that cause students to drop out before completing online courses. Unfortunately, the only area where faculty can make a difference is in the amount of time spent interacting directly with students.

If you would like to know more, read the story online at Campus Technology.

Or if you prefer, make an appointment to meet with one of the CSU Chico Technology and Learning Program consultants to learn about ways faculty can interact with students within the Blackboard Vista learning management system.

Prezi – a zooming presentation editor that digs into details

Prezi allows users to create non-linear presentations where one can zoom into details and adjust to the time left without the need to skip slides. With Prezi you can create maps of texts, images, videos, PDFs, drawings and present in a nonlinear way. And according to Prezi, the learning curve to create presentations is very low. Currently the product is in Beta, and being released to those individuals who submit email information and a brief statement of how the product will be used.

To investigate Prezi go to: http://prezi.com/