Saturday, February 14, 2009

SL 101 Training

On February 7th Pia Klaar, Think Ling and Tek Zeno provided a SL 101 class. There were 3 different sessions and the larger group was broken into 3 smaller groups that rotated between each session.

Think Ling showed how to open a box, take items out of a box, use those times to build and link items together. Pia Klaar taught how to take a picture and apply it to an object. Tek Zeno taught how to make a new notecard, put it in an object, and then make it so that when the object is touched the notecard is given to the person.

On February 21 we are planning a "Meet and Greet". This is a chance to come and meet other educators who are in Second Life. We will have dancing with DJ Kedryn McMillan, games and a chance to talk with others. Come join the fun! It will be from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm SLT.

Then, on March 2, Pia Klaar will be giving a photography class in SL. Mark your calendars now!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Teaching Tools in SL

I have received a few IM’s from people saying they were sorry they couldn’t make the tour on Saturday and asking for copies of the links. This made me realize I haven’t updated the blog!

On Saturday, January 24th the Teacher Networking Center had a tour of educational places that provide free educational tools for teaching in SL. Of course these places are only a few of the many places that offer tools but time is always a issue when it comes to showing all of the wonderful places in Second Life. We had one hour and only went to 4 of our 6 locations.

The tour started with Shambles telling us about the International Schools Island and showing one area in which they offer teaching tools Shambles has also offered to take us on a tour of the Island and we will be scheduling this soon!

From there we went to Rockcliffe University where we toured the wonderful tools that were in the library. There are many textures as well as other resources available at Rockcliffe and if you have time we also recommend that you look at the classes they offer.

One of Pia Klaar’s favorite resources is the ICT Library At the ICT Library you can find lesson plans, textures, scripts, and other tools.

We couldn’t forget the Teacher Networking Center on Eduisland II This is our other location in Second Life that specializes in teaching tools. Everything in the TNC on Eduisland II is free and you are able to use the tools to support your teaching.

Places we were not able to tour on Saturday were Crystal Gadgets, Babeli and Freebie Dungeon . We encourage you to take a look at these two areas and we will have another Teaching Tools tour in the future featuring other places. If you have a favorite place please let us know!

I also want to remind everyone about the Education Faire which is going on right now in SL but it ends on January 30th! It is worth seeing.

We have also scheduled some upcoming events to tell you about. Each of these sessions will take place at the TNC center on Eduisland 5.

February 7th (10:00 am – 11:00 am SLT): SL 101 We will have people on hand offering short training sessions on tips and tricks to using Second Life.

February 21st ( 11:00 am – 1:00 pm SLT): Meet and Greet Social. Come and meet other educators in SL at this informal gathering.

March 7th (10:00 am – 11:00 am SLT): Photography 101. Pia Klaar will be giving a tutorial on basic photography in SL.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Presentation about the Teen Grid with Pia Klaar.

Christmas is over and I am finally writing to the blog!

Last Saturday the TNC has a wonderful presentation by Pia Klaar about the teen grid. There were many good questions and Pia talked about her experiences working on the teen grid. She started by providing us with some background on the teen grid explain that SL was developed by Linden Research Inc. and opened in 2003. It was followed by the Teen Second Life grid in 2005. The teen grid is open to teens ages 13 - 18

Pia explained that “Until February 2006, Teen Second Life was populated entirely by teens.
In response to requests from educators and non-profit organizations, Linden Lab agreed to allow for the first educator and non-profit owned private islands. In addition, Linden Lab went on to launch the Campus program which gives qualified educators the use of a free parcel of land for a semester. Since then, educator and non-profit run islands, owned and inhabited by non-Linden, background checked, "Approved Adults" have become a major part of the TSL landscape.

Pia explained that there are two types of islands. These are open and closed island. According to Pia “On the closed estate model, educators need to work with a TG-approved developer to set up the accounts. Adult and teen accounts are able to communicate. They can form groups. They can IM. They can exchange objects. All teens and adults are confined to that particular estate - This is an advantage for groups who want to control the student experience. This is a disadvantage for groups who would like teens to be able to roam freely in TSL. The avatars are created when you set up the accounts. They are set up for that estate only. They do not begin on the Main Grid and then transfer to the TG. The other type of estate that I will mention is the Open island model. Teens from the mainland of Teen Second Life can come to their island and participate in activities. Teens from the mainland of TSL can visit. Adults cannot IM or form groups with mainland TSL teens. Teens who have created their own TSL accounts are technically on a different estate. Avatars on different estates cannot form groups, IM or exchange objects. They will not be able to see each other in Search. The adults are locked onto these islands. The teens can come and go.”

Pia went on to explain that she “created an avatar on the Main Grid, then had a background check which was approved by Claudia Linden. The Lindens then transferred that avatar onto the teen grid to the Eye4You Island. I created a different avatar for Globalkids. Again this was created on the Main Grid. Again, I had to ask Claudia Linden to transfer that avatar to GlobalKids island. Some adult-owned projects are willing to sponsor guests and volunteers from time to time. Join the SLEDT list and announce that you are seeking a sponsor. You need a sponsor. Explain your purpose. The estate owner will be responsible for adding you to their staff list. I contacted the people on eye4you and on Globalkids many times before I finally got on them. You will be required to provide an Ascertain background check to the sponsor. The sponsor will send that to Linden Lab with their updated staff list.

You will make a new avatar at When Linden Lab receives the updated staff list and a copy of the background check from your sponsor, your avatar will be moved from Second Life to Teen Second Life to your sponsor's estate. The avatar you are creating to be moved to the teen grid will be on the main grid until it is moved over to the teen grid.
After clearance has been obtained (an email is received by Ascertain indicating you have passed your background check) you are ready to be moved. Make sure you have PG supplies with you (textures, clothes, etc.-check your freebies so that they are PG) as your avatar does not get to move back and forth from the main grid to the teen grid. You will know that you have been moved if the next time you log in, you are on the teen grid estate you requested to be moved to. You will be confined to the island(s) of your sponsor. Make sure you bring stuff with you. You will not be able to get anymore items once you are there.”

We will be posting the slideshare of the presentation shortly. This was a very informative presentation and we plan on continuing our presentations after the first of the year. If you have something you would like to present at the TNC please let us know!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Interactive Builds: Part II

We had the follow up to last week’s interactive build presentation this week. It was fun to see the different items everyone shared:

Calms Xue showed us a Tuingo game. This is a networked matching game that Calms built for fun.

Shamblesguru Voom brought the Manbo dance. This works by making everyone who has is holding the maraca dance when the word “manbo!” is typed in the screen. This can be used as a reward for answering questioning, an icebreaker, or for teaching second life skills.

Shambles also brought an image changing cube. This puts pictures from the cube in everyone’s cache. If you put the pictures for your presentation in the cube and rezz a small version of it in the area in which you will be presenting this will put the pictures in everyones cache and will make your presentation slides rezz for everyone. Also, you can use it to give out your slides.

Cae Sands showed us a color changing box that helps the viewers to learn colors in German
Gruen = Green
Rot = Red
Blau = Blue
Schwarz = Black
Weiss = White
Gelb = Yellow

We also discussed other areas that have tools to use in SL. One of these was Salamander project by Wainbrave Bernal. A search of the Salamander project tells you that:

The Salamander Project aims to develop a collaboratively determined portfolio of Education Projects in Second Life. Simulations, models, scaffolds, tools, communications, journals, etc. will be exemplified and "tagged" within SL for the purposes of surveying and expanding the developments and discussions taking place between teachers and students in Multi-User Virtual Environments.

Shamblesguru Voom mentioned that he has some tools on his website.

We then received a notice about the Aldrich Chemistry Game Launch and ended our session there. This may be something of interested to others in SL. Here is a copy of the notice in case you want to check it out:
Aldrich Chemistry is launching an interesting educational game about chemistry where players create chemical reactions at stations as they progress from lesson to lesson. Educators have an opportunity to come and learn how Second Life can be applied to make learning more fun and engaging.

We think Zotarah for a wonderful presentation on Interactive Builds that sparked each of us to think about the way information is presented in SL.
We are still looking for presenters at the TNC.
If you have an idea for a presentation IM Tek Zeno or Pia Klaar or post a comment here!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Interactive Builds Presentation

Zotarah Shepherd, a student at Sonoma State University, gave a wonderful presentation on Saturday on interactive builds. She gave 6 aspects of interactive builds:

  1. Visualization of the subject

  2. Sounds about the subject

  3. Manipulate it: Relevant clickable animations, editable or physical moveable parts or building

  4. Literacy: Reading and/or writing. Questions to answer

  5. Notecard or signage explaining the education a purpose and goals of the build

  6. Some sort of logical ordering: color, number progression, so the visitor/student will be assured that all the points are accomplished or experienced

The first interactive build we went to was one she built on Multiple Intelligences. This is displayed at F/Xual Educational Services

Next we went to Cave Literature Alive and saw another wonderful example on an interactive build.

Zotarah left us with homework for the week. Now it is out turn! We are to see what you can come up with that you use like a tool that you could use in SL. We will show these at the TNC next week (10/25) at 10:00 am SLT. We hope to see everyone there!

She also provided us with a list of builds and information on building:

ABC Island Welcome Area:
Alliance Building:
American Library Association:
Angel Learning Isle:
Aretao and Moodlerooms NH:
Blue Angel Poets’ Dive:
Center for Water Studies:
College of Scripting, Music and Horsa:
Dreams Sandbox and Tutorials:
Free Math Tutoring:
Hell room Demo ISTE Island:
Info Island Machinima Institute:
International Spaceflight Museum: International Technology Expo: Lighthouse Learning Island:
Multi Media Arts Center:
Mystic Academy:
NCI International Classroom:
NMC Conference Center:
NMIT Garden of Learning:
Ohio University without Boundaries:
Oyster Bay:
Pyramid in Cairo:
Rockcliffe University:
ROMA Humanism Garden:
Science School:
SJSU School of Library and Information:
Talis Cybrary City:
Tasneem Project Research Centre:
Texture Tutorials:
The Abyss:
The Cave Literature Alive!:
The LitAlive! Collaboration Stat:
The Magicians:
The Symposium:
The Whitehorn Memorial Library:
Trinity College:
Vassar Island:
Vistor Center, Sprott Shaw College:
Willow Springs, Montclair State:
Annenberg Amphitheatre:
ELVEN Institute:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Week of October 13th.

We have an exciting event for next week (10/18 at 10:00 SLT)!

Zotarah Shepard will present “Teaching in SL with Interactive Builds”. Make sure you arrive a little early because Zotarah will take us to some interactive builds that will spark your imagination. Then, the following week (10/25 at 10:00 SLT) it will be your turn to show us what you have made or you can stop by and see the builds of others. This should be an exciting event that we are looking forward to.

I also want to take some time this week to share some resources that you may find valuable.

Do you have students present in your classroom or create digital media? You may find this free teleprompter worthwhile: cut and paste your student’s paper in the quick start area, pick how you want it displayed and then chose “start prompter”.

Are you looking for some interactive activities to use for your classroom? Try These activities are setup by grade level.

Did you miss out on NECC 2008? Did you know that you can access videos and podcasts of the event at

How about the DEN Streamathon? This site has resources on using digital media in the classroom.

What’s happening in SL this week?

Discover Educators Network:
Monday, October 13th, 5:00 SLT: Book talk: Brain Rules
Wednesday, October 15th, 5:00 SLT: Faythe Fouroux will present Going Green 102: Green Schools

Tuesday, October 14th, 6:00 SLT: Cyrus Hush will present Blue Skies: Education in Second Life
Thursday, October 16th, 6:00 SLT: New Avatar Social at the ISTE Headquarters
Thursday, October 16th, 6:00 SLT: NETS-A discussion at ISTE Discussion Skypark

Teacher Networking Center:
Saturday, October 18th, 10:00 SLT: Zotarah Shepard: Teaching in SL with Interactive Builds

Open call for presentations:

The Teacher Networking Center is looking for presenters to present at the TNC on Saturday’s. If you have something that you feel would be valuable to educators please contact Pia Klaar or Tek Zeno to schedule your presentation!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ISTE event with Tim Magner

I just finished at the ISTE event where we had a chance to tell Tim Magner (Director, Office of Educational Technology, US Department of Education) what we, as educators are doing in Second Life and what potential we saw for education. There were over 70 people on ISTE island for the event and individuals discussed what they were doing in SL with their students and about the professional development that is taking place in SL.

I had a chance to represent the Teacher Networking Center and talk about informal and formal professional development. Tim Magner asked a great question about what type of professional development opportunities are meaningful in Second Life. My experiences have been that simulations (because you are engaged) and informal collaborations (because the topic is relevant to those involved) are the most meaningful but it started me wondering what others think. What has been the most meaningful professional development, in Second Life, that you have taken part in? Please comment below.

I do want to say that I found Tim Magner to be very supportive of all of us and of educational technology. He is very well spoken and listened to each of us. It feels good to know that we have a voice in Washington that is on the same page as the classroom teacher. I believe that ISTE will be posting the video of the event soon. Once they do I will post the link for everyone to listen to.