Got Social?

A decent article

I’ve tried to keep up with the hits that come in my Google Alerts for Second Life, but it simply impossible – there are far too many. I said I was going to try, and I am, so here is a recent article I ran across.

http://www.chieftain.com/life/1191133250/2

I usually don’t read all the way through these types of summary articles, but this one was pretty good. He does a good job of touching on the goods, the bads, and the uglys of SL without being partial. In other words, good reporting.

Physics has changed

Just when you thought it was safe to trust physics, you realize that in the virtual world, anything can change.

Linden Lab has, just the other day, announced the arrival of Havoc4! I know, an astounding moment in history, you must be saying to yourself. For those of us sitting outside the center of technology regarding virtual environments, this updated version may not seem like much. But a few people (you know who you are), are pretty happy about this. Apparently, it has been some time since the physics engine has been updated. What is the physics engine you ask? The simple answer is, its how things that move interact with each other.

Since seeing is believing, here is a short video someone has already made (in the last 48 hours or so) about the improvements.
http://www.shiny-life.com/2007/09/29/fun-with-physics/

Thanks to Gavin Dudeney for posting this to the SLED list. Are you interested in what is going on in Second Life regarding education? If so, you need to join the SLED list – http://secondlifegrid.net/programs/education

Why don’t we post (thanks Chris)

Chris Hambly started quite the conversation over in his blog
http://www.chrishambly.com/content/what-stops-you-making-comment-blog
when he asks folks to talk about why they don’t leave comments in blogs.

As you can imagine, there were a number of response (how could one not respond to this), and there were a number of answers that cut across many instances. There are actually a few “top 5″ or so lists…this is worth the read.

I also decided to chime in (of course), and here is my response.
http://www.chrishambly.com/content/what-stops-you-making-comment-blog#comment-359

What do you think? Comment on his blog or back here on mine, but I place before you the same gauntlet Chris threw down in front of those who read his blog.

You have something to contribute, what forces hold you back from sharing it?

Great day!

Well, today was a pretty amazing day.

• The Chronicle article came out today
• taught and started to bring my class into SL
• finished the Faculty Resource Room to the point it needed to be for the GoPrint installation on Tuesday
• A student finally came in during the open lab hours and I was able to help her get her account (thanks NMC) and also get her started.

One thing I thought was pretty amazing was how both in my class and in the open lab, those signing in took to the command structure pretty quickly (fly, walk, directions, etc…)

• went to the gym
• build the CHSS Beach
• joined and placed the CHSS Dorms (thanx SR)
• parceled off the areas so the name would appear in the title.

Where’s that can of whoop ass?

Does absence make the heart grow fonder?

I’ve been wrapped up in the vortex that is the start of the Fall semester. I’m teaching two classes this semester, a writing class and my usual New Student Seminar course. Both will be required to have accounts on: Second Life, MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, and I’ve just decided to add Skype. To what extent each of these is used will depend on the direction the courses take. Second Life will be the most widely used. More on that at is progresses.

While working on some prep for class I began thinking about what I would want from life. I went back to something I’d written not so long ago and found that I’d listed seven different items:
* Freedom with my time
* Eat well
* Be healthy
* Enjoy the company of others
* Travel frequently
* Live comfortably
* Laugh a lot

These are not listed in order. :- )

Virtual Worlds Hot Topics Discussion at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference in Seattle

I am thrilled to announce that EDUCAUSE has scheduled a Virtual Worlds Hot Topics Discussion for this year’s Annual Conference in Seattle. The conference will take place from October 23rd to the 26th at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center.

Details on the full convention can be found here – http://www.educause.edu/e07

The Virtual Worlds Hot Topic Discussion will be held on Thursday, October 25th from 12:45pm to 2:15pm (PDT) in Room 211. The description of this event is:

Will teaching in a virtual environment really be the next big thing? A number of institutions and faculty think so, and that number is growing. This session brings together those who want to discuss how virtual learning environments impact all facets of the institution. Given the position of Second Life in this arena, it will probably dominate most discussions.

http://www.educause.edu/E07/Program/11073?PRODUCT_CODE=E07/CI17

I’ve made arrangements for there to be a laptop, project, and a static IP address which will enable us to stream SL into the conference location. Streaming the conference into SL is going to be up to us. More on that in a second.

If you are planning on attending EDUCAUSE, please make sure to include this event on your schedule. A good show this year could very well lead to a great commitment from EDUCAUSE ( i.e., I’m working to try and establish a Constituent Group, etc…)

If you have not decided if you will be attending, I hope this will push you off the fence. :-) Its usually a good conference, plus…I’ll be there! :-)

If you cannot attend, I’m hoping you’ll attend the in-world session.

I am looking for volunteers on two fronts:
1) people who can help work on the technology aspect of this with me
2) people who are willing to work as in-world organizers.

Please respond to me directly (sorry.afk at gmail.com).

More on this as it comes together.