Immersive Learning Initiative
Constance Steinkuehler Keynote: Massively Multiplayer Online Games, Learning & The New Pop CosmopolitanismPosted March 8th, 2010 by Alan Levine
March 25, 2010: 9:00-9:45am PT
American schools largely remain locked within a Ford type factory model of industry and efficiency; games, on the other hand, are forward leaning, recruiting intellectual practices, dispositions, and forms of social organization that are aligned with many of today’s “new capitalist” workplaces. Massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) in particular function as naturally occurring, self-sustaining, indigenous online communities of learning and practice, and their study tells can us something important about how such communities form and function out “in the wild” (Hutchins, 1995).
If you plotted the path of virtual worlds on a Gartner Hype Cycle, 2008 would likely be identified as the "Peak of Inflated Expectations." Two years earlier, in July 2006, Second Life appeared as the cover story in Business Week and the platform began to capture the public's imagination in ways none of us would have predicted. (A little history: The NMC began its early work researching Second Life in late 2005 (8 months before the Business cover story), and established the NMC Campus in Second Life early in 2006.)
February 23, 2010 - February 25, 2010
in the virtual world of Second Life® - and sponsored by Linden Lab®
The premier conference for Second Life content creators
The NMC has been contracted to provide logistical support for SL Pro!, an exciting new conference sponsored by Linden Lab®, that will bring together serious content creators to expand their professional capabilities via two days of high-level seminars, creativity, and critique within the virtual world of Second Life®. This site provides proposal submission and registration services. For the most up-to-date and official conference news, see the Second Life blogs.
SL Pro! will provide a forum to join in conversations with Lindens like T and Babbage, artists such as AM Radio and Stella Costello, innovative builder/scripters such as CJ Carnot, full service developers like Kim Anubis and the NMC, business innovators like Jonty Glaser of Stiletto Moody, talented scripters like Vex Streeter and Seifert Surface, and many other well-known professionals as they share hard-won secrets and tips.
You won't want to miss this opportunity for a firsthand look at what makes these pros as good as they are, not only as content creators but as successful business owners. Expert content creators will take you along as they explore the ins and outs of making everything from landscapes and buildings to engaging interactivity, immersive environments, social settings, and all that goes with that -- virtual fashion, architecture, landscaping, art, and design. As part of this journey, learn business practices of the pros. In and around the exciting and informative conference sessions, you and your fellow participants will be encouraged to take part in a series of Content Creation Challenges where you can win cash prizes and have seasoned pros comment and give feedback on your technique. Have a special build that you're proud of? Consider hosting a Project Tour, and strut your stuff for other attendees.
The SL Pro! conference will include keynote presenters T Linden speaking on the Linden Lab roadmap and Jonty Glaser of Stiletto Moody sharing experiences from being one of the biggest sellers of fashion items in Second Life.
The conference will focus on the twin themes of building and scripting, the two core skillsets that all successful virtual world enterprises have. In the hands of the top developers, these skills are both critical to successfully designing engaging and interactive content. Speakers have been selected based on their expertise not only in one or both of these skills, but also for their business acumen. Each theme will be thoroughly explored in a series of eight engaging sessions -- 16 in all -- and participants will also have the chance for hands-on mentoring in the sandboxes that are part of conference venue.
- Content Creation, in virtual world terms, is the act of creating virtual objects of any scale, from the smallest piece of jewelry to the largest architectural complex. Anyone familiar with Second Life knows that pro builders use the same tools embedded in the Second Life client that residents use to create -- or "rez" -- simple geometric or organic forms, connecting them in myriad ways to form more complex structures. In this track, learn how the pros do this hyper-efficiently, along with tips on visual trickery, use of textures, organizing large jobs, using external tools, along with special tips about animations, gestures, media, architecture, clothing, skins, vehicles, jewelry, and much more.
- Scripting is the companion activity to building that enables visitors to interact with objects. As those who use Second Life know well, the scripting system, Linden Scripting Language (LSL), is roughly comparable to Java, C++ or other scripting languages and enables the development of highly creative custom animations and interactions. This track is intended for good scripters that want to take their code to the next level, and will cover tips for writing efficient code, using outside data and media to power sophisticated apps, and even hacking and other creative applications of LSL -- and how scripting also makes it possible to create a variety of exciting custom effects.
In addition to conference sessions devoted to building or scripting, SL Pro! will include keynotes on the long term vision for Second Life and its toolsets, and building successful businesses. A range of other special activities will provide time for informal interaction, and hands on mentoring. Content Creation Challenges will provide a forum for attendees to pit their building and scripting skills against one another. Challengers will be mentored and/or critiqued by recognized experts. Attendees and speakers may also sign up to host Project Tours, giving them a chance to take a group of attendees offsite to show special builds or activities and share their own content creation experiences.
The Content Creation ChallengesPut what you learn at the conference to good use -- right away! Attendees can sign up to take part in one of the Content Creation Challenges, displaying their best work on a small or large scale. The 1,000 Prim Challenge is for entries comprised of up to 1,000 prims, while the Full Build Challenge is a chance to show off an entire custom sim. Both challenges will be juried by a panel of experts, and special mentoring sessions will be offered to contestants. Spaces are limited, so sign up early!
Find out more...
NOTICE: The NMC has been contracted to provide logistical support for SL Pro! This site provides proposal submission and registration services. Linden Lab is the official conference sponsor. For the most up-to-date and official conference news, see the Second Life blog.
Online registration is available January 11, 2010 - February 19, 2010, closing at 11:59 PM Pacific Time of the end date. Late registration fees apply thereafter.
|Registration Category||Regular Member||Non-Member|
If you did not catch this announcement , the University of Texas recently announced a large initiative in virtual worlds, with a state wide initiative to involve all 16 of its campuses in a Second Life collaborative project. Building Immersive Instructional Experiences and Learning Communities in Second Life is part of the UT Transforming Undergraduate Education Program "that offers a creative approach to undergraduate instruction through the innovative use of a 21st century low-cost online virtual world technology."
Would a serious researcher look to comic books and videogames as sources of inspiration for how to transform education? Of course they would!
Join us for a Connect@NMC conversation, as we talk with one of NMC's long time most popular presenters, Dr. Ruben Puentedura, CEO of NMC Partner, Hippasus. Please join us Monday, May 18, 2009 at 11:00am PT (check local time) when we talk to Ruben about about the lessons to be learned from these and related media, and his experiences applying them in both higher ed and K12 classrooms.
Sent out to members of the NMC, our 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.
Download 2008 Educators in Second Life Survey Results Summary (52k Mb, 2 pp)
Download 2008 Educators in Second Life Survey Results (308 kb, 10 pp)
1,033 downloads as of August 22 2011
One of the NMC Virtual Worlds projects this year was construction of the virtual campus for the University of the Pacific which included a mixture of replication of campus structures, such as Burns Tower, and creation of new spaces which only exist on the virtual campus.
Since the ribbons were cut May 7, 2008, faculty and staff at the University have been busy using the space and developing new applications for therr virtual learning space.
They are inviting you to learn more about their Second Life campus and how it has already been put to use in this new machinima video:
Imagine flying over a pyramid shaped boat as a variety of tones from the engine combine to create a melody. That is just what visitors will get when they interact with the new virtual art collection created by Ball State University faculty in Second Life.
John Fillwalk, Ball State associate professor of art, and director of the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts and Animation (IDIAA), is the lead artist on a project that will be showcased in Second Life beginning Sunday, Aug. 24 2008, and run through September.
The NMC offered Fillwalk and the IDIAA the chance to transform an entire Second Life island with interactive virtual art. The collection, which will be up for a month, is part of a series of installations hosted by NMC throughout the year.
The New Media Consortium (NMC) announced today the call for proposals for the 2008-09 NMC Virtual Learning Prize, a $100,000 competitive program of awards intended to create a collection of innovative open-source learning experiences that make use of the unique attributes of a virtual learning environment. (See the press release.)
As many as 20 NMC Virtual Learning Prizes will be awarded in 2008. Each of the US$5,000 awards will provide a cash incentive paid to the awardee of $500 as well as $4,500 in expert development assistance from the NMC Virtual Worlds team to create the learning experience. The range of inworld services available to awardees to actualize the proposed ideas includes professional building, scripting, design, animation, avatar design, and/or related services.
The NMC Virtual Learning Prize is a $100,000 competitive program of awards intended to create a collection of innovative open-source learning experiences that make use of the unique attributes of a virtual learning environment. As many as 20 NMC Virtual Learning Prizes will be awarded in 2008. (See Press Release )
Each of the US$5,000 awards will provide a cash incentive paid to the awardee of $500 as well as $4,500 in expert development assistance from the NMC Virtual Worlds team to create the learning experience. The range of in-world services available to awardees to actualize the proposed ideas includes professional building, scripting, design, animation, avatar design, and/or related services.