14 April 2010

Beyer's wonderful Thank-You song in honor of Metanomics 100th Show

Beyers and the Rezz-Tones perform at Muse Isle in honor of the 100th show of Metanomics. This clip features Beyer's brilliant Thank-You song to all the volunteers and support people for the show. After completing 100 interviews, with other innovators, academics and content creators in virtual worlds, Beyers (aka Robert Bloomfield) composed a song that include the names of everyone who has helped with the show over the past 3 years.

(Thanks for Footage provided by TREET.tv)

20 February 2010

Alright Boys and Girls, Shamblesguru Has News!

Shamblesguru Voom, also known as Chris Smith /rl is a fellow virtual teaching enthusiast, who resides in Thailand supporting the International Schools Community with his Second Life installation of the same name. I consider it a great compliment that he often stays up late to attend our Tools.Jam sessions on Tuesday mornings, at 9:30am PST. He refers to himself as the "biggest learner in the room" and often prefaces a teacher-ly comment with "alright, boys and girls..." He recently said something about how he planned to mention Tools.Jam at the Bangkok TED Talks in mid-February which was a delightful surprise and I imagined him attending and chatting about his virtual activities, but then it seems that he was actually a Presenter there!

He went prepared with a wonderful video made by another Second Life friend, Leon Turbrok, that I happened to meet on Help Island when he was brand new. I remember that Leon dove right into building, creating a line of watches and quickly grasping the finer points of virtual content creation. Clearly, he did a great job capturing Shamble's clever approach to sharing the podium with his own avatar, effectively bridging First and Second Life with his characteristic wit.

Bravo, Gentlemen! Well Done!

Video: http://vimeo.com/9430042
Doubling-clicking on it will give you a full screen view. Escape will return you to the blog view.
Storyboards: http://bit.ly/Leon-Shambles

Publish Post
Shambles' presentation at TEDx BKK 2010 from =IcaruS= on Vimeo.

01 January 2010

Review: Training and Collaboration with Virtual Worlds, by Heiphetz and Woodill

Second Life® is approaching it's 7th birthday, and what we all are wishing for (namely: broader acceptance and appreciation) has found a wonderful new supporting voice. The goal of attracting users with serious work to do has been a topic often discussed at Epoch events, and while there are several excellent books that explore both the details of using a virtual platform and the reasons why you may want to do so, none of them provide the wealth of information from actual business innovators who came to Second Life® and found profoundly positive results as those chronicled in the newly published: Training and Collaboration with Virtual Worlds, by Alex Heiphetz, Ph.D. and Gary Woodill, ED.D.

The book offers several excellent case studies as well as a balanced discussion of everything from security issues to how to bring your materials into the Second Life® environment. Clearly, the authors have been involved in solving these issues as they discuss appropriate participants, technical requirements and best practices for introductions and orientation.

I am now officially sending all who ask after supporting data for virtual world use to the Heiphetz-Woodill  book, as I find it easy to read and comprehensive in it's detailed accounts of training events. Outcomes are well documented, with excellent citing of learning research and and detailed user assessments. The chapter co-written with Philippe Barreaud, lead on Michelin's effort to instruct their complex Enterprise Architecture Systems to a global community of IS employees is particularly riveting. The combined issues of far-flung teams, different cultures as well as a complex difficult topic which "had proven impossible to teach" successfully. Yet the Second Life effort was both effective and very well-received, with the post-event feedback from employees shown here. In addition, "User acceptance did not vary according to the background of culture."

This is the sort of objective examination which will help others to assess the potential of the virtual platform for their efforts and I am very pleased to see this book appear on Amazon.com and in bookstores. Thanks to the authors and their bold clients!

[Purchasing your copy via the widget on this page will help to support The Epoch Institute's Virtual Programs and allow us to continue to present Training and Education Events at out Second Life® facilities.]

16 April 2009

Summary Page with Links For Orientation Topics

Click on the highlighted words below to reach the desired information. You can return to this page at any time by clicking the SL-Start link in the upper right-hand corner of the blog

01 March 2008

Where in the World is The Epoch Institute??

Here it is...your magic carpet ride straight to the Epoch Institute in Second Life. This is a Second Life URL, or SLurl. It will initiate the Second Life Browser and log you in at the class location, exactly where you want to be! http://bit.ly/EPOCH-SLurl
When you click on it , you will get a screen that looks like this map. Click on the TELEPORT NOW button in the upper righthand corner of the center white bubble to both launch the Second Life Browser on your machine and see to it that you arrive directly at The EPOCH Institute. You must already have the browser downloaded and installed in order for this to work. This allows you to bypass Help Island and arrive directly at the relatively serene Epoch Institute.
For more information, go to the Summary Page for this Orientation Blog, or use the links on the Right.

Tech Specs for Running Second Life

Second Life® is an intense graphics processing task for your computer. As you move your avatar about, the surrounding environment must be constantly re-drawn based on your changing perspective. Linden Labs, your Second Life® host, has kindly listed the recommended computer graphics cards for Windows, MAC and Linux operating systems. 

If you are unsure of what graphics card is on your machine, you can easily determine that before you log in, from the HELP Command in the upper left-hand corner of the Second Life® Log-In Page. The Lindens have also listed the cards which are either not supported or demonstrate known issues with the Second Life® program. Your machine may run Second Life® despite using these cards, but you might have strange and unpredictable issues with appearance and performance. 

If you are trying to use a less than ideal machine to run Second Life® you may want to read this excellent post by Joel Foner. He's collected some excellent tips for minimizing the computing demands but keep in mind, a computer equipped with a good graphics card will enhance your immersive experience dramatically.

So, assuming that you are ready to log in, grab your map to your destination, and get some guidance on how to get yourself there.

Sources: Second Life® System Requirements Page, Second Life® Knowledge Base.