/tour Sites of interest to educators in Second Life Fri, 17 Oct 2008 17:53:14 +0000 en hourly 1 ISTE Island /iste-island/ /iste-island/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2008 18:17:23 +0000 Jeff Hiles /?p=54 Two women chat outside ISTE second life headquarters.

On ISTE Island in Second Life, the International Society for Technology in Education hosts a Tuesday evening speaker series and Thursday evening Educator Socials. They have also provided a venue for a number of other activities, such as the online portion of the educators tracks for the Second Life Community Convention and for the National Educational Computing Conference.

ISTE also has a Second Life group you can join and an email list for announcements concerning educators in Second Life.

Two women chat outside ISTE second life headquarters.

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NMC Campus /nmc-campus/ /nmc-campus/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2007 15:20:24 +0000 Jeff Hiles /?p=14 Educators gather for the Teachers Buzz on the NMC Campus.Soon after the New Media Consortium (NMC) Campus opened in 2006, it became a hub of activity for educators in Second Life, hosting numerous seminars, discussions and exhibits.

Recent NMC Campus expansions include this new machinima complex.The NMC rapidly added more islands to the archipelago, including several on which they rent spots to educators who want G-rated space amidst other educators. The New Media Consortium includes nearly 200 colleges, universities, museums, corporations, and other learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies.

You may want to avoid Second Life’s usually hectic orientation areas and enter Second Life directly at NMC Orientation island, a good place for educators and students to get started. To do that, create your Second Life account at the NMC’s Web site instead of at the Second Life site.

  • NMC Campus Observer (blog for news and events)
  • NMC Campus Wiki
  • Location: NMC Campus (128,225,42) Important: You must join the “NMC Guests” group before you can visit the NMC Campus. Just click your Search button and, on the Groups tab, search on NMC. Select the group “NMC Guests” and click Join.
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Info Island /info-island/ /info-island/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2007 15:11:36 +0000 Jeff Hiles /?p=13 The Information and Communications Technology Library on Info IslandA team of librarians and other volunteers from around the globe have grown Info Island from a few buildings in early 2006 to a cluster of islands bustling with activities that explore roles libraries and librarians may play in 3D virtual worlds. Educators will particularly like the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Library on the main island. It houses a collection of scripts and other tools for teaching in Second Life. Be sure to explore the presentation tool demonstrations on the nearby plaza.

The yard in front of the main library facilitates chance meetings.Info Island and the surround islands also host nonprofit organizations, a medical library, a science center, and more. A number of universities have claimed spots on Eduisland. Info Island was initiated by the Illinois-based Alliance Library System. You can read the latest news from Info Island on its Web site and in a weekly column in the Metaverse Messenger.

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International Spaceflight Museum /international-spaceflight-museum/ /international-spaceflight-museum/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2007 14:29:11 +0000 Jeff Hiles /?p=11 A Saturn V rocket blasts off from the International Spaceflight MuseumRide a Titan II rocket into low earth orbit. Stroll among towering replicates of the world’s major rockets. Watch live video from NASA. See how the planets were aligned the day you were born. The International Spaceflight Museum hosts exhibits and events about real-world spacecraft, rockets, and space travel. The museum is located on the island sim Spaceport Alpha, which has become the center of a growing archipelago of science-related islands, or “SciLands.”

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NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory /noaa-earth-system-research-laboratory/ /noaa-earth-system-research-laboratory/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2007 14:22:22 +0000 Jeff Hiles /?p=10 The many interactive exhibits include riding a weather balloon.Brace yourself as a tsunami washes over you and knocks down the nearby village. Hitch a ride on a weather balloon. Fly through the eye of a hurricane. Stand on a real-time 3D weather map of North America. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Earth System Research Laboratory’s Virtual Education Demonstration includes a variety of fun and informative activities.

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Exploratorium (Splo and Planetarium) /exploratorium-splo-and-planetarium/ /exploratorium-splo-and-planetarium/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2007 14:19:03 +0000 Jeff Hiles /?p=9 The planetarium in Midnight City demonstrates some of the possibilities for modeling concepts in a 3D virtual world.The Exploratorium, San Francisco’s “museum of science, art and human perception,” has created interactive science exhibits in several Second Life locations. Splo Island is the largest of these, with exhibits spread over the whole PG-rated island. A smaller version of the Splo and a planetarium reside at mature-rated Midnight City.Entrance to the Splo is secured with a mime field.

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Svarga /svarga/ /svarga/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2007 14:09:53 +0000 Jeff Hiles /?p=8 Example of Svarga's simulated life forms.Svarga’s lush landscape includes interdependent species of artificial life, complete with genes that sometimes mutate and produce new variations. Former Lionhead game developer and SL avatar Laukosargas Svarog programmed the weather, flora and fauna to influence each other as in a real-life ecosystem. At the entrance port, you can take a tour of the island aboard an automated flying tour pod or don a tour HUD that displays on a portion of your screen.The Island of Svarga

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Boracay Island /boracay-island/ /boracay-island/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2007 13:56:30 +0000 Jeff Hiles /?p=7 A campfire is one of several seating arrangements available for meetings on Boracay Island.With its podcast stations, art gallery, machinima theater, customizable seating, meeting rooms, sky platforms and teleporting kiosks, Boracay Island demonstrates many things Second Life offers for learning spaces. Hang gliding, kite boarding, boating, dancing and skydiving make this island a lot fun, too. It’s main purpose, says educational developer and researcher Nick Noakes (aka Corwin Carillon) on the Boracay Web site, is to “investigate the potential” of worlds like Second Life for “learning in higher education—particularly self-directed and informal learning.”

If you have any questions or would like a tour, please contact Corwin Carillon in Second Life or email him at

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Social Simulation Research Lab /social-simulation-research-lab/ /social-simulation-research-lab/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2007 10:10:25 +0000 Jeff Hiles /?p=38 Social Simulation Research LabIf you need to do a literature review of articles related to the social aspects of virtual worlds, the Social Simulation Research Lab is a good place to start. Each book on the shelves links to an article or Web site.

According to the site’s notecard, “The Social Simulation Research Lab is a public hub of cyber-research resources in Second Life. The Lab’s library brings together over 150 publications on the social science of internet research, computer-mediated communication and online studies, plus many links to researchers’ homepages, other online resources and online cyber-research journals.”

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Terra Incognita /terra-incognita/ /terra-incognita/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2007 09:00:01 +0000 Jeff Hiles /2007/04/02/terra-incognita/ The process of Action Learning includes reflection in small groups. A spot on this island called Decka’s Decks facilitates these breakouts by whisking groups away from the larger classroom–chairs, table and all–then whisking them back when time is up.

Aerial view of Terra Incognita“The island is a place for learning that is growing and changing,” says educational researcher and Terra Incognita owner Lindy Mckeown (Decka Mah, in SL). “Explore the many places for small and large group interaction in a range of settings, including the beach and Surf Life Saving Club in Harlan Bay, the island getaway, Captain Zed’s Submarine or the gazebo at the top of the mountain on Poinky Peak.” And don’t miss the icebreaker area with mud wrestling.

To ask questions or request a personal tour, contact Decka Mah in Second Life or email her at

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Susi’s Machinima Gallery /susis-machinima-gallery/ /susis-machinima-gallery/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2007 07:27:56 +0000 Jeff Hiles /?p=6 This theatre, one of many at Susi’s Machinima Gallery, has several videos cued up.Second Life resident Susi Spicoli brought together some of the top machinima artists in Second Life. (A machinima is a video created in a 3D virtual world, such as Second Life.) Just step into one of the many small theaters, click the play button by the movie screen, then sit back and enjoy.

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Virtual Morocco /virtual-morocco/ /virtual-morocco/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2007 07:25:12 +0000 Jeff Hiles /2007/04/02/virtual-morocco/ Corwin Carillon sports an Info Fez outside a mosque in Virtual Morocco.The Casablanca region captures the essence of Morocco with an outdoor market, mosque, gardens, music and other details. Students from Johnson & Wales University traveled to the real-life Morocco, then entered Second Life to build a representation of what they had seen abroad. You may don a red “Info Fez” that triggers chat messages explaining what you see as you explore the island.

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English Village /english-village/ /english-village/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2007 07:23:39 +0000 Jeff Hiles /2007/04/02/english-village/ Conveyors whisk visitors to classrooms at the English Village.Teaching English as a second language, instructors at the English Village employ what they call “holoteaching,” using classrooms where you can completely change scenes with the touch of a button, like the holodeck in the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The village’s mission is…

  • To create a positive environment for English teachers, researchers, and students.
  • To explore English language learning and pioneer new ways of teaching and learning, in Second Life, and real life.
  • To develop a community where we can collaborate and help each other in our pioneering efforts!
  • To have fun, and expand the ESL community!
  • To help people learn English!

For more information on the English Village, see its Web site or contact Fire Centaur.

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Languages (other than English) /languages-other-than-english/ /languages-other-than-english/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2007 07:19:12 +0000 Jeff Hiles /?p=5 The French-speaking area of New Paris is one of many regions in Second Life where one can chat in various languages.There are many regions in Second Life that cater to people who speak languages other than English. These make excellent places for language students to practice their skills with native speakers. Here is a partial list of non-English-speaking regions. If you know of others, please leave a note in the comments or email me and I’ll add them to the list.

The Avatar Languages web site has a nice list of language regions, too.This sign in the French-speaking region called Gaia shows the percentages of SL residents by country.

Also see the SLObserver, a French-language blog about Second Life.

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Tutorials on Second Life Skills /tutorials-on-second-life-skills/ /tutorials-on-second-life-skills/#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2007 07:18:52 +0000 Jeff Hiles /?p=4 Learn how to add color and patterns to your creations at the Texture Tutorial by Robin (Sojourner) Wood.There are many places in Second Life to take classes on building, scripting, and other in-world skills. The best way to find these classes is to click your Search button and on the Events tab, choose to search on the Education category. In addition, here are several places with self-paced tutorials:

In addition to those locations in Second Life, there are many resources on the Web you may find useful, such as these:

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