The Metrics Of Education In Second Life


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An Introduction t Museums and Universities in Second Life

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  • My goal is to show you the relevance of education in SL as well as show you an example of how learning is currently succeeding in SL. I will then demonstrate a successful Museum model in SL – including actual fundraising and education and talk about how you can begin to make something like that happen for you and your collection. YouTube clip is 6:59 in lengthThere are actually a large number of colleges and universities with a presence in Second Life. Harvard, Princeton, St. Leo University, Texas Woman’s University, the entire Texas University system just recently established a significant presence there. Today, we’re taking a look at Princeton’s university space.Discuss the work Princeton has done in SL – creating a well-designed virtual campus
  • Where Education StartsUpon landing, you arrive in a central location in the sim
  • Near the landing spot is a large map listing the locations to visit at Princeton as well as a code of conduct which outlines how your avatar is expected to behave on your visit.
  • An example of a classroom at Princeton. Older colonial-style wooden chairs and a wall-sized flat screen television harmoniously co-exist in this virtual classroom.
  • An incredible performance space for talented avatars to bring their passions and talents to the stage in Second Life.
  • Computer screens scattered throughout the library each contain educational materials. Some have videos and other access to websites or notecards with information about Princeton or even about different departmental papers recently published. Interested in viewing the Princeton Biology department’s latest findings on cell structures? You can find it here.
  • We’re going to talk a little about establishing a space in SL. If I lose you in this part, wait for the more sparkly parts. One thing BSU has learned in the building process is to use pathways, nodes and signage. Group notices promote “persistence”. Persistence is important because structure is needed. These things are important to remember when building a virtual education space:Design of the spaceAppropriate use of social network communication, communication mechanisms to support learning, connection, engagement and communityGive community members ownershipCreate partnershipsIncorporate elements of game designIt’s also important to join together in-world and out-of-world mechanisms. Some examples of these would be:In world: groups, building, conferences and chattingOutofworld: Twitter, emails, blogs
  • Where Education PaysEdtech was started in January 2007. Since it’s inception, Edtech has grown in leaps and bounds. They now offer 8 graduate courses, boast 130k in tuition, 7 in-world instructors and one graduate assistant. It is completely interactive for individualized learning with a focus on “persistence” for structure.They average 450 unique visitors each week, have numerous guest speakers, and they act as a virtual “home” to over 50 international educators. The Edtech community group has over 1200 members, they offer workshops and professional organization partnerships and have a sandbox; classrooms; amphitheater and learning center open to the public.
  • Throughout this sim there are conference tables, meeting spaces and classrooms.
  • The center for virtual educators has lots of supplies and materials for educators just getting involved in SL.
  • Here is an example of the things the center for virtual educators has available for free for educators. You will not only find things like professional clothing for your avatar, building textures and scripts here – you will also find information about such important things as how to run audio and video in-world and work with students in a virtual setting. You will find, if you choose to explore the universities of SL, almost all have a “starter kit” for new avatars (or NOOBS as they are called in SL).
  • This is an example of one of BSU’s classrooms. The appearance of the classroom is indeed that of a well-groomed forest. While non-traditional, many educators find that creative spaces such as this not only add to the experience of learning in a virtual world, it tends to get the creative juices flowing for students as well as teachers.
  • This is an “outer” view of the same classroom we just viewed. This is something called a “Skybox”. This type of classroom is placed high above a sim allowing for privacy, space and an opportunity for people to stretch out and still feel as if they are a cohesive unit. This is especially important when you are considering group building projects.
  • A gentleman named Frey Bravin attended a lecture in SL on FLW. He stayed around and visited with other attendees after the lecture and they all got to talking about how great it would be if there was a larger representation of FLW and his architecture in SL. So the FLW Museum in SL was born. Frey didn’t actually join SL looking to be a curator for a museum. But he saw a need and a desire and jumped in with both feet. The Frank Lloyd Wright Museum opened July 25, 2009. There was an opening party for members on 7/24. Over 300 avatars attended. On the 25th they saw 775 people. As I am sure you are thinking now, there are copyright issues – of course. At this time, they have notecards available onsite about copyright issues and the relationship between the project in SL and the Frank Lloyd Wright folks in real life. For those of you wondering, currently there are no relationships other than that The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust and the Guggenheim Foundation are aware of us and are monitoring our progress with interest. That makes this museum a “tribute” Museum rather than an official entity of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation/Preservation Trust or Guggenheim Foundation.Future plans for expansion include replacing one current building with a new Frank Lloyd Wright inspired building, the establishment of a meeting and conference center, a school of architecture in conjunction with a RL university and an outdoor amphitheater based on a un-built design that Mr. Wright did for a major project in Baghdad. They will also be adding additional Wright homes and buildings on a rotating basis and plan for exhibits inside the Museum galleries that will change regularly. We are also looking at expanding the museum complex.As far as Educational offerings go, at this time the FLW Museum has had one build-off so far that was very successful. They intend to continue moving forward with additional contests like this where SL builders are welcomed into the contest and asked to compete with other builders to create FLW-inspired architecture. There are basic guidelines given to participants, but in general the main request is that participants have fun with the spirit of FLW. There are also plans to incorporate educational materials around the sim as well as classes in building. The next build off will be the first weekend of November. Eventually they hope to partner with architects and schools in and out of SL to do a more extensive program.The FLW Museum of SL is looking into adding docents for docent-led tours through buildings on site. Some FLW docents in RL are members of the FLW Museum in SL. Some of these docents have actually lived in FLW houses in RL and will bring their RL experiences into the SL experience. Having an option like this allows for a unique tour through the sim and allows each avatar to get a more personal view of the architecture. Tours of the sim is currently the number one request that they receive from individuals around the world. Traffic to the site is currently between 50-70 visitors per day with heavier traffic on the weekends (closer to 150 people).
  • This view is from “The Modern Gallery” (otherwise knows as the Guggenheim). They call it The Modern Gallery for licensing reasons. There have been talks with the proper individuals about a very unique agreement in the works that would allow the FLW Museum in SL to have access to all licensing. They hope to have an update about this shortly.
  • This is the Membership board at the FLW Museum. Membership is one of the ways that the FLW Museum brings in funding for the sim is Memberships. There are four levels of membership, starting with the most basic level “FREE” where members receive free entry into all buildings on the sim, notices of all Museum events and an open invitation to all Friday night dances on the sim. The other levels are:Friend $1000 - $4.15 USD monthlyPatron $1500 - $6.09 USD monthlyFellow $2500 - $9.95 USD monthlyAs the amount to join increases, so the benefits increase – just as with a real life museum. Some higher-level benefits include admission to live concert series, a spring garden party at Fallingwater, special events, personalized tours upon request, discounts at the stores, behind-the-scenes events with the curators.The Frank Lloyd Wright Museum has only recently begun selling memberships. At this time, they currently have 10 paid memberships. There are 226 total members in the museum group (which includes staff and builders).The paid memberships bring in about $L32,000 (about $125.00) per month. They estimate that they are signing up about 20 to 25 new members a month (free and paid), with a total retention rate of about 85%.
  • We are a technically driven society. The web is replacing print, viewable media is replacing text and social networking sites and avatars in virtual worlds are replacing real life interactions.The validity of education and Museums in SL is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. This past year has given SL many new institutions and exhibitions – all free to anyone who seeks knowledge and is willing to step outside their comfort zone and consider walking through an experience in a new way.The Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum which opened March 19, 2009 had a large official opening party which was attended by close to 100 avatars. I was there to see it come into being and I know it’s really just the start of so much more to come.One of the most incredible things I have yet to experience in SL is the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the experience of “Kristallnacht” or “The Night of Broken Glass”. This is an environment focused on a single event. As an avatar, you are able to walk through this exhibition first through a newsroom where the story was breaking and then through the city streets – in and out of buildings, attics, classroom, synagogue – completely clickable with short item descriptions (a small piece of paper is clickable and you find out it is the death certificate for an individual killed by Nazis with the true cause of death listed as “found dead”). Throughout the city as you walk in and out of buildings you hear eye-witness accounts over the audio as your avatar experiences the actual scenes of the crimes committed that night. Aside from being unique and quite moving, this type of exhibition is the perfect example of how a Museum can use an SL exhibition as a tool to be used alongside or even in place of a RL exhibition. And it’s 100% portable and almost completely accessible.We need to remember to keep an eye on the future. Its coming whether we like it or not. What role will Museums play in the future? Will there be more virtual museums than actual ones? Who will be in charge of them? Will someone create a tribute to your Museum before you can get there and make sure that it’s done correctly and under the types of guidelines that you would like to see used? These are important things to consider.Does this apply to everyone. YES. Everything is changing and developing in SL whether you log in or not. Someone is creating something new and innovative at this very second. Since SL is world-wide and world-inspired by about 50,000 individuals, it’s happening 24-7 and it’s happening 365 days a year. Whether we like it or not.One last thing to add: It’s all in how you look at it. Some of you may feel this has ended on a bit of a “big brother” note. My goal here is to remind you that there’s another entire universe out there – one that can be accessed by anyone who has access to a computer connected to the internet. If you immediately dispel this future as “unimportant” or “irrelevant” – in essence, you are sealing your fate as someone who will be unimportant and irrelevant in the future as long as things continue to move in this direction.
  • The Metrics Of Education In Second Life

    1. 1. The Metrics of Education in Second Life<br />Exploring a life of infinite learning<br />
    2. 2. Introduction to Education in SL<br />Making the case for SL Education<br />Who is taking SL seriously?<br />Why is education even out there?<br />YouTube Clip “Educational Uses of Second Life”<br />Example of Universities in Second Life<br />Princeton<br />Mapping out a successful space<br />Landing spot<br />Map of space<br />Classrooms<br />Performance Hall<br />Library<br />
    3. 3. Princeton – Landing Spot<br />
    4. 4. Princeton Map<br />
    5. 5. Princeton Classroom<br />
    6. 6. Princeton Performance Hall<br />
    7. 7. Princeton Library<br />
    8. 8. Educating and Learning in Second Life<br />CASE STUDY: Ed-Tech Island<br />Real Life education in SL with Boise State University<br />How does it benefit a brick and mortar university to build a presence in SL? What are the pros and cons?<br />Does a Support System Exist for educators and students?<br />What measurements can be made at this point?<br />Hard numbers, building decisions, costs vs. benefits<br />What have they learned? <br />Design to meet needs<br />
    9. 9. Edtech – Boise State University<br />
    10. 10. Edtech Meeting Space<br />
    11. 11. Edtech Center for Virtual Educators<br />
    12. 12. Inside the Center for Virtual Educators <br />
    13. 13. Edtech Classroom<br />
    14. 14. Edtech Classroom (outer view)<br />
    15. 15. Museums in SL<br />Examples<br />CASE STUDY: Frank Lloyd Wright Museum<br />Determining a need<br />History of how something big and successful starts from planning process to success after existence<br />Garnering support (financial and otherwise)<br />Official entity or tribute<br />Membership opportunities<br />How to begin the approach to educational offerings<br />How do you measure the success and learning<br />How do you expand your offerings<br />
    16. 16. Frank Lloyd Wright Museum<br />
    17. 17. Frank Lloyd Wright Membership<br />
    18. 18. Where to next?<br />We are all technically driven<br />This year has seen HUGE leaps in SL in the Museum world<br />Smithsonian Latino sponsored in part by Disney Spring ‘09<br />US Holocaust Memorial Museum “Kristallnacht” <br />We need to have an eye on the future<br />What role will Museums play in the future?<br />Who will be in charge of them?<br />Does this apply? YES<br />The world continues to change and develop whether or not someone is logged in<br />It’s 24-7, 365 – like it or not<br />