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OpenSim: A New Alternative to Second Life
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OpenSim: A New Alternative to Second Life

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Summary: This session will give an overview of OpenSim, an open source multi-platform, multi-user 3D application server that can be used as an alternative to SecondLife. For campuses looking to......

Summary: This session will give an overview of OpenSim, an open source multi-platform, multi-user 3D application server that can be used as an alternative to SecondLife. For campuses looking to develop a simulated "world" for teaching and learning, or for those looking for an alternative to SecondLife.


Presenter: Chris Collins, University of Cincinnati
Chris Collins (SL: Fleep Tuque) is an IT Analyst in the UCit Instructional & Research Computing department at the University of Cincinnati. She currently manages the campus-wide podcasting and Second Life projects at the University of Cincinnati, and serves as the Second Life Ambassador for the Ohio Learning Network. Chris blogs about technology, education, and the metaverse at http://fleeptuque.com.

More in: Technology , Education
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  • good mmo
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  • I'm very enthousiastic about your work for opensim for schoolprojects.
    Your 'school quick start guide' works perfect!

    I have 1 question, because I coach gufted children in my own practice;
    How can I set up a server for using the internet. My students work on different
    schools, so I can not use a school LAN server.

    greetings
    Marita
    from www.berenvanjouwweg.nl in the Netherlands.

    Marita.van.den.Hout@home.nl
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  • 1. OPENSIM: A NEW ALTERNATIVE TO SECOND LIFE Chris M. Collins (SL/OS: Fleep Tuque) Project Manager, University of Cincinnati Second Life Project Second Life Ambassador, Ohio Learning Network UCit Instructional & Research Computing University of Cincinnati [email_address] TeachU ~ Ohio Learning Network ~ April 2011
  • 2. Today’s Learning Objectives Why did educators start exploring Second Life? What did we learn about using the platform for education? Is OpenSim a good alternative? What is it and how does it work? How do I participate in the USO Grid pilot?
  • 3. Map of Future Forces Affecting Education (2006) Image source: http://resources.knowledgeworks.org/map/
  • 4. Map of Future Forces Affecting Education
  • 5. Horizon Report & EDUCAUSE Virtual worlds convey a sense of presence lacking in other media. Virtual worlds can be used to create very effective learning spaces . Source: http://horizon.nmc.org/wiki/Main_Page
  • 6. Evolution of the Web Web 1.0 Text Based “ Flat” Web 1990s Web 2.0 Text + A/V “ Social” Web 2000’s Web 3D Places, not pages “ Virtual” Web 2010’s
  • 7. Photo credit: Sean Dreilinger, Creative Commons License – http://flickr.com/photos/seandreilinger/2187892869/
  • 8.  
  • 9.  
  • 10.  
  • 11. Image used with permission, http://www.kzero.co.uk/.
  • 12.  
  • 13. University of Cincinnati
  • 14. Bowling Green State University
  • 15. Ohio State University
  • 16. Miami University
  • 17. Ohio University
  • 18. Owens Community College
  • 19. Shawnee State University
  • 20.  
  • 21. Presence & Place
    • Virtual environments create a “third place” to meet at a distance. NOT a video conference!
  • 22. Classes, Meetings, & Conferences
  • 23. Classes, Meetings, & Conferences Classes, Meetings, & Conferences
  • 24. Classes, Meetings, & Conferences Classes, Meetings, & Conferences
  • 25. Bring Instructional Materials to Life
  • 26. Roleplays & Training Scenarios
    • Instructional benefits to virtual avatar
    • “ psychosocial moratorium”
  • 27. Prototypes, Models
    • Programmable, plastic environment
  • 28. Simulations
  • 29. Second Life Revenue Model 1 “Region” = 64 acres of virtual land Max of 15,000 objects per region
  • 30. Ohio Colleges & Universities in Second Life * Private schools ** State funded consortium Institution Regions Institution Regions Bowling Green State University 4 Miami University 1 Case Western Reserve University* 7 Shawnee State University 3 College of Mount St. Joseph* 3 University of Akron 1 Kent State University 2 University of Cincinnati 3 Ohio University 7 Wright State University 2 Ohio State University 3 Ohio Learning Network** 1 Owens Community College 1 Total 38 Regions in Second Life
  • 31.
    • LICENSE/HOSTING COST
      • 38 regions X $1000 setup fee = $38,000
      • 38 regions X $3540/yr to Linden Lab = $134,520
    • BUILDING/DEVELOPMENT COST
      • ~ $10,000 per region x 19 = $190,000
    • MANAGEMENT/ADMINISTRATION
      • ½ FTE ~ $25,000 x 13 = $325,000
    Cost Analysis* – Statewide Investment TOTAL = $687,520 * All figures are rough estimates, likely lower than actual costs.
  • 32. Who really owns the content in a “walled garden”? Photo courtesy mattbuck4950 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattbuck007/2600161891/ Who really owns the content In a “walled garden” model?
  • 33. Content not easily exportable
    • Can purchase 3 rd party program to export individual items, but it’s unreliable
    • Can only export items by a single creator/owner, most campus builds are collaborations
    • Must export items, scripts, terrain, and other components individually and then re-assemble – very tedious work
  • 34. Investment is tied to single platform Backing up a campus of thousands of objects is not an option in Second Life, moving it to OpenSim is extremely difficult, if possible at all (licensing, IP, ownership).
  • 35. Linden Lab privately held company Sources: Daily Finance http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/second-life-owner-linden-lab-to-lay-off-30-of-its-workers/19509989 / Develop https://www.develop-online.net/news/35229/Second-Life-CEO-walks-amid-layoffs The Journal http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/11/03/linden-lab-to-end-second-life-educational-discounts.aspx
  • 36. Pros and Cons of Second Life Pros Cons 24/7 virtual campus presence – great for distance learning, outreach, marketing Increasing Costs – Linden Lab cancelled educational discount program Higher retention in DL programs – Students feel more connected and engaged Lack of Content Portability – Hard to share or collaborate, content and investment is “stuck” in Second Life Improved learning outcomes – Simulations and roleplays increase learning No Transparency – Private company is not accountable to educators, very little leverage for changes we need Unique affordances no other platform provides - prototypes, data visualizations, meetings and conferences “feel” immersive Slow development cycle – Innovation has slowed (mesh) , major bugs yet to be addressed (group chat) Cost savings on physical infrastructure – Substantially reduces costs of meetings, conferences and potentially classrooms Uncertain Future – Seem to be moving towards more “social” uses of platform, less focus on enterprise use
  • 37. Technology Adoption Curve Virtual Worlds
  • 38. Brief History of the Web Web 1.0 Text Based “ Flat” Web 1990s Web 2.0 Text + A/V “ Social” Web 2000’s Web 3D Places, not pages “ Virtual” Web 2010’s Apache Web Server
  • 39. Brief History of the Web Web 1.0 Text Based “ Flat” Web 1990s Web 2.0 Text + A/V “ Social” Web 2000’s Web 3D Places, not pages “ Virtual” Web 2010’s Apache Web Server Opensim World Server?
  • 40. Open Source Simulator Software = Apache of Virtual Worlds?
  • 41. Open Source Simulator Software Image source: Clark-Casey, Justin. (2010) “Scaling OpenSimulator: An Examination of Possible Architectures for an Internet-Scale Virtual Environment Network”. http://justincc.org/downloads/docs/justincc-dissertation.pdf
  • 42. OpenSim - Scalable Architecture Image source: http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Configuration
  • 43. Uses Second Life-like Technology
    • Direct skills transference for Second Life users and developers (prim based building, sculpts, soon mesh).
    University of Cincinnati Campus in Second Life University of Cincinnati Campus in OpenSim
  • 44. Uses Second Life-like Technology
    • Avatars and all related assets are similar, templates created for Second Life will work for OpenSim
    Avatar in Second Life Avatar in OpenSim https://sites.google.com/site/ohioteachu/courses
  • 45. Pros and Cons of Second Life X Pros Cons 24/7 virtual campus presence – great for distance learning, outreach, marketing Increasing Costs – Linden Lab cancelled educational discount program Higher retention in DL programs – Students feel more connected and engaged Lack of Content Portability – Hard to share or collaborate, content and investment is “stuck” in Second Life Improved learning outcomes – Simulations and roleplays increase learning No Transparency – Private company is not accountable to educators, very little leverage for changes we need Unique affordances no other platform provides - prototypes, data visualizations, meetings and conferences “feel” immersive Slow development cycle – Innovation has slowed (mesh) , major bugs yet to be addressed (group chat) Cost savings on physical infrastructure – Substantially reduces costs of meetings, conferences and potentially classrooms Uncertain Future – Seem to be moving towards more “social” uses of platform, less focus on enterprise use
  • 46. University System of Ohio OpenSim Grid USO Grid School 1: Hosted Region School 2: Hosted Region School 3: Self-Hosted Region School 4: Hosted Region School 6: Self-Hosted Region School 5: Hosted Region
  • 47.
    • LICENSE/HOSTING COST
      • 38 regions X $3000 to Linden Lab = $114,000
      • Subsidized by the state
    • BUILDING/DEVELOPMENT COST
      • Shared content, open license, reusable resources
    • MANAGEMENT/ADMINISTRATION
      • Still requires staff, but much less overhead
    OpenSim Cost Analysis - Statewide Substantial Savings!
  • 48. OpenSim – Portable XML Assets Can pack whole regions into a single .OAR file that can be Imported into any OpenSim system! Can pack user inventory into a single .IAR file that can be Imported into any OpenSim system!
  • 49. University System of Ohio OpenSim Grid – Mixed Model Self-Hosted = Simulators run on school’s own hardware, but optionally accessible to the entire grid. USO Grid School 1: Hosted Region School 2: Hosted Region School 3: Self-Hosted Region School 4: Hosted Region School 6: Self-Hosted Region School 5: Hosted Region School 6: Self-Hosted Private Region School 1: Hosted Private Region
  • 50. Major Companies contributing to OpenSim development Image source: http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2010/09/intel-science-sim-breakthrough.html
  • 51. Grids Popping Up Globally Image source: http://immersive-worlds-tool-ranking.grouply.com/message/323
  • 52. Integration with Moodle Image source: http://immersive-worlds-tool-ranking.grouply.com/message/323 No Blackboard integration… … Yet!
  • 53. USO Grid in Planning Phase April 2011 June 2011 August 2011 Currently testing system architecture options for scalability Working with OLN and OARnet to run USO Grid on Virtual Machines (hosted at OARnet) Goal: Grid Services up and running, test hosted and self-hosted config options Select institutions for pilot phase Goal: Regions ready for 2011-12 academic year for pilot institutions 0.7.1 release expected in Fall/Winter 2011 (?)
  • 54. Pilot Participants & Testers Needed! University System of Ohio institutions are invited to participate! Email: [email_address]
  • 55. Questions? ? ?
  • 56. OPENSIM: A NEW ALTERNATIVE TO SECOND LIFE Chris M. Collins (SL/OS: Fleep Tuque) Project Manager, University of Cincinnati Second Life Project Second Life Ambassador, Ohio Learning Network UCit Instructional & Research Computing University of Cincinnati [email_address] TeachU ~ Ohio Learning Network ~ April 2011