Monthly Archives: June 2007

Australasian Second Life Educational Projects Showcase documentation


On the 20th of June Jo Kay and I facilitated an in-world showcase of Australasian educational projects in Second Life for the Australian Flexible Learning Framework’s E-learning Networks June 19-20 Online Conference.

Event materials – including the chat transcript, presenters’ notes, slides, videos, photos and blog posts – are now available at:

Jo and I are pleased with how well it went, especially since it was our first event. There were a few of the usual technical glitches that we come to expect in Second Life, and we learned a few lessons for next time, but overall we think it was a great success.

We actually maxed-out the sim at 40 avs and had several people trying to get in throughout the event!

One thing I think worked well was mixing up the media. We alternated slide presentations with videos, and one presenter used an oversized Thinc book. It made for a very multi-media event.

We had intended to use streaming audio, but as we were about to set-up we found someone else had pirated our rented Shoutcast server! It wasn’t such a bad thing though – only a few presenters wanted to use voice and it would have added another variable to an already challenging session.

Thanks to all those who presented and provided videos. And a special thanks to Corwin Carillon for dealing with a flood of newbies’ questions in IM… asking them to send him their questions worked a bit too successfully it seems!

And we may have inadvertently become responsible for the inaugural ‘Australasian Second Life Conference‘! 🙂

(Images by Jo Kay)

Virtual Worlds – What are They and Why do Educators Need to Pay Attention to Them?


Last week, as part of the Australian Flexible Learning Framework’s E-learning Networks June 19-20 Online Conference, I delivered a presentation called Virtual Worlds – What are They and Why do Educators Need to Pay Attention to Them? (with the help of Jo Kay of course!)

The recording of the Elluminate session is available here: (directly opens the Elluminate session).

My presentation notes and resources are here:

Overall, the presentation seemed to go quite well, although it’s always hard to tell with presentations in Elluminate.

I didn’t pay any attention to the chat channel… I focused on the presentation while Jo did a great job of fielding questions in chat. I always encourage chat – I like having a back channel going on. I like it that people are having rich conversations provoked by the topic that I am presenting. It’s great to see people sharing resources and helping each other out too.

As for my own performance, I was extremely tired as a result of burning the candle at both ends – one end being preparation for the presentation and the other end being our preparation for the successful In-World Presentation: Showcasing Australasian Educational Projects in Second Life we ran the very next day – so I wasn’t as sharp as I could have been.

I fluffed my punchline a bit. I wanted to finish up by making a point about the need for educators to pay attention to virtual worlds, or they will no longer be relevant in the eyes of Net Gen students who are growing up completely accustomed to avatarised environments.

I took the risk of using a famous clip from the South Park episode where the boys are represented playing World of Warcraft to illustrate this point. The language in it is very ‘blue’, which is typical of South Park, but the clip is funny, and I think it does a great job of illustrating the danger of teachers (and other adults) coming to be seen by the Net Gens as “artards” (r-tards… gamer speak for retards) for completely misunderstanding what young people are doing online, and the value of online interaction for them. My intention had been to shock, but not offend.

I wasn’t sure whether I was going to use the clip right up until the end, but the audience seemed pretty receptive up until that point, so I decided to let it rip. Unfortunately, between being tired and nervous, and feeling rushed as we were running out of time, I didn’t get a chance to actually say:

“The last reason I think educators need to pay attention to virtual worlds is so that our students don’t think we’re artards.”

In the rush I also didn’t give a blue language warning, which I regret, and to make matters worse the the clip kept looping! Several people seemed offended, which is understandable, but I think most people got the point.

Anyway… if you get chance check out the presentation resources – there is a lot there to explore about what’s happening in the virtual world space.

links for 2007-06-28

Virtual Worlds and Second Life Presentations for the AFLF


This week Jo Kay and I will be doing two sessions for the the AFLF’s E-learning Networks June 19-20 Online Conference

We hope you can come!


Virtual Worlds – What are They and Why do Educators Need to Pay Attention to Them?

Tuesday June 19th 2007, 3.30pm – 4.30pm, AEST/Sydney time
(other time zones –


There is currently an explosion in the number and population of online 3D virtual worlds. This development could even be heralding the next evolutionary phase of the Internet – the 3D web.

This session will provide an overview of the latest developments in online 3D virtual worlds and describe some of their unique characteristics.

We will also look at how these environments can be used in education and how they can help explore new learning models. We will look at why it is important for educators to pay attention to online 3D virtual worlds and become involved in their development.

The session will focus on Second Life, one of the more popular and flexible online 3D virtual worlds.


At the end of the session participants will have an understanding of the following questions:

  • What are online 3D virtual worlds? How popular are they becoming?
  • What are some of the characteristics of online 3D virtual worlds and what new opportunities do they present for online education?
  • What are some of the ways online 3D virtual worlds can be used in education?
  • What are some of the challenges educators face when using online 3D virtual worlds?
  • Why do educators need to pay attention to online 3D virtual worlds?
  • What does the future hold for online 3D virtual worlds and the 3D web?

This one is an Elluminate session, so you will have to register at to participate.

In-World Presentation: Showcasing Australasian Educational Projects in Second Life

Wednesday June 20th 2007, 6.00pm – 7.30pm, AEST/Sydney time (1.00am PDT/SLT) (other time zones –


Jo Kay (aka jokay Wollongong) and Sean FitzGerald (aka Sean McDunnough) will host an event within the 3D online virtual world of Second Life, showcasing some of the Australasian educational projects currently being undertaken using the Second Life platform.

A number of educators from Australia and New Zealand will give brief overviews of their educational activities within Second Life. After the presentations there will be an opportunity to explore some of the educational spaces and projects featured.

Participants will be provided with landmarks and in-world resources to assist them to further explore the educational uses of Second Life in the future.


At the end of the session participants will have an understanding of:

  • A number of projects currently being undertaken in Second Life
  • Some possible educational uses of Second Life
  • How Second Life can be used for online presentations and web conferencing

Participants will understand how to:

  • Setup an account and login to Second Life
  • Participate in a Second Life event


  • 6.00pm – 6.05pm: Sean FitzGerald (Sean McDunnough) – Introduction & Overview
  • 6.05pm – 6.15pm: Jo Kay (jokay Wollongong) – Sean & Jo’s Projects
  • 6.15pm – 6.25pm: Glenda McPherson (Glenda Arrow) & Malcolm Jolly (Malcolm Dalgleish) – The GippsTAFE Project
  • 6.25pm – 6.35pm: Kathryn Greenhill (Emerald Dumont) – Australian Libraries in Second Life (video)
  • 6.35pm – 6.45pm: Aaron Griffiths (Isa Goodman) – SL Educational Projects in NZ
  • 6.45pm – 6.55pm: Gary Hayes (Gary Hazlitt) – AFTRS & LAMP (video)
  • 6.55pm – 7.05pm: Lindy McKeown (Decka Mah) – Action Learning on Terra Incognita
  • 7.05pm – 7.15pm: Greg More (Dynamo Zanetti) – RMIT’s Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory (video)
  • 7.15pm – 7.25pm: Alan Levine (CDB Barkley) – New Medium Consortium and Aussie Trip
  • 7.25pm – 7.30pm: Jo Kay (jokay Wollongong) – Wrap-up

This one is in-world, so there is no need to register for the conference, just visit the amphitheatre at Jo and Sean’s Virtual Meeting Space

For more info see: