Towards the end of last year, Dr Ruth Martinez published her book “SLoodle. Conexión de Entornos de Aprendizaje“. The book is in Spanish (obviously!), so I can’t really say too much about the contents, but I asked Ruth for some more information the book. With SLOODLE having been such a large part of my academic life for a few years, I’m always glad to hear of successes (or even failed attempts) at using it, and great to see this book appearing.
You can purchase the book from Editorial UOC, Ruth’s synopsis follows…
Going back a few years, I helped Jeremy Kemp found a project called SLOODLE, a kind of e-learning mash-up between Second Life and Moodle (and later OpenSim as a Second Life alternative). This is still being maintained by Edmund Edgar at http://www.sloodle.org/. Edmund has been doing a great job, updating things to maintain compatibility with the latest versions of Moodle, and enhancing and adding to the tools and features available.
Unfortunately I’ve had very little time to work with SLOODLE over the last couple of years, so it’s pleasing to discover the range of work that others have been doing with it in the mean time. A quick search uncovered the following since 2012:
It was the OpenSim Community Conference at the weekend – which included streams on Education and Research. Although I was only able to attend a couple of sessions in-world (including my own!), the conference was also live streamed, and a video archive of the talks and presentations is now available.
Igor Mayer has created a Mendeley group for PhD theses related to Serious Games and Games Based Learning. Many of the references include download links to the related thesis. Recommended for new PhD students in the area and others with a LOT of reading time available!
Some more conferences and calls with relevance to Game Based Learning, Virtual Worlds, and Game Development.
If you didn’t catch them already, see the previous two posts for information on the OpenSimulator Community Conference and the Immersive Education European Summit.
The first OpenSimulator Community Conference will be online on September 7th and 8th this year. This is a big step forward for the now quite widely used but still officially ‘alpha’ status virtual world. Having had a few student projects active in the OpenSim based Jokaydia Grid this year, I’ll hopefully be able to submit something of interest to the proceedings.
The upcoming Immersive Education European Summit in London in November has a great line-up of keynote speakers announced. The paper submission deadline is not until the end of July – so lots of time to prepare something.
Philip Rosedale, Second Life founder, has a new project to build a new virtual world – High Fidelity. He has a team that also includes, as community manager, Jeska Dzwigalski, another Linden Lab veteran.
The goal is vague but ambitious – something about cloud/peer-to-peer, low latency and high scalability virtual worlds. There is a picture of some glasses and a circuit board.
We’re building a new virtual world enabling rich avatar interactions driven by sensor-equipped hardware, simulated and served by devices (phones, tablets and laptops/desktops) contributed by end-users.
So yesterday I ran my first class in Second Life for a while. For student project work I’ve even rented some land there for a while (having previously managed two islands for the University).
Overall it was a good experience, and for my class it worked very well. There was a lecture and a building exercise and some experimentation with co-editing web-pages from within Second Life (this last a little flaky – in part the result of too many dynamic web-pages for the SL client to manage, in part because of too many client connections for Google Docs to reliably manage).
But returning to Second Life certainly made me think again about it, and the place of virtual worlds in education today…
A little bit of a tangent for this blog, but the social agents aspect of this conference has a large crossover with educational agents in virtual worlds, so of some interest. Anyway, current call and recently extended deadline for CASA 2013:
CASA 2013 – Call For Papers
May 16-18, 2013, Istanbul, Turkey
All accepted full papers will be published in a special issue of Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds journal. We are seeking regular full papers, short papers, and posters with the following topics, but which are not limited to: