Sunday, February 25, 2007

Our Island is coming along

We streamed video from a live event into SL from our auditorium. It worked pretty good - we used my little consumer camera for the live stream and picked up audio from the speakers in the booth. We also taped the event to post later to test on demand streaming. So lots of audio/video fun times.

Students are building - some up in the sky.

My avie is healthy - no flu or colds or bronchitis in SL. Man i wish that was true in the real world.

Friday, February 23, 2007

we've gone international

Check out

A guy from Sweden visited the Park Communication Island while the qualitaitve class was online - we were trying to take some pictures of us in our Ithaca tshirts - so he posed with us for the photos. And then blogged about it on his blog.

Small world

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Tshirt in SecondLife

Jeff Tatanus (Jeff Waldman in SL) put together a great Ithaca tshirt for us to give out on the Park School island. He says it's not hard to do - but he did a great job and took time to get the details just right.

here's a pic:

new home for the Park School

Ok - not in real life, but in SecondLife.

We've moved the Park School building up to the top of the mountain on our island. There are two small amphitheatres and a good sized lobby for mingling.

We're still working on the textures and colors inside. But the basic building is looking great!

Here are some pictures:

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hmm - the edges of the SL future are fuzzy right now

Theyjust announced a new access policy. If hte network starts to be overloaded (like it's been doing on the weekends lately) they're going to restrict logins to people who have premium accounts, or have some other financial relationship with the company (like accounts that have purchased money through the linden exchange.

Lots of discussion on the SL Educators list. What if you have a class meeting in SL and all of a sudden they kick in the restrictions and half of your class can't get online? Is SL less atrractive if you have to pay to use it (buy a premium account)?

Interesting questions. One of the coolest things about SL is that students can get started with no monetary investment. Whatever money they want to spend they can give to buy things in world; money would go to designers and builders and artists rather than to the folks at Linden Lab.

We'll have to see how the access problems work out. In the long run - Linden lab needs to figure out how to scale up - it may require a rewrite of the basic structure of the world. That will not be an easy task.

I'm still a big supporter of this virtual world. The opportunities still seem to outweigh the problems. Students can be media creators, and own the things they create. People get recognized for skills in SL that might not be recognized in their real world lives. There are concerts, ballets, lectures, live music - - and lots and lots of conversation. You just have to find what you like or start something on your own. To me - this is something worth pursuing.

I'm worried (heck - i just spent almost $4k of the school's money on SL) but not ready to cut and run yet. It's a limitation we'll have to deal with int he future. Like building restrictions, and figuring out who can schedule events - we'll just have to figure out how best to set up new accounts and how to communicate possible shut downs to new users. right now i think the problem is the unknown - we don't know how often it's going to happen or how long hte shutdowns will last. Exhale folks. Keep your fingers crossed. And enjoy SL.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Really really the park school in SL

One of the students involved on the island, Matt SeGall, decided to start building a model of the Park school. Here are some pictures of his work so far. The textures aren't final - he just threw some in (especially in the auditorium) to mark off different areas.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Some cool events in SL

I'm amazed these days when I go into the Search -> Events list. there's so much to do these days.

On wednesday 2/14 I went to a ballet performance in SL - with custom animations and original music and gorgeous sets.

On the Roma sim on Thursday (and I think friday) there's a big celebration with some big event each night at 9pm (est). Definitely sounds worth checking out.

On Saturday at 7pm (EST) there's a basic machinima class

And - this is the coolest - on Tuesday night at 11pm (est) there's a talk at the International SL Space Museum by an astronomer who was part of the team that found evidence that the universe is expanding. COuld be very cool.

SL - It's not just sex and shopping anymore

Friday, February 09, 2007

More scenery

Here's some shots of sunset on the park island

These views are one reason I picked the island design with the mountain - there are magnificent 360 degree views of the water, of the sky - we just need to get some hot air balloons!

Our second island is here!

It's for the Center for Independent Media - a new center being set up at the Roy H. Park School of Communication. It will be run through the Journalism Department.

Here are some pictures. We're thinking log houses, forest views. Nice lake boating. Quiet and peaceful. That should be an environment that stimulates a lot of discussion of the ways individual people can and are creating media - blogs, wikis, websites, podcasts, video podcasts, channels on youtube, and so on.

And here's a picture that shows how close together the two islands owned by the Park School are. We want to build bridges between departments - and between the islands.