iliveisl Estate

posted in: elearning | 1

I am always one to share, have been like that for a long time.  And that includes the estate.  I am behind the scenes in day to day operations but want to emphasize that there are several meeting places that are open to anyone for free use.  Second Life is all about collaboration and providing space is a little part I can add back to the community.

I took 214 pictures of the estate as homage to the work done by Ener Hax.  A true artist with terraforming and landscaping.  Even a half dozen waterfalls and details like the converted Fallout shelter (now the Eville Atomic Lounge) and the catacombs beneath the city streets of Enercity.

There are wonderful details like the hot dog cart at the ferry landing and the 1905 Vittoria Arduino espresso maker at the docked zeppelin on the 300 meter rooftop in Enercity Park.

Look it up inworld by searching for Enercity Park or grab a slurl from

And if you get hooked and want to see how it can be used in your eLearning, then come see me at DevLearn08 session 708 and see how you can bring Second Life into your toolkit as an easy and low cost medium.

Well Timed Humor

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My selfless friend, mentor, adviser, business partner, and so much more sent me an IM that could not have been better timed.  With rl work, sl drama from a few residents, sim growth, prep for DevLearn08, and normal real world things; Ener Hax has perfect timing (and grace too, don’t let perceived naiveté fool you).

Being quite passionate about Second Life, there are times when it just does the soul a world of good to laugh at yourself.  Well for anyone that is into Second Life, this link will provide for a few head nods and perhaps a real LOL.


Brandon Hall Research blog

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Tom Werner has a blog over at Brandon Hall that discusses various aspects of Second Life.  It’s a refreshing read on a general topics.

I liked his view on whether platforms like Second Life are a game or not (my comments are there) and on how people represent themselves in Second Life (a topic I will touch on here as well).

He also discussed the MystiTool, which is a very handy HUD loaded with useful features like a rezzable table that keeps adding chairs as needed, sky platforms, “elevators”, non-physical vehicles (for push protection), and many other features (the proximity aspect is what I use the most whle I am building so that I don’t get surprised by someone showing up next to me).

Here is an absolutely great write up discussing the Mysti in great detail.

Hope to see you at DevLearn08!  =D

Shameless Plug? Sure, plus details

posted in: elearning | 1

When a new technology or platform comes along, we tend to think of “how can I use it for elearning”?

Second Life, although not new at five years since it started, is still new to the elearning community.  It still has that new sparkle to it and continues to improve with each viewer release.  The next viewer will have MONO and should result in a noticeably faster script running (up to 220 times faster).

While this has little to do directly with elearning in Second Life, it will increase performance and make for a better all around experience for residents.  That is all well and fine, but to return to the premise of this post – we tend to look at this as “how can I put my elearning into that?”

Whether “that” is Second Life or an iPhone, we typically focus on how to deliver our content via the new platform.  This is certainly appropriate and yields great results.  At DevLearn08, I look at how we can turn that around in regard to Second Life.

Rather than bring elearning into it, bring “it” to elearning.  Second Life has some obstacles, none are particularly bad, just obstacles (firewall issues, initial learning curve, limit to number of participants in one place).  It is a very rich tool intended to allow a high level of 3D creativity.   That is a huge plus for Second Life as all content is created by it’s users.  Keeping in mind that it is a shared 3D application helps to understand why it does have occasional issues.  To create a sharable 3D application is a mammoth task and quite well done by Linden Labs.

For me, bringing Second Life into elearning means using it as your own personal video studio.  The cost and logistics of incorporating real video in elearning is very high.  And if you ever need to update the video you have . . . that is nearly impossible (having the same actors, wardrobe, video and audio setup, is difficult).  However, creating a Second Life studio means having your own 3D created space with actors that don’t age, are always available (if you use alts and dedicated accounts), saved outfits in their inventories, total control over lighting, et cetera.

The addition of MONO means that subsequent filming will be even smoother and yield higher quality results.  The use of this video (machinima) is certainly heavy in it’s 3D “game” style but is an option that is inexpensive and fairly easy to do.  Once you have the techniques and settings established, it is easy to shoot video and easy to come back later to update that video.

Techniques and settings to consider will all be presented at DevLearn08 concurrent session 708 and the supporting material will be available for download.  These materials include “user guides”, checklists, tip & tricks, tools, video files, and Flash files.  Additionally, a sim (island) will be made available for participants of the conference to practice these techniques in a private area with low traffic.

Thanks and I hope to see you there for a very resource heavy presentation with step-by-step discussion of a real world case study.  You will definitely be able to come away with “lessons learned” and be able to put this into practice for your elearning.

Second Life Video (Machinima) Tool Links

posted in: elearning | 1

This is just a start to what will be an exhaustive list of tools used for doing machinima in Second Life for use in your elearning material.

I found this information through hours of searching and hope to save you some time.  The links are to products I use in my work now and each product will also be covered in my session at Devlearn08 on using Second Life as an inexpensive video source.

Note:  This is a work in progress and User Guides will be created specific to lessons learned in the use of these tools for use in elearning.

Fraps – this is a video capture tool that is often used to record World of Warcraft and other online games.  It maintains a very high frame rate (over 30 typically on my machine). Cost: $37 USD

Sizer – this freeware utility is incredibly important for creating as crisp a video as possible.  It is also a huge time saver after it’s initial, and easy, set up.  Maintaining crisp video is a simple matter of filming the video to the exact size you will be using in your eLearning material, thus avoiding any anti-aliasing.

WavePad – the free version is much easier to use than it initially looks.

FilmingPath – this is an “in world” camera that allows for very smooth camera pans and dolly shots.

QuickTime Pro – If you want to make video podcasts, this is a vital tool for converting your AVI files to the iPod format and it is only $29 USD.

CamStudio – the free screencasting software from which Camtasia was built.

eLearning Guild Annual Gathering 2009

posted in: elearning | 0

The call for proposals has come out for the 2009 Annual Gathering and I would love to hear ideas that you may have regarding Second Life.  My passion is in creating spaces that are conducive to eLearning and creativity. 

I have also created team building exercises using obstacle type courses (think Ropes courses) and presentation areas.

If you have topics that would be of interest to the community, drop me a line.  Thanks

Amphitheatre for the eLearning Guild

posted in: elearning | 4

When asked about possibly providing a Second Life location for a Question and Answer session for the Guild Summer Seminar Series, I gladly offered my building skills and the use of iliveisl land.

And off I went in my beaver avatar (it’s a French Canadian thing). The build took about 4 hours using megaprims. Megaprims allow for the creation of shapes that would be very difficult to achieve with normal prims. A few Photoshop textures later and voila, a 40 seat amphitheatre and room for 6 panelists and a moderator.

Even details like water and a coffee maker are provided (a 1905 Victoria Arduino Caffe Espresso maker no less).

While this is a temporary build, look for it in November for the DevLearn08 conference.

A full sim will be provided for conference attendees exclusive use during, and after, the conference.

Consider attending my session if you are interested in seeing how easy, and affordable it is to add Second Life video (machinima) to your eLearning.


Originally uploaded by iliveiSL

eLearning Guild DevLearn08 Presentation

posted in: elearning | 0

eLearning Guild DevLearn Conference

The DevLearn08 concurrent session descriptions are up and live and it is very exciting to be a part of this.

An exciting aspect is that we (the iliveisl estate team) will have a dedicated sim online for session participants to explore building and machinima techniques.  It will be a big sandbox with at least a 4 hour build time (meaning that objects will be autoreturned every 4 hours to keep from lagging the sim).

To obtain sim access and build permissions, just let me know your avatar name and you will be invited to a Second Life group (name yet to be determined).  Feel free to post your aSecond Life vatar name here, or drop a notecard to Subquark Hax (my IMs get capped so a notecard insures that I get it).

After a few minor edits, the session 708 verbage will look like this:

Add Second Life to your Training without Having Users Log into Second Life

Leverage Second Life (SL) as a Web 2.0 eLearning tool.  Learners do not need to access Second Life to benefit.  In this session you will learn how to record and edit metaverse video, add audio, and incorporate it into Flash to create immersive learning simulations.

In this session, you will learn:
– creating a video script based on an existing course,
– video capture tools and optimal settings for their use, both inworld and outside of Second Life,
– creating “sets” in Second Life for your filming,
– creating outfits for your inworld cast,
– overriding Second Life environmental settings for lighting,
– avatar specific settings for optimal filming,
– video directing and editing “best practices”,
– audio tools and “best practices”, and
– importing video into Flash to create questions, scenarios, and overview videos.

Video walkthroughs of all aspects will be presented and made available for download, as well as supporting materials, to enable you to create your own Flash interactions.  A private in-world “sandbox” will allow you to practice these skills for 45 days after the conference.

Intermediate Designers and Developers with intermediate-level Flash and Second Life skills.

eLearning Guild Speaker

The first fully online & inworld certificate

posted in: elearning | 3

A great press release discussing Texas State Technical College’s certificate in digital media.  Amazing that it is the first but hats off to them for doing this. 

The use of a virtual world, like Second Life, is incredibly appropriate for this educational track.  It will be interesting to follow it’s implementation and hopefully find their island.  The press release does include a video and snapshot giving a glimpse of their efforts.

Creating a mostly inworld educational offering such as this must have been incredible.  It’s one thing to offer a few classes on inworld activities, but quite another to teach a programme that encompasses all digital media.

TSTC First to Offer Accredited College Certificate and Degree Programs in Virtual World

TSTC Virtual Site

Two years to build an island?

posted in: elearning | 1

Here is a typical article on the launch of a new island for an academic institution.  Nothing out of the ordinary (over 400 higher education institutions are currently in Second Life), however I was taken aback when the article mentioned it was 2 years in the making.

I expect that includes the entire project from proposal to island completion.  In that regard, it is not suprising.  The bureaucracy and possible “push back” can be quite an obstacle in both academia and corporate settings. 

A two year lag becomes more and more of an issue when Web 2.0 apps are coming on fast and furious.

They have a great collaborative plan outlined to include other community colleges on their island.  I can’t wait to see what they have created, I am certain it is very well done from both an educational and Second Life perspective.

Springfield Technical Community College to unveil virtual island in Second Life online world at Texas conference