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Archive for August, 2010

I presented an invited paper at the ICAN and Mentoring statewide conference 2010: ‘Youth development: everybody’s business’ on the 26th August 2010.

The focus of my paper was on strategies for engaging students through creativity, innovation and ethics in practice-led research within the media studies curriculum. The presentation drew on a case-study based on a  first year undergraduate digital media course designed to engage learners through a media-rich curriculum where students are introduced to idea generation and creativity as they research a social issue, challenge their ethical positions and employ a mix of technologies to communicate their chosen topic to a diverse audience.

Further details about the conference are available from the ICAN conference brochure: http://www.ican.sa.edu.au/files/links/2010_ICAN_conference_broch.pdf

ICAN and Mentoring statewide conference 2010

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I have recently returned from a visit to Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Centre, Pittsburgh (US) where we met with Don Marinelli and faculty to discuss a planned collaboratively taught Masters degree to be offered in Adelaide, Australia.

The Master of Entertainment Technology degree offered by Carnegie Mellon University is regarded as a  visionary and unique program, equivalent in academic weight to a Master of Fine Arts degree, and Carnegie Mellon University is the only university in the US to offer such a Masters of Entertainment Technology degree (MET).

Our students are already undertaking collaborative project work with faculty and students from the ETC. Our first collaborative project involved the development of an interactive exhibit about Australia’s famous “Tea and Sugar Train”, which is based at the National Rail Museum, Port Adelaide.

Our students are now working on a project with ETC faculty and Electric Owl, a company that produces  interactive kiosks for children, involving the development of an interactive game to prepare young children for elective surgery.

You can learn more about the ETC from their website: http://www.etc.cmu.edu/about/index.html and the

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Charles Morris, our lead developer on the 3D Virtual Learning project, presented on my behalf a the Second Life Community Convention held in Boston from the 13th-15th August, 2010. Our presentation was a dynamic 5 minute “Speed Spark” which was simulcast in Second Life as well as at the conference. The “Speed Spark” sessions conducted on the Saturday included the following:

  • Machinima Basics:  Robin Williams (SL: Greylin Fairweather)
  • How Community Contribution Opportunities Have Helped the 7Seas Fishing Community: Jen Gagne (SL: Jen Shikami)
  • Almost Like Being There: Second Life Experiences Informing Real World Action: Linda Kelley (SL: Delia Lake)
  • Sojourner Auditorium on Virtual Ability Island: Dr. Robert Vernon (SL: Gabrielli Rossini)
  • RAGE4 – Web-Enabled Roleplay And Gaming Engine for Second Life: Jeremy Pippin (SL: Luc Aubret)
  • The 2010 Telstra-TJA Christopher Newell Award winning accessibility solution for telecommunications and disability: Dr. Denise Wood (SL: Denlee Wobbit), Charles Morris (SL: Charles Mountain)
  • Cape Able:  Dr. Robert Vernon (SL: Gabrielli Rossini)

Our presentation can be accessed via:
http://www.virtualhelpinghands.org/Media/slcc_sp_small/slcc_sp_small.mov

Machinima Basics

Robin Williams (SL: Greylin Fairweather)

Award winning Machinimist Robin Williams will teach you the basics of machinima and film production as well give you the best hints for related software and hardware and tricks the “pros” use to create a video on any budget. A peek at mixed reality and green screening in SL time permitting.

Former teacher Robin Williams was hired by an international corporation after they saw one of her SL machinimas on YouTube. She has been happily working and playing in SL ever since. She was a Keynote Speaker at 3DTLC for Sun Mircrosystems and is currently with Oracle making videos and other projects involving Second Life.

How Community Contribution Opportunities Have Helped the 7Seas Fishing Community

Jen Gagne (SL: Jen Shikami)
The 7Seas Fishing community is a vibrant and fun way for folks to show off their creativity and meet new new people. Learn how we fostered this by opening up the system for community-created add-ons and prizes.

Jen Gagne has been designing and building in Second Life since 2006 for several businesses she shares with her brother Seven: 7Seas Fishing, Seven’s Selections (7Selections) Wings and Fashion, and Insert Coin Arcade.

Almost Like Being There: Second Life Experiences Informing Real World Action

Linda Kelley (SL: Delia Lake)

A meaningful, immersive experience produces lasting memories of having been there, even if that experience is virtual. People care about those places and the people that have reached out and “touched” them.This presentation highlights some robust builds and projects in Second Life® that stimulate “being there” in collaborative explorations and co-creation of options for resolving difficult, far-reaching and important real world environmental and social problems.
Linda Kelley works with individuals and teams to develop the culture of leadership and effective collaboration that make sustainability real and enterprise prosperous. She is a co-author of The Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook, When It All Comes Together (Greenleaf, 2008) in which she writes about Second Life as a serious medium for trans-organizational collaboration and sustainability networking.

Sojourner Auditorium on Virtual Ability Island

Dr. Robert Vernon (SL: Gabrielli Rossini)
This presentation facility is one of the most accessible in SL. Designed using the principles of Universal Design for Virtual Worlds, the auditorium’s numerous features specifically assist not only people with disabilities, but the general population as well, to fully participate in presentations. Learn about specific design features built in for accessibility.

Dr. Robert Vernon is a professor at the Indiana University School of Social Work. He has conducted numerous courses inside the virtual world, and sponsored graduate student projects in SL.

RAGE4 – Web-Enabled Roleplay And Gaming Engine for Second Life

Jeremy Pippin (SL: Luc Aubret)
RAGE4 is a completely web-enabled RPG engine due for release in September 2010. With RAGE4 you can easily create multi-region RPG games – featuring your own races, classes, and metrics – without any programming knowledge. Our rich gaming model, open API, and free redistributable HUD makes RAGE4 an attractive alternative to closed RPG systems.

Jeremy Pippin has been creating content in Second Life since 2005, and he loves it.

The 2010 Telstra-TJA Christopher Newell Award winning accessibility solution for telecommunications and disability

Dr. Denise Wood (SL: Denlee Wobbit), Charles Morris (SL: Charles Mountain)
This presentation will describe a project funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council involving the design and development of an accessible 3D virtual learning environment. The project, which was awarded the 2010 Telstra-TJA Christopher Newell Award for telecommunications and disability is led by Dr Denise Wood from the University of South Australia (UniSA), and has involved collaboration with various groups in Second Life including Virtual Helping Hands.


Denise Wood is a Senior Lecturer at the University of South Australia. She’s leading a nationally funded project involving the development of an open source, accessible 3D virtual learning platform. Her research focuses on the use of Web 2.0 and 3D virtual worlds to increase the social participation of young people with disabilities and she is a member of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network Standing Advisory Committee on Disability Issues. Charles Morris is a professional freelance software developer with over 20 years of experience. Charles Morris is also the lead developer for Virtual Helping Hands and its various projects.

Cape Able

Dr. Robert Vernon (SL: Gabrielli Rossini)
One of Virtual Ability’s residential sims, Cape Able also houses a Disability Resource Center, an art gallery that displays the works of artists with real life disabilities, and the virtual world’s only Starbucks-authorized Deaf Chat Coffeehouse.

Dr. Robert Vernon is a professor at the Indiana University School of Social Work. He has conducted numerous courses inside the virtual world, and sponsored graduate student projects in SL.

Art in Abundance: Hosting International Digital Art Exhibitions in SL

Bonnie Mitchell (SL:BonnieMitchell Miles)
Mitchell will showcase nine art exhibitions hosted on the Bowling Green State University Virtual Campus since 2007. These include the International Digital Media Arts exhibit “IDEAs”, the 2008 Computational Aesthetics exhibition from Lisbon, Portugal, the 2007 Arcade V exhibition from Perth, Australia, the SIGGRAPH SpaceTime Student Exhibitions 2009-2010, the 2009 FATE: Foundations in Art, Theory, and Education Student Exhibition, the Southern Graphic Council 2009 traveling member exhibition, a rotating BGSU Digital Arts Student Exhibition, Anthony Fontana’s Art 101 Student Exhibit, and BGSU Digital Art graduate student Kuang Hsu’s Second Death Exhibit.

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