Sunday, November 30, 2008

Edublogger Awards 2008!

Hey, all. I read last night in a Google News alert that my Second Life blog, "Oh! Virtual Learning," has been nominated for an "Eddie," an annual award for excellence in sharing out over the educational blogosphere. Kevin Jarrett, friend and colleague from Northhampton, New Jersey, tossed the nomination into the fray, and I hope that readers of this blog will take a few minutes to click on through to The 2008 Edublog Awards! and vote for my work, once the nominees are announced. You can bet that I'll be re-posting about it with a link to the voting site. Meanwhile, here are the categories and my own nominations for excellence within them.

1. Best individual blog --M
oving at the Speed of Creativity, Wes Fryer
2. Best group blog
-- Second Life Education Blog, various
3. Best new blog
-- From Mr. A to Mr. Z, Jeff Agamenoni
4. Best resource sharing blog
-- Jake Luddington's Digital Lifestyle
5. Most influential blog post -- Obama, Propelled by the Net, Wins Democratic Nomination
6. Best teacher blog
-- Welcome to NCS-Tech, Kevin Jarrett
7
. Best librarian / library blog
-- Hey Jude, Judy O'Connell
8. Best educational tech support blog
-- 21st Century Learning, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach
9. Best elearning / corporate education blog
-- no nominee 1
0. Best educational use of audio
-- Connect-Learning, David Warlick
11. Best educational use of video / visual
--TED Blog
12. Best educational wiki
-- SimTeach, Second Life Education Wiki, various
13. Best educational use of a social networking service

14. Best educational use of a virtual world -- SLpotential, various
15. Best class blog -- no nominee
16. Lifetime achievement -- Web-logged, Will Richardson

Here's a link to the 2008 Nominations page!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Vanderbilt Web Spiders Presentation

This morning I shared Second Life with a group of folks at Vanderbilt University called the "Web Spiders." They're interested in Web development. I got a warm reception for my contribution to their knowledge base and even received applause for my little machinima about the CSO's entry into the 3Dinternet, our new presence on Lighthouse Learning Island.

I'm adding a couple URLs that came up in discussion, ones that are not in the presentation files below:

Congressional Hearing on Virtual Worlds

A great graphic representation of commercial presences in SL (a year and a half-old, btw)

MUVErs LLC

Here's an interesting side-by-side shareout from Google Documents,



then Slideshare:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Natchez Trace Drive 110908

Just took a few minutes to upload pics from my camera to Picasaweb from the wonderful Sunday afternoon drive Steve treated us to, just Geoff, my son Colin, me and Steve driving down the beautiful road and talking foolishness. It was a great slow-down after a long and eventful weekend. Thanks, Steve, me boy. A couple nice desktop wallpapers in there!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fair Use Best Practices Document Release

"...what teachers really need. Not a rule book, but a code of best practices to guide them [educators] and their students to making their own wise decisions." (Peter Jaszi, American University Law Professor)

View the video then access, save, and read the document at the American University School for Social Media. Then apply what you've learned for the betterment of you and your students!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Virtual Worlds "Second Coming" Article

Web Watch writer Tim Ferguson has penned an analysis of the current and future states of virtual enterprise in an insightful article at silicon.com. In it, he forwards the notion that the initial failure of enterprise to capitalize on the technological advantages VE can offer was due to a hasty misread of the tools' capabilities and potentials, the very same sentiment I heard at SLEDcc08 from our pal Sarah Robbins. At that Tampa, Florida conference, she said that "corporations should stop whining that there's no potential just because they didn't do it right." That's the quote to the best of my memory, and that's pretty much what Ferguson has to say today. His is a fascinating summary and well worth a read. From the article:

Organisations are discovering myriad ways to benefit from virtual worlds.

The first and perhaps most obvious is collaboration. This includes holding real-time meetings in the worlds with each member participating via an avatar. It can be a big cost saver, as it removes the need to fly workers around the globe.

Virtual worlds can also help teams spread across several locations work together and co-ordinate projects.

The virtual world Qwaq, for example, allows users to create rooms that can store documents relating to a project, and where team members can meet up to share those documents and discuss the project using their avatars, IM and even VoIP.


I took a quick look at Qwaq, and it looks like a solution for companies to isolate their involvement in the 3Dinternet to collaborational meetings (which is certainly a nice market niche, but not necessarily one that will enable broadly innovative uses of virtual environments). It's also pricey, imho, when with a little flexibility an existing platform like Second Life can be used for similar purposes. I'll investigate more fully and report out. Perhaps a Qwaq-er could comment here in response and elucidate further?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Brave New World Wide Web for Teachers!



This is soooooo worth a look. David Truss, a new favorite blogger at David Truss::Pair-a-dimes for Your Thoughts, mounted a video at blip.tv from a powerpoint pressie he had recently done. Up there ^ it is :)

I'll reference this one for a good long time, and I hope you find it valuable. I discovered it, btw, in a posting at my Diigo, which I really don't access as often as I should. It's all about the balance and the time, isn't it? But as Truss exemplifies, if you don't

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sidewalk Ask a Nobel Laureate!

Through conversations with my Director at the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach last week, I became aware of the August publication of a very interesting little video about a colleague of hers, Nobel Prize winning Dr. Leon Lederman, a physicist who contributed his time to a novel program. From the ScienCentral, Inc., a company formed to "increase the number and quality of science stories broadcast to the public," comes this announcement:

ScienCentral is taking science to the people in its first installment of “Street Corner Science,” a radical-yet-simple concept in which a film crew and a renowned scientist are plunked down on a busy city street corner, and an impromptu Q&A session with the public ensues. This video is the first of two “Street Corner Science” segments featuring Dr. Lederman; be sure to check out Part 2 here!
Here's the video Part 1!


Creating a "Science of the Web"

As you may know by now, Al Gore did not "invent the internet."

And as disappointing as that may be, you may find some comfort in the fact that Tim Berners-Lee took care of that for Al. Now that the internet is so integrated into our lives, Berners-Lee is thinking, "Well, it may just be time to figure out just what it is." [author's note: this is a fictional quote and may or may not accurately represent Dr. Berners-Lee's motiviations].

He's actually been at this for quite a while, and it may only be news to me because my father-in-law passed along a recent copy of Science Magazine. That said, the article that triggered Gerry's sharing the magazine is absolutely fascinating and makes sense in so many ways that I want to pass it along.

The article, entitled COMPUTER SCIENCE: Enhanced: Creating a Science of the Web argues that:

If we want to model the Web; if we want to understand the architectural principles that have provided for its growth; and if we want to be sure that it supports the basic social values of trustworthiness, privacy, and respect for social boundaries, then we must chart out a research agenda that targets the Web as a primary focus of attention.


I think it's really really time we put some effort into establishing an understanding of the behemoth that is so important to so many of us. What do you think?

Read More!