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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

artclectic in Second Life--Please drop in!

Hey, all,

Been knee-deep, virtually and really, living and learning with artclectic this past week. I've also lost my cell phone, but I have to admit it's been kinda quiet and nice without it. Am I reverting? Likely not, just pausing.

I created a little machinima this week to share what I've been building in Second Life with folks who may not be able to come into the virtual environment to experience it first hand. If you can come inworld, the SLurl is . If you can't, for whatever reason, maybe this will suffice:

Find more videos like this on Virtual Environment Education Videos!

More later, and lots of it!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"SLARTCLECTIC" You've Got to See It to Believe It!

Hey all,

I've been busy this past two weeks with artclectic, the fabulous annual fundraiser at my school, which happens to be masterminded and made to happen under the capable direction of my lovely wife, Lee Ann Merrick.

Aside from all its own fabulosity, I've been granted permission and prims from Angrybeth Shortbread, art/science genious of great renown in Second Life, to experiment building the show inworld. Please feel free to visit, though I'm only almost finished. I'll make a big announcement to the Second Life education and arts communities when it's ready for visit, and it's currently scheduled to come down November 1!

Visit in Second Life at !!!

Find more videos like this on Virtual Environment Education Videos!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Gearing up for artclectic 2009!

I should mention that I’m knee-deep in artclectic work as the season barrels down upon us ineluctably. From helping to maintain the artclectic website to working on mailings to snapping pictures and working the twitter and facebook feeds I’m there, sports fans.

If you’re in Nashville, or anywhere within driving distance, or anywhere within flying distance, I’m tellin’ ya, get here for the show. The USN Sperling Gymnasium becomes something in no way resembling a school gym, there are family events running virtually the entire time, and the art this year promises to be more varied and more exciting than ever before in the 13 years this unique event has taken place.

Last night, my son Colin and his friend and classmate Hope joined USN drum teacher extraordinaire Ed Haggard at Whole Foods in Green Hills to provide fun (and skilled) percussion to underscore the first public sneak peek at a few of the pieces that will be available for viewing and/or purchase from October 22-25. The show opens to the public on the 23rd after a private Patrons Party the evening of the 22nd and runs all weekend long. I’ll leave you with a link to the website where the schedule of events can be found, along with much more information, and with a little video from last night. Please check out the large comprehensive video on the website homepage as well, just put up by our media helper, Courtney Drake. It contains music by the USN HS Jazz band!

I also want to put in a word of praise for my lovely and talented wife, Lee Ann, Arts Coordinator at USN. Throughout the event and the days leading up to it, there are repeated times for all the volunteers who support the event to get praise and credit. Because she is so selfless and so proud of her people, Lee Ann rarely gets any of it, though one might easlily argue that she deserves it all. Don't think that this event would ever have grown into the one Nashville Parent Magazine calls "The Art Event of the Year" without Lee Ann Merrick's professional and careful nurturing and, most importantly, her wizardly people skills. Don't think it for a minute.

Here's the video!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Draxtor Despres Shares a Beautiful Mashup

This is a really moving mashup of Virtual Environments (the platform for the interview), social media, and real life filmmaking. Don't miss its 5:41 minutes of brilliance. Heck, watch it here, but then go over to the original site to comment. You'll want to favorite his work, "conversations about Art, Technology, and Social Justice."

I love the tagline on his profile: "Unless otherwise obvious, all music written and performed by Bernhard Drax (thanks Uncle Bernie)."

Monday, October 05, 2009

Belated Announcement re a Huge Opportunity for USN

I recently received a query from the Director of Products and Services Development at the National Association of Independent Schools, Susan Booth, for information on innovative projects at my school, University School of Nashville. It was accompanied by flattering encouragement from our school's Diversity Director (yes, we have one, do you?) Caroline Blackwell, a dear friend and colleague, so I responded to that query in the following manner:

Tandberg International Education Market Manager Jan Zanetis has awarded a $14,000 Tandberg Edge95 System loaner unit to University School of Nashville Lower School Technology Coordinator Scott Merrick in exchange for Professional Development program offerings to Tandberg education market customers over the coming academic school year. Details of the programs are being fleshed out over the month of October. When ready, Interactive Videoconferencing sessions-on-request will likely center around the use of Virtual Environments, including Second Life and Open Sim, for building professional learning networks; Web 2.0 tools for the same purpose; and K12 computer programming instruction with Scratch and Alice. Look for these sessions to be offered and promoted soon through the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration.

Network Administrator David MacLean and I are working hard on making sure we have clear and reliable throughput with the unit and I'm in touch with several longstanding collaborators to ensure that my content offerings meet existing needs for teachers and also provide programs that will be attractive and respectful of the investment of everyone's time and interest. Stay tuned! And thanks to Ms. Zanetis for her confidence in my work. (pic courtesy of and tandberg)


Gus by Scott Gardner Merrick  I wear these navy slacks I found behind O'Shaugnessy's, in the dumpster there. And they'r...