Tag Archives: second_life

Article by Avatar Languages – 3D Virtual Worlds for Language Learning

Stigmergy in Virtual Worlds

Many researchers have been talking about stigmergy in Web-based environments. Sarah Intellagirl Robbins has been doing research in facets of Virtual Worlds and their potential for education. Stigmergy is one of the affordances she identified (or put the name to the face) in working with Virtual Worlds.

From Wikipedia we have:

Stigmergy is a mechanism of spontaneous, indirect coordination between agents or actions, where the trace left in the environment by an action stimulates the performance of a subsequent action, by the same or a different agent. Stigmergy is a form of self-organization.

For stigmergy in other contexts visit: 

Web Stigmergy

Definitions of Stigmergy

Stigmergic Collaboration

Microsoft Doesn’t Believe in Open Source Virtual Worlds

As seen in this article from PC Magazine reported by ITExaminer, Microsoft (via Craig Mundie) doesn’t seem to believe in Open Source virtual worlds such as Second Life.

While I agree that (open) virtual worlds are still very limited, I believe in the potential of such environments on a long term basis and I don’t think that users should be discouraged to go in and experiment with them. If the first attempts at playing with DOS had been discouraged, Microsoft wouldn’t be making billions with Windows and their other products  ;)

When we discuss Education it gets even more serious since, in general, the education sector can’t afford expensive closed technologies and have to experiment with open source and free (of charge) ones. Open virtual worlds also offer the opportunity of easy creation of custom worlds and enforce the sense of community and collaboration which most avant-guarde educators believe in now.

So, Microsoft, let’s not discard Virtual Worlds just yet, no one said they were perfect. ;)

Alternate Second Life Viewers

Many people complain about Second Life’s drain on processor performance. 

Linden Labs created this wiki page with alternative Second Life viewers that might be of interest to those trying to experiment with Second Life. Some of them claim offer a cleaner, easier to navigate user interface. 

I am experimenting with some right now and will let you know (Mac users) my opinion about them. Other Mac users and also Windows users are more than welcome to post their favorites and opinions here as well.

Tips for Teaching and Learning in Second Life

CollegeDegree.com posted a list of resources, link,s tips and tutorials for those who want to teach or provide learning experiences in Second Life. This list compiled by Heather Johnson is definitely worthwhile.

Google Lively – 3D Chat/Virtual World

As if Google wasn’t already trying to be the know-it-all and the have-it-all of the Web, now they also try to compete with 3D chat rooms and virtual worlds in this new release in beta phase:

Lively – “Chat and interact with your friends in rooms you design.”

“Customize your avatar and stream personal photos and video.”

“Invite your friends to chat and help decorate.”

The look an feel resembles virtual worlds such as CyWorld, for instance. Many others are compared on this chart by TechCrunch. The Blue Book published by the Association of Virtual Worlds contains and enormous list of Virtual Worlds…

It might be worth giving it a try. I am just not sure whether we need yet another virtual world combined with a chat room capability… mmmm… All in all, It might be just another move for Google to place their ads all over the Web , this time on the 3D Web…

By the way, no Mac version as of now…

Also, take a look at Karl Kapp’s list of Alternative to Second Life.

How NOT to teach in Second Life

An interesting interview with Milosun Czervik on the use of Second Life for teaching and how most people just replicate flawed real-life environments and approaches when using MUVEs for learning.
Interview conducted by Kevin Lim.

Second Life Hands-free Immersive Experience

NOW we can have immersive experiences that involve our body movements in MUVEs.

This was something experienced mostly by Nintendo Wii users when playing boxing and dodging a punch. Well, Linden Labs has been doing some research on the use of 3D cameras that allow you to control your avatar throught body movements, no keyboards, no mouse.

Imagine what this can bring to educational experiences:

Immersive Education – Education Grid Initiative

An interview with Aaron Walsh, professor of virtual environments and games for learning at Boston University:

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