Innovate June/July Issue

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_Innovate_ [1] is published bimonthly as a public service by the Fischler School of Education and Human Services at Nova Southeastern University and is sponsored, in part, by Microsoft.

The June/July issue, guest edited by Steve Bronack, Owen Kelly, and Roni Linser, provides a glimpse of the kinds of engaging, quality teaching, learning, and investigation going on today in the area of virtual worlds, simulations, and education. We begin the issue with a thoughtful exploration by Clark Aldrich that suggests a framework for thinking about virtuality and the place of virtual environments in the learning process. This framework provides a guide for educators considering the bewildering spectrum of virtual worlds, games, and simulations. See http://tinyurl.com/kk66dj [2]

Catheryn Cheal is one such educator; her study hints at the importance of a common understanding of the shared and differentiating attributes of games, virtual worlds, and simulations. Cheal found that her students were frustrated by their virtual world experience in an undergraduate course, in part because they saw Second Life as play. Cheal’s discussion suggests that educators must think carefully about how to use exercises using tools that do not have real-world analogues in their classes. See http://tinyurl.com/lsnn2j [3]

Whether your environment is a game, a simulation, or a virtual world, Paul Wallace and James Maryott offer a reminder that the behaviors of learners immersed in such spaces are likely to be motivated by the same beliefs and biases that motivate their real-world behaviors. Wallace and Maryott’s exploratory study of the influence of cultural assumptions and biases on the ways students present themselves as avatars, and how they react to the avatars of others, provides a framework for future research into the human factors that ultimately decide whether this technology is successful. See http://tinyurl.com/mr75my [4]

Baba Kofi Weusijana, Vanessa Svihla, Drue Gawel, and John Bransford explore how Second Life enables students to understand their own process of learning in ways that are generally inaccessible. Their innovative model uses the virtual world to offer not only a concrete experience to complement an abstract theory under investigation, but also a practical model for using virtual worlds, role play, and simulations to enhance classroom experiences. See http://tinyurl.com/nw9lm9 [5]

Because Second Life has come to dominate the public understanding of virtuality, it is not surprising that Victoria L. Walker and Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw also use Second Life to provide online counseling students with opportunities for practice. In a domain where many question the legitimacy of human-to-human contact mediated by avatars, Walker and Rockinson-Szapkiw suggest that virtual worlds enable safe, discipline-specific, hands-on practice activities similar to those available to on-campus students. See http://tinyurl.com/loec49 [6]

While many useful ready-made virtual tools are becoming more available, using them in teaching remains difficult and intimidating for many. Penny de Byl describes the creation of a set of tools that teachers can use without needing special technical expertise, and without simply porting their old pedagogical ideas into a new framework. See http://tinyurl.com/nvswao [7]

BTW, we are delighted to announce that Innovate is co-sponsoring a virtual worlds workshop led by two of our special issue editors, Stephen Bronack and Owen Kelley, at the WCET annual conference this coming October in Denver. See http://tinyurl.com/l8hyhk [8]

In the From Our Sponsor section, I interviewed Ralph Young, Microsoft\’s vice president, worldwide communications sector, about the future of higher education. Young describes the challenges that lie ahead for higher education; discusses the strategies, approaches, and solutions that are being developed across the world; and outlines the role technology will play in the future of higher education. See http://tinyurl.com/mtmpnr [9]

We have extended the deadline for our upcoming special issue on the future of the textbook. Submissions will be accepted through July 31, 2009; the projected publication date is December 2009/January 2010.

We hope that you enjoy this issue. Please use the discussion board within each article to raise questions or provide additional commentary. Your comments will be sent to authors for their response, which will become part of the record for their article. Also, please forward this announcement to appropriate mailing lists and to colleagues who want to use IT tools to advance their work and ask your organizational librarian to link to Innovate in their resource section for open-access e-journals.

Thanks!

Jim
—-
James L Morrison
Editor-in-Chief, _Innovate_
http://www.innovateonline.info [10]
Fischler School of Education and Human Services
Nova Southeastern University
http://www.schoolofed.nova.edu/home.htm [11]

Links:
——
[1] http://www.innovateonline.info
[2] http://tinyurl.com/kk66dj
[3] http://tinyurl.com/lsnn2j
[4] http://tinyurl.com/mr75my
[5] http://tinyurl.com/nw9lm9
[6] http://tinyurl.com/loec49
[7] http://tinyurl.com/nvswao
[8] http://tinyurl.com/l8hyhk
[9] http://tinyurl.com/mtmpnr
[10] http://www.innovateonline.info
[11] http://www.schoolofed.nova.edu/home.htm

Virtual Worlds Libraries, Education, and Musuems Conference

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Friends:

I’m writing to ask for your support for an online conference that benefits
our dear friends at the Alliance Library System. I’m sure you will be struck
– as I was – by the amazing program they have put together for second annual
“Virtual Worlds: Libraries, Education and Museums Conference.” (VWLEM)  Here
are just a few of the topics:

“Designing for Emotion”

“Xeniversity: Teaching Classes and Students in Virtual Worlds”

“The Immersive Virtual Natural History Experience”

“Virtual Community Events, Narratives, and Cohesion Across International
Date/Time Lines (or, Sleep is for Babies)”

“CONTIL: Tunnels/Containers 2: Case Study of Virtual Worlds for Museums”

This unique gathering will be held entirely online April 24-25, 2009.

Registration is only $49 and helps cover costs for the operation of Alliance
Virtual Library in Second Life. For more information and to register, go to
the conference website at:

http://www.alliancelibraries.info/virtualworlds

VWLEM provides a gathering place for librarians, information professionals,
educators, museologists, and others to learn about and discuss the
educational, informational, and cultural opportunities of virtual worlds.

Keynote speakers include:

Jeremy Kemp, San Jose State University

Jeremy is best known for SLOODLE his instructional technology project
connecting Moodle and Second Life. He is an instructional designer at San
José State University and keeps the official wiki for educators using the
Second Life immersive environment — www.simteach.com.

Anders Gronstedt of the Gronstedt Group

Anders helps global companies like Dell, Sun Microsystems, Jamba Juice,
Volvo Cars, Ericsson and ADT improve workplace performance. He is the host
of the weekly “Train for Success”  meetings in Second Life – and his
articles have appeared in the Harvard Business Review.

Bryan Carter, University of Central Missouri

Bryan has taught in Second Life for several years and has been involved in
the design and develop of several islands in Second Life, including Virtual
Harlem and Virtual Montmarte.

Please visit the conference website for the complete program, schedule and
and registration:

http://www.alliancelibraries.info/virtualworlds

Conference sponsors are Alliance Library System, TAP Information Services,
and LearningTimes.

We hope you will join us online!

Virtual Worlds Libraries, Education, and Musuems Conference

via email

Community by LearningTimes

Friends:

I’m writing to ask for your support for an online conference that benefits our friends at the Alliance Library System. I’m sure you will be struck  – as I was – by the amazing program they have put together for second annual “Virtual Worlds: Libraries, Education and Museums Conference” (VWLEM).  Here are just a few of the topics:

– The Immersive Virtual Natural History Experience
– Virtual Heritage Preservation, An Unfulfilled American Necessity
– Visual Representation of Chemical Data in Virtual Worlds
– Planning an Event in Second Life
– History-Related Sites and Museums in Second Life: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This unique gathering will be held entirely online April 24-25, 2009.

Registration is only $49 and helps cover costs for the operation of Alliance Virtual Library in Second Life. For more information and to register, go to the conference website at:

http://www.alliancelibraries.info/virtualworlds

VWLEM provides a gathering place for librarians, information professionals, educators, museologists, and others to learn about and discuss the educational, informational, and cultural opportunities of virtual worlds.

Keynote speakers include:

Jeremy Kemp, San Jose State University

Jeremy is best known for SLOODLE his instructional technology project connecting Moodle and Second Life. He is an instructional designer at San José State University and keeps the official wiki for educators using the Second Life immersive environment.

Anders Gronstedt of the Gronstedt Group

Anders helps global companies like Dell, Sun Microsystems, Jamba Juice, Volvo Cars, Ericsson and ADT improve workplace performance. He is the host of the weekly “Train for Success”  meetings in Second Life – and his articles have appeared in the Harvard Business Review.

Bryan Carter, University of Central Missouri

Bryan has taught in Second Life for several years and has been involved in the design and develop of several islands in Second Life, including Virtual Harlem and Virtual Montmarte.

Please visit the conference website for the complete program, schedule and and registration:

http://www.alliancelibraries.info/virtualworlds

Conference sponsors are Alliance Library System, TAP Information Services, and LearningTimes.

We hope you will join us online!

Virtual Worlds Conference Events April 2 & 3

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STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND: IBM’S EXPLORATION OF VIRTUAL WORLDS
Thursday, April 2
5:15-6:15pm
UTC 2.112A
Dress – everyday student casual
Hi-tech guru Craig Becker will speak on the IBM’s creation of a
complete Second Life environment behind the IBM firewall.  IBM
leverages the virtual environment for professional purposes, and Craig
is the genius behind it all.
https://www.mccombs.utexas.edu/virtual-worlds-conference/

SECOND LIFE DEMONSTRATION
Thursday, April 2
6:15-7:15pm
UTC 2.102A
Dress – everyday student casual
Dr. Leslie Jarmon presents a customized demonstration of Second Life
with a short lecture and an interactive discussion with live guests
inworld
https://www.mccombs.utexas.edu/virtual-worlds-conference/panels.asp

VIRTUAL WORLDS CONFERENCE PANEL DISCUSSIONS
Friday, April 3
8:30am-5:00pm
AT&T Center, Room 203
Dress – business casual
Check out the Virtual Worlds Conference Friday schedule for panel
discussions and keynote speeches open to the entire UT community.
https://www.mccombs.utexas.edu/virtual-worlds-conference/schedule.asp

Register Now for “Introduction to Virtual Worlds” — Simmons GSLIS Online Workshop in January

Register Now for Introduction to Virtual Worlds

Introduction to Virtual Worlds
January 5 – February 5, 2009

You probably have heard the term “virtual world.” You might be curious about them or even regularly take part in one yourself. There are hundreds of virtual worlds that exist (and have for many years) and are being used by public, school, and academic libraries.

Not all virtual worlds are alike and chances are they will not all fit your needs. There are some similarities among them that will help to get started — dressing your avatar, networking with others, and learning and sharing knowledge. Don’t be afraid to jump in and find what suits you best. Customization is important for people everywhere and our library users are no different. Interact in virtual worlds to find what fit is right for you and discover library applications for avatar creation, easy machinima, community building, library programs and more!

For a preview of the syllabus, please visit http://informationgoddess.info/virtual.html

Minimum System Requirements:
· Windows 2000 OR Mac OS X or better
· Pentium or better chipset
· 2 gig RAM
· Sound & video card less than 5 years old,
· Multimedia plugins on computer: javascript enabled, shockwave, Quicktime and Windows DirectX 9 (for PCs)
· Ability to download and install software.

Faculty: Kelly Czarnecki, Technology Education Librarian, ImaginOn, Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, Library Journal Mover and Shaker (2007), owner of Eye4You Alliance Island in Teen Second Life, writer for SLJ column, “The Gaming Life”, kczarnecki@plcmc.org; and Beth Gallaway, GSLIS Alum, library trainer/consultant, Library Journal Mover and Shaker (2006), and author of “Get Your Game On: Video Games and Libraries”; informationgoddess29@gmail.com

. Both are on the Gaming Expert Panel for ALA/Verizon.

PLEASE NOTE: The Simmons GSLIS Continuing Education office will be closed from December 24th through January 2nd, reopening January 5th.  Please register for January online workshops by December 19th in order to receive confirmation and login instructions by the start of the workshops. Registrations received after the 19th will not receive confirmation until the week of January 5th.

For additional information see http://www.simmons.edu/gslis/continuinged/workshops/ or contact
gslisce@simmons.edu

Two Online Learning Events of Interest to LearningTimes Network Librarians

Community by LearningTimes

The following message has been sent to you from the “Library Online Community” community

Dear Community Members:

I’m very pleased to call your attention to the lastest online learning opportunities produced by  LearningTimes involving libraries and librarians.

It’s a Virtual, Virtual, Virtual, Virtual World…The Virtual Librarians Conference!

Join us for two days as we discuss virtual worlds and librarianship. We’ll be convening online on October 1 and 2, 2008 to discuss topics such as:

-Virtual Worlds Development

-Scaling Graduate LIS Instruction in Virtual Environments

-Academic Libraries and Virtual Worlds

-Building a Library Presence in the Virtual World of Second Life

-Creating Educational Tools in Second Life for Libraries

A panel of the conference speakers is also scheduled in which your questions will feature prominently. For more information on this first Virtual Librarian Conference please visit:

http://www.thevirtuallibrarian.org/

*SPECIAL OFFERS*

Enter Discount Code “vlc45” to save $45 on your registration.

And only for members of LTLOC we’re offering a fun way for you to receive entry to the conference for free!  Simply go to Squirrel Island and find three different artist’s work and email them to info@learningtimes.net.  To qualify for this contest you need to be a member of LTLOC and in your email you need to include the three (3) artist names and three different works (one work per artist).  Answers must be submitted by Saturday, September 27th Midnight.  Winners will be notified on Monday, September 29, 2008.

To get to squirrel island teleport using the SLURL below.

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Squirrel%20Island/100/136/22

—————-

Blended Librarian Webcast on Thursday, October 2nd at 3pm Eastern.

“Dumbest Younger Generation or Clueless Older Educators: What Librarians Can Do To Promote Student Excellence”
Steven Bell and John Shank, co-founders of the Blended Librarians Online Learning Community and their guest, Mark Herring, invite you to join the next webcast, “Dumbest Younger Generation or Clueless Older Educators: What Librarians Can Do To Promote Student Excellence” On Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 3 pm. EST.

Event Description:

A wave of books and articles, including Mark Bauerlein’s The Dumbest Generation, are calling attention to the declining analytical skills of college students. They read far less. They seem incapable of critical thought and debate. They take the research path of least resistance. And perhaps worst of all, they seem above constructive criticism. Is digital technology at the root of the dumber generation or is technology simply a convenient scapegoat? Some technology advocates, such as Marc Prensky, suggest that the students are fine, and that the educators are the ones who need to change their ways. Join your colleagues for a discussion of these issues at the Blended Librarians Online Learning Community on Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 3:00 pm eastern time. We will be joined by Mark Herring who will frame the issues and share his thoughts about why librarians should be concerned about them – and what we can do to make a difference.

Click on the URL below to register (LTLOC username and password required).  There is no fee for this event, but we do ask that members register to reserve their seat.

http://home.learningtimes.net/library?go=438482

We look forward to seeing you at these events!  Don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions.  Thank you for your participation in LTLOC!

Hope Kandel
The LearningTimes Team
hope@learningtimes.net

Two upcoming online conferences

via email

Dear Colleague:

I’m very pleased to call your attention to the lastest online learning opportunities produced by LearningTimes and the Alliance Library System.

It’s a Virtual, Virtual, Virtual, Virtual World…

Join us for two days as we discuss virtual worlds and librarianship. We’ll be convening online on October 1 and 2, 2008 to discuss topics such as:

-Virtual Worlds Development

-Scaling Graduate LIS Instruction in Virtual Environments

-Academic Libraries and Virtual Worlds

-Building a Library Presence in the Virtual World of Second Life

-Creating Educational Tools in Second Life for Libraries

A panel of the conference speakers is also scheduled in which your questions will feature prominently. For more information on this first Virtual Librarian Conference please visit:

http://www.thevirtuallibrarian.org/

Enter Discount Code “vlc25″to save $25 on your registration.

—————-

Stepping into Health – October 7th, 2008.

Held entirely in Second Life, we will visit the best and most creative work being done in promoting health and healthcare in a virtual world environment.

Keynote presentations feature Randy Hinrichs and Ramesh Ramloll.

The cost to participate is $79.00. Click this link to To learn more about the online conference and register.

http://www.steppingintovirtualworlds.org/

Please write to info@learningtimes.net if you have questions about either event.

We hope to see you there!

John Walber
The LearningTimes Team