Exploring the EduNation Regions in Second Life

This is a mixed use and mixed institution educational area, with a number of plots used by a range of Universities, coverages and academic groups. There are a number of “classrooms in the sky” on various levels.

On arrival and initial exploration, the area is not well described or signposted. There is no obvious entry/arrival area and no note cards are offered. Looking round though it was clear there were specific institution and class areas set up for specific subjects. A veterinary studies area had sculptures of horses, and posters and displays related to horse anatomy for example. It had some nice teaching and presentation aids. There was a nice interactive “Artboard 2.1″ using prims for marked lines.

To find out more about the area and its uses, a Google search on “EduNation Second Life” leads to http://heyjude.wordpress.com/2007/02/05/edunation-secondlife/ which has next to no content and no one has posted comments… it’s full contents are:

The Consultants-E are proud to launch the first private island simulator in Second Life dedicated to online training seminars and conferences, and the use of Second Life in Education. EduNation is a 65,000m2 island in the Second Life virtual world with seminar, powerpoint, audio and videocast facilities. Use of the seminar facilities is free. More information at EduNation (http://www.theconsultants-e.com/edunation/edunation.asp)

That URL leads only to “Server Error – 404 – File or directory not found. The resource you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

This is rather typical of educational regions that are not well managed or owned by specific stake-holders. The area should be considered as one that lets people set up individual classrooms and areas and is not meant to have a cohesive design or allow for random exploration and discovery.

A good example of it in productive use by educators, and the reason I chose this region to explore, was a recent demonstration of a new version of the SLoodle module for the Moodle Victual Learning Environment. The demonstration organisers set up a new area well up in the sky and rafter landing at a simple initial meeting space, they dynamically rezzed large platforms nearby to show the facilities. and even rezzed a bridge to let the visitors walk over to that newly created facility. I attended a briefing about the new SLoodle 2 toolset on the EduNation III region of Second Life on Sunday 18-Sep-2011 by Paul Priebsch (avatar name: Fire Centaur). About 30 other educators were there. A feature of SLoodle 2 is the ability to set up “scenes” an rapidly rezz them in and around a classroom for a lesson, and then tidy them away so the ability can be re-used. This was demonstrated live on the EduNation regions. The SLoodle quiz chair can be set up to give rewards to students, or “penalise” them for failure… including dumping them in a shark filled pool with realistic screams!

A blog report of that demonstration is at http://holyroodpark.net/atate/weblog/6149.html. Full size versions of some images of the demo meeting are gathered at http://openvce.net/sloodle