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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Second Life Best Practices Poster

Well my poster is up (#12) at the Second Life Best Practices in Education Conference 2007. I'm displaying some pics about showing research results and teaching organic chemistry using Second Life on Drexel and Second Nature islands.

Beth, Eloise and Neo have been working like crazy to get this done and there are now 1000 registrants!

I'll be coming in and out over the day tomorrow at my poster. I'm right next to Max Chatnoir's Gene Pool poster. I'll see you there!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Depression on Drexel Island

Yesterday Beth, Eloise and I helped James Herbert put some course material on Drexel Island. James decided to start with his PowerPoint and a video on depression. It looks like we can play mpg files as easily as mov or m4v in Second Life.

Now we a representative from the department of Psychology in CoAS!

So if you want to see a little segment on bunny suicide come take a look: slurl.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Orgo Lectures on Drexel Island

We met with the librarians today and Beth gave them movie screens that play on Second Life. I also got to put a few of my lectures from CHEM241, introductory organic chemistry in the chemistry area.

Since I already have a blog used for vodcasting with files in m4v format, all I had to do is put links to those files in Second Life. The screen is placed between the quiz obelisks on the left and the UsefulChem project on the right. Although it is more convenient to view lectures from the vodcast or blog because they can be paused or rewinded there, one of the objectives here is to show prospective students what Drexel is all about. For organic chemistry, they can now sample testing, lectures and research on Drexel Island.

Visit here: slurl.

Also Beth gave me a helicopter and I found that the rabbits make good chairs :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Drexel has a Blimp!

Beth, Eloise and Neo have been busy over the weekend fleshing out Drexel Island on Second Life. There is now a building on the dragon's back (in the minimap) to be shared between the libraries and the College of Arts and Sciences.

This week we'll be filling in content for the CoAS side to the East and the libraries to the West. My class and research are already there in the head region and Beth has some class content on women's studies with videos and a beautiful conference room near the front feet of the dragon. Other early adopters will be populating the island soon.

There are also lots of fun vehicles, like helicopters, canoes, cars, dragons and blimps!

Come check it out here: slurl.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Chemistry Dept Up on Drexel Island

Based on a suggestion by Beth and a rapid implementation by Eloise, the terrain of Drexel Island on Second Life is now shaped like the Drexel dragon mascot. That makes it pretty convenient to specify where things are located.

I started with the dragon's head to create a little section for the chemistry department, showing a picture of our building and adding some info as a note attached to the image. Clicking on the image opens a browser window to the department website.

This is also where I put the obelisks that my students in my organic chemistry class CHEM241 can use for quizzing.

Because the shape of the island requires a lot of water surrounding the dragon shape, we are making full use of 3D space to position the content. Some of the obelisks are floating in air above the water. It is easy to fly up and down in Second Life using the PgUp and PgDn keys.

I think this open design is much better so we removed the existing building on the island.

Come take a look! (slurl)

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Drexel Island is Live on Second Life!

The Drexel Island on Second Life is now live and open to the public (slurl).

There is not much on there right now except for a building with signs for the College of Arts and Sciences and the Drexel Libraries. Jane Bryan from the libraries was brave enough to jump in and contribute half the cost with CoAS.

Beth and Eloise were kind enough to help put this together along with some whiteboards where we'll be adding info. There are also obelisks where we can run quizzes on any topic.

And there are dragons! One of my students stopped by and took a ride with one of them. In case you don't know, Mario the dragon is Drexel's mascot. Beth helped me paint him gold.

If anyone wants to help us add content let me know and I'll send along an invite to the Drexel group. My in-world name is Horace Moody. If you have already met me there, note that I may be looking somewhat more feline than before.

Of course, I'll be reporting on who gets involved and what kind of projects are explored. Now to recruit some faculty....

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Open Science in Education and the Library

This past month I've had the chance to present Open Notebook Science to groups of educators and librarians. The more I talk with people from different perspectives, the more I realize just how extensive are the ramifications of this general trend towards openness.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Going to Science Foo Camp

I just got an invitation to attend Science Foo Camp in August 07, a unique meeting organized by Nature, O'Reilly and Google. Based on what I heard from last year's attendees this will be an amazing opportunity to bounce ideas around.

I'd like to hear more from others who are going or who attended last year.
As before, we will be inviting around 200 people who are doing particularly interesting work in a wide range of scientific disciplines, as well as in areas of technology and culture that influence, and are influenced by, science. The aim is to encourage cross-fertilization of ideas, creating a unique opportunity to explore topics that transcend traditional boundaries. Of course, senior colleagues from Nature, O'Reilly, and Google will also be present.

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