Here it is, Proposal Synopsis (Proposal ID# 42047811)

Category/Subcategory Selection

Workshop -- Hands-on

General Information

Session Title
SLedupotential--Educational Potential of Second Life and Virtual Environments

Session Description
A group of ISTE educators scattered over the world are meeting frequently in a virtual environment called Second Life. Come see why, how, and "where..."

Theme and Strand
Technology Infrastructure:Emerging Technologies

Second Life, MUVE, Virtual, 3D, Collaboration

Primary URL

Exhibitor Status

Commercial Content

Audience Type
Chief Technology Officers
Curriculum Specialists
Library Media Specialists
Staff Developers
School Board Members
Teacher Educators
Technology Coordinators
Technology Facilitators
Technology Integration Specialists

Audience Level

Workshop participants may bring their own laptops or use the computers provided in the room in which the workshop will be presented. The number one prerequisite is an open-minded interest in the 3D internet, or “3Di ," along with a curiosity about how Web 2.0 interfaces with 3Di in powerful ways!

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Workshop Information

Workshop Length

Workshop Skill Level

Workshop Maximum Capacity
50, though developing discussions might change that number

Multiple Workshop Presentations

Workshop Scheduling Preferences
No evenings not ok

Proposal Summary

Purpose & Objectives
We envision a new kind of workshop, collaboratively designed by 9 educators from 9 different states in the U.S. and "under construction" up until the moment of delivery. “Sledupotential” will have been wiki-developed, collaborative document built, and discussed and designed through "inworld" chats and asynchronous discussions through social networking groups and Web 2.0 tools. The collaborative process of its design will be itself an integral element in the presentation of the workshop.
This workshop will offer ISTE educators who are already in Second Life a chance to meet together to share their interest and their vision with others, and also to partake of the vision brought to the mix by other enthusiastic educators. To those new to Multi-User Virtual Environments (MUVEs), the workshop will provide opportunities to dialogue with experienced Second Lifers and to benefit from the resources and research the presenters will have compiled over their proposal and design process. The proposal wiki (see website) already contains a wealth of resources, and these will only continue to grow over the months between proposal and presentation.
The attendee will leave the session with a broad but detail-rich understanding of the power of Virtual Environments to facilitate learning across a broad spectrum of learners and learning contexts, and also with a valuable resource to ongoing developments in the use of MUVEs to further enrich and expand upon educational experiences. Applications include demonstration to younger students via teacher-controlled "field trips" in the Main Grid, student use of the Teen Grid for students ages 13-17, and learning opportunities through virtual campuses and other educational SIMs for higher education. Other important applications include teacher education, professional development, and international educational collaboration (between teachers, between students, and across both groups)--over time and across distance.
The attendee will gain hands-on experience in Second Life, meeting with inworld colleagues who may or may not be present in the "real world" (RW) room. Vocabulary will be introduced to help the learner navigate through this massive universe. Key issues relating to safety and appropriateness will be discussed. Substantial supporting research will be shared. Examples of inworld education projects will be visited and explored.
Perhaps most importantly, the attendee will leave the session having formed lasting relationships with interested educators who may serve as collaborating colleagues and/or virtual world mentors and who may also become life-long friends.

A collaboratively designed (Google documents presenter) presentation will underscore the session and serve as a guide. The wiki used to design the workshop will be shared.
A David Warlick style "twitteresque" chat interface will be employed as an ongoing question/dialogue vehicle throughout the workshop.
After a brief introduction of the in-house (and inworld) 'presenters,' key concepts will be shared. These are being worked out on the wiki, but as of this writing they include (in no particular order):
• A brief overview of MUVEs' development (timeline)
• Linden Lab
• Inworld efforts of educational and other organizations
• ISTE Island
• Noob Tips--avatar modification, clothing, currency, building, permissions, groups, chat, voice...
• Teen Grid: brief tour of Ramapo Islands and overview of other ongoing projects
• Ascertain International background check for Teen Grid Clearance Procedure
• The "voice/no-voice" debate
• Blogs, podcasts, fansites, and wikis dedicated to SL
• Professional Development, especially that developed by Kathy Schrock and Peggy Sheehy
• SL classes inworld (TUI, other groups...)
• The Hype and Reality of SL
• Ethical Issues in Second Life Teaching and Research
• Voice presentations from remotely located experts will be an integral facet of the experience. If possible, an appearance by a "Linden" will allow attendees to ask questions (via the chat interface) Attendees will be invited to login to Second Life and explore along with us (multi-tasking encouraged!)
• Immersion and presence - what virtual worlds offer and other on-line education environments don't
• Creation/3D building - as a tool for learning
• Gaming - as a tool for learning

Supporting Research
Report of SLCC '06 Education Strand--
ELearning Virtual Worlds--
USC Digital Future Report--
Ed Potential Of SL Ohio State--
SL/Metaverse Skin on Learning Mgt Systems--

SL Overview CPS Dept of Libraries--

Rheingold Interview on VR--
Schome-NAGTY Final Report--
Proceedings from the 2007 Education in Second Life Workshop--
Framing the Virtual Social Contract--
Report from the National School Boards Association mandating the integration of social networking technologies in education--
The Scientific Research Potential of Virtual Worlds--

Presenter Background
Scott Merrick (SL: Scottmerrick Oh) is an ISTE Premium member and has presented at NECCs since 2000 in Atlanta. See his online professional portfolio and particulars about conference presentations at He is Lower School Technology Coordinator at University School of Nashville (TN) and Teacher-in-residence at the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach; and he produces and hosts the long-running Snacks4theBrain! podcast as well as numerous blogs (these can be accessed from his website, at, and include a Second Life blog, "Oh Second Life." He co-presented, with Jeremy Koester, the "Second Life and Virtual Worlds" NECC birds-of-a-feather session in Atlanta, 2007. He is an ISTE Island Docent and manages the Blogger's Hut and Podcasters' Place buildings on the island.
Lisa Linn (SL: Clare Lane) is a middle school language arts and social studies teacher in Temecula California. She holds a MS Ed in Technology Integration from Walden University, is a self avowed technology evangelist for her district, site Teacher Technology Leader, and Google Certified Teacher. She also maintains a Second Life blog, Second Life Linguine.
Scott Swanson (SL: Kyle Thorn) has been in Second Life since April 2004 and has been a docent for ISTE in Second Life since April of 2007; in August 2007, he was hired as one of the two charter ISTE Island Managers. He co-facilitated the NECC 2007 Second Life Playground and will reprise that role for NECC 2008. He will be chairing a panel on Illinois Educators in Second Life at IETC in November 2007 and is a member of a panel on Second Life at IL-TCE in February 2008. He has presented on Second Life and MUVEs multiple times at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, where he works as the Strategic Technology Coordinator. He is also in charge of their Second Life initiative and manages the IMSA Second Life islands on both the Main Grid and Teen Grid.
Jon Margerum-Leys (SL: Roland Kellner) is an associate professor of educational media and technology at Eastern Michigan University. His academic interests are in knowledge acquisition and teacher development.
Jane Wilde (SL: Esme Qunhua) is the owner of Absolute Computing Solutions, a consulting firm in southern Vermont specializing in technology for education. She has been an educator for more than 25 years.
Vera Handford (SL: RavenPhoenix Zenovka) has been in Second Life since April 2007 and an ISTE docent since July 2007; in August 2007, she was hired as one of the two charter ISTE Island Managers. She was also the lead ISTE Second Life Social Coordinator (in charge of the primary ISTE Second Life weekly community event) from July 2007 until October 2007. She has presented on Second Life and MUVEs multiple times for South Florida Community College, where she works as a Tutoring and Learning Center Specialist, and is also the Coordinator of SFCC Second Life Research and Development Project.
Susan Toth-Cohen (SL: Zsuzsa Tomsen) is an associate professor of occupational therapy and director of the (online) occupational doctoral program in the Jefferson College of Health Professions She also is part of the Core Development Team for the grant-funded Sexual Health SIM in Second Life. She earned her doctorate in educational psychology and is particularly interested in ways that technology can facilitate educational exchange internationally.
Jeremy Koester (SL: Jeremy Braver) is a gamer and a learner. He is currently the president of Gaming and Learning in SL, a community of practice for gaming and learning practices and applications. He has a masters degree in Instructional Technology from the University of Texas at San Antonio (June '08) with a focus on gaming and learning. As a consultant with Metaverse Prime and other developers, he consults on educational and training builds in virtual environments such as Second Life. He is also a regular presenter and educator in many different venues for many different disciplines.

Equipment Information

Workshop Lab Requirements
Full Lab

Workshop Equipment Platform

Workshop Hardware Requests
USB 2.0 Ports
Headphones with microphones

Additional Hardware Requests
IVC unit for remote connections to folks who cannot be there physically, perhaps in the SIGTEL remote-pod distance learning offerings (see below).

Workshop Software Requests
Quicktime Player plug-in

Additional Software Requests
Current build of Second Life--others potentially needed will be listed here later

Equipment Supplied By Presenter
We'll have webcams, iPods, cameras of all sorts, and who knows what all else--This will be a bandwidth-intensive workshop.

Videoconf Room Requested

Videoconferencing Description
This is more of a contingency than a requisite. There is a possibility that presenters from Europe will be joining us and a dedicated IVC unit would faciliate their "joining" in from home. Last year the SIGTEL provided certain workshops to pods of remotely connected attendees. I believe this workshop would be well suited for that program and intend to pursue its inclusion should we be accepted. The number of sites would be contingent upon the scope of the SIGTEL program this year, but as I understand it, the program is expanding beyond last year's offerings!

Room Set Information

Additional Presenters

Co-Presenter #1
Vera Handford
321 E. Washington Street
Avon Park FL

Co-Presenter #2
Lisa Linn
1305 Paseo Hermosa
Oceanside CA

Co-Presenter #3
Susan Toth-Cohen
130 S. 9th Street, Suite 810
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Co-Presenter #4
Peggy Sheehy
80 Hemion Rd
Suffern NY

Co-Presenter #5
Scott Swanson
1500 Sullivan Road
Aurora IL

Co-Presenter #6
Jane Wilde
PO Box 221, 882 Moss Hollow Road
Marlboro VT

Co-Presenter #7
Jeremy Koester
26160 Amber Sky
San Antonio TX

Co-Presenter #8
Kevin Jarrett
2000 New Road
Northfield, NJ