Wednesday, May 28, 2008

NISOD Conference - Austin - May 24 - 29

NISOD - International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence
Austin, Tx. May 24 - 29

Sessions Attended:
NISOD Presenter Orientation
Outcomes Assessment
Understanding Asperger's Syndrome
Integrating Ethics into your IT Courses
Humor and Multimedia as Teaching Tools for the Net Generation
Using Alice in Teaching Introductory Programming Logic
Motivating the Adult Learner Online
Using Technology to Evaluate Student Writing (ETS Criterion)
Developing Online Degree Programs , Using a Collaborative Approach with Industry Experts as SMEs

My presentation on 'Academic Uses of Second Life 101' was held on Tuesday at 1:30 - 2:30. The room was set to hold 48 and over 55 attended. The presentation was held in Room 4C/Level 3 at the conference center, on Avgi Isle in Second Life, via the web link and on the plasma screen at the Capella booth in the conference exhibit hall. The assigned room was as far away from everything as you could get in the conference center and yet we had standing room only. Encountered problems with the laptop and wifi.

I also attended Kathryn Campbell's 'Education that Transforms Lives: Capella University Online Graduate Programs for Higher Education." She very graciously provided me an opportunity to tell those assembled about the Undergrad program and how we could help their graduating students.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Emerging Technologies for Educators - v 1.0

As a side note to our travels, from time to time, I will list free or almost free emerging technologies for educators. As we try to reach our students who live in a fast paced and connected world, it is important that we keep pace with them in all aspects of educating them. With this in mind I am going to attempt to include various listings of what I consider emerging technologies of use to educators at all levels.

Instant Messaging:

Virtual Worlds:
Alternative Internet Browsers: Safari Foxfire

To learn more about these and other Emerging Technologies go to . ET4Educators is an interactive blog dedicated to providing information to educators on Emerging Technologies. ETs that are cheap, easy to use, and easily available.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Virtual World 2008 @ NYC - Day Two

Day two was packed with excellent and informative sessions on so many interesting areas. I was able to sit in on part of the morning Keynote, as well as sessions on Virtual Law for non-Lawyers, Winning Strategies to Optimize Online Revenue, The Evolution of Games and Social Networks, and Capturing Their Brains and Eyeballs - Business Models of It is exciting to see the advent of AI and Virtual Worlds that the MASA Group is bringing to the forefront. We should be seeing some exciting things happen on Avgi Isle before long, linked to this technology.

I was able to spend quality time with Colin Dawn of Icarus. He is a graduate of NCSU and head of games design. What intrigued me was his fresh take of what is needed by undergrads coming into the Multi-Media Architecture emerging technologies market-place. Some areas he noted that should be addressed by those soon to be industry leaders included:

  • Linux
  • 3-D Principles
  • Logic - Discrete Math
  • Elementary Linear Algebra
  • C++ (not C#)
  • Networking Basics

Colin advised that they should also become familiar with every aspect of Flash, as well as XNA, Unity 3-D and Unreal Tournament (game with editor). This was echoed by over a dozen graphic based vendors I talked to over the course of the two days.

The impression I came away with, from this conference, is that the industry is in its very early stages. The statistic that over 80% of web users will be using some form of 3-D web (virtual world) by the year 2010 speaks volumes, if anyone is listening. A prime example is the ground breaking personal interaction seminars and forums being held on so many sims such as Avgi Isle in SL and the CDC work in

Highly recommend you go to and ask for a copy of his new book: Virtual Worlds: Rewiring Your Emotional Future. Do not forget to check with for their newest version of software after April 15th.

Till the next trip,


Virtual World 2008 Conference @ New York City - Day One

Excellent first full day to the VW 2008. Highlights included two major presentations by the Electric Sheep Company. The evening keynote by Sibley Verbeck looked at the projected future of the Virtual Worlds in General. His presentation will be available soon and liked to this column. John Swords of the ESC ( or /swords) gave a white paper on a comparison of Virtual Worlds. That paper will also be linked in this column as soon as available.

Projections rise as high as 80% of web users will be in some form of 3-D Web/VW by 2010. An interesting aspect of the conference was looking at and talking to people in the forefront of the emerging technologies. So much is in development. I strongly suggest that you go to the VW 2008 site and look at the speakers and presentations. Graphics is developing at a very very fast pace. Colleges and Universities are going to have to move these areas to the fore-front if they hope to contend with the coming need for advanced digital graphics and 3-D web applications.

Advertising / marketing seems to be a big thrust as is 'avatar' and building development in the coming year. Have to admit I attended a couple of law based sessions - very dry - very focused on lawyers - not of much substance for the general consumer or developer in virtual worlds. They are definitely making a place for lawyers to carve out a niche.

On the really bright side I was able to meet with Earth Alcott, Pathfinder Linder, and many from Second Life that I have known this past year. An exciting new program I have installed is from - I won't tell you about it but I think it has some unique possibilities for keeping contact with friends on the net. A second free graphics program that is available after April 15 is from .

Strongly recommend that you obtain a copy of The Making Of Second Life by Wagner James Au from Harper Collins. A book that is very well written and hard to put down.

On to the second day in a drizzly wet cold NYC.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

WAOE Conference

I recently had the pleasure of presenting the key note at the World Assoc. of Online Educators from Avgi Isle in Second Life. We had over 70 educators join us. Some in Second Life, some via a Breeze Presentation, and some via Joe Tojek's blog at Joe has included a video of the presentation as well as other information if you are interested.

We were fortunate to have educators from Japan, India, and around the world. After the presentation Vorren and Earth took everyone on a delightful flying / sightseeing tour of Avgi. The evening ended with a virtual fireworks display over Avgi Isle.

Watch this blog for information about future Second Life and Real World presentations.

Upcoming Travels - 2008

Well it is time to start laying out 2008. I was most fortunate to be at the Atlanta Capella Commencement this past weekend. I do love seeing our graduates walk the aisle. It makes all the time and effort worthwhile.

Just love Hartsfield on a Sunday Morning, too!

Traveling plans for 2008: