The Ozzie Paule Chronicles: Adventures In Second Life

24 05 2010


Once a smiling Ozzie Paule rezzed into a Second Life
Onto a remote spot of the ImagiLearning islands
And he gazed as he walked around this place of tranquility
Who’ll help me connect with the island residents here?

Oh Second Life, oh Second Life, what a place to be
I need to explore and create in this immersive new world
Where there’s a will there’s a way so anything is possible
Let’s think how I can connect with the island residents here

So he stopped in his tracks and gazed into the ocean blue
And recalled a story from long ago about the ImagiLearning master
A mystic avatar by the name of Virtual Bacon, or VB for short
Will VB help me connect with the island residents here?

Oh Second Life, oh Second Life, what a place to be
How can I live and explore in this immersive new world?
Where there’s a will there’s a way so anything is possible
Recall the tools to connect with the island residents here

So he launched inworld communications and pondered what to write
But how could he easily reach out to the mystic named VB?
Luckily he’d befriended VB during the inaugural virtual learning experience
And there he was on the list of friends-currently inworld and online
Will VB remember me, one of the noobs from eons past?

So he highlighted VB’s name, clicked IM and began to tap away
Hi VB, it’s Ozzie, the guy with the quaint lilting accent and the funny green hat
Do you remember the time when you corralled a flock of wayward Aussie emus?
I’m back inworld for more adventure and would really appreciate your help
I’d like to reconnect with old friends from the ImagiLearning community

Within seconds VB responded: G’day Ozzie, great to hear you’re back with us
Lots has changed at ImagiLearning island since you last visited this magical world
However, your community friends still ask about you and raise a glass of cheer
To the Aussie from Down Under who brought his unique sense of humor
And a willingness to explore and collaborate to expand our sensory perception

Any chance of a teleport?, I typed as I pondered the exciting developments
Sure thing, responded VB, and up popped the familiar blue box to TP me
One click and I was gone in a whirl of expectation for time travel par excellence
To rez again in a swirling cloud at a place where I had not been before
Second Life lag I thought, as I began to reappear in familiar form and stance

I could hear VB speaking before I could see him as the scene rezzed slowly before my eyes
One of those days in Second Life, said VB, but great you’ve returned for more adventures
We have much to discuss my friend and to get you up to speed on exciting developments
Thanks for the warm welcome, I remarked as I took a deep breath to recollect my thoughts
And to recall prior experiences with old friends in planning, creating and testing projects


Enterprise Learning in 3D: Karl Kapp and Tony O’Driscoll

10 02 2010

In two earlier posts I provided some brief background on 3D immersive learning leaders Karl Kapp and Tony O’Driscoll.  Today I wanted to briefly highlight a webinar presentation they recently gave to promote their new book titled “Learning in 3D“.  The presentation can be downloaded at Slidehare.

In my opinion, there are two highly impactful concepts and insights in the presentation:

1. “Webvolution” and the transition from:

  • Web 1.0 (Connecting “To”) for accessing and finding information, people, knowledge nuggets, etc. in a 2D world, to
  • Web 2.0 (Connecting “Through”) for sharing, participating and collaborating in the networked, mobile and 24×7 2D world, to
  • 3Di [3 dimension immersive] (Connecting “Within”) for collaborating on and co-creating content, knowledge, models, simulations, objects, etc. in an immersive 3D learning environment

2. VIE (Virtual Immersive Environment) “Sensibilities”:

  • The Sense of Self (unique identification and connection with an avatar who may or may not closely resemble the owner’s human form)
  • The Death of Distance (geographically dispersed individuals and teams can “physically” meet in the one place at the one time in the Second Life time continuum)
  • The Power of Presence (“being there” as an avatar with others at a meeting, conference, brainstorming session, etc. and actively contributing through voice and/or text chat)
  • The Sense of Space (3D space orientation and movement with the capability to transcend the mortal world – the ability to fly and teleport from one location [SLURL] to another at various altitides, etc.)
  • The Capability to Co-Create (the ability to singularly and jointly create “rez” objects and shape them into a vast array of items that can contain scripts for movement, sounds, etc.)
  • The Pervasiveness of Practice (the ability to set-up, run, evaluate and re-run a large variety of scenarios exercises to practice interactions with individuals, groups, machinery/objects, etc.)
  • The Enrichment of Experience (taking a trip to explore a beach, mountain hide-away, the North Pole, an oil rig off the Gulf Coast, or hanging-out wherever you wish to be for leisure or business, etc.)

The old adage “The Sky is the Limit” does not hold true in the 3D immersive world where the only limit is our imagination and our willingness to create new paradigms for learning and business.  Take a look at the complete slide deck.  I guarantee you will be amazed and enthralled to the possibilities and the potential.

PrtSc: Versatile Screen Capture Without the Fuss

11 09 2009

Well it’s Friday and time to reflect on another week of learning and experimentation in the 2D-3D immersive spaces.  I’m continually mazed by the plethora of mini applications that are enlivening and enriching our collaborative learning 2.0 and web 2.0 world.  This morning I learned about another excellent (and free) tool from Jane Hart at the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies in the UK.

Jane highlighted PrtSc which is a free screen capture program that is very easy to use and offeres a range of features, including:
* Capturing the full screen, rectangle selection, freehand selection, or active window
* Capturing the mouse cursor
* Allowing an annotation over the capture, with a smooth, natural mouse drawing
* Saving a capture straight to desktop or to any file, sending it as email, editing, printing or sending to clipboard
* Exporting as a JPG, BMP, or PNG (transparent or opaque) file

I can see multiple purposes for this flexible application, especially using the freehand selection to capture a portion or section of any on-screen image and shortening the time to clean-up that image once it is imported into another sophisticated graphic application such as Gimp or Photoshop.

I also used Screenjelly to make a short video of using PrtSc to take a desktop screenshot.

How may ways can you think of to use this versatile application?

Cool Video Production with Music/Audio: Animoto

13 08 2009

I’m always running trials and experimenting with new web 2.0 technologies to determine how they can be leveraged for learning and business. Last week I heard about Animoto which is an excellent tool to make great videos from your images within minutes. You can add notes to images, insert a voice or music file then email your finished videos or download them. Your videos can also be easily posted directly to Facebook, YouTube, Myspace, Twitter, blogs and more.

Creating an account and developing videos that run up to 30 second is free but each video will have an embedded Animoto logo. However, if you want to created unlimited length videos without the Animoto logo, then the cost is $99 for a three month trial, or $249 for one year.

I created a quick presentation using photos embedded in PowerPoint slides (with captions) then converted the presentation into jpeg format. Subsequently I uploaded the presentation into Animoto and each slide was converted into a separate image. I wanted to add a voice file (actually words and singing) so I recorded this as a memo file on my iPod before uploading it to my computer. As this was in wav format, I first had to convert it into an mp3 file using Audacity (a free audio editing application) before importing into Animoto. I was advised by the program that a 30 second video should use 12 to 15 images. I first used 10 images and once the video was processed, my narration was off-synch with my images and the singing actually faded before the short song had ended. However, in a second trial I used 13 images and the result was better, although the images ran out before the short song was finished.

Please take a look at my efforts with “Waltzing Matilda” on YouTube. Once I had uploaded the video to YouTube, I sent a tweet to alert my Twitter followers and also posted a link to the video for my friends to view on Facebook.

When I use Animoto again, I now know that I need to use at least 15 images for a 30 second soundtrack (whether it is a voice or music file).

This application has unlimited potential for just-in-time learning and for business promotion. Anything that can be captured as an image and as a voice or music file in mp3 format can then be quickly converted into a short, compelling movie. It’s surprising what you can do in 30 seconds or less!

Neuroplasticity and Lifelong Learning: Second Life Discussions

26 06 2009

Did you know that clinical research has proven that our brain continue to grow and develop through our lives, providing we actively use it?  This week during our “in world” discussions in Second Life, we explored the fascinating area of brain research in relation to learning inside and outside of virtual worlds.

To prepare for our discussions, we read and watched a number of online resources including excerpts from a Hilton Head Conference and discussions with Dr Norman Doidge whose website promotes his new book.

Our brain will grow “mental muscles” and continually develop new synapses (connections) as long as we are physically active and hear smart, continue to learn new skills, and get involved with life and humanity.  Lifelong learning then becomes a “gym for the brain” so we can live for life and even stave-off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The time we spend learning physically wires our brain a certain way.  Therefore, it’s critical that we continually experiment with new ways of learning in order to create new “mental muscles”.  Old paradigms of rote learning and repetition will not work in 3D immersive learning experiences where “play”, experimentation and visualization challenge both left and right-brain thinking.

Ozzie Paul’s In-Life Experience: Rezzing Prims and Teleporting

17 06 2009

Around five weeks ago I wrote about my first in-world experience in Second Life.  Well, as the saying goes, there has been a “lot of water under the bridge” since then and what an exciting, thought-provoking journey it has been.  I’m actively participating in a four-month immersive learning experience that is facilitated by John Jamison.  Not only do we meet weekly in the ImagiLearning island classroom for a discussion on a topic (such as the impact of Thomas Freedman’s Flat World concepts on 3D learning environments), but we also learn a myriad of skills during hands-on workshops.  The possibilities for operating in, creating objects, and learning from different perspectives  in Second Life is limitless!

In a few short weeks, I’ve learned how to rezz (create)  a prim (object), turn it into a tire with rubber texture, place a board on top, connect both objects, insert a script to keep the tube upright, and paddle it the ocean.  I’ve also landmarked places such as my piece of land on the island, the classroom, and a spaceship 300 foot above the island so I can easily teleport from one location to another.  And I thought this was only possible on Star Trek!.  I’ve also rezzed a colorful lounge chair where I can watch recorded TED presentations on a Damani Media Screen that operates just like a real world TV.  I’m now learning how to create customized Pandorabots with artificial intelligence that are programmed to answer a whole range of questions and which can be “taught” based on their “learnings”.  Is this way cool!!!

The application of what the group is discussing and creating are enormous for learning, business development and sheer fun.  My colleageus in the international group are predominantly university professors and educators who have already taken and presented courses and “experiences” in Second Life so our discussions are always lively.

Establishing a Business Name: A Creative Process

28 02 2009

For the past two weeks I have been brainstorming and researching a business name for my start-up company.  I’ve approached this from a number of perspectives: using online and print dictionaries, a thesaurus, domain name search, discussions with my spouse, and mindmapping.

At times I felt frustrated.  I was seeking a short “punchy” name to encapsulate the key focus of my business strategy but was dissatisfied with my efforts. However, it was not until I took a different approach by looking at my philosophy and passion did the thoughts and concept really flow.  I was so focused on “getting it done” that I missed the opportunity to freely associate ideas planted in my mind before I went to sleep.  I woke up early this morning thinking of a number of key words so I grabbed a piece of paper and started to doodle as the ideas poured out.

As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day”.  I’ve learned from this experience that creativity is an iterative process of planting seeds and nurturing ideas over time.  Rather than focusing on “getting it done”, I needed time to “get it right”.  This meant I had to give myself permission to relax and ponder a range of possibilities that could be organized and reorganized a number of ways.

So what resulted from my doodling and reorganizing key words with hand-drawn mindmaps?  Stay tuned for a future post.