Wear and Share!

April 4, 2012

Leon wearing the =I= NetConnect MiniBadgeThis week finds =IcaruS= putting a new twist on a popular product: the =I= NetConnect MiniBadge, a wearable metaverse identification badge. This small, powerful yet low-lag networking gadget has all the benefits of the much-liked =I= NetConnect! Share all your metaverse connections, everywhere you go in Second Life!

Ideal for educators, presenters, bloggers – anyone with a presence in the metaverse – wear it everywhere in Second Life to show others you are connected even beyond SL.

This deceptively simple little low-lag, low-prim badge can be placed on your hip, shoulder, or even above your head – just about anywhere you’d like to have it. A notecard with instructions for placement is included with the product. Further details are available in a tutorial on our website.

Features:

  • Wearable – or just rez and place it on your desk!
  • Small size
  • Customisable buttons
  • Goes with you everywhere
  • Clicked button responses can go to private IM or Nearby Chat
  • Contains all the functions of the popular =I= NetConnect (Low Prim)
  • Will work with the =I= NetConnect Display Screen

iSkye and LaylaMay wearing the =I= NetConnect MiniBadge

The =I= NetConnect MiniBadge is available on the Second Life Marketplace or you can find it at =IcaruS= House, our Metaverse Headquarters in Magna Carta, Avalon Town in Second Life.

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Direct to You…from =IcaruS=

March 30, 2012

With LL’s recent announcement of the Direct Delivery launch on the Second Life Marketplace, we (very reluctantly) thought it best to follow suit and convert our Marketplace store listings. The previous conversion from the XStreet SL to the Second Life Marketplace was inordinately painful, as was one upgrade to the Marketplace system which had us re-listing each of our 80+ products, one at a time. It’s safe to say we weren’t looking forward to this latest ‘enhancement’ from Linden Lab. Thank goodness for small mercies.

Converting to Direct DeliveryConversion Done!

We must admit the conversion process was remarkably easy and quite painless, even with the occasional slow response times on the SL Marketplace website. It took us less than three hours total, helped greatly by the instructions in a Second Life video Tutorial by the always helpful Torley Linden. As we switched each product from Magic Box to Direct Delivery, we noted the new “Use It Now” section seen on each product page on the Marketplace. Test Delivery was successful in each case, and actual purchases have been reassuringly trouble-free.

Use It Now on Converted Page

We anticipate your experience with Directly Delivery will be smoother and more convenient – when you purchase something from our shoppe on the SL Marketplace, it is delivered into your Received Items in a folder, all ready to use – there’s no need to rez and unpack purchases from boxes. Then you can drag the folder from Received Items to the desired place in your inventory, and rez or wear the product as usual.

It is important to note that you will need to be using the latest version of your viewer of choice – whether it’s the SL Viewer or a Third Party Viewer (TPV) like Firestorm or Phoenix with the current codebase.

In our opinion, this enhancement to the SL Marketplace is actually beneficial for both merchants and customers. Visit our shoppe and try it for yourself! We do still keep our inworld store at =IcaruS= Metaverse HQ in Magna Carta, Avalon Town.

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An Epic VWBPE 2012

March 23, 2012

Last Saturday, the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) conference wrapped up, with attendees taking away new inspiration, fresh ideas and a sense of excitement about changes in education trends and the role of virtual worlds. This year’s theme was “Be brave, be creative, be EPIC!” Indeed, volunteers and educators alike were seen wearing their most heroic and unique looks.

The free conference opened with a Dragon Parade on Social Island. Dragon avatars were distributed freely to anyone who wanted to join in. It was fun, if executed a little differently. A typical parade consists of a march along a designated route; a confetti-strewn path showed marchers the way. Dragons can fly, however, so many used the shortest route between Point A, the start of the parade, and Point B, the dance floor up on the mountain, to fly back and forth, laughing, teasing and enjoying themselves immensely.

VWBPE 2012 Dragon Parade Start

Presenters talked about a broad range of topics. Many centered around furthering the use of various types of virtual environments and tools in education. Very exciting new developments were shared, like the use of Minecraft or World of Warcraft gaming in the classroom, and taking virtual worlds beyond the classroom on mobile devices – indeed, there were spirited discussions of the pros and cons of “gamification” of education.

In the weeks prior to the conference, iSkye volunteered her mentoring skills and was assigned two presenters to assist in preparing their presentations. One presenter was an English gentleman working in Japan; the other a Spanish-speaking linguist from Valencia, Spain. She was pleased to observe that both presentations were well received. She assisted others in various ways throughout the three-day event and attended a good number of the presentations.

Dafydd Beresford at VWBPE Central AuditoriumMontse Veyrat at CAVE

Leon went to a workshop at the conference. Virtual world notables were in attendance throughout the conference, from Pathfinder (John) Lester of ReactionGrid to Pooky Amsterdam to Secondlie (in his usual sharp-tongued satirical form).

Cooper Macbeth and Ute Frenberg introduced a revolutionary, 3D approach to learning mathematics that lets the brain “see” complex concepts within minutes; it was tested on students as young as five with impressive results. Conference-goers were treated to a “sushi bar” demonstration over a series of four workshops during the conference. More than a few gasps of “Oh, wow, this is FANTASTIC!” were heard, to the presenters’ great satisfaction.

Educators submitted into contests the interactive posters and machinima they had created with their students; attendees were encouraged to visit the posters and view the machinima selections, then vote on their favourites.

There was much talk of engaging students as active participants in learning, with teachers as stewards – even “Lorekeepers” – essentially getting out of the students’ way. There can be no more “one size fits all” approaches to teaching, or learning. A tool is worthless if a person cannot use it, and so there was emphasis on ensuring that virtual worlds and online learning are accessible to all learners through the application of Universal Design concepts and other methods.

Bubbling over with enthusiasm at the close of the conference, people expressed a desire to compare notes on their progress after they’d returned home, and a few online discussion forums cropped up. There is even an online “course” to expand on the ideas shared at the conference. Frequent exclamations of “See you online!” were interspersed with farewells at the close of the event. As they went their different ways back to the physical world, it was a delight to see inspired education professionals exhorting each other to:

Walk all EPIC...and stuff
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