Archive for the ‘Second Life’ Category
The Greening VET – Skills for Sustainability (VET Connect) Forum on Friday 10th October in Brisbane was an opportunity to learn about sustainability initiatives in trade skills training. It was timely, considering the release of the SkillsTech Australia Strategic Plan 2008-2011, in particular, Outcome 6 – Environmental Sustainability. As the institute is working towards maintaining an ecological balance, my interest in attending the event was both personal and professional: improving my knowledge of Green Economics; and learning how to model the responsible use of resources, thus incorporating sustainability in training delivery.
What’s Your Carbon Footprint?
Training people to work sustainably begins with the concept of a Carbon Footprint, which measures the environmental and ecological impact of human activities. Using a Personal Footprint Calculator is an engaging way to open discussion about this topic.
Sustainability in Second Life.
I believe that Second Life is an eminently suitable virtual place to discuss sustainability issues, especially in the Building and Construction industry. Leigh Blackall investigates Sustainability Design with Second Life as a Modeling Tool. In his wiki, Blackall further explores Second Life as a vehicle to do this: Sustainability Considerations Relating To The Use Of Second Life For Education
However, as Blackall notes, interacting virtually with avatars may actually increase energy consumption, despite cutting out physical travel.
The United Nations Global Compact.
The UN Global Compact is a framework for sustainability in a range of global and contexts. The UN Global Compact Ten Principles, grouped in four areas, drive excellence in business relations for the benefit of all.
Triple Bottom Line (Plus One).
An example of Global Sustainability in action, RMIT’s Triple Bottom Line (Plus One) sets out ways to address Environmental, Economic, Social and Governance concerns.
At greenfest, I spoke with Daniel, proprietor of Daniel’s Kitchens about using recycled natural and reconstituted stone in benchtops. I found him to be a good source of ideas of how the stone industry can ethically contribute to the Green Economy by sensitively re-using materials and educating consumers about the benefits of doing so. Daniel uses ecospecifier to search for “eco-products”, that is, sustainable “Green Star” materials used in buildings and houses. Likewise, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) promotes GreenSmart as its own brand of sustainable house building.
Embedding Sustainability into Skills Training.
Anticipating the release of the CPC08 Construction Training Package and its new Sustainability Units, the resources linked in this update will help to embed sustainable practices in training delivery, in the same way as principles of Workplace Health and Safety; Quality; and Employability Skills.
Smart Service Queensland’s Online Services Unit (OSU) is currently demonstrating Queensland Island in Second Life, promoting their services to Queensland Government agencies (such as DETA, and TAFE QLD). Queensland Island is a virtual meeting place that exists in an online setting, and is accessed using multimedia tools. I believe that Queensland Island will play an important part in engaging TAFE clients, by using multimedia in a virtual world.
It’s not a video game, although it uses three-dimensional interactive media: Second Life is a virtual world populated by ‘residents’ – avatars – who can walk, run or fly, change their appearance and buy or sell goods and services. Second Life residents communicate using text chat, instant messaging and voice, and meet in virtual places that mirror reality, are pure fantasy, or are a blend of both. Second Life provides a rich sensory experience that engages participants with a multimedia mix of images and sound. Many educational institutions already operate in Second Life, some running courses entirely ‘in world’.
Experiencing Second Life.
There are some technical requirements necessary for entering Second Life, namely: a broadband network connection; sufficient computer processing capacity; and a good quality video graphics card. With the right technical set up, the application is downloaded at no cost, and an avatar is moulded to suit individual taste. Many first-time users choose to first visit ‘Orientation Island’, where tutorials in navigation skills are presented, although ‘Jokaydia Island’, a home of educational events, is a great place to learn ‘noobie’ skills.
TAFE in Second Life.
Some TAFE institutes choose to run courses in Second Life, such as Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE (GippsTAFE), however there are problems to be addressed: meeting the initial cost (and follow-up costs); controlling security of the site; accessing via the TAFE network; and, enabling infrastructure capabilities. Queensland Island has been built as a service provider for virtual world events, and Smart Service Queensland can advise on how to deal with these issues.
View some video clips of previous Queensland Island events, and attend the next Queensland Island demonstration on Wednesday, September 10th 2008. For more information, message firstname.lastname@example.org
Pulic Works Island in Second Life hosted a meeting today, discussing the Public Works Land Group activities in 2008.
Pam Renoir and Rissa Maidstone led discussion in how interest and participation in PW Land Group could be further developed.
Public Works in SL is allied to the Construction group and the Civil Engineering group.
The PW Land Group will meet regularly at 4pm Tuesdays GMT-6 (10am Wednesdays Brisbane time GMT+10).
To access the Public Works web site, click here
Second Life could be useful as a 3D walkthrough, testing plans for a new stonemasonry workshop. I’ve uploaded a short video clip at YouTube that gives an in-the-round view.
Each module (there are two displayed here) is arranged according to activity, with driveways between assembled modules.
At the moment, I’m building in Second Life’s ABC Island sandpit, and keeping the SIMs stored in my inventory. When I am able to rent some land to build on, I can make the structures more complete.
Now I have a handy supply of Lindens to spend on… hmmm, any suggestions?
Thank you Ruby for your kind effort, and thank you to my mystery Secret Santa!
Jo, Sean and I had a beer together before they returned home from the Learning Technologies conference at Mooloolaba.
Jo and Sean demonstrated Second Life on the big screen, presenting “Virtual Worlds and 3D” in Jokaydia.
Jo and Sean own and operate Jokaydia as a virtual meeting place for educators.