Thursday, 24 July 2008

Streaming Server

We have started exploring the possibilities of streaming from the college directly into SL by using a server. Initially, we are trying to use a standard desktop machine as a server. So far, we have set up Shoutcast and Winamp for this purpose. We haven't tested it yet. Experiments to follow.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Arranging Meeting

We have decided to puchase land in SL via Preston College who, as previously mentioned in this blog, are already at an advanced stage in assimilating SL into several college areas. We are hoping to meet with Django tomorrow evening, one of the representatives from there with whom we met in May. This will enable us to both iron out details in our arrangement and to quiz him about other issues we are unclear about.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Avatar Registration

We have realised that several participants in our teacher training session encountered difficulties in registaring their avatar. Upon completing the process and requesting email authentication in order to gain validation and enter SL, some people found that the expected email was not forthcoming. This may be due to problems with the college's server being overloaded or SL having an issue with so many users attempting to create accounts at the same location simultaneously.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Music via local chat

This evening we experimented further with sound in SL. Sound quality was gerneraly good, but plagued with occassional glitches. It seems that these are worse where there are more 'prims' (objects). On a golf course, we experienced the least cutting out of sound. There also appeared to be a disturbance to the received sound when the receiver began to type.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Staff Party

We attempted to stream a live music improvisation into Second Life. This presented some unforseen technical difficulties, which we will soon be examnining in order to solve.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Graphics Cards

We now appreciate that the overriding factor in determining whether SL can be run on college machines or not is that of their graphics card. It seems that those with the in-built version are the culprits. This means that we either ask for all the machines in the college to be updated(!), ask for specific machines to be upgraded (one per department, for example) or simply make staff aware that this is something that will have to be assessed and dealt with by individual users.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Learning Centre and Staff Base Room

We have been considering the relevance and possibility of having SL installed on machines in the Learning Centre and Staff Base Room. This would allow for staff to share ideas in an informal setting away from training sessions and for staff who have not attended these to be introduced to it by those that have. The specification of these machines would, of course, have to be checked.

Monday, 7 July 2008


We have been examining computers in the music department in order to determine how effective they will be in running Second Life. It seems that several machines are completely incapable of the task! This will represent a serious issue for us, if the interest in SL increases as we hope and expect once we start showing it to students at the beginning of the new academic year. We suspect that this will also mean that some teachers who attended the session will be unable to recapitulate and add to their learning on their own machines, in their own particular departments.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

More feedback

More comments from staff who attended the session on the 30th: all very positive. Staff who have had little experience of interactive environments have said that they are now enthused by the idea and the possibilities it suggests for future work within the realm of their own work at the college. Some have suggested that they would like more tuition before embarking on in-world activities on their own and have asked if another session could be timetabled.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Introduction for Staff

We receieved an excellent response to the first introduction to Second Life for other staff members. The session concerntrated on explaining what SL is, how we navigate around it, how we can design and alter the look of our own character and what can be built there. Guests were invited to ask questins about our research and then to participate in setting up an account in SL before going "in-world" themselves. At this point guests underwent in-world training in order that they could adequately conbtrol and orientate their "avatar" (character.)

Everyone enjoyed the seeion. Sereral staff members commented that that could see the possibilities for the medium within their own teaching schemes and would be lloking further into realising this.