Category Archives: Koru

A new chapter

My interest in virtual worlds, and education, in them has been seriously re-energised by the happenings in the metaverse over the last few weeks.  As some of you will remember I spent a great deal of time and energy 2007-2009 as an evangelist for the use of virtual worlds to design and create engaging, exciting and useful educational opportunities for tertiary students.  (Bets used to be taken as to whether I could survive a meeting without mentioning Second Life! )

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Wellington Railway Station

Thanks to some exciting and innovative work by my colleague Rollo Kohime (aka as Mike Baker of NMIT’s Visual Arts team), Koru has sprouted a new and rather interesting build over the last few months.

Wellington Railway Station on Koru

Wellington Railway Station on Koru

Mike is currently studying for his Masters in Art and Design, majoring in Dance and Video through the Auckland University of Technology. His project, “In the Company of Strangers” comments on how strangers negotiate the parameters of meetings, exchanges and conversations in urban spaces. The build, which utilises Mike’s own photographs, blog entries, comments, soundscapes and which will include his video, explores this in one urban space, Wellington Railway Station. The effect is mesmerising and highly immersive. Take a trip to Koru to contemplate the existence or not of some of the boundaries between the virtual and the real, and those between strangers. If Rollo is there, he will happily chat to you about his work in progress and he plans to have a more public display of himself working in Second Life during the Nelson Arts Festival.

Wellington raliway Station - Interior

Wellington raliway Station - Interior

Watch this space for more details on this!

or you can visit Mike’s blog for more information or to leave your comments. Below is a SLURL to Mike’s build on Koru: And if you come visiting feel free to look around the rest of the island too, listen to the tuis or the morepork and if you are really lucky you may catch the whale song in the bay.

Multiple Intelligences: Zotarah Shepherd

Koru has been the busiest yet as the venue for Zotarah Shepherd’s fascinating build on Multiple Intelligences. Zotarah has been an active and long standing member of the Kiwi Educators group and although not a New Zealander has always been keen to help out. In return, we were happy to make some land available for her to place her ‘build’ so that it could be seen and graded by her Professor (she is in the final stages of her master’s degree). A big thank you to Isa Goodman who arranged for her to use some of his land (and prims!).

Beth Ritter-Guth was an early visitor and encouraged the members of the SL Education list-serve to visit and little did we appreciate the interest and traffic that Zotarah’s build would bring to the island (145 in just a few days, many staying half an hour or longer) and it has been wonderful to meet some of those visitors and to know that they are also enjoying the ambience of Koru – one visitor said to me ” if NZ is really like this I better put it on my holiday list!” Perhaps we should be asking for support from the NZ Tourist Board too!

I won’t try to tell you too much about the work underlying Zotarah’s build as Zotarah does that herself very well in the notecards that you receive when you visit and also through the interactivity of the exhibits. Let me just say that her work is an interactive explanation of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences. She has build a number of ‘stations’ to represent the different ‘intelligences’ and then provided relevant activities to illustrate them. The stations are :

The red circle represents Kinesthetic intelligence.
The orange circle represents Interpersonal/Social Intelligence
The yellow circle represents the Literary/Linguistic Intelligence.
The green circle represents the Naturalistic Intelligence.
The teal circle represents the Spatial/Artistic Intelligence.
The blue circle represents the Mathematical Logical Intelligence.
The purple circle represents the Musical Intelligence.
The white circle represents the Intrapersonal Intelligence.

Can I encourage you all to come and see Zotarah’s build – as I think it is going to be known!

Reminder – Sharing Second Life stories

May 16th seems to have come round VERY quickly!

The Kiwi Educators group invites everyone to come and share their Second Life lifestories on Friday May 16th 8pm (NZ time)  (thats May 16th 1.00am PDT) at the Kauri grove on Koru in celebration of the  International
Day for Sharing Life Stories.

We’ll be using Voice chat to share our stories in a storycircle.  Be prepared to speak for no longer than 5 minutes and IM Arwenna Stardust inworld to arrange for the display of any images you would like use to illustrate your story.  With your permission, we’ll record your stories and have them ready to share later.

Even if you prefer just to listen (we’d love an audience!) come and join us!

Live NZ music in SL – NZ Music month begins

Mandosam Carter\'s First SL Performance

What a party! It may not have lasted that long but it was a huge buzz. The first time we managed to stream our own live music from Nelson, New Zealand into the Kauri grove on Koru. (OK nothing new for SL but new for us!).  The occasion was a surprise Kiwi Educators party for Isa Goodman’s 2nd rezday (He’s now one of the terrible twos!) and we used it as a reason to finally make the music happen! What a great start to NZ Music month.

Toddles Lightworker kindly lent us the use of his streaming account, Thelonius Ra was the engineer and Mandosam Carter played guitar, mandolin and sang and oh we all danced! A very big thank you to everyone.

We all danced

So will we be doing it again? Oh yes! We have PLANS. We hope to have Mandosam again, other musicians too, and eventually we hope to offer SL as a live performance venue for students on the RL Diploma of Contemporary Music Perfomance here at NMIT. And wouldn’t it be great to be able to offer the winners of the Smokefree RockQuest a gig in SL as one of their prizes? How about it Pete?!

So once again a special thanks to all those who put up with my nagging and made it all happen – it is very much appreciated – and tired though he was I hope Isa liked his little surprise. We wouldn’t be here today without you Isa – so a very BIG thank you to you too!

Second Life Stories Storytelling Day

Just had a very productive meeting about the International Storytelling Day. It’s on Friday May 16th and we will be having a storytelling circle at the Kiwi Educators meeting place on Koru. It will be at 8pm NZ time (thats May 16th 1am SLT/PDT) and we invite anyone to come along and tell part of their SL Life story. We will be using voice and we hope to record the stories, with your permission of course, and have them archived on Koru for other to hear at a later date.

We thought we would ask everyone to limit themselves to around 5 mins but if you know that you need longer then please let us know in good time. It would be very helpful if you would let us know if you would like to tell your story – then we can plan a programme – but we will keep it as informal as possible and you can just turn up on the evening if you prefer.

And don’t forget you are more than welcome to just come along and listen and enjoy the telling! Watch this blog for further details and feel free to comment here or to email or IM me (or Iphigenia Flores) to let us know if you are interested.

Sharing Second Life life stories

Just had a neat Kiwi Eds session on Koru tonight. Iphi came to talk to us about International Day for Sharing Life Stories and how we might play a role in Second Life. Those of us there thought it would be a great idea to use Koru for a two hour (perhaps) session. The day is on May 16th and we will use this blog posting to gather some of the ideas on what we might do – so if you have any ideas – please comment!

This is from the the blogsite that Iphi told us about:

“The Museum of the Person International Network (Brazil, Portugal, USA and Canada) and the Center for Digital Storytelling (USA) have announced Listen! – International Day for Sharing Life Stories, an international celebration of life stories to take place on May 16th 2008. They are launching the project website, to assist with information sharing and coordination of the campaign. The goal of the campaign is to gain broad recognition of May 16 as an annual day for sharing, listening to, and gathering the stories of people’s lives.”

We wondered whether it would be fun to have part (or all ) of the session on Second Life life stories – what do you think? And would you be prepared to share a story of your life (second or first?) let me know so that we can think about some planning!

Another good meeting

I have just returned from the second midwives meeting in SL. It was an interesting challenge as Second Life was having a bit of a bad hair day and being just a little temperamental! Poor Dacary kept crashing and none of us, except Petal, had much luck with getting (or keeping) voice working. We reverted to text alone which can be difficult for some (but at least I could eat my hot cross bun without anyone knowing!)

We were joined by two midwives from North America today – Sudbury Runningbear and Lisachris Latte and also Moonshadow Questi from Australia. A different set of people today probably because of time differences. All the resources for the midwives group and meetings are to be found either on Carolyns blog here or on the wikieducator site which she had set up here.

We ended up in the cave in Arwenna’s Secret Garden – which was a neat thing for people fairly new to SL to see – and I just had to show off and turn into a mermaid for a while!

I also promised that I would seek out the SL Competencies that had been suggested by Chris Eggplant over at Education UK. I will post about that shortly!

Midwives meeting debrief

A number of people who attended the meeting have blogged about the experience and have photos and even a short screencast from Petal (aka Sarah Stewart).  It is good to see that it is inspiring others to think about how they could potentially use Second Life in their own areas too – and Koru Bracken (aka Merrolee Perriman) has suggested that perhaps people in her own area of  Occupational Therapy might think about its potential for them too.

Great stuff!!

Midwives Meet

It was a pleasure to host the inaugural (I think!) meeting of the Midwives in SL group on Koru yesterday. Over the last few months I have had the fun of helping Carolyn McIntosh (aka Dacary Dumpling) becoming a little more familiar with Second Life and it was great to see her many hours of SL learning coming together in such a positive way.

Midwives meet in SL

Carolyn is a midwife who teaches at Otago Polytechnic and keeps an interesting blog here – she identified Second Life as a potentially exciting way of networking with other midwives and it was great to see midwives from UK, US, NZ and Australia in attendance.

I agree with Carolyn about the power of SL as a networking tool – for me it has been as much about that as it has about actually teaching here – although hopefully that will change soon!