Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Second Life Class on Campfire and Genie Chair Rezzers

This week's CS 855 Rezzer 2 Class featured using and creating a rezzer with one linked object.

Each student received a folder with sample rezzers for a campfire meeting and for a genie chair rezzer and a second folder with instructions on how to make a campfire meeting rezzer.

The genie chair's instructions were designed by Vanilla Jessop and the chair depicted at the left was created by Lyr Lobo. When you move the rezzer box, the chair moves with it.

The campfire meeting object was designed by Lyr Lobo.

The class discussions included the Delphi wiki activity, comments on the student blogs, the Structured Design Process and the August's Global Learning Forum event.

How to make a campfire meeting rezzer

By Lyr Lobo, a.k.a. Dr. Cynthia Calongne
Seating animation scripts by Lyr Lobo
Builder's Buddy Scripts created by Newfie Pendragon

1. Click the Build button on the bottom of your display window.

2. Rez a box (a cube - click the first icon on the Build menu and drop your cursor to the ground). Name your box Campfire rezzer on the General tab. Check the permissions at the bottom of the General tab to Modify and Copy.

3. Click the following Campfire rezzer texture and copy it to your inventory.

(a campfire rezzer texture is visible in Second Life)

Next, you will texture your cube with the Campfire rezzer texture.

4. Select the texture tab and select the big woodgrain texture box in the center left.

5. Look for your Campfire rezzer in your Textures folder or search for the texture Campfire rezzer, highlight it and press the Select button.

6. Select the Contents tab and drag the Builder's Buddy Base Script into your Campfire Rezzer box. It is located in your folder, but if you misplace it, click this Base script to copy it to your Scripts folder.

(a script called the Builder's Buddy Base Script is visible in Second Life)

Next, we will stop working on the rezzer box and rez the campfire meeting object in step 7.

7. Drag the object called Lyr's Campfire Meeting - no script from the folder (provided in class or available from Lyr Lobo) and drop it on the ground from your How to make a campfire rezzer folder.

8. Move the campfire meeting object about 1-2 meters from the rezzer box. Use the General tab and rename your campfire meeting object, removing "no script" from the title.

9. Drag the Builder's Buddy Component Script into the campfire object's Contents tab.

(a script called the Builder's Buddy Component Script is visible in Second Life)

10. When your campfire is in the right position and elevation, stop editing your project. Click the Campfire Rezzer box that has the base script inside it and click the Record button on the menu at the upper right of your display. It records the current position of the campfire from the box.

11. Take the campfire into your inventory (right click it and Take). Edit your Campfire Rezzer box that has the base script in it.

12. Drag the campfire meeting object into the Contents tab of your box. You should see the Base script and the campfire meeting object in your box.

13. Take your box into your inventory. Nothing should remain on the ground.

To use your Campfire Rezzer:

14. Drag the Campfire Meeting Rezzer to the ground (the base box).

15. Click the box and select the Build command.

16. The campfire appears and relocates itself to your recorded position.

To remove your campfire:

17. Click the box and select the Clean button. The copy of your campfire is deleted.

Enjoy your new campfire rezzer. If you make changes to it, repeat the earlier steps and record the new location. *smiles* Be sure to put a new version of your campfire inside the control box and delete any older versions after making changes.

You could make a rezzable environment with several objects each with a component script inside it. Once it is ready, click the Record button to record the locations, take all of the objects into your inventory and drag them into your base object for use.

Lastly, if you do not change the primchannel in both the base object and every component script that is used in the project, you may find that a similar base object deletes your objects. Use different primchannels inside your script (near the top of it) to avoid communication conflicts between objects.

Have fun! *waves*

Lyr Lobo, a.k.a. Dr. Cynthia Calongne
Colorado Technical University
August 19, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Learning in Immersive Reality: What is Social Reality?

Today's Global Learning Forum event features Dr. Jeremy Bailenson, Founding Director of Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, and Dr. David Jonassen, Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Missouri. The session begins at at 5:00 PM Central, 3:00 PM Pacific time on the Huffman Prairie Chi island in Second Life.

After the Distinguished Speakers session, Dr. Andrew Stricker (Spinoza Quinnell) and Mike McCrocklin (Apollo Seagel) will provide an update on the use of virtual agents in the multiplayer game simulation on interdependent leadership. Dr. Cynthia Calongne (Lyr Lobo) will discuss the assessment of interdependent leadership and transactive memory.

At the end of the session, they will host a tour that features a dozen immersive learning design examples.

GLF registration will be available at the event location (in the newly completed GLF Event Hall located on the Second Life region called Huffman Prairie Chi. (See the image to the right for the location).

Click on the images to enlarge them.

20 Aug 2009 GLF Event Agenda:

5:00-5:10 Opening Remarks

5:10-5:30 Dr. David Jonassen, (University of Missouri) Building Blocks and Cognitive Processes for Learning to Solve Problems

5:30-6:30 Dr. Jeremy Bailenson, (Stanford University) The Use of Immersive Virtual Reality in the Learning Sciences: Digital Transformations of Teachers, Students, and Social Context

6:30-6:50 Dr. Andrew Stricker, Dr. Cynthia Calongne and Mike McCrocklin: Introduction of new overview video and description of 12 learning environment design prototypes; also, an update on the use of virtual co-player agents in the multiplayer game simulation on interdependent leadership

6:50-7:00 Break to prepare for the learning environment prototype tour. We ask tour participants to meet at the north-entrance (facing the lagoon) of the GLF Event Hall at 7:00pm CST. Dr. Andrew Stricker (Spinoza Quinnell) and Mike McCrocklin (Apollo Segal) will host the tour. Participants can also take a self-directed tour using the provided tour note card or teleport board.

About the Global Learning Forum

Global Learning Forum (GLF) members critique researching, learning, instruction, and assessment approaches that underline effective cyber-scholarship, advanced distributed learning (ADL) course design, teaching practices, and innovations made possible by educational technologies. A desired outcome of GLF is for members to help scan, focus, and act on promising cyber-scholarship innovations, including the methods and assumptions used when applying learning science theory to instructional design. GLF members collaborate to harness the power of virtual communities to innovatively transform ways to learn, instruct, and discover. Many of the innovations and research work of our GLF members can be seen at the Huffman Prairie region in the Virtual Educational Technology Support Center (VETSC) building. You can freely join the GLF within Second Life (use the search tool to find the GLF group).

The GLF event brochure and agenda was produced by Dr. Andrew Stricker and Mike McCrocklin. Many thanks to Andy and Mike for hosting this exciting event.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Is that a Holodeck in your pocket? An introduction to rezzers

Tonight's class in Second Life included Second Life rezzer tips and an introduction to Christakis's case studies.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could create content that appeared when requested and disappeared when it is no longer needed?

To understand how rezzers work, we examined a simple rezzer, an object that copies and renders new objects when touched, and how rezzers work. Our example uses the Builder's Buddy rezzer design by Newfie Pendragon with its base and component scripts.

We rezzed and tested the Builder's Buddy interface, building and cleaning up our component objects, then discussed the primchannel variable in the Builder's Buddy program.

A primitive is a basic shape and the channel is a communication path. Prim = a primitive shape. A primchannel is a channel that the object uses to communicate with other objects. It is a variable name in this program.

Objects communicate over negative or positive channels. Avatars only use positive channels. The local chat, our default text chat channel, is channel 0 (zero) and does not require specifying the channel number to use it.

When objects are communicating only with other objects and not receiving instructions from a user over a channel, then use a negative primchannel (a negative number).

Our first task is to ensure that the base and component scripts use the same prim channel. You want to reset it to a matching number in both scripts so your object is not sending instructions and listening over the same channel as other objects.

When we did not reset the prim channel number, one student could request his rezzer to clean or delete his component object and everyone's component objects were deleted.

Next, we linked the primitive shapes into an object by editing a prim, holding the shift key, selecting the remaining objects and using the ctrl+L command to link them into a single linked object.

The four prims in the image to the left are linked. The prim with the yellow outline is the parent object. Child objects have a blue outline around them in edit mode.

After a brief study of rezzers and linked objects, we tore down the tree house with a single command and rebuilt it with a second command.

Next, we discussed a review of the Christakis' case study from Chapter 14 on how to get a drug developed and to market faster [1]. In addition to being an excellent example of using SDP to facilitate change, the case studies also illustrate alternative research methods using an action research approach.

Rather than read the case studies passively, we urge scholars to consider how to employ the method as a catalyst for social change.

As we shift to online collaboration, we recognize that document management may be insufficient for stimulating effective communication and rapid change. Christakis' observes that the 3-6 days of dedicated workshops accomplished the tasks that would normally take weeks or months to complete [1].

Next week, we will continue our discussion of Christakis' research and develop some new Second Life skills. To obtain a copy of the rezzer exercise folder, send an instant message in Second Life to Lyr Lobo.

[1] A. N. Christakis and K. C. Bausch, How People Harness their Collective Wisdom and Power to Construct the Future in Co-Laboratories of Democracy, 1 ed. Greenwich, Connecticut: Information Age Publishing, 2006, pages 93-98.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Great Thoughts - The Futurists

In our Week 5 class, we discussed the following thoughts about the future. This extends last week's discussion, when we observed that there is no single method for predicting the future.

“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” (Albert Einstein)

"Any useful idea about the future should appear to be ridiculous." (Jim Dator)

"A part of our future appears to be evolutionary and unpredictable, and another part looks developmental and predictable. Our challenge is to invent the first and discover the second." (John Smart)

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” (Albert Einstein)

“Forecasting is not a respectable human activity.” (Peter Drucker)

After discussing the semantics and how we would re-phrase them, one student closed our session with the following quote.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." (Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of the Future" - Clarke's third law).

Next week, we will examine how Christakis describes the SDP method and discuss a case study from his book during our Second Life class session.

Visit the CS 855 Summer 2009 list of blogs to the right to view the student discussions each week. The topics range from inspiring videos from Ted Talks, our opinions about the Horizon Report's predictions, the use of collaborative Web tools and our reflections on the future.