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Hi everyone!

 

I am a high school teacher in North Carolina and I have the opportunity to teach a course being called Electronic Arts. In it I plan to cover all the different aspects of Second Life/OpenSim. I have 18 weeks divided into two 9 week periods. I will be seeing the kids for 90 minutes daily. I plan to spend one week per topic, with a culminating project at the end of each week and at the end of the 9 week period. I am sure I can't cover every last aspect, nor every aspect in full detail, but I wanted to give them a strong foundation on many basics. Comments and opinions welcomed.

 

So the first 9 weeks I was thinking this;

 

Week 1 - Intro to Virtual Worlds, Walking around , Inventory, changing your avatar, etc - the basics  Project: Customize avatar and show off

 

Week 2 - Intro to Gimp - making clothing from templates  Project: Make a custom outfit

 

Week 3 - More Gimp - Making your own skin from templates  Project: Make your own custom skin

 

Week 4 - Qavimator - Introduction to poses and basic animations  Project: Strike a pose

 

Week 5 - Qavimator - Facial expressions and advanced animations - Project: Charades

 

Week 6 - Introduction to Building in World - the basics  Project; Unique furniture with Textures

 

Week 7 - Building Accessories - Prim Hair  Project; Change your 'do

 

Week 8 - Building accessories - Attachments:  Jewelry, purses, shoes and other small objects  Project; accesorize.

 

Week 9 - Culminating activity - run way; Fashion show. Develop walk and 3 unique outfits with accessories to show off.

-----------------------------------

Week 10 - Introduction to Avastar and Mesh  Project: Make a simple mesh object

 

Week 11 - Shape Project; Make custom non-human avatar shape

 

Week 12 - Mesh Clothing and Hair Project: Fancy Accessories

 

Week 13 - Mesh Objects and Minimizing Prim Load  Project: House with Furniture, minimum prim count

 

Week 14 - 3D Printing - Designing Objects to Print  Project: Making something to take home

 

Week 15 - Intro to LSL language  Project: What does this script do?

 

Week 16: Scripting continued: More complex states, dialogs, timers, listens  Project; Fair Ride

 

Week 17: Cool Stuff - Particle Effects, HUDs  Project: Start working on final project

 

Week 18: Working on final project;   Final Project: Play. As a group, put on a full play including scenes, props, animations, live voice acting, special effects, etc.

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Hello --

 

I taught community college and adult ed for 20 years or so (computers, web and art - separately). 

 

I think you have way, WAY, WAAAAAY too much on your list. You won't know until you start and you may have a class filled with super achievers but just reading that list makes my head spin. Most folks that have spent time in SL daily for many years can't do most of those things :D.

That being said, if you need a classroom you are very welcome to use the one at LEA7. Landmarks are at the landing spot or pick up a hud. (Just type LEA7 into the map and that will get you there.)

 

Have a great class.

 

 

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8bitBiologist wrote:

Hi everyone!

 

I am a high school teacher in North Carolina and I have the opportunity to teach a course being called
Electronic Arts
. In it I plan to cover all the different aspects of Second Life/OpenSim. I have 18 weeks divided into two 9 week periods. I will be seeing the kids for 90 minutes daily. I plan to spend one week per topic, with a culminating project at the end of each week and at the end of the 9 week period. I am sure I can't cover every last aspect, nor every aspect in full detail, but I wanted to give them a strong foundation on many basics. Comments and opinions welcomed.

 
Lets start with this... Electronic Arts is a trademarked name.. I would change the name of your class. The kids may get confused. Why do you think high school kids need a strong foundation in making things in SL? 

So the first 9 weeks I was thinking this;

 

Week 1 - Intro to Virtual Worlds, Walking around , Inventory, changing your avatar, etc - the basics  Project: Customize avatar and show off

 
90 minutes a day? to do all that? Good luck.

Week 2 - Intro to Gimp - making clothing from templates  Project: Make a custom outfit

 
How fast can you make a full outfit? It would take me longer than that and i have been doing it for years.

Week 3 - More Gimp - Making your own skin from templates  Project: Make your own custom skin

 
You want them to learn to make a custom skin in a week.... 

Week 4 - Qavimator - Introduction to poses and basic animations  Project: Strike a pose

 

Week 5 - Qavimator - Facial expressions and advanced animations - Project: Charades

 

Week 6 - Introduction to Building in World - the basics  Project; Unique furniture with Textures

 

Week 7 - Building Accessories - Prim Hair  Project; Change your 'do

 
Again... in a week?

Week 8 - Building accessories - Attachments:  Jewelry, purses, shoes and other small objects  Project; accesorize.

 
You really have confidence in these kids..

Week 9 - Culminating activity - run way; Fashion show. Develop walk and 3 unique outfits with accessories to show off.

-----------------------------------

Week 10 - Introduction to Avastar and Mesh  Project: Make a simple mesh object

 
.... it's not that simple.

Week 11 - Shape Project; Make custom non-human avatar shape

 
This one really gets me.. make a custom non human mesh av and rig it in a week.. 90 minutes a day.. 

Week 12 - Mesh Clothing and Hair Project: Fancy Accessories

 

Week 13 - Mesh Objects and Minimizing Prim Load  Project: House with Furniture, minimum prim count

 

Week 14 - 3D Printing - Designing Objects to Print  Project: Making something to take home

 
You have a 3d printer?!!?? 

Week 15 - Intro to LSL language  Project: What does this script do?

 

Week 16: Scripting continued: More complex states, dialogs, timers, listens  Project; Fair Ride

 

Week 17: Cool Stuff - Particle Effects, HUDs  Project: Start working on final project

 

Week 18: Working on final project;   Final Project: Play. As a group, put on a full play including scenes, props, animations, live voice acting, special effects, etc.

Can you do all this stuff? If so, where is your store? If not, how are you going to possibly teach them this?

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Heya!

As other said, each thing on your list asks for a detailed planning, learning, practicing and many failed "products" before you can create one that will be good enough to show off to your students. You want them to be interested in the class, right?

I suggest you keep the list as it is, but instead of making each of the items you mention, why not spend a little time alone in Second Life and explore, chose few shops/creators for each of the things you want to represent to the students and simply show them photos, videos, text or maybe even a visit in-world? I am sure that if you contact one of the good mesh creators saying you will show their work to your students they will be more than happy to share few advices or their experiences with you. 

At the end each student can chose one of the things they specially liked and try to create an item on their own for the final project.

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I've been here seven years and I will echo the sentiment that you are biting off a lot here.

Especially when I read the final project, "Play. As a group, put on a full play including scenes, props, animations, live voice acting, special effects, etc."

If you have not been to any Productions in SL, I'd suggest you go.  It takes months for them to put them together.  If it were not "R" rated I'd suggest  you take the class to see Miltons 'Paradise Lost' in SL or one of the Chang Hai Trinity (my spelling may be wrong) Circus acts which I think are "G" rated.

Doing something like this could be a Class all of its own for people who have already learned the skills you listed.  Unless starting out every item is being made for the Play.

Regarding MESH, you may have another problem.  In order to upload MESH into SL, your students will need to have completed the MESH Tutorial and have Payment Information On File. http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Mesh   So you will be limited to doing this on Open Sim.

You've got my head spinning here.

@Drake.  You and I have been round before on the issue of TradeMark violations.  You know I am against both TradeMark and Copyright violations.   But you need to learn a bit more basics.  If you don't trust my opinion find someone who's opinion you trust to teach you or take some time to do some thorough reading.  But there is no TradeMark violation here. 

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8bitBiologist wrote:

Hi everyone!

 

I am a high school teacher in North Carolina and I have the opportunity to teach a course being called Electronic Arts. In it I plan to cover all the different aspects of Second Life/OpenSim. I have 18 weeks divided into two 9 week periods. I will be seeing the kids for 90 minutes daily. I plan to spend one week per topic, with a culminating project at the end of each week and at the end of the 9 week period. I am sure I can't cover every last aspect, nor every aspect in full detail, but I wanted to give them a strong foundation on many basics. Comments and opinions welcomed.

Crikey! Get that whip cracking
:)

 

So the first 9 weeks I was thinking this;

 

Week 1 - Intro to Virtual Worlds, Walking around , Inventory, changing your avatar, etc - the basics  Project: Customize avatar and show off

 

Week 1 - Love it.  The official Second Life Knowledge Base (see tab above) is a superb source for first lesson homework, there are video tutorials covering these basics.

 

Week 2 - Intro to Gimp - making clothing from templates  Project: Make a custom outfit

Week 2 - I can't comment at all on this, for having been in Second Life for over seven years and not having been introduced to Gimp or any photo-shop type of software, I would not have the first clue.  I have, however, acquired free templates for clothing and furniture from the Second Life Marketplace, which I have customised. I don't know how relevant this would be to your students.

 

Week 3 - More Gimp - Making your own skin from templates  Project: Make your own custom skin

 

Week 4 - Qavimator - Introduction to poses and basic animations  Project: Strike a pose

 

Week 5 - Qavimator - Facial expressions and advanced animations - Project: Charades

Weeks 4 and 5 can be very time-consuming. Posing is lots of fun, especially recreating a scene from a favourite movie, for example.  Facial expressions are quite limited in Second Life.

 

Week 6 - Introduction to Building in World - the basics  Project; Unique furniture with Textures

Week 6 - I would actually have this one earlier than Gimp. Building is the easiest way to see results from your efforts.  Adding basic textures will be easy, because the inventories all contain a library with textures in, until Gimp/similar is taught and then building could be come back to. Perhaps your students could choose just one or two aspects to go more advanced on. Some people prefer building to making clothes (ie me), some people are talented with animations, others with creating textures.

 

 

Week 7 - Building Accessories - Prim Hair  Project; Change your 'do

Week 7 - Don't forget to get your students to take lots of photos so they can compare how their avatar's appearance evolves. Also don't forget to have them save a copy of every version of their avatar.

 

Week 8 - Building accessories - Attachments:  Jewelry, purses, shoes and other small objects  Project; accesorize.

Week 8 - Working with micro prims takes special patience. I think there is a video tutorial on youtube by our own Torley Linden on this for a bit of added homework.

 

Week 9 - Culminating activity - run way; Fashion show. Develop walk and 3 unique outfits with accessories to show off.

-----------------------------------

Week 10 - Introduction to Avastar and Mesh  Project: Make a simple mesh object

 

Week 11 - Shape Project; Make custom non-human avatar shape

 

Week 12 - Mesh Clothing and Hair Project: Fancy Accessories

 

Week 13 - Mesh Objects and Minimizing Prim Load  Project: House with Furniture, minimum prim count

 

Week 14 - 3D Printing - Designing Objects to Print  Project: Making something to take home

 

Week 15 - Intro to LSL language  Project: What does this script do?

 

Week 16: Scripting continued: More complex states, dialogs, timers, listens  Project; Fair Ride

 

Week 17: Cool Stuff - Particle Effects, HUDs  Project: Start working on final project

 

Week 18: Working on final project;   Final Project: Play. As a group, put on a full play including scenes, props, animations, live voice acting, special effects, etc.

Weeks 9 - 18 - already I feel exhausted just going up to Week 8.  Don't forget to have a look already at the Destination Guide - see what is on offer so you can have "field trips" with your students, take in a show, or a virtual Giant Snail Race, or visit parks, museums, memorial sims.

The basics of virtual worlds to me meant being able to:

Modify a basic system avatar

Dress a basic system avatar

Move/walk/run/fly

Interact with other people

Create objects in Second Life

Explore

Think of all the things I wanted to do in real life but perhaps couldn't and see if there was a way of doing so in a virtual world.

Seven years on and I am still learning something new every day (even some of the basics).

I love your enthusiasm, and feel a little arrogant making any suggestions to a qualified teacher, but a lot of what we here in Second Life learn has come from everyone pooling their knowledge, and being lucky enough to meet different people who have shared their own skills and experiences. I do not envy anyone trying to teach it in a classroom.

Wishing you luck and fulfilment.

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

I didnt say there was a violation, i just said it was trademarked, which it is.  The kids will still get confused.

OK.  But then, why bring the fact that the name of the company is trade marked into the conversation?   That confused me more as an Adult than I think the name of the class will confuse the kids.  And quite seriously, if these High School kids get confused by the name that easily then there are a lot more serious issues that need worked on with them.

It describes very succinctly what these classes are about and if there is a published description of this class, which I would bet is an elective, I'd also bet that any confusion would be removed by reading the description.

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Perrie Juran wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

I didnt say there was a violation, i just said it was trademarked, which it is.  The kids will still get confused.

OK.  But then, why bring the fact that the name of the company is trade marked into the conversation?   That confused me more as an Adult than I think the name of the class will confuse the kids.  And quite seriously, if these High School kids get confused by the name that easily then there are a lot more serious issues that need worked on with them.

It describes very succinctly what these classes are about and if there is a published description of this class, which I would bet is an elective, I'd also bet that any confusion would be removed by reading the description.

Lets be real for a minute here... You post an elective after school program called Electronic Arts to a bunch of high schoolers and you don't think the first thing that will pop in their heads is EA Games?

And after doing a bit of research the words "Electronic Arts" are trademarked by EA Games. LINK I don't know if using them as a class name in making things for a virtual world would be a violation as it is listed under computer programs in the field of education, [ home management ] and entertainment.

I would change the class name to Online Arts or Internet Arts. Electronic arts could mean anything. Drawing on a tablet, an iPad, using a penmouse or any number of other things.

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

I didnt say there was a violation, i just said it was trademarked, which it is.  The kids will still get confused.

OK.  But then, why bring the fact that the name of the company is trade marked into the conversation?   That confused me more as an Adult than I think the name of the class will confuse the kids.  And quite seriously, if these High School kids get confused by the name that easily then there are a lot more serious issues that need worked on with them.

It describes very succinctly what these classes are about and if there is a published description of this class, which I would bet is an elective, I'd also bet that any confusion would be removed by reading the description.

Lets be real for a minute here... You post an elective after school program called Electronic Arts to a bunch of high schoolers and you don't think the first thing that will pop in their heads is EA Games?

And after doing a bit of research the words "Electronic Arts" are trademarked by EA Games. 
I don't know if using them as a class name in making things for a virtual world would be a violation as it is listed under
computer programs in the field of education, [ home management ] and entertainment
.

I would change the class name to Online Arts or Internet Arts. Electronic arts could mean anything. Drawing on a tablet, an iPad, using a penmouse or any number of other things.

I guess we'd have to survey a bunch of teenagers* in order to really know.  ;)

I will agree your names are better.

McDonald's hambugers can't stop me from using McDonald's Hardware although someone who has registered it for Hardware may be able to.  It gets to be fun.

 

*actually ask the teens who saw it what was the first thing that popped in their head.

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Thanks for the comments Drake!

" Lets start with this... Electronic Arts is a trademarked name.. I would change the name of your class. The kids may get confused. Why do you think high school kids need a strong foundation in making things in SL? "

-that is the title of the course as designated by the state department of public instruction, not a title chosen by me. And the class is not strictly about SL - actually, its been hosted in OpenSim - it's about kids picking up a number of good digital skills and being exposed to a number of digital art areas such as clothing design, digital art, coding, etc.

"

Week 1 - Intro to Virtual Worlds, Walking around , Inventory, changing your avatar, etc - the basics  Project: Customize avatar and show off

 90 minutes a day? to do all that? Good luck.

Week 2 - Intro to Gimp - making clothing from templates  Project: Make a custom outfit

 How fast can you make a full outfit? It would take me longer than that and i have been doing it for years.

Week 3 - More Gimp - Making your own skin from templates  Project: Make your own custom skin

 You want them to learn to make a custom skin in a week.... "

 

Well its 90 minutes a day for 5 days in a week so 7.5 hours per topic. I looked at many online tutorials and it seemed like I could cover the basics in that time. I guess I'll find out soon enough if I can't  =)  How would you suggest I go about it?

 

" You have a 3d printer?!!?? "  - we do!

 

To asnwer how I would show them to do this;

 

Tutorial on Prim Hair  for example

 

 

 

 

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Actually I cannot take the students to Second Life - they are going to be as young as 13 ^.^  I am not confortable exposing them to the "public at large" of the SL community. However it may be that I bring one or two folsk taht I know personally to our Sim to speak with the kids for special seminars. Great idea!

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Thank you for the comment Perrie! I don't expect the kids to be experts of any one of hte topics here, just wanted to expose them to a broad view of topics so they can then maybe pick one or two that they can go forward with and specialize in. What would you suggest for the content of this intro curriculum? Just stick to prim building maybe? I am open to suggestions. And yes, I am doing everything in OpenSim.

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Thanks for all the great advice Marigold!!

 

"Week 2 - I can't comment at all on this, for having been in Second Life for over seven years and not having been introduced to Gimp or any photo-shop type of software, I would not have the first clue.  I have, however, acquired free templates for clothing and furniture from the Second Life Marketplace, which I have customised. I don't know how relevant this would be to your students."  - well my goal is for them to pick up on a braod range of skills that could be applied to not just SL. So if they did learn a digital art program like GIMP maybe they could go on to be digital artists compeltely outside of SL or virtual worlds.

 

"Week 6 - I would actually have this one earlier than Gimp. Building is the easiest way to see results from your efforts.  Adding basic textures will be easy, because the inventories all contain a library with textures in, until Gimp/similar is taught and then building could be come back to. Perhaps your students could choose just one or two aspects to go more advanced on. Some people prefer building to making clothes (ie me), some people are talented with animations, others with creating textures."

 

-Great point! Maybe I will do just that and slide this up earlier.

 

"

Week 7 - Building Accessories - Prim Hair  Project; Change your 'do

Week 7 - Don't forget to get your students to take lots of photos so they can compare how their avatar's appearance evolves. Also don't forget to have them save a copy of every version of their avatar.

 

Week 8 - Building accessories - Attachments:  Jewelry, purses, shoes and other small objects  Project; accesorize.

Week 8 - Working with micro prims takes special patience. I think there is a video tutorial on youtube by our own Torley Linden on this for a bit of added homework."

 

-again great advice. I can do both of these - I think they will enoy putting together a photoalbum of their virtual world. I'll see about tracking down that tutorial.

 

"

Modify a basic system avatar

Dress a basic system avatar

Move/walk/run/fly

Interact with other people

Create objects in Second Life

Explore"

-I could narrow down the topics and spend, say, 2 weeks on each. I was just going for exposing them to as much as I could and letting them decide which topic they wanted to explore further after this class.

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So, you don't know how to make any of this stuff either.... And you are going to learn along with the kids. You really have bitten off way more than you can chew. I would ditch all the mesh stuff and concentrate on the Texturing work. Although, any student interested in this kind of thing will be in the graphic arts programs already. So I'm not sure what this class is really for.

As a side note, personally I am a tad miffed that you come here asking advice about a class that will be taught in Opensim.

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8bitBiologist wrote:

Thank you for the comment Perrie! I don't expect the kids to be experts of any one of hte topics here, just wanted to expose them to a broad view of topics so they can then maybe pick one or two that they can go forward with and specialize in. What would you suggest for the content of this intro curriculum? Just stick to prim building maybe? I am open to suggestions. And yes, I am doing everything in OpenSim.

I really don't know what to suggest here because you are wanting the Students to make Costumes and the 3D modeling for clothes even when you have templates can be a pain.  All you need to do is peruse the Creation sub forum here and you can see how quick and easy even some of the skilled modelors can get 'in trouble.'

I think it's a necesary thing with the direction VR's are going but it may be the toughest hump in the class to get over.

But I also think we can't ignore the humble prim.  It's almost like you need an extra week so you can cover both.

Some of the top 3D modelors in SL post in the Mesh sub forum.  It might be a good thing to ask down there.  The people there would be better versed to give you guidance.  They may never look in this sub forum so would not have seen your Thread.

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Hi, 8bitBiologist! Just thought I would point out that if you did choose to bring your younger high school students into SL that you wouldn't have to be concerned about them mingling with the general SL population. Teens between the ages of 13 and 15 are locked to their school's region and cannot leave the region or interact with unauthorized avatars. This is the sort of arrangement you would make directly with Linden Lab. Info available here: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Teens_in_Second_Life

 

These restrictions really do work -- I have worked with educators in SL since 2005, including projects with teens/in the former Teen Grid, and the restrictions have been consistently reliable.

 

There are, of course, other reasons for choosing OpenSim, and added challenges in using it. I noticed you had posted a couple of questions in the scripting area of these forums. Just in case you weren't aware of it, there are differences in functionality of SL and OS, including some script functions. A script that runs fine in SL might not in OS. This is something that gave my team headaches when we first began to do development work in OS. If you choose to work in OS instead of SL, I would suggest finding an OS-specific source of scripting advice.

 

Anyway, now I will get back on the main topic! As others have commented, the outline you posted seems to cover more information than would be reasonable to expect a typical student to learn in the amount of time available. If you would like to learn more about what other educators in SL have found fits into a quarter or semester, you might do better to post someplace more specific to your needs, like the SL Educators Mailing List. Here is a link to info and signup: https://lists.secondlife.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/educators

 

As to what to include if you decide to narrow down what you will cover, that is a question I cannot answer without asking you more questions. What is the goal of the class? Is it an overview of virtual worlds, or more about learning programming, or 3D graphics, or something else? What previous applicable experience do the students have? To what sort of class would you expect the students to go on after this if they take an interest in the subject, and what prerequisites will that require? Which skills are you an expert at and able to teach yourself? What sorts of guest lecturers or consultants are available to fill in the gaps?

 

For example, if you are teaching a course on virtual worlds in general, you might want to cover many topics in a shallow way, including LSL and building with prims. But if this is a class about programming, then I wouldn't spend much student time learning a scripting language that has very limited career applications (and I say this as someone who does make her living from developing SL content for educational projects). Similarly, if the students are expected to go on to study graphics in a more advanced course, I would skip the prims and take the students right to mesh.

 

I wrote a couple of books which might be of use to you. One is about using SL for projects, including educational projects like yours. The other is a book about SL content creation, which has been used by a number of educational institutions as a textbook for courses similar to what you have outlined. Here are a couple of links, if you would like to check them out:

http://www.amazon.com/Second-Life-Grid-Communication-Collaboration/dp/0470412917

http://www.amazon.com/Creating-Your-World-Official-Advanced/dp/0470171146

 

If you'd like to talk about your class, I might be able to offer some more advice or point you at some other useful people or resources. Just drop me an IM. Best of luck with your project! :-)

 

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Thank you Kim! We do have a small plot in Second Life that we use. However, we have two full regions in an OpenSim that we used to make extensive teaching units for the kids. Unfortunately to have that same sort of space in SL is cost prohibitive for us.

 

What is the goal of the class? - I wanted to give kids a general overview of the sorts of things that are involved in virtual worlds. That way they could maybe find one or two that they could independetly study more thoroughly. For the most part the kids come in with no experience in virtual worlds.

 

To what sort of class would you expect the students to go on after this if they take an interest in the subject, and what prerequisites will that require? - Here in the high school there isn't much to follow up but they can start to figure out if a career in graphic design, additive manufacturing, character animation etc is something they would like to persue as they think about college.

Which skills are you an expert at and able to teach yourself? What sorts of guest lecturers or consultants are available to fill in the gaps? - I wouldn't call myself an expert in any of these skills really - as a teacher, that keeps my time pretty short. I have a Virtual Worlds certificate from UW and have some knowledge of all of these. I have not been able to set up any guest lecturers - it seems much of the community has its own projects that it is tied up with.

 

Thank you for the links! I do have the Advanced Content creation book that I use as a bible all the time! I do have some other books I often use for reference and I would love to speak more!! I'll shoot you an IM. Maybe we can meet in world sometime.

 

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