Jump to content

How to allow kids onto SL for education?


You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 2845 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Recommended Posts

I work for a small rural K-12 school district as the IT Director, and I would like to set up an after-school program to introduce elementary students to Second Life, and modeling and LSL programming / scripting.

Is it absolutely necessary that our school buy a region all to ourselves before I can allow any of them to join? If so, then the very high cost of $2400 a year is going to kill this before I can even get it started.

Aren't there other educational sims where our students could explore and use sandboxes, without us having to buy a sim ourselves up front?

 Would these students be locked into only using the sim / region we own or would they be able to visit other education sims?

 

The much cheaper alternative is to grab a spare desktop computer and install OpenSim on it, but then I am left with an absolutely blank slate and an inability to allow our students to experience what other educators have developed in Second Life.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Scalar Tardis wrote:

I work for a small rural K-12 school district as the IT Director, and I would like to set up an after-school program to introduce elementary students to Second Life, and modeling and LSL programming / scripting.

Is it absolutely necessary that our school buy a region all to ourselves before I can allow any of them to join? If so, then the very high cost of $2400 a year is going to kill this before I can even get it started.

Aren't there other educational sims where our students could explore and use sandboxes, without us having to buy a sim ourselves up front?

 Would these students be locked into only using the sim / region we own or would they be able to visit other education sims?

 

The much cheaper alternative is to grab a spare desktop computer and install OpenSim on it, but then I am left with an absolutely blank slate and an inability to allow our students to experience what other educators have developed in Second Life.

 

Not sure about cost, that seems a bit low to me, but I am not sure about the status of educational discounts. The reason anyone buys an educational sim IS to isolate students, so, unlikely you would be able to visit other educational sims unless you got some kind of clearance. You would have a blank slate whatever you do.

I taught elementary and high school for years, and while SL could be a good learning tool for those who already have basic SL skills, IMO too much time would be invested in developing basic skills. Maybe your district does not feel like every minute has to be devoted to testable skills and knowledge, as it has been in my state for decades, but if so, it would be hard to justify using SL.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

it depends on the age of your students.. if they are in a certain age group you indeed will need a totally private sim. They aren't even allowed to go out of it and only able to login there, no access to marketplace or any other related thing.

 

As far it's relevant, read here

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Teens_in_Second_Life

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just picking up on your 'blank slate' bit, you would be in that position anyway. Although a cursory search throws up a myriad of resources already available for education uses, up to and including complete OARs full. Even some rather interesting military open sources terrains full.

Not sure on your costs there either - are you pricing in terms of a full 'mainland' sim deal (as I have no idea about edu discounts)? Because the age range you are talking about would be a non starter anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Scalar Tardis wrote:

The much cheaper alternative is to grab a spare desktop computer and install OpenSim on it, but then I am left with an absolutely blank slate and an inability to allow our students to experience what other educators have developed in Second Life.

 

You'd have a blank slate to begin with in SL too. Since that's your starting place, how can you make it a genuine feature instead of a bug? Something like shifting the focus slightly to co-operatively creating a world, with the modeling and scripting to support that. Such a programme might draw in a broader range of interests.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, I was looking at mainland pricing. So.... LL wants $600 to setup an island, and then ... $3600 a year to run an island that is cut off from the rest of the grid and no one else can use it, and the students can't leave it?

Seriously?

I could buy one heck of a beefed up server for $4200 to run OpenSim. Probably a small grid, with one simulator per core...

Though, I don't think such a project would get funded, just as a private sim on SL is unlikely to get funded for our after school project.

Okay, spare desktop PC running OpenSim it is then, I guess. :-P

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Scalar Tardis wrote:

I work for a small rural K-12 school district as the IT Director, and I would like to set up an after-school program to introduce elementary students to Second Life, and modeling and LSL programming / scripting.

Is it absolutely necessary that our school buy a region all to ourselves before I can allow any of them to join? If so, then the very high cost of $2400 a year is going to kill this before I can even get it started.

Aren't there other educational sims where our students could explore and use sandboxes, without us having to buy a sim ourselves up front?

 Would these students be locked into only using the sim / region we own or would they be able to visit other education sims?

 

The much cheaper alternative is to grab a spare desktop computer and install OpenSim on it, but then I am left with an absolutely blank slate and an inability to allow our students to experience what other educators have developed in Second Life.

 

The minimum age for someone to login anywhere in Second Life, including a completely isolated educational region, is 13.

Second Life is generally for adults 18 years and older; however, if you are 13 years of age or older you can use Second Life with some restrictions. If you're:

  • 16-17 years old you can access regions and search results that have a General maturity rating.
  • 13-15 years old, you can access Second Life through an affiliated organization and will be restricted to the private estate of that organization. Only avatars approved by that organization will be able to enter these estates. You can't use Second Life search or purchase items from the Marketplace.

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Teens_in_Second_Life

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Elementary school aged kids would not be allowed into SL due to the age limit anyway (as several others have mentioned)--so that's the non-starter before even considering funding.

You might try one of the OpenSim-based grids out there that have been specifically designed for education. JokaydiaGrid comes to mind. Cost of setup and maintenence is teensy compared to SL. Plus, the organizers are educators themselves with a K-12 background, so they understand more about classroom management than the general "grid jockeys" would.

Now, there won't be nearly as many sims to visit, but young students wouldn't be able to tour SL anyway, again as many on this list have already mentioned--the kids would be locked down onto a single sim.

If you really are interested in getting virtual...a couple of things to try.

Check the OS grid list to see if anything jumps out. 

http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Grid_List

It might also be worth your while to shoot an email to the editors of HyperGrid Business http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/about/contacts/ explaining your needs to see if anything may have popped up on their radar that would fit.

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe Linden Lab still does special orders for educational purposes here, or at least can give you a invoice http://specialorders.secondlife.com

You can read more about it here https://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/Buying-Private-Regions/ta-p/700045#Section_.6.1

However to restrict your students to the region, should you choose this option, you will need to use the regapi http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Registration_API

I'm more than willing to help out with setup of the regapi should you need help or want someone to set it up for you, if so feel free to shoot me an IM.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that Opensim is your most likely answer. For your proposal should you go in that direction I would talk to your computer support folks and see if they would be willing to set up and maintain your grid. It would need to be on a dedicated server but could be an older computer so maybe no new purchases.

 

There are some basic OARS out there for a school environment to get you started.

 

Another alternative (if this is for next year) might be Sansar where the age limit has been anounced as 13. The land prices are supposed to be less there (we only know under a hundred bucks at the moment ).   

 

Good luck.

 

Also if you look up the Best Practices in Education folks (Google can probably find them) I imagine there are people there who would help you with Opensim or SL.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As someone that has used sl for educational purposes, for years, I would like to share a link to another thread in this forum that might offer some insight...rather than reposting things I've said before and boring everyone, lol.

https://community.secondlife.com/t5/Second-Life-Education/Creating-an-Area-for-Home-School-Students/m-p/3008405/highlight/true#M2398

Although that thread is related to homeschooling, it's still applicable here, being similar enough in intent. 

I would go with OS, it's so much more fun to *really* start from scratch. All of my students, and my own kids, that have used sl at one point or another...prefer OS, even long after they were no longer restricted to one region.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 2845 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...