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How many educational institutions remain?


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I remember years ago when Linden Labs rather abruptly ended educational discounts for colleges and universities, and had the impression most left.  Early on I worked briefly on a project for a national Board of Education for a middle eastern country.  Honestly don't know if they ever established a presence here, or a Grid of their own which was also discussed.

Tonight I got to wondering and did a few searches under "education" and "university," and found a few remain.  It would be heartening to find an ongoing educational presence here; it seems the tech crowd only want the Shiny And New anymore.  I suppose that's not new, at that.

I saw there was a conference on such back in the spring, of which I was unaware.

Is there a good source for how many educational institutions still have an active presence in SL?  Or is there a good way to find out beyond random searching?

Thanks.

Griz

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

Several Universities still have sims online, several with fairly decent new-user orientations, so I keep them landmarked for new folks. 

I have discovered more than one school from the middle east on the main SL grid, including Dubai's Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMeU)

There is still a fairly active academic community. Every year you can visit the VWBPE (Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education) to see what different schools and nonprofits are using SL, that might be the conference you mentioned! 

Unfortunately there isn't much of a hub for finding these places. I have a HISTORICAL/EDUCATIONAL category in my own public landmark-library, but aside from that you are likely left to search tools and map combing! 

Most of the schools that still exist and function in Second Life are teaching some sort of skill used within Second Life itself, not general education. For example, places like Oxbridge University in Caledon offer a schedule of classes ranging from Q&A sessions to Buying and Renting land. Builders Brewery is another great resource for learning to create objects both inworld and with external mesh programs. There is still a plethora of Science Sims, most operated by Japanese SL'ers, with great exhibits focusing on marine biology, astronomy, earth science, and much more. 

Anyway good luck and have fun, there's still plenty of great educational content to explore, even if academia is gone! 

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I really do miss all the classes, some at Universities and others not. In the old, OLD days, The Lab actually paid the teachers (I think it was 500 a class or hour  and most classes were and hour, so ...).  I had some great friends through the classes. 

And, actually while it 'seemed' like the discount disappeared I have it on VERY good authority (a school) that it did not.   But things change.   I have volunteered several times to teach classes (80 on my SL resume from LEARN AVATAR plus almost 20 years of real life stuff) but so far no takers (wink). 

 

Things change.

 

 

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The education/nonprofit discount was taken away under a previous CEO. It came back some time after Ebbe took over. Unfortunately, many groups left after the discount was removed & never came back. We dropped two regions and paid full price for a remaining one. It's back to discounted (a huge relief to the budget).

Edited by Parhelion Palou
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3 hours ago, Parhelion Palou said:

The education/nonprofit discount was taken away under a previous CEO. It came back some time after Ebbe took over. Unfortunately, many groups left after the discount was removed & never came back. We dropped two regions and paid full price for a remaining one. It's back to discounted (a huge relief to the budget).

Actually I know that is the perception (and I believed that true also) but we are not always told the truth. Either way, the PERCEPTION was that education no longer was that important with the Powers That Be and that most likely hurt as much as the extra money some sim owners were called on to add to their tier payment. 

No, I am not going to say who told me this (well, of COURSE I am not) but they definitely KNOW.  

Actually I guess I should have written that the educational discount didn't TOTALLY disappear. Obviously it did for some since you were one of them. No argument there. 

Edited by Chic Aeon
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No, it happened --  but not as universally  as we were lead to believe. Even if a few institutions were still "supported" -- or let's say didn't have their support taken away from them, it seemed  clear from the publicized change that education had lost its value as far as The Lab was concerned -- at least that is what it looked like from the outside. 

There could have been plenty of behind the scenes machinations  that I am not privy too. Some people could have (and I suspect this is true from the little I remember of those times) been taking advantage of the system. I remember going to classes in shopping centers where you had to work your way through the mall in order to get to the class -- hence not what most of us would think of as an "educational sim".  Some very well-meaning folks could have been tossed out along with some of the less altruistic.  

 

I was under the impression that ALL schools lost their special status until I found out that wasn't the case.  I have no idea what criteria decided who paid less. I can only guess that those sims owned by actual brick and mortar real life institutions had an advantage when choices were made.  I am just not sure -- on the whole -- if the change was in the best interest of SL in the long term. It was much easier to learn long ago as there were classes going on all the time and the events schedule was filled with listing with everything from "Learn how to dance" to "Intermediate Scripting".  And learning took place more inworld than it does now here on the forums and through websites.  

Maybe I am just feeling nostalgic :D. 

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There are still some education-related things going on that aren't necessarily associated with a RL college or university.

I'm a physics & astronomy prof at a small college in Western PA.  My college isn't in SL (in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if I were the only person on campus with an SL account).  However, I do give public outreach talks related to physics and astronomy in association with the Science Circle.  They are on break right now for the holidays, but most Saturdays during the academic year they have somebody giving a talk.

They keep their calendar of upcoming presentations here.  (Right now, they have "excursions" posted, which are less-formal visits to things that people associated with the Science Circle have built in-world.)  You can find videos of recent presentations linked there (including my recent one about the two colliding neutron stars we observed with gravitational waves as well as optical light of all frequencies).  Most/all of the previous talks are archived on YouTube.

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  • 2 months later...

Not directly an answer to this string's title, or a reference to educational activity contained within SL alone...

There is a website that publishes research papers centered on virtual world aspects overall. I am unsure whether I can place a web link here in the forum... tho if anyone is interested in checking it out...  do a web search to easily find it. The publication is called:  Journal of Virtual World Research

There are many educational interests that contribute to it and it's been operating for several years. I haven't searched the individual papers for mentions of SL, but am sure most anyone reading/contributing is familiar with the SL grid.  

 

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