Coding and Bots

User Generated Education

I have been asked to return to teach summer enrichment classes on maker education for elementary-aged learners at a local school during the summer of 2016. One of the new classes I am designing is called Coding and Bots. The description is:

Learn how to code first by playing games and then by coding some bots including Sphero, OZOBOT, and Dash and Dot. All ages are welcome but the child should have basic symbol recognition/reading skills.

Two things to note about this class are, first, I learned last summer not to underestimate the learning potential of very young kids. These classes are mixed ages ranging from 4 to 10 year old kids. For most of the maker education activities, the very young ones could perform them, sometimes better than the older kids. Second, I am a strong proponent of hands on activities. Although I like the use of iPads and…

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Nara Malone – Google+

Source: Nara Malone – Google+

Chapter one of our hypergrid story.

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Così si impara a programmare già dall’asilo

Sono sempre più diffusi gli strumenti per insegnare la programmazione ai bambini fin dalla scuola materna. Kibo, Scratch e Hackaball sono solo alcuni esempi

Source: Così si impara a programmare già dall’asilo

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Do you enjoy stories in voice in Second Life and beyond?

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Caledonia Skytower, Shandon Loring (centre) and Kayden Oconnell in an evocative shot of the virtual / live performance by Bear Silvershade Caledonia Skytower, Shandon Loring (centre) and Kayden Oconnell of Seanchai library perform A Christmas Carol as a part of the Library’s The Dickens Project, presented to both virtual and  physical world audiences, in this evocative shot by Bear Silvershade

As regular readers here know, I keenly support the work of Seanchai Library through these pages, with regular updates on their weekly activities, coverage of their feature events and so on. Sadly, the UK / USA time difference means I’m rarely in a position to attend Seanchai readings, or schedule clashes keep me away, but those I have attended (The Dickens Project, War of the Worlds, Boofest, Bard on the Beach, etc.), have always been thoroughly enjoyable, and I recommend them to anyone who enjoys a well-told story.

Seanchai Library is one of the oldest spoken word venues in Second Life, as noted above, they run a wide…

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The online world is the real world

Teaching the Teacher

One of the changes I’ve noticed in my life since working in an international school is how fluid our concept of geography is when it comes to maintaining relationships.

For my flight to Heathrow I sat with a team mate and his family along with several other families from my school – both staff and children.

One of my fellow Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE) from Australia was visiting Europe at the same time me. His Facebook updates prompted visits to different places including the amazing K21 museum in Dusseldorf. We criss-crossed each other through Europe before we managed to bump into each other in Rome.

DSC_0304 K21 museum, Dusseldorf

Spending several days with a teaching friend from Singapore enjoying fine food and finer views in rural Tuscany.

IMG_9487 Pecorino with honey.

Posting an update I was in New York via instagram which turned into catching up another ADE for a show, the perth-based @mgraffin for a coffee before…

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Encountering King Arthur and Beowulf in Second Life

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Beowulf and King ArthurBeowulf and King Arthur

In June I wrote about the non-profit Literature Alive! project operated by Desideria Stockton and Royce Sommer, and their Canterbury Tales Virtual Pilgrimage. They now have a new literary adventure for people to enjoy.

Beowulf and King Arthur is hosted on the Lingnan Drama Island by Brant (MrK Kas). The title itself pretty much explains what the installation is about: an exploration of the legends and times of Beowulf and King Arthur. And if this sounds an odd combination when one considers Beowulf is an Old English epic set in Scandinavia while King Arthur really came to literary prominence as a romantic figure in the 11th and 12th centuries, keep in mind both are firmly rooted in Anglo-Saxon times, and thus the pairing is apt.

As with Canterbury, Beowulf and Arthur is an interactive investigation of both legends, this one set within a huge…

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Calling machinima makers in Second Life: Project Sci-Fi 2015 is open!

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

JayJay Zifanwee of the University of Western Australia (UWA) informs me that The Sci-Fi Film Festival will once again be held in Australia, hosted and sponsored by the Parramatta City Council.

Taking place over the three days of October 30th through November 1st inclusive, the Festival will once again include the Project Sci-Fi Challenge, in which film makers and machinima makers from around the world are challenged to create a short sci-fi film in just 30 days.

The UWA is once again partnering with Project Sci-Fi organisers Screen My Shorts, and will cover the Challenge entry fees for any machinima filmed in Second Life. There is a prize pool of AU $5,750 on offer, and according to JayJay, Second Life machinima makers should be eligible for the Animation and International Film categories as well as the overall prizes.

“We feel that in a SciFi category, those filming in…

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OpenSim NPC’s Are An Easy Touch Of Fun » Ciaran Laval

OpenSim NPC’s Are An Easy Touch Of Fun » Ciaran Laval.

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Replex: A new viewer for SL and OpenSim

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Replex-logoLatif Khalifa is well-known if the viewer community. Not only does he maintain the very excellent Radegast lightweight client for SL and OpenSim, he has also been a regular contributor to Singularity, the popular viewer using the v1-style UI. Now Latif is working on a v1-style viewer of his own.

Replex is still very much in the alpha phase of work; as such, there is no formal release version of the viewer, but alpha builds are available for download with the caveat that there is no official support as yet. There is, however, an in-world group where questions can be asked of other users and information exchanged. There is also an IRC chatroom #replex on Freenode where the developers can be reached via an IRC client or Freenode webchat.

The viewer itself is based on Singularity, unsurprisingly, given Latif’s close ties with that team, and there is an…

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Hypergrid Safari – The evolution of exploration across the interconnected Metaverse

La storia di opensim e sviluppi ed evoluzioni nel metaverso …

Be Cunning and Full of Tricks

Between 2010 and 2012 I had a lot of fun organizing and running the Hypergrid Adventurers Club (HGAC) meetings.  Those were the very early days of Hypergrid connectivity in Opensim, and things often went awry during our explorations.  We all helped each other out through crazy technical challenges and exciting adventures, but it was the community of wonderful people at these meetings that impressed and amazed me the most.

Time moved on and in 2012 I stopped organizing Hypergrid Adventurers Club meetings.  Not because of any lack of interest in Opensim and the Hypergrid on my part, mind you.  I’m still very excited about the future of Opensim and the Hypergrid, and I continue to explore and experiment a lot on my own.  It was just that I felt the HGAC had run its course.  Opensim was becoming much more stable and easier to use, hypergrid jumps were becoming very reliable, and directories of great places…

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