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The one afternoon plan for SecondLife

avatar.jpgIn this month's TechProof column for Education world, I committed to compiling a list of "must-see" sights for educators in SecondLife. Of course, it was in May when I wrote this and had the luxury of knowing I had all summer to spend hours and hours in the MUVE as BlueSkunk Johnson.

Ah, but how quickly the summer has passed and how little time I actually got to spend as an avatar. With my limited experience, from reading the blogs of Ryan Bretag and Kevin Jarrett, attending presentations by Lisa Perez and just being a collector of the odd article, I complied the list below. So, if you had but an afternoon to spend in SecondLife, where would you go? How about...?

  1. ISTE Skypark Social
  2. NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory
  3. InfoIsland and InfoIsland 2 (Science Fiction Library)
  4. Temple of Isis (example of a historical replica)
  5. Island of Svarga
  6. British Literature Classroom
  7. Boracay
  8. Teacher Networking Center
  9. Ramaposlands Project (In Teen SecondLife)
  10. ?

OK, here's the question: what should be dropped and what should be added? Or just nominate a number 10. Remember the audience for this column is regular educators - classroom teachers, librarians, building administrators - not techies.

Thanks for your ideas.

Just so I have them all in one place, here are my primary resources for Second Life for educators: 

Thanks to Lisa Linn and Kevin Jarrett for responses to an earlier e-mail on this topic!

A map of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory




Bloggers anoymous


The graphic at the left is the result of an interesting short quiz that probably has the validity of those in Readers Digest, but is fun nonetheless. Thanks, to Jeff Utecht at the Thinking Stick for the link to this site.

Having been away on vacation and out of my routine, I found myself staring at hundreds of potentially interesting and useful blog postings. I "cleaned'm up" in about an hour by skimming, scanning, and starring some for later study (yeah, right).

I started asking myself if I'm not reading more and enjoying it less. Should I read fewer blogs and if so, which ones?

Here is the short list of the blogs to which I've recently starred entries:

  1. Stephen's Lighthouse
  2. Web-logged
  3. MA Bell's Blog about Libraries
  4. From the Trenches of Public Education
  5. The Thinking Stick
  6. Infomancy
  7. ijohnpederson
  8. Around the Corner
  9. 2 Cents Worth
  10. NeverEndingSearch
  11. California Dreamin'
  12. Half an Hour
  13. Dangerously Irrelevant
  14. Practical Futurist
  15. Assorted Stuff

That's it. That's what I'm keeping.  From 89 feeds to 15 (and a few fun ones.) I am sure the list will build again.

Here's to being out of the loop and rather relieved.



What, no whales in the Minnesota River?

Mnkmap.gifAccording to a story in this morning's Mankato Free Press, a couple was disappointed to learn that Mankato (MN) does not live up to its billing on the web:

[Rosaura] Prada, of Edinburg, Texas, brought her mother, Maria Alcantar, of Garden City, Kan., on vacation to Mankato Monday to see the underwater city, the pyramid and maybe do some whale watching. But when they arrived at their motel, they found no one knew about these and dozens of other attractions that the Web site at claims Mankato offers.

I'm guessing the Pradas have already left the area and I won't get a chance to sell them the Red Jacket Bridge just south of town. Rats.

Minnesota State professor Don Descy's site has probably done more than anything to put our litte town "on the map." When I ask folks in workshops if they know anything about Mankato, they often say, "Isn't that the place with the funny website?" One of the earliest spoof sites on the Internet, Descy purposely created the page to emphasize the need for evaluating the information found on the "new" medium of the web. I guess it is still teaching people - albeit within the school of hard knocks.

And it continues to embarrass the local officials

Oh, bonus points if you can find my picture as "Sheik Yabouti" on the site.