NaNoWriMo 2011

I am doing NaNoWriMo this year wahoo!

My synopsis needs re-writing, but here it is for now:

Synopsis for New Rising
On what was meant to be a routine exploration of possibly viable planets, the two-ship team find themselves unexpectedly stranded and quarantined after a mystery affliction wipes out half of their members. Those who survive are changed, and no one is quite sure what these changes entail. As they figure it out, and why so many of their team died, they must find a cure.
But as the extent of their changes becomes more apparent, they realise that they might have landed in more than they bargained for. And unless they find out why these things are happening, they may just be left here to die of old age.

You can see the counter on the side of this blog, I'll try and keep it updated regularly. Am at work so haven't gotten started on it yet today!

Time to say STOP

Oh my goodness, I have to STOP wasting time downloading useless
Dashboard widgets for my Mac (like Aquarium... who needs an aquarium on
their Mac? Really?... Apparently I do!).

Get off the computer and go do something else. Now! Argh.

Facebook started it. Just sayin'.

Incredibly, stinking hot

It has been an incredibly, stinking hot week all around.

We got back from Masterton on Sunday after driving the whole day. Monday
was a write-off as I was just exhausted, and today I had to travel into
town (went by bus) then power-walk through the heat to get to my
appointment on time. I had forgotten to change out of my jeans into
something cooler, so by the time I'd made it from Victoria Street to
Grafton I was red, hot, thirsty, and out-of-breath. I only had 15
minutes to make the walk (love it when buses are late), so I thought it
best not to wait for a Link bus to take me there in comfort.

And now?

I'm finding it hard to concentrate. I've got a video re-rendering
because for some reason the quality was all crap when I did it the first
time (all the others are fine, just this one messed up on me... argh).

And I'm complaining.

So I'm gonna shut up now. :)

Second Life and SLOODLE training

At the end of February we will be running a Second Life and SLOODLE (integration between Second Life and Moodle) training in Auckland. The course runs the week of Monday 28th February to Friday 4th March.

Please see HERE for further details of course fees.

This course is not an introduction to Moodle (it will be assumed you are familiar with Moodle and can set up quizzes, assignments, chat rooms etc), and while the first day will be a basic introduction to Second Life, you can choose whether you wish to attend this day or not. Participants can attend part of this course if required.

Attached you can find a image of the mind map I put together for the course, but I will outline in more detail below...

Day 1:
  • System requirements - minimum hardware required as well as connection speed
  • Second Life, Moodle, and SLOODLE - a brief overview of what they are and how they are integratin
  • Basics of Second Life - Creating your avatar, moving about, teleporting (and landmarks), customising your avatar (clothes, shapes, skins, hair), HUDs (heads up displays), using the search feature, currency, adult content (not looking at it, but being aware that it is there and how to avoid stumbling across it by accident - especially your students!)
Day 2:
  • Second Life advanced topics - types of land, what is the difference between sim and parcel, building objects, scripting objects to interact with (Second Life has its own scripting language), what are prims and megaprims, lag (server & sim load) and how to avoid it

Day 3:
  • Developing a virtual learning centre - buying premium land (sim), ongoing costs of owning virtual land, the benefits and downsides of self-building your learning centre or hiring someone to do it, security (how to keep people out or keep your students safe), separate areas for different uses (dividing up your land into parcels), advertising your land, creating and maintaining groups, SLURL (Second Life URL), and visiting examples of existing learning centres or universities
  • Setting up SLOODLE in Moodle - installing the SLOODLE module, setting up the SLOODLE controller and distributor, using the presenter, what the assignment is, and setting up the SLOODLE menu block (linking your avatar to your Moodle)

Day 4:
  • SLOODLE base objects and functionality - the objects available in the basic SLOODLE package (access checker & access checker door, login zone, password reset, reg enrol booth, vending machine, metagloss, primdrop, choice, quiz chair & pile on, web intercom, blog HUD)
  • Notecard configuration - making life easier by configuring your objects using notecards in Second Life

Day 5:
  • Extra SLOODLE objects - Gameshow, Awards System, Pre-made classroom (where to find these and how they work)
  • Bringing it all together - how to make it all work as a cohesive unit!

It will be a practical workshop, with each participant using a dedicated computer. I will be leading the training, with Stuart Mealor as a support facilitator. We will also try and coordinate a couple of guests who are Second Life and SLOODLE users to share their experiences with the group.

We will be using our own private Second Life area and other public virtual areas for training, so it is not vital that you already own land yourself.

At the end of the training, delegates will be issued with a "Second Life and SLOODLE" training certificate from HRDNZ, Moodle Partner.

If you would like to reserve a place for this, please contact helpdesk[AT]

If you have any further questions about the content of this course, feel free to contact me either by replying to this post, or by contacting me in Second Life - my avatar is Merryn Lawksley.

Kind regards,
Miriam Laidlaw

Blogging moved

I'm moving my blogging about e-Learning, Moodle and other related stuff to my dreamwidth account that I've just set up. I will see how well this works. I can post easily to DW from my Mac when I'm out and about. I will look into some Android apps that let you post, or at least some way of posting from my phone (though I doubt I'll often do that). So if you're looking for e-Learning / Moodle / SLOODLE / Mahara posts from now on, please look HERE.
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