BOSTON, MA - October XX, 2010 - The Immersive Education Initiative today announced that it will provide free virtual world land and migration services for Teen Second Life account holders. The announcement was made by the Initiative in direct response to the decision by Linden Lab, the company responsible for Teen Second Life, to permanently shut down the youth-only virtual world.
2010-10-15 ADDITIONS PENDING iED DIRECTOR APPROVAL:
1) In December Teen Second Life will be added to The Education Grid registry of abandoned virtual worlds.
2) The Initiative will make these services available free of charge to all Second Life educators in November.
3) The Initiative will provide these services free of charge and on an ongoing basis, citing 1) escalating Second Life prices, 2) the continued failure of Linden Lab to follow-through on its stated commitments to the Open Source community, and 3) potential legal liability and ethical issues for educators working in Second Life.
The Immersive Education Initiative is a non-profit international collaboration of universities, colleges, research institutes, consortia and companies that are working together to define and develop open standards, best practices, platforms, and communities of support for virtual reality and game-based learning and training systems. Thousands of faculty, researchers, staff, administrators and students are members of the Initiative, which is growing at the rate of approximately 100 new members every month.
At the Initiative's 2010 Boston Summit a series of special workshops and presentations taught educators how to copy and move their Second Life objects and worlds onto cost-free virtual land on The Education Grid. In addition, Summit workshops taught educators how to install and run their own virtual world servers on school networks ("behind the firewall") free of charge. Educators with Teen Second Life accounts will now be provided with the same training and services, free of charge. In summary, the Immersive Education Initiative will provide educators working in Teen Second Life with:
- Free training on how to export, backup and archive Second Life content
- Free virtual world land on The Education Grid to host educational content migrated from Second Life and upon which entirely new educational content may be built
- Free training on how to install and run cost-free virtual world servers on school networks ("behind the firewall") upon which content migrated from Second Life may be hosted and new content may be built
By mandate the Immersive Education Initiative's Platform Ecosystem consists only of freely available open source technologies. At the time of this announcement Open Wonderland, realXtend, Open Simulator and Cobalt are the official iED virtual worlds platforms. An enhanced descendant of the open source Second Life viewer is paired with realXtend and Open Simulator servers to provide educators with fully open, cost-free alternatives to Second Life. Based upon freely available open source technologies and open standards, The Education Grid and Platform Ecosystem provide educators with a comprehensive end-to-end infrastructure for a new generation of virtual world learning environments, interactive learning games, and simulations.
About The Education Grid (TEG)
The Education Grid (TEG) provides private and secure learning environments for teachers and students of all ages. Designed by educators for educators, The Education Grid features a number of unique capabilities specifically for immersive learning, including:
- Ownership: Ownership is encouraged and supported. Educators own what they create, can take it anywhere, and are provided with migration and backup tools to make this process as simple as possible.
- Limited Legal Liability: The Education Grid provides private and secure learning environments for teachers and students of all ages. Every public avatar on TEG has a real name — the same name as the individual associated with the avatar — and every public avatar name also includes the name of the school or organization that the individual is associated with.
- Private or Shared: Educators can keep their virtual worlds private, or make them available to a range of learners.
- Global Scale: Educators that want their work to be used by other schools can make their virtual worlds available to the entire Immersive Education Initiative membership, which is approaching 3,000 members worldwide as of August 2010 and growing at the rate of approximately 100 new members every month. Initiative members, in turn, represent millions of students and non-traditional learners around the world.
- No Age Restriction: Separate copies of a virtual world can be made simultaneously available for three levels of learners, where appropriate security measures are applied to enable students and teachers to work together in safe, secure, and age-appropriate learning environments:
K-6: KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 6TH GRADE
7-12: JR. HIGH AND HIGH SCHOOL
COLLEGE+: HIGHER EDUCATION AND GENERAL iED MEMBERS
- Parallel Access: A single virtual world can be used, simultaneously, by multiple schools. Each school is provided with its own private audio channel, which prevents lectures and discussion from being heard by anyone outside of that particular class. Avatars can be standing side by side in the same world, for example, with each participating in a different class because they are using different private audio channels.
To learn more about The Education Grid visit http://TheEducationGrid.org
Thousands of Members Worldwide
The Immersive Education Initiative is a non-profit international collaboration of universities, colleges, research institutes, consortia and companies that are working together to define and develop open standards, best practices, platforms, and communities of support for virtual reality and game-based learning and training systems. Thousands of faculty, researchers, staff, administrators and students are members of the Immersive Education Initiative, which is growing at the rate of approximately 100 new members every month.
About Immersive Education
Immersive Education (ImmersiveEducation.org) combines interactive 3D graphics, commercial game and simulation technology, virtual reality, voice chat (Voice over IP/VoIP), Web cameras (webcams) and rich digital media with collaborative online course environments and classrooms. Immersive Education gives participants a sense of "being there" even when attending a class or training session in person isn't possible, practical, or desirable, which in turn provides educators and students with the ability to connect and communicate in a way that greatly enhances the learning experience. Unlike traditional computer-based learning systems, Immersive Education is designed to immerse and engage students in the same way that today's best video games grab and keep the attention of players. Immersive Education supports self-directed learning as well as collaborative group-based learning environments that can be delivered over the Internet or using fixed-media such as CD-ROM and DVD. Shorter mini-games and interactive lessons can be injected into larger bodies of course material to further heighten and enrich the Immersive Education experience.
About the Media Grid
The Media Grid is a public utility for digital media. Based on new and emerging distributed computational grid technologies, the Media Grid builds upon existing Internet and Web standards to create a unique network optimized for digital media delivery, storage, and processing. As an on-demand public computing utility, a range of software programs and Web sites can use the Media Grid for delivery and storage of rich media content, media processing, and computing power. The Media Grid is an open and extensible platform that enables a wide range of applications not possible with the traditional Internet alone, including: Massive Media on Demand (MMoD); Interactive digital cinema on demand; Immersive Education and distance learning; Truly immersive multiplayer games and Virtual Reality (VR); Hollywood movie and film rendering, special effects, and composition; Real-time rendering of high resolution graphics; Real-time visualization of complex weather patterns; Real-time protein modeling and drug design; Telepresence, telemedicine, and telesurgery; Vehicle and aircraft design and simulation; Visualization of scientific and medical data.
The Grid Institute leads the design and development of the global Media Grid through the MediaGrid.org open standards organization in collaboration with industry, academia, and governments from around the world.
To learn more about the Media Grid, Immersive Education or the Education Grid visit:
MediaGrid.org, ImmersiveEducation.org and TheEducationGrid.org