Learnt Lessons from a basically well done Presentation

The presentation on May 2, 2013, of the project team’s work on “Future of Education” as a final completion of the virtual study at Dublin Institute of Technology in between social media and virtual worlds with the title “Is One Life Enough?” has now been done – and well done. All foreseeable technical and other challenges had been taken care of prior to the final presentation and luckily the system and all server sided capabilities worked blameless this night, including the voicing, so that good communication could be carried out.

Round table talk connected to the presentation on "Future of Education"

Round table talk connected to the presentation on “Future of Education”

Nevertheless there also were some lessons to learn from a project show taking place in a virtual world:

  • There could have been the try to promote the event even more intensively, maybe by involving some selected persons personally at an earlier stage of the preparation of the presentation to ensure a wider audience.
  • Bill and me could have designed the presentation form more interactively, maybe by doing parts of it as a role play with interviewing and questions and answers leading to our core thoughts to make better use of the options a virtual worlds holds and to ensure a more lively experience for our guests.
  • We had a lot of topics on the agenda for the short time the presentation could take and some of them we had to skip, such as the hands-on activities, which had been prepared with huge amounts of time. Also the use of supporting music for the event felt unsuitable in our chosen setting of presenting mainly oral and by the slideshow.

With this said, we are pretty satisfied with the presentation as it turned out. It has fostered a fine discussion of the topic of contemporary web 2.0 tools and soon to come hardware inventions entering the traditional scene of education and turning around the requirements for, what the education of the future has to face, e.g. by implementing new roles for both teachers and students in learning processes, that include the use of social media and virtual worlds to a higher extend.

Discussion of the "Marriage" of Social Media and Virtual Worlds

Discussion of the “Marriage” of Social Media and Virtual Worlds

A very interesting discussion was about the question, whether we would see a more advanced “fusion”, a “marriage”, of the use of social media and virtual worlds.

In our project team we had used integrated social media in the virtual environment from the beginning of the study and in our preparing work, so that it also was natural, that the presentation platform at BABEL Language School contained several boards and screens of our content with the ability to be used actively by the use of the “shared media” feature of Second Life, which now also is available on Firestorm and Singularity viewers. For the hands-on activities 6 boards were prepared with documents on Google drive, to offer the option to combine social media examples, which our audience would estimate, would make their way in the future, as well as to add comments on the necessary evolvement of educational practices for inspiration of all and to bring the discussion of the topic further. In the same way, we had our material from Youtube and Flickr on screens and we initially also planned to view our slideshow directly from Google drive. This showed closer to the presentation day sometimes to give transmission delays, so that we changed the slide viewer to be static on SL-premises by the use of forwarded images on the scripted viewer board.

As a good completion of the presentation, and after our collegue Eliza’s presentation was done too, we also got time for a relaxing dance to world music and music of Pink Floyd. Thanks to Elfay for moderating the evening and our lecturers for their constructive comments, as well to our guests, who all, in pirate outfit or not, gave us their attention and contributed to a splendid atmosphere.

Standing ovations to Eliza's presentation at the  presentation platform at BABEL Language School prior to the informal and relaxing dancing time :)

Standing ovations to Eliza’s presentation at the presentation platform at BABEL Language School prior to the informal and relaxing dancing time 🙂


Produser Guidance – A Challenge for the Education of the Future

Our presence in social media and virtual worlds is not just a playground for new expressions of ourselves – our post and comment is all around from the moment we press the publish button. And what we once wrote so convinced of, that our heart and soul is in it, will remain in the online world as a valid contribution we made in our joined online communities. In a landscape, where it gets more and more common to be both users and producers of content of a worldwide scale, we constantly submit to or read from an unlimited audience out there, even though we not always may realize the long walks our messages will do.

To think in the one world we feel closest to, our mates from the friends list, might not be enough, unless we ensure, that status updates and statements in our profiles etc. are restricted to the few we know of and who we are confident with, that they understand us and what we are saying today. Furthermore many providers of social media or virtual worlds have declared for us in their Terms of Services (TOS), that they retain huge rights on our publishing or production. The crucial point in this our presence in cyberspace becomes to know and to keep in charge of, what we as a produser willingly share with who and what we unwillingly lose our rights on by the demands of the service provider.

Lately and as reviewed and discussed in the 9th class of the “Is One Life Enough?” module by Dublin Institute of Technology, the Paris Brown Case showed, how former frankly used tweets could bring a prospective 17 years old Youth Police Commissioner to fall. In her online activities from the age of 14-16, she had involved in discussions, where she left doubt about her position to racist or homophobic topics, which then were rolled up and forced her to resign from her newly achieved £15,000-a-year job.

In my own school, with the enthusiast engagement of the school library team, we now carry out workshops for classes and students down to the age of 11 about web etiquette and virtual property as well as on the dimension and pace of the replacing of web content from the source posting. We already have teachers to ask us for an adjusted workshop for students of the age of 8 on their use of chat options and the online language in use. Studies show, that normal perception of communication is based on the following:

Social Media in Education 02Words and expressions: 7%

Voice and tone of voice: 35 %

Body language: 58%

Online communication can therefore not carry many parameters of what we normally need for a solid understanding of the other’s voicing, whereas we see a kind of additional language in chats by smileys and abbreviations to support the mood we are talking in.

Another huge challenge for the education of the future regarding the use of online communities and virtual worlds will be the guarding and gardening of our students’ learning processes. As such future learning often will take place facing unknown sources, the searches have to bring us forward to the reliable part of the information spread on the entire web. Teachers and education have to use strategies like those described by Dr. James A. Banks, the founder of “Multicultural Education”:

Let’s say the teacher is teaching about Columbus and the Tainos, the people who were in the Caribbean when Columbus arrived. The teacher raises the question, “So the textbooks, boys and girls, say that Columbus discovered America.” Not many textbooks say that today, but let’s assume that one did. So then the teacher begins to learn with the students. “Let’s learn together, class. Weren’t there people here when Columbus came?” The teacher may not know much about the Tainos. So the teacher reads a book to the class about the Tainos and then asks, “What might the Taino Indians have thought about Columbus’ arrival in their land?” The teacher and the students share. They learn together and share their perspectives.

They become joint learners in this multicultural classroom. The teacher has a culture, and the teacher and students learn together, share their cultures and construct new knowledge in the classroom.

That’s how I see teachers reconceptualizing their role.

Social Media in Education 01Teachers can’t have knowledge about everything, but they need to adjust the approach of learning in class and to develop their competencies to become the student’s critique friend in his/her own learning process. Especially in times, in which endless manifestations of world culture are directly accessible for any student in class, it becomes a core competency of the teacher role, to be able to navigate in multiple searches and uses of social media and still to ask the essential questions to encourage a way of learning, in which consistent results can be achieved.

Paris Brown apologizes:


Dr. James A. Banks: Multiculturalism’s Five Dimensions:


Interview with Dr. James A. Banks:


Invitation for “Future of Education” is out today!

Today the invitation for the final project presentation & workshop was sent out on the following channels:

There will be updates and follow up in the “BABEL One World Forum” group, which is free to join: http://world.secondlife.com/group/6d05f200-6f89-5339-69a0-13a974440158

The presentation platform is ready for the first contributions, messages and builds.

- Presentation Platform for "Future of Education" on May 2, 2013, 12:00 PM sl-time

– Presentation Platform for “Future of Education” on May 2, 2013, 12:00 PM sl-time

We hope for a splendid participation and look forward to see many of you.

Bill & Mike

1multicult - less than 2048x2048 pixels

DIT - Logo

Workshop “Future of Education”

 on May 2, 2013, 12:00 PM SL-Time

Which contemporary media do we expect to make the way in the future?

Which steps can be done to incorporate the use of social media and virtual worlds in education?

How can multicultural online communities contribute to learning and knowledge achievement?

How will education act in this field of in social media and virtual worlds engaged students?

The workshop is carried out by Jonathan Cooney and Michael Großpietsch as the final project presentation of their study in Dublin Institute of Technology’s online module “Is One Life Enough?” on May 2, 2013 at the second life location: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Pak/92/205/94 .

Participation is free for all, both students, educators and others interested in the topic!

► Furthermore participants are more than welcome to come to the presentation platform prior to the workshop on May 2 to compose and leave a message on what kind of social media use and which needed new educational approaches they see ahead on the interactive screens at the platform. ◄

At the presentation on May 2 we will go through a brief introduction and by hands-on activities make builds of the present bricks of social media and discuss their importance for a future education. The results and individual messages will  finally be published in the connected blogs.

As there will be used “shared media” for the presentation it is recommended to log into Second Life with Viewer 2 or Firestorm. There will be played world music and “Pink Floyd: The Wall” along with music by Edvard Grieg. Discussions will take place both in voice & local chat. Participants will get a t-shirt in black with the question “Is One Life Enough?” on the front and a surprise answer on the back as a thank you 🙂

For more information, please consider to read the following blog posts:

http://wp.me/pFoaH-7v – Wish You Were Here – Cross-Cultural Art Interventions & Documentation

http://wp.me/pFoaH-76 – Future of Education with the accomplished Technology used for a multicultural Approach

http://wp.me/pFoaH-6U – Preparing the Workshop “Education for the Future in the Light of Multiculturalism & Web 2.0 Tools” on May 2, 12:00 PM SL-Time

Jonathan Cooney                                                      Michael Großpietsch

Student at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)        Head of BABEL Language School (SL)

ak: BowlingBallBill Resident                                      ak: Mike Meltzer

Preparing the Workshop “Education for the Future in the Light of Multiculturalism & Web 2.0 Tools” on May 2, 12:00 AM SL-Time

Dudley and Inish were the ones to put us on task in this 7th class of the “Is One Life Enough?” module – accompanied by Locks, who had been around our blogging.

- Dudley Dreamscape's lecture about the expected elements in a typical IOLE project presentation, such as the need to keep the message in focus and to use media, so it aids understanding of the topic

– Dudley Dreamscape’s lecture about the expected elements in a typical IOLE project presentation, such as the need to keep the message in focus and to use media, so it aids understanding of the topic

Now the final project show is to be prepared for May 2, 12:00 AM sl-time and luckily Bill and me had carried out a lot of thinking and content construction already. Dudley focussed on the huge range of possibilities to take advantage of in the web 2.0 universe and made it clear, that we have to ensure, that our message is in center and that the essence of the use of social media and the presenting web tools is to support the message and to help understanding for the attending audience.

Inish made us see clearly, that there would be work to do to gather visitors for the presentation event e.g. by using and linking to the sl location from our facebook and twitter accounts and through the use of messaging in groups, which we are members of in sl.

From last week Bill and me had been creating bricks for hands on activities for our audience on the green grass of BABEL Language School in sl and we agreed on to shape a scene, so the activities would be centered on it naturally and so we had a clearly landmarked space for the promotion of the event. Thinking of the shape, I decided to use a huge hollowed sphere with an opening to get onto the presentation floor, as this would illustrate the circular connections the used social media would be expected to have. Inside the sphere and all around the platform I placed four rounded video and web viewing screens with the ability to be used interactively, all pointing to the center of the platform, where the hands on activities would take place. Later I found it more suitable and focussing even better on our desired message, to let the outside surface of the sphere carry a world map, which would give the impression, that we move into the globe for our activities, interviews and talks.

The first step to promote the event will be by moving around in the virtual world of sl wearing a sign, which will give out a landmark and probably later also a description of the event and we completed the sign just after class, Bill and me.

Also the group, “BABEL One World Forum”, which already has about 10 members, will be used for spreading the news. This group has the following description:

“As BABEL is proud to act in the center of cultural diversity with our language activities and others to come, we would like to offer our friends, students and personnel this forum for intercultural exchanges. When we say “One World”, we mean it, and we appreciate all these valuable inputs from our students, our staff and other contacts, we always get. The ‘BABEL One World Forum’ is dedicated to all those many, who want to explore the treasure of multicultural contacts and who wish to explore humanity and understanding.”


Insignia of the Group to promote the Event on "Education for the Future in the Light of Multiculturalism & Web 2.0 Tools" as of May 3, 12:00 SL- time

Insignia of the Group to promote the Event on “Education for the Future in the Light of Multiculturalism & Web 2.0 Tools” as of May 2, 12:00 SL- time

We would like to encourage our friends to join this group already now for further information for the workshop to come. Membership is free and the group is easily found by search in sl or by following the attached link. Looking forward to meet many of you and to share your valuable input with you.


On Technology, Multiculturalism and (Media) Education

Smartphone model developed by Microsoft / Huawei team for the Africa Campain – February 2013

Knowledge achievement and exchange for the future necessarily has to be carried out in an internationalised and multicultural frameset. Since Ferguson gave his lecture “Technology, Multiculturalism and Media Education” back in 2002, in which he mentions, that “between Cairo and South Africa there are only a few hundred e-mails sites in the whole area” (Ferguson, 10), Web 2.0 tools and platforms have been developed as well as the iphone / smartphone technologies. Everyone with a little income in Africa today holds a cell phone and about 10% a smartphone with a rapidly increasing curve (Jon Evans: In Five Years, Most Africans Will Have Smartphones), whilst the improvement of wired internet access seems to be given up for this part of the world.

Also schools in the “rich” part of the world such as in Denmark, now proceed to the use of wireless access in the institutions, where students also are encouraged to use their own devices (BYOD – Bring Your Own Device). This changes essentially the way we have been studying and learning before, because the “gatekeeper” function of teachers and educators and their role in classrooms or virtual learning environments is changing rapidly. From being the distributor of information and knowledge the teacher’s role turns to be more a facilitator and a critique friend of the student’s construction of his/her own learning process much more than the instructor in the learning situation.

“Learning material” now is to be found everywhere and easily for any with access to the web, regardless of wired or wireless channels of data transfer, and the sources for education are endless and of multicultural character. In the best case we could say, that the web use, which is possible in 2013, appeals by the democratical connotation it has for borderless exchanges and knowledge transfer. This doesn’t mean, that there no longer is the use for the Media Educator as pointed out by Ferguson and we still have a huge challenge in the guarding and gardening of our student’s work and ways through the multi-mediated sources of information from everywhere and with any possible purpose.

Latest with the Arabian Spring we have seen, that social media can inhabit the place the centrally broadcasted news traditionally has had and tv stations are begun to cite sources far outside from their inside media production. In this landscape the “quality control” of the privately published contents becomes a core competency for the navigation in the world as it has turned to be around us.

It’s difficult to say, how a future education will be carried out, if there will be the grandfathered mindset of having it closely connected to traditional schools, universities and other institutional providers to the same extent as it has been known through the period of industrialisation at all. A lot indicates, that we will continue to see unretractable changes to educational approaches and media use, borne by new technological improvements. Already in the inclusion discussion at schools today we see, that students are encouraged to use so far supplemental digital learning material and comfortably operated devices such as tablets and smartphones to achieve class average of skill and knowledge adoption.

Furguson, Robert: Technolgy, Multiculturalism and Media Education. EU Socrates Project ‘Television News on Europe’ / 1999-2002 / Kulturring in Berlin e.V.. 2002, 1-12. Retrieved March 12, 2013 from:

Evans, John: In Five Years, Most Africans Will Have Smartphones. 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2013 from:

About the African Smartphone Push – February 2013: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/lifestyle/2013/02/06/microsoft-huawei-team-for-african-smartphone-push/

The March of Content

What we create of content in virtual worlds or in social media is far from staying in our hands or under our control. And do we want to keep for us what we write in blogs and forums at all? Isn’t it what we want the creations to do: To go the long march to other sites and followers and to bloom by being taken notice of and by the likes and comments we can collect? It seems we have become a risky species by the introduction of Web 2.0. The attitude of having something alone and solely or shared with few close friends is changing towards a constant publishing of inner thoughts and personal pictures to the entire web. In the best case other’s content still is acknowledged by us as their original creation and we will cite it. With our own content we are pretty careless. When the new post looks boring we add one of our pictures, but have we considered where it could appear next time?

From the reflections in the 5th class of the “Is One Life Enough?” module it was seen, that e. g. in the Nicola Kirkbride – Tesco case, authorial, photo-graphical work had marched into other hands or uses than expected from the creator. Even though it was stated on Miss Kirkbride’s fashion blog, that all rights on her content would remain with her, her photo was picked up and used on a Tesco girl’s sweater. She was then taking on the supermarket.

According to Lastowka as a definition for content applies, that it is used “in the broadcast and entertainment industry, as a term to describe a particular form of information that can be presented to an audience” (Lastowka, 2). This term of content can be stretched to user-generated content and virtual worlds. Because of the creative process behind the content creation, it hereby is covered and protected by copyright laws.

It isn’t known, whether Miss Kirkbride in March 2012 used Creative Commons (CC), which is a set to define the online and offline uses we want others to have of our created content. The  example just shows, that there might be a need for content creators, to make as clear as possible, how they want their creations treated.

CC’s form for the choice of license in between 2 dimensional media and content is easily walked through and delivers a code string to be placed on website and which will show the CC License, as it can be seen at the bottom of the side bar of this blog for this particular article here “The March of Content”.

Creative Common's page for  Licenses of online or offline content

Creative Common’s page for Licenses of online or offline Content

Additional in the content creation process for social media, CC offers a search site, which holds huge amounts of diverse material from several providers. It is obvious, that a thinking, which respects fair use of other creator’s content and copyrighted material in general, should be enforced in school and education.

In the 3 dimensional virtual worlds we see a different picture. We still have to look for and to respect the authorial content in them, but we also have to encounter, that they “are appealing primarily because they are social spaces” (Lastowka, 2), which generates another kind of content by and about present users, such as patterns of their behavior, teleport histories, site, event, profile and group descriptions – all valuable information for virtual world providers. Residents in a virtual world such as Second Life (SL) also are aware of, that chat logging can be abused and some post on their profiles with the reference to the TOS in SL, that they would rapport such an abuse, when it comes to their knowledge. 

To begin with, the “licensing” of created content in SL, which is carried out by the permission system of the metaverse, is pretty detailed and hereby protecting property rights. At BABEL Language School a series of Language Learning Units is sold for autodidactic use.

Wall with Language Learning Units and an example of a Media Board to the left with all material for the study included

Wall with Language Learning Units and an Example of a Media Board to the left with all Material for the Study included

The units for sale are in boxes and include a notecard for the student’s information of topics, which also can be seen from the various boxdesigns, a description of the level which is worked on and the Media Board itself. Boards contain images with the main activities, often going through an example situation to act in and some helpful information to solve the task. The Boards also contain recorded audio files, so that the dialogues in question or a short article will be played for the student as often as needed in order to practice the correct pronunciation. There is a button on the Board to give out the task card for the unit, explaining the tasks to do in English. Another button gives out a study board e. g. with a grammatical overview. Finally there is a shortcut button to open an online dictionary in the student’s browser. So, the content of these units is created with huge efforts and there is naturally no interest to have them march around to people, who not want to pay for them.

The permission system can avoid that. By right clicking and chosing “edit” in the “General” tab, the name and description, the creator and owner and which permissions of the three “modify”, “copy” and “transfer” a new owner would have is shown. In this case the unit can only be transferred, so that a student, who has been through it, could give it to another, but would loose it from her/his own inventory.

The content of the Unit Box Deutsch 1.2.1 - A notecard and the Media Board inside

The Content of the Unit Box Deutsch 1.2.1 – A Notecard and the Media Board inside

Going to the “Content” tab there are check boxes and the modify, copy and transfer options for any included content in the Media Board.

Permission Window for any Kind of Content in Second Life's Objects

Permission Window for any Kind of Content in Second Life’s Objects

Furthermore the permissions of the object can be seen by the customer in the “Buy” window before sale:

Deutsch 1.2.1 Unit - Buy Window

The Window when right clicked on the Box for buying shows the Permissions in the Content to purchase to the Costumer.

As the vitality of Second Life depends on good conditions for it’s content creators and a fair trade for the content buying residents, detailed facilities like these have been developed and implemented through the years. Also the metaverse in general is pretty safe not to have content marching out, as the discussions showed, when in 2010 several educational institutions and universities considered to leave SL cause of a new prizing policy for these groups. From half prizing for landholding before, Linden Lab had announced normal pricing for all. Many educational providers at that time considered to switch to Open Sim, only the problems to export content from SL to this other virtual world gave too many headaches (Educator’s Exodus from SL?).

Proctecting created content in virtual worlds from long marches is also what is in focus, when Winkler states: “We don’t like Creative Commons licenses for our content because a CC license does not address each right in the copyright individually.” At Winkler’s Fashion Research Institute they have instead of been working on a wider licensing as CC can offer. It should at least cover legal property issues in the United States.

Lastowka, Greg: “User-Generated Content & Virtual Worlds”. Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, Forthcoming. 2008, 1-22. Retrieved March 8, 2013 from: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1094048

Winkler, Sheinlei: “Content & Licensing in Virtual Worlds”. Fashion Research Institute. 2010.
Retrieved March 9, 2013 from: http://shenlei.com/2010/10/13/content-licensing-in-virtual-worlds/