Transcript of the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable: January 4, 2018
Topic: New Media Consortium
In late December sudden news came that the New Media Consortium was closing. The NMC is best known for the annual Horizon Reports, but was also very active in the early days of SL (with several sims, free educator tools etc.) & has other active projects e.g. Digital Literacy.
Sheila Yoshikawa: Hi everyone, and welcome to the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable. We meet on Thursdays at 12 noon SLT for an hour. 8pm In UK, 3pm EST. VWER is a forum to educate and inform the community about issues that are important and relevant to education in virtual worlds. This is a public meeting, so we will be keeping and publishing a transcript. We are still getting our website back to rights, we will let you know when it is up and running again
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Sheila Yoshikawa: I am moderating today. The topic for this week’s meeting will be: New Media Consortium: will it be missed Let’s start as we normally do and introduce ourselves. As usual we will be in text chat for the whole session.
Sheila Yoshikawa: So I teach and research in the Information School at the University of Sheffield in the UK
ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): Selby Evans, Blogger. G+ Communities about education for the virtual worlds https://virtualoutworlding.blogspot.com/2018/01/2018-edu-g-communities-about-education.html
Shailey Garfield: Shailey Minocha, The Open University, UK based at Milton Keynes about 50 miles north of the capital city of London
Camie Rembrandt: Blogger at Teaching with Sim-on-a-Stick – http://teachingwithsoas.blogspot.pt/ – and owner of the educational sim Learning Lab on the OpenSim grid Craft World.
Dodge Threebeards: Hi I am Greg Perrier in RL, I help manage the SL campus of the Northern Virginia Community College
Beth Ghostraven: I’m Beth Ghostraven, middle school teacher-librarian in RL and owner of the Book and Tankard Pub in Victoria City, Caledon in SL; owner of Ghostraven Professional Attire, classic clothing for educators in SL (http://bethghostraven.com); Communications Chair for the VWBPE Conference (http://vwbpe.org); Communications Chair and Focus Sessions Producer for the ISTE Virtual Environments Network; and unofficial liaison between education groups in SL.For information on events for the educational groups that I work with, see the ISTE VEN Massive Open Online Calendar at http://venetwork.weebly.com/calendar.html; Twitter: @booklady9
I’ll be taking photos to publish with the transcript (eventually); if you have any objection, please IM me
Sheila Yoshikawa: So I will start things off; keep typing if you want to! In late December sudden news came that the New Media Consortium was closing. The NMC is best known for the annual Horizon Reports, but was also very active in the early days of SL (with several sims, free educator tools etc.) & has other active projects e.g. Digital Literacy.
The website went online and offline but it’s here http://www.nmc.org/ It is online when I last looked
Scott Chase (Scooter Gaudio): Scott Chase, currently unemployed, but was an academic at Strathclyde Uni (Glasgow) and Aalborg Uni (Denmark) with specialty in design computing. I’m now more into elearning. Was co-investigator on EU project ARCHI21 with presence in SL (our islands are still up 5+ years after the project ended and we stopped paying for them!).
Sheila Yoshikawa: Thanks Scott!
Sheila Yoshikawa: It seems like allegedly an officer was fiddling the finances. There is a long blog post commenting on it here https://bryanalexander.org/2017/12/19/the-new-media-consortium-its-sudden-death-and-what-comes-next/. There’s a youtube discussion about it (that I haven’t viewed) here https://youtu.be/PeepCBr8o5Q
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): Joey Aboma here. David Fliesen in Virginia Beach in RL and I work for Sine Wave Entertainment to help creatives, game designers and educators learn about a new next gen virtual world called sinespace.
Sheila Yoshikawa: In particular there has been a lot of concern about the Horizon reports that gave expert views on trends in educational technology. The next one is due to go out in February, and work started with the group of experts around last October. They collaborate with 2 others organisations, but still I think NMC did a lot of the work. Also there are a number of other initiatives (we discussed their Digital Literacy report earlier in the year I think) but it also reminded me about their early work in SL.
Beth Ghostraven: So the whole NMC organization has gone out of business, is that correct?
Sheila Yoshikawa: yes beth, it is bankrupt
Sheila Yoshikawa: So it’s an issue of can the existing work be archived, but also, would that work be seen as assets that could be sold off, rather than open access works for free archiving? I think basically people are organising to grab stuff while they can to make it widely available
Scott Chase (Scooter Gaudio): A news article linked from the NMC wikipedia page said that it’s pretty much shut down, all employees laid off.
Sheila Yoshikawa: yes, particularly dreadful for them!
Edith Halderman: has any organisation come forward to take over the research they did?
Dodge Threebeards: How were they funded?
Sheila Yoshikawa: I think organisations subscribed as members
Scott Chase (Scooter Gaudio): The staff and board member links on their website are now nonfunctional
Shailey Garfield: Yes, I have referred to their NMC reports both for K12 and HE. I always found them useful to refer to when I was going away for a conference/meeting – so as to update myself about the latest trends in technology-enabled learning and to have useful dialogues at the events on the basis of what I had read.
Sheila Yoshikawa: “The New Media Consortium (NMC) is a community of hundreds of leading universities, colleges, museums, and research centers.”
Sheila Yoshikawa: I remember it being funded by a combo of companies and e.g. universities
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): You can use the wayback machine to possibly see those links still (https://archive.org/web/)
Sheila Yoshikawa: yes and also other organisations are planning archive sites
Shailey Garfield: I don’t think that organisations in the UK were involved with NMC – although individual researchers in the UK may have contributed to their calls for ideas/thoughts, etc.
Sheila Yoshikawa: But also I specifically thought of the SL surveys, http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2008-sl-survey.pdf and the earlier one http://englishteachers.net/2007/10/09/nmc-publishes-results-of-educators-in-second-life-survey/ which are very interesting early views of educators
Scott Chase (Scooter Gaudio): I would hope that some organisation(s) would at least take over hosting whatever is on the NMC website. As for the SL islands, are they worth keeping running?
Sheila Yoshikawa: I think the NMC islands went a while ago?
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): https://web.archive.org/web/20171124072345/https://www.nmc.org/
Sheila Yoshikawa: gosh no they are still there!
Scott Chase (Scooter Gaudio): I was just at the NMC islands before coming here!
Sheila Yoshikawa: relics of a bygone age
Sheila Yoshikawa: it is possible that LL just left them there
Dodge Threebeards: LL often does that
Sheila Yoshikawa: I don’t think they have been updated for years?
Scott Chase (Scooter Gaudio): That’s the question: are there useful resources on the islands worth preserving?
Sheila Yoshikawa: I used to use them as a source of free clothing; still the only set of academic robes I have is from NMC! though I also did get some free furniture and builds – but they now would seem very primmy and clunky
Scott Chase (Scooter Gaudio): LL seems to be rather lax (or forgiving) when it comes to nonprofits. As I said, my EU project’s two islands are still running 5 years after we stopped paying for them.
ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): LL is leaving some things up when people stop paying — I think to avoid appearance of too much lost area.
Sheila Yoshikawa: But that is an excellent question Scott
Scott Chase (Scooter Gaudio): I was thinking about useful educational resources as one sees in some of the other educational sims.
Sheila Yoshikawa: I vaguely remember there might have been, but I’m not sure …. I mostly remember the clothes, the buildings and the conference facilities
Sheila Yoshikawa: Which are your islands that have kept going Scott?
Scott Chase (Scooter Gaudio): Our project islands are ARCHI21 and ARCHI21 World ARCHI21 (128,128,2)
Sheila Yoshikawa: Thanks!
Shailey Garfield: I don’t remember NMC’s contributions within SL – but you have pointed out to some valuable resources, Sheila
Sheila Yoshikawa: Was anyone else around at the time when NMC was influential in SL?
Scott Chase (Scooter Gaudio): But no activity on these islands, sheila
Camie Rembrandt: I’ve been to ARCHI21, a few years ago
Beth Ghostraven: We could maybe take a brief field trip to NMC toward the end of this session?
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Beth yes if other think that a good idea
Shailey Garfield: I read about NMC’s financial difficulties but didn’t delve into detail. I just wonder why a regular auditing didn’t pick up the financial irregularities!
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): Sounds like they cooked their books
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): So may have been an issue for quite awhile now
Dodge Threebeards: i heard one of the officers took money
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): And just recently got attention
Beth Ghostraven: what do you mean by “cooked their books”, Sun?
Scott Chase (Scooter Gaudio): The CFO was terminated on the spot, one is led to believe
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): They often keep two sets of books when things like this happen
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Beth – cooking the books – falsifying accounts
Beth Ghostraven: ah, ok
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): I had invested in a company that made vehicles for the war in Iraq that ended up going out of business for the same reason. I thought it was a good investment protecting the lives of soldiers, but turned out bad when they cooked their books
Sheila Yoshikawa: ;-((( Sun
Sheila Yoshikawa: Unfortunately if someone is trusted and things look ok, it can go undetected for some time…
Dodge Threebeards: nods, it is unfortunately common
Scott Chase (Scooter Gaudio): The thing to do would be to find out who maintains the NMC islands and whether they think there are resources worth keeping.
ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): I was in SL when NMC was active — visited their Islands, participated in one conference they had
Sheila Yoshikawa: it is possible that the people who ran the islands are no longer with NMC, though in terms of transferring things that might not be an issue…
Shailey Garfield: I have been around since 2008 – and I am sure I would have heard of NMC – but I was new to the world of educational technologies back then and didn’t relate their inworld work with work outside in RL.
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): is IED part of NMC?
Sheila Yoshikawa: This is an example of a conference I went to in 2008 at the NMC venue – my blog about it with a couple fo pictures http://adventuresofyoshikawa.blogspot.co.uk/2008/03/virtual-worlds-libraries-education.html
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): Sorry I heard these names a bit but not sure
Sheila Yoshikawa: IED?
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): Immersive Education Initiative I think
Sheila Yoshikawa: also re links on NMC and SL http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Case_Study:_The_New_Media_Consortium_(NMC)
Sheila Yoshikawa: Hi Marly
Dodge Threebeards: i guess the question is are there things on the NMC regions worth keeping in SL, and how do we get these, and where do we put them
Beth Ghostraven: Hi Marly!
Dodge Threebeards: i brought many builds to NOVA from other regions when they closed
ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): http://immersiveeducation.org/
Marly (Marly Milena): Hi all! In the middle of the worst Arctic Blizzard ever!
Sheila Yoshikawa: Someone on Twitter was talking about how there is a lack of organisations looking at blended learning, rather than purely online learning
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): welcome Marly and happy new years
Sheila Yoshikawa: brrrr
Sheila Yoshikawa: just wet where I am at the moment
Marly (Marly Milena): Hope the power doesn’t go out!
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Dodge and do you still have them?
ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): I am in Texas
Dodge Threebeards: yes, we use them
Sheila Yoshikawa: Another island that still exists and perhaps hasn’t been paid for for ages is Knowhow Island
Sheila Yoshikawa: which still has a couple of interesting information literacy related builds on it
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): So was NMC still big in use by educators or has it gone out of use mostly in recent days?
Sheila Yoshikawa: Outside SL I think it was pretty prominent; certainly the Horizon reports seemed to me to get big publicity. They collaborated with EDUCAUSE on the higher education one and – I forget who on the K12 one
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): Normally in such times it helps to assess what gaps there are now and what needs to fill those gaps to keep the momentum for the community
Sheila Yoshikawa: If you look at the publications page for the last couple of years you can see they did do interesting things
Shailey Garfield: Sheila, are there any initiatives that archive 3D virtual world assets – these assets are a part of social history just as photos are in the real world
Sheila Yoshikawa: I had criticisms of the horizon reports, but there still isn’t anything else quite like them
Sheila Yoshikawa: I don’t think so @Shailey. In the UK there was an agency that used to archive UK educational virtual resources, but apart from anything else it got wound up a year or so ago. JORUM – that was the agency and they did talk about archiving SL resources, but it came to nothing
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): What was so special with their reports in your opinion Sheila?
Shailey Garfield: Yes, not all Horizon reports were super – but the reports were a great in pointing to current and future trends of educational technologies
Beth Ghostraven: Shailey, an archive like that sounds like it would be a good fit with the work that the Community Virtual Library is doing; that would be good to discuss later
Shailey Garfield: yes, I have heard of JORUM
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Sun, it was the forecasting, delphi study approach, in a way it was the fact it did them every year, although they weren’t great at reviewing their own forecasts critically!
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): Maybe Kzero would be interested in having and education focus in addition to their current focus areas
Shailey Garfield: Yes, Beth that would be very useful. If these assets could be accompanied by interviews of the creators and some of the users – they would make useful archival resources
Sheila Yoshikawa: The Open University now does an annual “trends” report on pedagogy (as opposed specifically to ed tech). I’m aiming to have a session here on that later in the year
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): oooOOOooo I see Kzero is no longer in business I think
Shailey Garfield: Yes, Sheila, I will post the Open University link for you in the chat here
Sheila Yoshikawa: One thing this loss prompted me to think about was the lack of a drawn together history of educators in SL. in fact there are loads of reports, interviews, chats, slides, but all scattered and some disappearing, and as we have said, there is a lack of documentation of objects and builds
Dodge Threebeards: and sadly, so many educators have left SL
ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): Many educators moved to OpenSim
Sheila Yoshikawa: Kzero no longer in business! (catching up with chat) That’s sad
Shailey Garfield: This is a link to the ‘Innovating pedagogy report 2017’ by my university in the UK and which Sheila referred to a couple of comments earlier: http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/innovating/ On the right of the page, you will find links to previous reports.
Beth Ghostraven: I wonder if Linden Lab might have archives of their files for sims that have disappeared?
Marly (Marly Milena): We have had a librarian working on making a spreadsheet (Google) with Avies interested in different sorts of educational experiences on our sim, and, in particular, the programs I do. I have a recruitment manager who finds people in different categories
Sheila Yoshikawa: There have been various initiatives to record activities and landmarks over the years….
Shailey Garfield: Sheila, if there was a funding opportunity – we could bid for funds to get some help in consolidation of the resources? However, funding opportunities are scarce in this area.
Marly (Marly Milena): When we talk about education, we should indicate academic vs. adult. ed here
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): Would NSF be interested in this?
Beth Ghostraven: NSF = the National Science Foundation?
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): yes
Sheila Yoshikawa: yes @Shailey, the main interest seems to be in creating NEW VR experiences, not exploiting and consolidating the ones already there! But it would certainly be good to talk about it
Dodge Threebeards: i am thinking more likely the Department of Ed in the USA; they have grant programs
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): Yes Dept of Ed would be good
Sheila Yoshikawa: US colleagues would have to comment on the NSF
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): But isnt
Marly (Marly Milena): We are looking for another librarian and would pay something
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): But isn’t the Trump Administration dissolving that?
Sheila Yoshikawa: For creating the spreadsheet of activities, @Marly?
Dodge Threebeards: Dept of ED will be around
SunTzu (Joey Aboma): ok
Dodge Threebeards: not sure what grant programs will survive
Sheila Yoshikawa: I can only imagine what Trump might say about educators in SL
Sheila Yoshikawa: or I would rather not imagine
Dodge Threebeards: smiles
Marly (Marly Milena): Yes, and, if the person is an extravert, for going to events and gathering people from their profiles and chatting them up! LOL
Dodge Threebeards: it is not easy to identify educators in SL
ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/learn-grants/grant-making-agencies/department-of-education.html
Dodge Threebeards: i spend a lot of time trying to do this
Marly (Marly Milena): @Dodge, one of the best ways is to go to the conferences like VWBPE
Sheila Yoshikawa: Shailey would be most knowledgeable about UK opportunities, I think!
ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): Grant Program Highlights
Institute of Education Sciences
The mission of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is to provide rigorous and relevant evidence on which to ground education practice and policy and share this information broadly. By identifying what works, what doesn’t, and why, IES aims to improve educational outcomes for all students, particularly those at risk of failure. IES is the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education.
Sheila Yoshikawa: There seem to be fewer opportunities than there were when SL started up
Shailey Garfield: Sheila, I will keep a watch on funding opportunities in the areas of digital archiving and digital preservation
Beth Ghostraven: I wonder if there’s any kind of similar archive for the 2D web? VCARA does digital archiving in SL
Shailey Garfield: @Beth, there are. I came across one recently. I will try finding it out for you.
Sheila Yoshikawa: Yes @Shailey we could keep in touch on that, could connect with my department’s library/information management side of things too
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Beth do you mean OERs?
Beth Ghostraven: http://ischool.sjsu.edu/vcara-blog
Sheila Yoshikawa: Though even some of the archives for those have dried up or ceased
Beth Ghostraven: I was just thinking of archives in general
Sheila Yoshikawa: when they looked like they were going to be reliable
Sheila Yoshikawa: going back to Londen Lab, it seems like it’s random/whimsical whether things get kept, and if you alerted them to things still there, I would be concerned they might say – ooops – and delete them
Beth Ghostraven: VCARA = Virtual Center for Archives and Records Administration; part of the San Jose State University’s iSchool program
Dodge Threebeards: Ohio State Univ medical campus stayed for two years after they stopped paying, then they got a notice it was going to disappear. i got some of the better builds
Sheila Yoshikawa: I must say we’ve been late paying for Infolit iSchool every year, and never actually threatened with it poofing away
Sheila Yoshikawa: Perhaps a visit or exchange of historical builds could be in order for a future VWER! I means ones that were full perm
Sheila Yoshikawa: I have some knocking around in my inventory, old education-free ones
Dodge Threebeards: it is unfortunate that there is no place like the old ISTE regions where educators new to SL can meet people and get advice
Sheila Yoshikawa: This island could be used by that? But is the implication that someone has to be there all the time, on a rota
Beth Ghostraven: VSTE would love to have this island used for networking
Dodge Threebeards: yes the docents
Sheila Yoshikawa: yes and it is one of the best things about VWER
Beth Ghostraven: but yes, we would need docents. CVL has librarians on location some of the time, and Caledon Oxbridge U usually has someone there to help
Sheila Yoshikawa: is it that the existing schemes of volunteers e.g. for the CVL, silver tigers etc don’t feature on education?
Dodge Threebeards: yes, but Oxbridge is not focused on education
ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): You can set office hours
Sheila Yoshikawa: trouble is, it is like students, your office hours are never the hours people want, especially nowadays. People get used to tweeting or emailing and wanting instant response
Dodge Threebeards: we have made a nice educator orientation at the Science Circle, but no one is there to offer guidance
Cindy Bolero: And then there’s always a help board with online indicators and message senders
Sheila Yoshikawa: This VWER area is still underdeveloped
Beth Ghostraven: CVL has a call button thingy so the librarian on duty can be summoned
Cindy Bolero: I had little flags of their country with their online indicator when people wanted help to ride a horse at our stables circa 2006
Shailey Garfield: that was cool idea, Cindy
Dodge Threebeards: yes it is
Cindy Bolero: any of our online helpers of different languages could give instruction remotely without having to go to the stables
Beth Ghostraven: We have a board for the VSTE Facilitators here on the island showing who is inworld
Sheila Yoshikawa: so perhaps @Beth could extend that to include willing VWER people, and have the board here too? I wouldn’t mind being on it
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Cindy so were they in SL, or not even in SL?
ThinkererSelby Evans (Thinkerer Melville): 5 Minutes
Sheila Yoshikawa: Thanks Selby, I was thinking if anyone wanted to visit NMC after we’ve finished, we could do that
Dodge Threebeards: the hard thing is to have educators new to SL to find the parcel
Sheila Yoshikawa: indeed! an information problem!!
Dodge Threebeards: we have that problem with the Sci Circle
Beth Ghostraven: I wonder if the Rockcliffe entry point would be a good place for a board like that?
Beth Ghostraven: they have an entry portal for new avatars
Dodge Threebeards: we have on there
Dodge Threebeards: and at Oxbridge
Dodge Threebeards: one*
Shailey Garfield: I am sorry that I won’t be able to visit today, Sheila as I have an early start tomorrow. Thanks for the kind offer.
Marly (Marly Milena): One of the things we are doing to help orient people to our work is making short videos covering different aspects of what we do. We have a new film grove (trees, paths) where people will be able to wander in, watch an introductory video and then select more focused ones to watch….
Beth Ghostraven: Marly, that’s a good idea, then those can be used outworld too
Dodge Threebeards: i like that
Marly (Marly Milena): You will all be invited to the spring opening to test it out
Sheila Yoshikawa: excellent!
Beth Ghostraven: ooh, we can be guinea pigs!
Dodge Threebeards: is a great idea
Sheila Yoshikawa: ok only a couple of minutes left
Shailey Garfield: Marly – good idea and look forward to the tour
Marly (Marly Milena): I have a team—three people, each with a different task to help create this
Sheila Yoshikawa: I myself will wander over to NMC to remind myself, just for 10 minutes or so, now
Sheila Yoshikawa: anyone else?
Dodge Threebeards: i will also
Shailey Garfield: Thank you for a superb session, Sheila and all.
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