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Thursday, 29 January 2009

Wind Turbine Project Feedback

Following the completion of my SecondLife Wind Turbine project January 09, I have published the raw spreadsheet results as a pdf file that you can access from this link. The project was the result of work carried out by a group of my level 3 students at Bromley College who are currently enrolled on the BTEC National course in Software Development.

At this point in time I have yet to produce any charts of analysis of the results, though a superficial look at the numbers do give some encouraging signs for the use of the Second Life platform in main stream delivery.

You will see form the data that students have not attempted all questions and this may be a reflection on the size of the final survey, which was larger than I originally intended.

The questions I used here represent a subset of those contained in an original student survey produced by Tanya Joosten, Learning Technology Center, Department of Communication, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

If you have any comments or feedback on the data I would be pleased to hear from you

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Generating green SL electricity

  1. The screen shot taken here shows the second group working on the wind turbine project. having managed to accomodate the building they are now in the process of scaling the blades and scripting in the formula to see just how much electrical power is available. So far this has proved to be a very popular and successful project, my initial reservations of translation problems with students moving from Java to Linden Script seem to have been unfounded I am pleased to say.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Group B wind turbines

The first group today was B and by the end of the morning all students had their turbines rotating in the Second Life wind, with six out of nine generating virtual electricity in the form of screen messages.
A good mornings work really

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The Start of the Project

This week I started to make formal use of SL as part of my course delivery. We get around the college proxy and closed port issues by have a parallel network on a Linux subnet and a dual boot PC facility in one of our workshops. The task that I had set my students, there are around 20 in all, was to create a wind turbine in SL, whose blades would turn in the wind. To keep the project easy I did not use a physical object but demonstrated how the value for wind speed could be found and then fed into llTargetOmega(). For the majority of the students this was their first time in SL. I sent them all a slurl address, which they loaded into their browsers. It did soon became clear to me that bringing anyone into such a rich, immersive and social environment is going to be a pretty overwhelming experiences for the senses, and so after a basic lightning tutorial I simply let them go and explore the facility and have fun for about a hour, which represented the first half of our double period.

At the start of the second session, I demonstrated building showing how to access my in-world video tutorials. In the first they simply used a note-card giver that provided them a wind strength script, that they placed into a simple block prim, every time they touch the prim, the chat channel displayed wind speed. This was followed by a tutorial on creating the turbine blades and the script needed to rotate them. Finally they all got to texturise their creations and take copies back into Inventories.

I must say that the end result with so many of the devices running though granted not yet generating power, did impress me.

The project will continue over the next couple of weeks so if you would like to teleport over to take a look then please do at :-

One aspect of the exercise that did surprise me was the way in which different personalities conduct themselves in an VR like SL, but more of this in the evaluation phase.
Bye for now Skipper Abel

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Back in-world

Well the Shimmer Island facility with its programming and scriptimg tutorials, museum of computing, educators resources and crates of freebies is I am pleased to say back in world and running. As you will find the the layout of the plac is different, as now I have a low prim quater sim. I have abandoned the beach house and made some accomodation of my own. This year I have finally gotten around to running more by way of formal classes and exercises in-world. The first of these is a wind turbine project that the students developed originally using Java, anyway you can read up on this and watch the supporting video material along with a slide show when you get to teleport along. Look forward to seeing you, please feel free to IM or drop a message on the post board, and if you would like to keep in touch with our activities here then why not join the Shimmer group, its completely free.

Bye for now, back soon with a project report, Skipper