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Showing posts with label education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label education. Show all posts

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Inside the St. Elizabeth’s University – Zack Wonder reporting

St. Elizabeth’s University is one of the seats of higher learning in Second Life (SL). Zack Wonder was invited to stroll the grounds with Tikinova Adonide (Tiki) who is the Senior Administrator at “St. E’s” as the University is often called. “Miss Elle Gedenspire and Miss Rae Summerisle founded St. Elizabeth’s five years ago,” she explained. “Elle is our media teacher and the president of the university and Rae contents herself building and running the sim. She makes things so pretty. As the Senior Admin, I run the daily operations. 

We have about 115 events each month, so I schedule and vet them all. I also do student admissions.” St. Elizabeth is a ladies’ college but has male staff as the Cardinal, renters, and lecturers. It is a role-play (RP) community for female avatars that look and play the part. “We make sure candidates look agreeable, and if someone has objectionable groups in the profiles, we will discuss that with them. For example, I would not have a student with curse words on her profile page, or a group about misogyny or racial supremacy. Students get a trial period before they get full status.” Admission requirements also state that the avatars applying must be over 60 days in age, and they should look 18 to 24 years of age. 

St. Elizabeth’s is tuition-free for the students. Donations are channeled to charitable causes such as the Harambee school  which has received 144,000 L$ so far.  “I also recruit staff,” Tiki continued. “Usually 1 or 2 people each week come to us asking to teach, so I have a process: they come to do some observations, they have an interview with me and submit a lesson plan. If I approve, they get a trial class.” She also told SL Enquirer that the staff is about a dozen strong, for the 45 to 50 active students at the University.

Tiki took Zack around, from the foyer to the classrooms, auditorium, and across the yard, to the Cathedral as well as the dance studio and the gym. Zack met a St. E’s student, Ailsa Stromfield, at the gym, for a brief interview.

SLE: What brought you to study here?

Ailsa: Well, to be honest, I discovered St. E’s by accident, but when I landed here was greeted warmly and never left. This was back in December [2019].

SLE: What made you so attached?

Ailsa: The staff and students are a great family, and there’s the bonus of real lessons too.

SLE: A sense of belonging?

Ailsa: Yep, a “belonging” is right. I have some great friends here, and there’s a lot of time and effort put in by others.

SLE: Can you tell what benefits you get with the lessons?

Ailsa: I can convert binary! Laughs… I’m not university educated, but it’s been interesting listening to art and media appreciation.

SLE: So, how do you see the students grasping the topics covered, if they come from a varied background?

Ailsa: There are some big brains here, some of the girls are real-life students and are well versed with the subjects. Its’ nice listening to them discuss the subjects.
Ailsa further explained that she wishes to stay on the classes for the time to come, and that even though she is from Europe, classes from 9 pm until midnight UK time work for her. She has had to be selective with activities, though, as sometimes committing to set hours for stage productions etc. left her feeling lacking in her effort compared to the US-based participants.

Sitting later in Tiki’s office, she continued explaining the benefits for avatars studying at St. Elizabeth’s. “Like most of the SL experience, St. E’s is about community, friendships, and support. People who come here have a great chance to make themselves better. First, there are our academic offerings. A class takes between 3 and 6 hours to prepare, for a 1-hour presentation - our students are very bright, so the teachers have to be experts and prepared, so the quality is high.” As if this was not convincing enough, she kept on: “…and then there are the cultural pursuits. We have a creative writing class, where students get instruction for a published RL author, writer's club, where students simply share what they've been working on, informally; poetry class (instruction), poetry readings (presentation), art appreciation class, and also a gallery on campus where to display [pieces of students’ creations]. Our own dance company recently won 1st place in the Paragon Dance Animations Contest.”

Later, we met together with Tiki and St. E’s Housemother, the Dean of Student Housing Pat Wheelwright on the University premises.

SLE: What's a "Housemother"?

Pat: I am responsible for the general well-being of the students, and I manage the dorms as well as supervise the Prefects (senior students who have extra duties). Prefects assist staff in matters of discipline, most of them have a dorm that they manage. I also DJ here, and do the coffee house once a month.

SLE: Do students have residence requirements, and are they expected to stay on campus outside classes?

Pat: Students have a dorm bed, for role-play (RP) purposes. Some of them also rent houses here, they are not required to stay on campus.
Tiki: They also often have houses elsewhere, but it's nice to have a dorm to belong to. It's a place to hang out on campus and be casual - it is no issue to get them to stay in the dorm, trust me. The girls like to come to school.
Pat: This place is more and more about community. Many of these girls are here, seeking that.

Since Pat and Tiki both are involved in the administrative and disciplinary aspect of running the University, SLE was curious about any disciplinary issues they might have encountered.
Pat: Yes, there are adult features - but only if you want them. You can enjoy St. E’s without.
Tiki: Everyone is adult here, so naturally there are romances.

Pat: We try to keep it as much like a RL college as possible - I had a student who asked if they could have a dorm with bondage toys in the dorm - I said "no" without any hesitation!  If it is RP acting out, that is different than someone who is just plain hard to get along with. We try to screen out people who we think might not be good for the community. If someone is disruptive, they are going to get booted out!

Tiki: We have a code book that dictates the rules. It tells students their rights and responsibilities.

Pat further explained that the University does not suspend students for trivial reasons, and only the President can ban a student permanently. St. Elizabeth’s has a school uniform that apparently the students wear gladly, out of the sense of community. Even though it is laid out as a Catholic University, expression of faith is not a requirement, and religious people as well as agnostics alike participate in the University life, including Mass. 

The campus is now two full sims and is looking to expand to twelve – with a sailing experience that spans eight of the sims. Students run their own newspaper, “The Chronicle” that focuses on community events and stories, including photo journals and creative stories. As the curriculum is varied, from humanities to science lectures, the students spend their time willingly in classes and doing homework, having a sense of academic advancement.  Having toured the premises and talked to staff and students, it became clear that the lofty goals of this establishment are being met, for the advancement of avatars in Second Life to the better.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Fight Breast Cancer with Strides Campaigns

It’s almost October - have you considered fighting breast cancer through your Second Life? The American Cancer Society is the global leader in the fight against all cancers, including breast cancer; and new fundraising tools are now available for anyone and everyone to show their support.

Fundraising tools are free and can be found on the Second Life Marketplace or by going to the Strides office on the American Cancer Society island.

The Strides Campaigns season is filling up with activities in several communities across the grid, but there can never be too many ways to fight breast cancer until we find the cure! Donations help fund initiatives including the Reach To Recovery program, a peer to peer program that matches trained breast cancer survivors with those recently diagnosed; raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and screenings; and funding research for better treatments and earlier diagnosis.

Therefore, we’re inviting as many communities across Second Life to take action now!

If you would like to plan your own breast cancer fundraiser, you’re encouraged to work within your community or group in Second Life to organize your own Strides Campaign. Make sure to let the American Cancer Society know about it by completing the ACS Calendar Event Submission Form so we can share it with others.

All Strides Campaigns must use the official Strides fundraising tools that are provided by the American Cancer Society. Fundraising campaigns may include events, hunts, shows, sales, or simply putting out a donation kiosk at your club or store throughout the month of October.

If you want to fight breast cancer, but aren’t able to organize your own campaign, you can get involved with existing campaigns listed in the ACS in SL Events Calendar

There’s also plenty of ways to get involved in events throughout the month. Check out the events below:


Out Shop Breast Cancer:
Starting Oct. 1 and running the entire month, this event will take shoppers across the grid, exploring and shopping at stores in support of Strides. Store-owners will use American Cancer Society breast cancer vendor kiosks to feature special products in their stores. A directory of participating stores will be available at the Strides office on ACS Island as well as on the Making Strides Second Life website at

Pink Powerfest
Oct. 19 to Oct. 26:
Pink Power Fest is an 8-day event that runs from Oct. 19 to Oct. 26. Kicking off the Fest will be the 5th Annual Strides Walk-a-thon. Each day after the kick off will have scheduled events to celebrate the power of pink, as in pink ribbon & the fight against Breast Cancer.  Entertainment will include Live Performers, Tribute Bands and DJs from across the grid, all hosted by volunteer hosts & hostesses. There will be Raffles, Gachas, & Vendors around the Fest as well with all donations & proceeds going to the American Cancer Society fight against Breast Cancer. Capping the Fest will be the Harvest of Hope Gala on Oct. 26, honoring all Survivors & Caregivers, and remembering those we have lost. Everyone is invited to attend.

5th Annual Strides Walk-a-thon
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. SLT
It’s that time again to put your best foot forward. It’s time to register for the 5th Annual Strides Walk-a-thon. This year’s walk will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 19 and be Pink Power Fest. Walkers will start the official laps at 10 am. They will be able to walk as many lap as they can until 6p.m. SLT.  For more information or to get involved, visit

Oct. 26
Noon to 6 p.m. SLT
The annual gala event will be noon to 5 p.m. SLT on Oct. 26 and celebrate breast cancer patients, survivors and pay homage to loved ones that are no longer with us. This is a chance to meet new people,  reconnect with old friends, and share stories with others about your personal connection to breast cancer. This is a formal attire event with special live performances. Donations are encouraged throughout the event.

Do you want to hold a fundraising event for Strides? It’s easy and fun to get involved! For more information on guidelines for the event, visit

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Imperial Arts Presents Love is. A Modern Japanese Ballet - June 29th at 5pm SLT

Love Is...complicated. Among the dancers of a humble ballet troupe, love is unrequited, freely given, heartbreaking, and joyful. Artfully blending together ballet and Japanese music, this contemporary ballet explores the varying emotions and definitions of love. 

Imperial Arts is an inclusive group which focuses on providing East Asian themed performances, educational opportunities, and cultural experiences for its residents and guests. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

VWBPE 2019 Conference “Re:Visions” Opens April 4, 2019 in Second Life

April 4 starts the three-day Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference, with an amazing lineup of speakers, workshops, sim demonstrations, poster presentations, open discussions, and more.  The conference will cover a wide range of subjects concerning virtual worlds and their use for education, virtual reality, smart games, arts and science, and the future of technology. Although the main part of the conference will be held in Second Life this year, there are sessions about different virtual worlds, and events on other virtual world grids.

This year's keynote speakers are Dr. Tom Boellstorff, Dr. Tuncer Can, and Dr. Jonathon Richter. ( They will help us consider an anthropologist’s view of virtual worlds (including the feature film “Our Digital Selves: My Avatar Is Me” at; the use of virtual worlds in language learning; and what works in immersive XR (VR/AR/MR).

The VWBPE conference keynote speakers and their respective presentations are featured on the conference website (, along with a calendar of exciting presentations, social activities, and networking events that will set extraordinary discussions in motion.  

The VWBPE Immersive Experiences showcase unique and interesting work being conducted across the metaverse. We invite you to join us as we explore sixteen interactive and engaging locations across five virtual environments. The Immersive Experiences are scheduled from March 24 to April 19 (exclusive of the conference dates). Details and access instructions for the experiences are found at

Additionally, this open and free conference would not be possible without the generous contributions of our VWBPE sponsors ( ).

The Rockcliffe Registration Portal is open for people to register new Second Life avatars and find out more about the VWBPE conference in-world. Go to and all the instructions are there to get your friends started.

The full conference schedule is online here: You can also view presentations live on YouTube ( All of the conference events will be in Second Life this year, and the locations are included in the listings. When you click on a conference event and click Add to Calendar, you can add the event to your own calendar (Google+ and more).


VWBPE Main Auditorium

Keynote: Paraethnographic film as mode of education: Lessons from disability in virtual worlds
Dr. Tom Boellstorff, University of California Irvine
Thursday, April 4, 2019
9:30 – 10:20am SLT/US Pacific Daylight Time

Keynote: Teacher training within Virtual Worlds
Dr. Tuncer Can, Istanbul University
Friday, April 5, 2019
9:00am – 9:50pm  SLT/US Pacific Daylight Time

Keynote: Crossing the Horizon together: Scanning, transforming, and sharing “What Works” in Immersive XR
Dr. Jonathon Richter, Salish Kootenai College and Executive Director, Immersive Learning Research Network
Saturday, April 6, 2019
11:00 AM – 11:50am SLT/US Pacific Daylight Time

**Above the Book Interviews**

VWBPE Main Auditorium

Thursday, April 4, 2019
02:00 PM – 02:50 PM
Above the Book: What’s new at the Lab?
Patch Linden, Senior Director, Product Operations and Grumpity Linden, Senior Director, Product.

Saturday, April 6, 2019
02:00 PM – 03:00 PM
Above the Book: Catching up with Thinkerer
Selby (Thinkerer) Evans

**Web Pages**

Conference Information:
Rockcliffe Registration Portal:

**Social Media**

Second Life Group



Google Photos





**Major Sponsors**

*Platinum Sponsors
Virtual Outworlding

*Gold Sponsors
Rockcliffe University Consortium

*Silver Sponsors
UNM Extended Learning
GReat Kreations
Virtual Ability

*Bronze Sponsors
Agile Dimensions
Kelley School of Business
EduNation Islands

Blue Ribbon Community Sponsors
Hsiao-Cheng Han
Marie Vans
Montana State University

Beth S. O’Connell
VWBPE Communications Chair
Avatar: Beth Ghostraven

[Attached: VWBPE 2019 Re:Visions Logo]

last modified 3/25/2019

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Rockcliffe’s Annual Education & Technology Conference: Nov 9-10, San Francisco

 This is the last week to get your registrations in!
The Most Valuable Conference You Can Attend This Year!
"Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity." - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
The September 30 registration deadline for Rockcliffe’s Annual Conference on #EdTech is quickly approaching! Register here:
The Annual Rockcliffe University Consortium Conference takes traditional conferencing methods and converts them into experiential ones. Attendees can expect a dynamic mixture of sessions, excursions, and critical discussion, all around the topic of innovative technology and its application to education, and how the two can impact our students’ preparedness for the digital world and a continually disrupted job market.
You can multiply the value of a conference, not only by the amount of sessions it provides, but the amount of opportunities it gives you to actively engage in the learning.  This value is far higher than the money that is spent, and certainly much more enduring.
Join us in San Francisco this November, we would love to be able to put a face with the name, share a drink, and help celebrate a new way forward in education.
Live or Virtual Participation? Compare and Decide:
Conference Venue: Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture 
Conference Hotel: Holiday Inn SanFrancisco Fisherman’s Wharf (special pricing on the Holiday Inn at Fisherman’s Wharf available through early October for those that register - online booking Group Code: RUC )
Any questions? Please contact: