Four slideshows for Second Life Workshop


I’m running the first of three “Discover your Second Life” workshops at work tomorrow. Below are four slideshows I will use to guide people through some background to Second Life, creating an avatar, getting through Orientation Island and then finally completing a “Treasure Hunt” designed to familiarise them with the interface on Murdoch University Island.

I played around with SnagIt to capture images from Second Life and then caption them. Easier than using the snapshot tool within Second Life.

For previous workshops, I have just had a few images on a wiki ( Murdoch Second Life ). I decided to try doing a screenshot for most screens in the process this time. I embedded the slideshows in the class wiki so people can follow along in class or used them as a resource after the class.

Second Life training NEVER goes according to plan, so I wonder whether it will be too structured. I was also struck by how complex the screens all seemed when each one is shown. When people have to work out what goes next, it doesn’t seem like so many steps or so complex. I wonder whether it will be a bit more off-putting than my last workshops where I just showed people what to do and said “now, go for it”?

During the Treasure Hunt, I also give them a “how to” notecard with instructions how to complete each station. I also have some good old print handouts.

I just hope I don’t get caught out by the Rolling Restart possibly planned to happen during the workshop.

Anyhow, here’s the slideshows.

Second Life Workshop Background

Creating a Second Life Avatar

Orientation Island in Second Life

Second Life Treasure Hunt – Murdoch University Library

What do you do at an unconference ? Perth barcamp 2007


Here’s my answer to anyone who asks “so – what do you do at an unconference or barcamp ?”….

Getting there

Co-Pilot and I went to barcamp today. A very good day that was stimulating, harmonious, efficiently organised, had minimum officiousness and lots of good displays of geekery (these people know where to buy USB powered slippers to warm your feet). By the end I coveted a teeny-tiny Macbook, not a hulking big one.

There was freshly ground coffee, a whole lotta milk and fizzy drinks in cans. The entire event was free due to sponsership, including pizza or sandwiches for lunch, but we spent $10 for a barcamp t-shirt. We also picked up PerthNorg t-shirts.

Just as the first attendees began getting social, someone realised the wireless was available. Conversation stopped and we all dived for our laptops. Here’s a twenty second clip, BarCampPerth, setting up

Deciding what we talked about

About a week before barcamp, people posted topics they’d like discussed on the wiki. Other people offered to prepare a presentation. On the day, a whiteboard was divided into 16 sessions, and presenters wrote the session times in the slots. Next, people ticked the presentations they wanted to attend and we dispersed. Simple. About 5 spots were initially unfilled, but by the end of the day, this was the timetable:

Schedule: Room 1

Schedule: Room 2

What I saw

The first two presentations I attended were from women. In fact almost every timeslot had one presentation from a woman. I’m just saying….

Three presentations were from people who worked in libraries. I counted five librarian participants. (were there more?) I’m just saying…

I was so engaged in the conversation from the first two sessions that I didn’t take many notes

Sue Waters talked about mobile learning – via mobile devices and ensuring online material was suitable for them. She clarified that University sector aims at being centralised, with the lecture still the main mode of delivery, whereas the VET sector is now aiming at workplace based learning. At universities , lectures are automatically turned into podcasting via LMS (or as Trevor from ECU called them, CMS) like Blackboard. At TAFE, the lecturer uses whatever they have at hand, independently. In universities, the lecturer puts up the material on the CMS, at TAFE there are people who specially design online learning materials.

CW and Kate talked about “How to introduce Web2.0 to n00bs” They told us about projects they had been involved in using Web2.0 technologies, how these were received and gave us tips on how to cope with any problems. We had an interesting discussion about the time burden social networking can impose on teachers and on students – to set up, maintain and check material on a course blog, wiki, via SMS, traditional essay and other modalities fragments time. Do we go back to basics for administrative ease?

What use is Second Life in Education ?

I had created my presentation on a wiki, What’s the use of Second Life in Education, presuming that we’d be having rather rough and ragged conversations. Most other people had created rather polished slides and some people had obviously rehearsed and precisely timed their presentations.

Thanks to Nick Cowie who lent me his laptop that had an external wireless connection so I could live demo Second Life. Kate asked for a walkthrough session in the afternoon, so I winged it a bit, showing them ABC island and letting participants drive my av.

Some liveblogged sessions

I published the following sessions as separate posts

Yep, it’s fun

I enjoyed using twitter as a backchannel, especially to keep up with what was happening in the other room. Bit of a drawback when non-Perth twitter friends see my cryptic messages. You really need to be able to create separate channels of grouped friends on twitter.

I know that “whoever turns up is the right person”, but I was still surprised by the number of non-coders there who were interested in the same not-so-techie sessions as I was. I loved being able to twiddle with my laptop as people spoke.

Overall the mood was less frenetic than I expected. It was very friendly and relaxed, but also felt like people were extremely focussed and very engaged in each session. Some sessions felt more like a big discussion between all participants. In some sessions the audience were more quiet..but there was no mistaking it for boredom.

Well, I’m ready for the next one.

More information:

UPDATE 1 July 2007 : We didn’t all just turn up and do our bits without a whole lot of preparation beforehand from the mob organising it at AIWA – particularly Myles, Gary and Simone. Big thank yous and pats on the backs to them.

How to move your blog from Blogger Beta to WordPress


Here’s how I migrated my blogger blog from Blogger Beta to WordPress on my own server. Hope it helps you if you are doing the same thing.

I’ve not included information about how to install WordPress on your server. Many hosts have tools for “one click” installation.

Between each step there should be one that says: “Check, play, fiddle, tweak, check”. Boring to repeat. Essential to do.


  • Looked at some other liblogarians WordPress blogs to find formatting and functions to steal emulate.
  • Sketched what I wanted on a bit of paper.
  • Spent a couple of days trawling through WordPress themes to find one near enough.
  • Discovered iLoveMusic.
  • Fiddled with it for about a week on a test database, so that I just had to upload the plugin ready template to my new live installation.


  • I searched google, WordPress support and WordPress codex to find plugins to do what I wanted. I entered things like “embed YouTube” or “print pages”, rather than techie terms.
  • I followed comments on the plugin pages back to blogs that used the plugin, so I could check the plugin in action.
  • Here’s what I used:
  • Anarchy Media Player. Allows me to embed YouTube clips in my posts, or a media player to play many different file formats
  • Blogger Image Import see 5. below.
  • Simple-Recent-Comments WordPress doesn’t have code to display recent comments, so this does the trick
  • Dr Dave’s Spam Karma A must-have. After using it for 6 months on LINT, only 3 spams have got through – and they seem to be hand entered. We have up to 200 spams stopped per day.
  • Ultimate Tag Warrior Tags, tag cloud, relevant posts…and much more than I implemented.
  • WP-Print This one’s for Walt Crawford. Clicking on “print this post” strips the crap from your post and produces a short and sweet version ready for printing.

3.Posted a message on my old blog that I was fiddling about in case I accidentally flooded people’s aggregators.


  • i) Use the script while you can, as one small tweak from blogger and it will no longer work
  • ii) Remove the script from your server when it is finished,as it is a security risk
  • It worked like a dream. The only thing I did differently was to add a footer to the blogger RSS feed so that the imported posts indicated they were from the old version of the blog.

    • Used Notions’ Blogger Image Import. This copies the images from the blogger server, loads them locally, then changes the links in the posts to point to the local copy.


    • Checked and configured all WordPress Options.
    • Activated plugins and configured.
    • Changed any formatting from blogger.
    • Checked that the existing feeds worked OK.
    • I already had a Feedburner feed, so I changed the originating feed from my blogger feed to my WordPress one.
    • Burnt a Feedburner feed for the comments.
    • Added a “number of readers” badge to the side bar – available from Feedburner.
    • Followed the instructions at Feedburner to change the header file so that browsers autodiscover the Feedburner feeds, not the existing ones.
    • Added a sitemeter
    • I decided not to go to Bloglines and claim the feed then mark it as a duplicate of the Feedburner one, but YMMV.
    • Went to technorati and claimed the blog
    • From the WordPress dashboard, went to Options > Writing to add the ping for technorati to my blog
    • Found and embedded an appropriate Creative Commons license.
    • Used MicroAngelo to create a tiny image to use as the favicon to display in Firefox. The Gimp doesn’t create .ico files.
    • Created a favicon.ico file on the root directory where the blog was.
    • Went to any sites where I’d registered my website and changed it.

    7. Still to do:

    • Strip the arial font and purple colour I used on all blogger posts.
    • Add tags to all posts.

    Hope this helps.

    TODAY’S HIPPIE CARD: New Beginning