•March 6, 2009 • Comments Off on Copyright

Since this project is on Second Life, open potentially to the “public”, I want to be very careful about copyright for all the information and images that are contained within.  I thought carefully about a copyright statement and this is what I came up with.  This project is so very tricky in this area for a number of reasons so here goes on a possible DRAFT.  I hope to eventually come up with something that will make all parties happy.  I have included this text in the notecard visitors to the marsh can pick up if they click on the main message board.

Copyright:   <this is just a draft!>

This project belongs to Seton Hall University.  If you are interested in finding out about the project and others on the Seton Hall Island, you should direct your inquires to Danielle Mirliss, the Associate Director of the Teaching, Learning and Technology Center.

The specialized scripts used in this case-based scenario were developed by and belong to the New Media Consortium.  If you are interested in obtaining them for another build, please contact Larry Johnson at NMC.

The individual authors and creators of the virtual marsh have made every effort to use original materials or those under creative commons license.  Images and material licensed under creative commons have been cited along with the work.  You will also find an additional master listing here: <  coming soon>.    As far as the individual creators and authors of the materials contained within, we are willing to share our experiences of the process and concept with anyone on an informal basis! 

Our many thanks go to the New Jersey Marine Consortium who gave us written permission to edit/use their educational materials freely and to the NMC folks for writing the scripts that serve the basis for the educational activities contained within.  See our master citation list for details!





•February 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Home with the flu today and feeling really awful  ….  😦

In between trying to sleep, I created my first character for marsh, Grandpa, out of an old account we had made a couple of years back. To use Crazy Talk for the narratives, I need an avatar.  Plus, I was thinking that it would be soooooooooo fun when students were in the virtual marsh to have faculty or designers show up as these characters.   So, Jamie Meltzer became our oldest character almost instantaneously, well, not quite. I tried my hardest to make Jamie look up in the years with the base Appearance menu but just couldn’t seem to make him look believable.   So …. I just ended up buying an “elderly man skin” for $0.95.   Worked out beautifully and poof!

I have to remember to mask out Grandpa’s classes and pipe with Crazy Talk or these items will move when the character talks.  You would think that these objects should move however I found it really distracting when I made my trial movie of my own avatar which usually wears eye glasses.  I also found that I liked my production better when the background was still.

Well Grandpa, welcome to Salt Marsh Dynamics!

Grandpa the Historian

Grandpa the Historian

Buying Objects

•February 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment
Grandpas Fishing Hat and Newspaper

Grandpa's Fishing Hat and Newspaper

This past weekend I set off to start to build out the virtual marsh environment for each character we have identified.  I got very confused as I tried to work within two characters … that of myself (Heidi TeeCee) where all my inventory saw and the ePirate avatar … some stuff was here, some there.  I decided the best option was  to only purchase or obtain items that were copiable/modifiable so that I could insert different scripts into the objects (i.e. note cards, urls, assessments) but more importantly, once each character was finished, I could transfer a copy of the finished object to the university avatar (ePirate).  As I’m doing so, I can organize the objects into a folder in that account and only transfer the edited copies of the objects.  Best that the ePirate account is organized.

Meanwhile, keeping the Heidi TeeCee account organized proved challenging.  As mentioned before, most of the objects I modified so I had copies of the original and the edited version … and the names didn’t match since I wanted the edited version to have a name that made sense to the case.  Confusing, right?  

However, retaining “copies” of the objects I found was really important should the object “disappear” by accident.  One wouldn’t think this would be the case however, I found some of my initial marsh animals “underground” due to some of  the terraforming done on the other parts of the island.  Accidents easily happen.  I also decided that after each “character” was finished to take photos of the area and objects, again for a record just in case.  These photos would make a great photo album. 

Any large purchases (i.e. expensive buildings) I will make with the ePirate avatar however I did find some buildings that I liked (i.e. for the tourist center) that were copiable/modifiable. 

I am doing surprising well with finding what I need and modifying the objects to suit the case so I’m pleased.  I also want to go back and review with the faculty how we can add more interactivity to plants and trees that are already there to provide for a more rounded educational environment.  🙂

Character Development

•February 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Key to the scenario are various characters that students encounter that provide clues to what is happening on the marsh.  Each one has a different story to tell (from their character perspective) that fits within the bigger narrative.

As mention previously in the post regarding bots in Second Life, how to represent these characters is an important design consideration.  After considering a number of options we decided to go with two different ideas.  One of these ideas is currently in development as part of the $4500 award in NMC design services.  This involves the creation of a script that enables an “object” to provide random text (in this case “clues”) when touched.  This script can be embedded in a Second Life object that represents the character such as Grandpa’s fishing hat.

Small character videos will also be created with the tool Crazy Talk.  I first saw this tool at Barnfield Academy in England where one of the participants in a Second Life workshop used it for their project.  Check out this youtube video to find out more. 

Project Name Changed

•February 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

We renamed our virtual salt marsh project: 

Salt Marsh Dynamics

since we needed a shorter name for a project banner.  This name also allow for further development and application to other disciplines.

Visitor Center

•January 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment
Possible Visitor Center or Research Hut

Possible Visitor Center or Research Hut

Hmmmm … really like this building as the visitor center or research building depending on the amount of room inside.  Have to go check it out in SL.

Slide Projector

•January 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Today, while at J& M Creations, I did see this slide projector which seems perfect for some application … especially up in the vistor center!  It is not too expensive either … a definite possibility.

Side Projector

Side Projector