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Background and Logistics

by on September 9, 2011

Welcome to the Second Life section of the New Media Faculty Seminar Series (NMFS) for Fall 2011.  In this post, we’ll provide some background, outline the logistics and, hopefully answer any questions you might have about how this will work.

Background

The NMFS idea is the brain child of Dr. Gardner Campbell, Director of Professional Development and Innovative Initiatives at Virginia Tech.  He started in 2009, while at University of Mary Washington, with a local faculty seminar on campus. Then, with the help of Alan Levine, from the New Media Consortium, expanded the idea to a networked constellation of similar faculty seminars around the country.  The seminars have expanded since (13 of them in different parts of the U.S.), with some amazing results. Here’s an article, describing the series and some of its results.

Each NMFS is located at a university with the interested faculty members gathering once per week (90 minutes) for discussion and reflection.  The groups are typically interdisciplinary but the members share an interest and a curiousity about new media and its impact on teaching and learning. Our NMFS group will be unusual in that we are the first to meet weekly in the virtual world of Second Life, living by example, as we leverage the unique afforadances of an immersive environment while we work, read, and talk together.  Our virtual location also allows us to expand our group to include educators from all over the world.

The various NMFS instances are knit together in a number of ways:

– All NMFS groups follow the same syllabus, with assigned weekly readings from the New Media Reader (MIT Press, 2003)

– Each NMFS has its own group blog site (this one here, for us), featuring posts from its members, and all of those blogs feed into a “mother blog” maintained by Gardner Campbell.

– Gardner Campbell provides the groups with insights and inspiration, via podcasts or skype.  (In our case, he will teleport in for a few guest appearances).

Logistics

Our Second Life NMFS will be held on:

Wednesday 4:30 – 6:00 pm EST (the first hour will be lively discussion, based on the reading, last 30 minutes reserved for optional special events and activities (touring, building, guest speakers).

Information Hub. This is the one-stop shopping place to see the seminar syllabus, Gardner Campbell’s wiki site, a link to our SL meeting location, and RSS feeds to our blogs (including this one).  We will also post videos here that pertain to our assigned readings.  Here’s what it looks like:

Our NMFS's information hub.

Faciliatators. Liz Dorland (SL= Chimera Cosmos) [e: ldinstl2@gmail.com,twitter: ldinstl_chimera] and Robin Heyden (SL = Spiral Theas)  [robinheyden@gmail.com, twitter: rheyden] will be your hosts, but responsibility for leading the discussion will rotate through our group membership.

Meeting Place. We will rendezvous in this in-world location.  For those new to Second Life, don’t worry, we’ll be happy to provide a basic introduction, at your convenience. We are primarily using SL as our meeting place, so only basic skills will be required.

The Readings. You can purchase the New Media Reader online here.

Blogging. We encourage everyone to deepen their participation through blogging. Those of you who already have WordPress accounts have been given “author” status on our group blog site (once you open a WordPress acount, let us know, and we’ll add you to the blog’s author list).  When you are ready to post to our group’s blog, here’s how it works:
1. navigate to this site and log in by clicking on “site admin”
(the link is on the right-hand navigation column of the blog’s home page)
2. post a new entry and publish it
3. be sure to sign your name to it!

Blogging your own tboughts as well as reading and commenting on the blog posts of others in the group will enrich our discussions. If you already have your own blog, cross-postings are welcome. Our group blog will syndicate to the “mothership” blog, run by Dr. Campbell, for all of the New Media Faculty Seminars.  We’re all encouraged to read and comment on that blog.

Tagging. Please include the hashtag  nmfs_f11 on all web posts (blogs, tweets, photos, etc.) so that they can be easily found.

Attendance. We understand that not everyone will be able to attend every session, but since there will be continuity from one to the next, we hope that you’ll be able to join us as often as possible.

We’re off on the adventure!
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8 Comments
  1. Steve Hynds permalink

    Hello Everyone,
    I look forward to working with each of you. My name is Steve Hynds, director of online for Drury University in Springfield, MO. My SL name is Skyhook Inglewood but y’all can call me Skyy.

    The readings look facinating although I really don’t need another textbook this fall, hehe.

    Take care, see you tomorrow.

    Skyy

  2. sabinereljic permalink

    Looking at the syllabus and loving it!
    S.
    (SL: Willow Shenlin)

  3. So great to have you join the group, Willow! The New Media Reader is available from Amazon, but not on the Kindle. However, you’ll notice that Liz has succesfully discovered an online location for nearly all the readings – the links are all on the syllabus at our seminar information hub.

  4. sabinereljic permalink

    yes, she did! thanks. I am catching up on the readings now…..:-D

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