Saturday, May 26, 2007

Edu-Entrepreneurs in SL

The education community, especially librarians and specialists in educational technology, just succeeded at something that many corporations and emerging businesses have attempted. They became a community in-world that quickly developed enough experience in online collaboration that they were able to present a large public event in SL that stretched, but did not break, the system capacity. The Education in Second Life: Best Practices conference arose from a model of best practice within SL.

Over a 24 period, there were hourly presentations in three locations, as well separate locations for vendors, posters and a welcome area. There was a wiki for registration, presentation abstracts, event schedules and vendor and sponsor information and logistics updates. The SLIC2007 blog was updated all day by Ryan Bretag, who provided brief descriptions and snapshots of presentations as they were being completed. The presentations were available live on the web as streaming video from Second Life Cable Network, and will be available online soon as archives.

There were more than 1,000 advance registrations; and an in-world headcount of more than 850 unique avatars part-way through the day. Most presentations were held at capacity, with just a bit of room available at the overflow locations. Both the poster area, at Rockcliffe University, and the vendor displays, at the New Media Consortium's Outreach site, were crowded all day. These display locations will remain available over the weekend.

Kudos to the organizing committee, especially Chris Collins of the University of Cincinnati, and Beth Ritter-Guth of LeHigh Carbon Community College. It speaks volumes for this group that the wiki front page was updated last night with a thank you from the organizing committee to the 200+ avatars who helped make the conference a success.

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