i3- iSchools Inclusion Institute now accepting applicants


The application process for the i3 program is open for Summer 2017. The iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3) is an undergraduate research and leadership development program that prepares students from underrepresented populations for graduate study and careers in the information sciences. Only 25 students from across the country are selected each year to become i3 Scholars

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Should we have robots raking our zen garden?

This month I was able to attend the World Maker Faire held a fe minutes away from Queens College. I Volunteered as part of a team sowing the Zen Robot Gardener.

As technology becomes affordable we will continue to find it in new places. We built a simple a robot to rake a zen garden, and set it up be interacted with and driven by the crowds. It provokes the question “Should we have robots raking our zen garden”?

The project won four Editor’s Choice awards at the Maker Faire!

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Video – Project-based learning

This is the second video in a three part series about my Spring 2009 course. This video features students discussing their final projects in Second Life where they had to partner with a third-party client in Second Life and create a project to help them meet their organizational goals. Two groups choose to host events as fundraisers, Under the Sea and Horns for 100K while a third group worked with a role playing group to get a better understanding of what community can mean in a virtual world. I hope you enjoy this video and as always, i welcome feedback!

P.S. follow me on twitter @joe_sanchez

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Remembering Bluewave Ogee

Bluewave Ogee
Dear Friends,
With sadness I regret to inform you that a wonderful and kind soul, Dr. Leslie Jarmon aka Bluewave Ogee passed away last night (11-24-09).

As many of you know, Bluewave has been undergoing chemo therapy for cancer of the lymph nodes the last year. On Friday she was placed in hospice care at her brother’s home in Austin, Texas. She has been surrounded by family and friends. Last night at 8:30PM Leslie passed away.

I was able to spend the weekend at her side, she was in good spirits, jovial and at peace. We spent alot of our time reminiscing about Second Life and the Educators Coop. She loves all of you and she wanted to thank you for all your work and collaborations over the last few years. I asked her if she had a message to share and she replied

“tell them its been REAL”

Rx has built a site where we will keep a permanent memorial for Bluewave. Please visit and in the spirit of collaboration, add a few prims : )
North Lamar / Joe Sanchez

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Role-play in Second Life- Becoming the Saints of Hell

Student Event - Role-Play

The last group in my class Working in Virtual Worlds will present their final project in Second Life tomorrow Tuesday, May 5 2009. This group picked a unique project, they wanted to explore a Second Life culture so they decided to join the Saints of Hell. The Saints of Hell are a 1% Outlaw Motorcycle role-play group in Second Life. The students have told me that the Saints are set up like a traditional 1% Motorcycle Club where they have a President, Vice President and Sgt at Arms. The students have been spending up to 10 hours a week immersed in the role-play for five weeks.

During the last few weeks I’ve observed several changes during their role-play experience. The most obvious is their avatar appearance. When they first mentioned their project as an initial task I asked them to give their avatars a biker make-over. As you can see from the picture below, they went a little over board on the fantasy end.
Student's first attempt as being Saints of Hell
The students approached the Saints and pitched their project idea. Sims Rang, the current President of The Saints of Hell was intrigued by the project and sold the idea to the other members of the group. She paired each student with a Saints of Hell mentor and the students were on their way to an immersive experience. Each student now has a custom skin designed by the Saints of Hell along with realistic looking biker clothes and amazing choppers
From Student to Saint of Hell

The event tomorrow will be a forum hosted by the students to discuss their experiences in the role-play activity. The forum will have six panelist, three students and three members from the Saints of Hell. A fourth student will serve as the host of the event and he promises that he has been watching Oprah to prepare for his role as host. During the event they will be asking for donations for the Saints of Hell Relay for Life team. The event will be held at the Educators Coop 1

If you have a chance, drop by and learn more about the Saints of Hell and role-play in Second Life.

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Student Second Life Event: Under Water Fun

Student Second Life Event
The second group from my Spring 2009 course will be having their final project event on Thursday April 30 from 4 – 6 SLT at the Utwig Sim. They have been working with the great folks at the Music Academy Online who agreed to let them use their island for the event. During the event they will submerge the entire sim by raising the water level to 100M (normally 20M) and have diving and other water activities. The event will feature the live band Friendly Fire and D.J. Autumn Beaver and is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

Student Second Life Marketing

As part of their marketing campaign the students made an appearance on the SLCN show Music Academy Onlive. The students did a great job discussing their project and talking about the experience of being learners in Second Life. A video of the show is available at SLCN.tv. My students appear after the first guest, about 8 minutes into the program. They are easy to spot since they are wearing their diving gear. Benton, the host and founder of the Music Academy Online, also interviewed me for a short segment. It follows the segment of my students.

UPDATE: My students that held the Longhorns for 100,000K fundraiser surpassed their project goal. They raised over $111,000L during their event and donated close to $450 USD to their selected non-profits. Way to go Team!!

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Second Life Student Event – Horns for 100,000

Horns for 100K
Starting on Friday and ending on Sunday evening a group of my students will be hosting Horns for a Hundred Thousand. A fundraising event for Project Jason/Garden for the Missing and the Team Fox Organization. An invitation from my students is below.

Hi there,

We are students at University of Texas in North Lamar’s class. As a group project that we have been planning for a few weeks now, my group and I have decided to hold an event benefit to raise money and awareness to the Project Jason/ Garden For the Missing nonprofit organization and the Team Fox organization in order to bring awareness to people through using Second Life as well as donating all the money raised at the event to these two organizations. We will be trying to raise L$100,000! The event will consist of a dance, live DJ and music playing, a dance floor, raffles for items, silent auctions, go-karts and bumper cars as well as free stuff given out all of this which benefits two great causes! We would greatly appreciate a donation to our event that benefits two nonprofits, Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinsons research and Project Jason assistance for families of missing persons so come to our event!

Come help the University of Texas Longhorns Raise L$100,000 for two worthy charities – free entry & free rides.

Friday April 24th to Sunday April 26th.

Activities include: go karts, bumper cards, raffle, and silent auction.

Live Performance Schedule (SLT):
Friday April 24th
6pm – 7pm Dann Numbers
8pm – 9pm Harper Messmer

Saturday April 25th
3pm – 4pm Vienna James
8pm – 9pm PheobeAnn Theas

Sunday April 26th
12pm – 1pm Phemie Alcott
4pm – 5pm Gregg Huet
8pm – 9pm Dale Katscher

SL URL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Remora/68/226/22 or

Search: University of Texas Landing Point for Project Jason

Horns for 100K

Please stop by and check out how my students have learned to work in a virtual world. The students designed the entire project, booked all the talent, and found the non-profit clients to work with. Their goal is raise 100,00 Lindens.

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Student made Machinima

I’m gearing up for my Spring 09 course  and I realized I never shared the machinima links created by students from the Fall 08 semester. I had four student groups comprised of 4-5 students each. Each group had to create a 2 1/2 – 3 minute machinima telling about their final group project. I think they did a good job. Each student also created a reflective movie where they spoke about their learning experience during the semester. I will post a few of those later this week. Enjoy

If you would like to visit the projects, they will be available for viewing until Sunday January 19, 2009. On Monday I will have to delete the projects tot make way for the Spring class

Austin SafePlace

Safe Darfur

Partnerships For Children

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C.A.S.E. grant public viewing

This Thursday 12\04\08 at 5SLT my students and I will be hosting an event in SL to show the projects they have completed this semester. Earlier this semester my undergraduate class was awarded a C.A.S.E. grant from the Jimmy and Roselynn Carter foundation to promote community engagement in SL. Each project completed this semester has a community engagement focus. The
Four projects are:

Problem: Physical, social and political disasters are often so geographically and culturally remote that people who might help fail to appreciate the nature and extent of the situation.
Solution: One UT team proposal would use the CASE grant to build an online, multi-player, virtual-world game to simulate life in Darfur, wherein survival is the object and famine, displacement and armed conflict are the opponents. Game players will realize how much is taken for granted in peace and prosperity and how important even small contributions can be in a disaster. Another project provides a virtual “ride” that helps participants understand the work of the nonprofit website Nothing But Nets.
Problem: An Austin (TX) nonprofit reaches out to needy individuals in
rural Texas, but the cost of covering long distances reduces the effectiveness of the organization.

Solution: One UT team proposal would use the CASE grant to build an online, virtual world extension of the agency’s operations that would make it virtually costless to operate remotely. But rather than trying to envision every conceivable combination of circumstances and program a software solution that covers all of them, the UT student solution engages the nonprofit staff as avatars, thereby incorporating all their experience and troubleshooting skills. Further, client avatars can characterize their needs far more accurately and far faster than a “checklist” of options. The combination eliminates travel and remote operation cost without eliminating the skilled human intervention of the non-profit’s staff.
Austin SafePlace
Problem: Austin (TX) SafePlace is the nation’s largest shelter for victims of domestic violence. Training new associates at SafePlace is “baptism by fire” because the problems trainees face are “live” and often overwhelming.

Solution: One UT team proposal would use the CASE grant to build an online, virtual world simulation of SafePlace where the avatars of trainees can learn to diagnose and deal with problems from hypothetical cases, safely apart from the actual operation of the shelter. The result is safe training for SafePlace. Plus, the students plan to hold a fund-raising “gala” online where participants from around the world can use “Linden dollars” to purchase necessities for shelter clients, then UT students will convert the “Linden dollars” to actual cash and purchase the items.

Please join us if you can and help celebrate the work of the students. The event will be held on Educators Coop 1 http://slurl.com/secondlife/Educators%20Coop%201/121/95/22
Hope to see you there,

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Invitation to Student event

This is an invitation from a group of students enrolled in my Working in Virtual Worlds course at the iSchool at UT Austin. The students have created a presence and SL training for a local non-profit organization called Partnerships for Children. They will be raising Lindens to purchase items such as tooth brushes, shampoo, and diapers for children under the care of Child Protective Services in Austin
partnership for children in SL
Their project has three components, creating a presence for the organization, training the members of the organization to use Second Life, and hosting a fundraiser to raise funds in order to purchase basic needs items for children. The picture below is one of the vendors that is selling Real Life toys that will be given to children in Austin. Donations range from 50L for toothpaste through 5000L for a comforter. Please stop by and view their work and make a small donation, everything helps!
partnerships for children 2

Message from Students:____________________________________
This is an invitation to our Holiday Ballroom Gala Event benefiting ?Partnerships for Children. It will be held Wednesday at 4pm(SLT) at the?Educators Coop (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Educators%20Coop%201/74/91/21). It will be formal ballroom attire. We’d ?like for you all to be able to join us in our cause and to help make ?our event a success.
How You Can Help: ?You may go to the 2nd Floor of our space and right-click on any item ?that you may wish to donate and click “Pay.” (The amount in $L should ?be the amount in USD$ needed to purchase the item in real-life. We ?will use the money to purchase these items physically and give them to ?Partnerships for Children’s Rainbow Room.
We hope to see you Wednesday! ?

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