Following my initial local install of OpenSim, I now have it running on the Learning Lab server. It was a bit of a nuisance to install and I still need to look at how best to work with its seemingly basic user management, but for alpha software it seems pretty stable and worth investing some time in. I’ve set up a page on our wiki to document the process.
I was first introduced to OpenSim by Ian Truelove at Leeds Met, who ran an introductory workshop to Second Life using OpenSim. He uses private installs of OpenSim with his students to teach design for virtual worlds, a genuine occupation for some. At least one academic here, who teaches 3D animation, wants to experiment with it and as I tell more people, I’m sure there will be further interest. My colleague, Julian, has also blogged about Second Life recently.
I’ve also been asked to write a Briefing Paper for the university’s next Learning Landscapes Working Group meeting, on how virtual worlds could extend the overall ‘learning landscape’ and benefit the student experience. It’s not a subject I know a great deal about (except for an intense period with Doom II while writing my MA dissertation, my gaming period ended with Elite), but there have been some useful and interesting reports recently, which I will look at again.