Tuesday, January 15, 2008

NJ SLEDucator's Unconference at MSU

Ok - three definitions first.

NJ SLEDucator - Formal: One who belongs to the Second Life in-world group New Jersey Second Life Educators. Informal: Anyone who has an interest in Second Life and Education (Higher Ed or K-12) in New Jersey

UnConference - "An unconference is a conference where the content of the sessions is created and managed by the participants (generally day-by-day during the course of the event) rather than by one or more organizers in advance of the event." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconference

MSU - Montclair State University :-)

Now, an explanation. Last spring (07) Laura Nicosia and I talked about having a summer "thing" where we got some folks together, informally, to talk about this new "thing" we found called Second Life, which we both loved and saw the potential for.

Fast forward nearly a year. Montclair becomes the first University to have a publicly available island in Second Life. Princeton makes a huge splash by opening a number of joined sims and Seton Hall has also joined the party with a space of their own. And a little "virtual" birdie tells me that the CHSS Island may soon be joined by some MSU neighbors (but that still hush hush, keep it under your hat).

I mentioned the idea of an 2008 summer thing to Gregg Festa, who thought it was a great idea and signed up to work on it with me. It was Gregg who suggested the idea of an "unconference". I liked the idea immediately and we were off and running.

Details will start to come together shortly, and hopefully we'll have the wiki up soon so folks can start signing up and contributing content. Until then, we need to pick a date.

The Conference Center in University Hall, here at MSU, is a wonderful facility run expertly by Phil Cardillo. It affords amazing views of the surrounding area (for miles!), and an especially exceptional view of Manhattan. So, the first NJ SLEDucator's UnConference will be held there (at least thats the current working name).

The May dates I originally picked were booked. I was trying for a Friday (since there are no classes at MSU on Fridays, so the parking a getting around would be easier), or one of the days between Spring Finals and the first Pre-Session. No such luck. The only three days available to us are listed in the poll to the right (5/19, 5/20, and 5/21). If you are planning on attending, thinking about attending, or even remotely interested in attending, please select one of those date or choose "Pick Another Date" and we'll look later in the summer.

More to come.