Wednesday, 13 March 2013

15 Feb 2013 i.s.i. Homestead Transferred

On the 15th February 2013 the final [Homestead] Int.Schools Island SIM in Second Life was transferred to a new owner. R.I.P. International Schools Island in Second Life ... many thanks for all of the learning opportunities, experiences and new friends.
The new Homestead name is "Haven" the new owner is again Trish Dean [avi Tori Landau] [avi manager Teri Leitner]

R.I.P.  i.s.i.

One of the reasons for giving up the SIMS was the cost ... just prohibitively high when the education 50% discount was removed. Ironic update is that I received an email from Linden Labs dated 12th March 2013
I quote
"We were sorry to see you go, and we’d love to see your institution return to Second Life. If you return, we’d like to offer your institution a 50% discount on land maintenance fees. Once you renew your account, you’ll pay just $1,770 per full private island for one year, or $3,540 for two years."

That's Life :-)

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Main Int.Schs.Island SIM transferred

The original, main, SIM which started International Schools Island in Second Life in 2007 has changed ownership and changed its name.

You can find more details at

Shamblesguru from the new home over looking the old.This was the result of Linden Labs removing the educational discount on their SIMS in Second Life in 2010 ... and US$3,600 is just too much to pay for a year rental.

The main i.s.i. SIM in Second Life transferred ownership on 14 September 2012 to Tori Landau and was renamed "Moonstone". The SIM will be redeveloped differently under this new ownership.

I (Shamblesguru) still owns and lives on the tropical SIM next to Moonstone ... called "International Schools Island 3" (isi3)

Many of the free teaching/learning objects that used to be on i.s.i can be found on isi3 scattered around the beaches ... organised just as 'Steptoe & Son' would have done.

One door closes and another opens.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Friday, 10 December 2010

New isi SandBox now open ...

Build away in the new isi Sandbox ... you can rez objects, build and run scripts ... max limit is 400 prims ... auto return in 24 hours'

Saturday, 4 December 2010

isi2 closed BUT ... isi Estate still alive and well

Early Dec 2010 I closed down International Schools Island 2 ... for several reasons ... the educational discounts are being withdrawn in 2011 .. and a full SIM will then be over US$3,000 per year.
The other reason was to release some time to extend my explorations of other virtual worlds and other platforms for teaching and learning online .. including webinars and VLEs.
Int.Schs.Island (Estate) is still very much alive and well .. in fact the irony is that casual daily traffic has more than doubled over the past month.
I have also moved isi3 to the location where isi2 used to be ... and here is the new layout.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Australia Workshop

All this week (May 2010) I'm in Sydney Australia running a series of workshops.  Today had a focus on social networks and virtual worlds ... for part of the session we went into Second Life and had a conversation with avatar "Little Mynx" who is in Cornwall, England in real life.
Little Mynx recorded the session using

Shamblesguru Voom talks to Little Mynx about the use of Secondlife as an educational tool. from Julala Dando on Vimeo.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Meeting in SpotON3D .. New VW

I was privileged  to be able to attend a presentation today in a new virtual world SpotON3D ... using a new VW client (viewer) and trying a voice App from Facebook called Vivox.
This company has clearly given a lot of thought to their platform especially in the areas of copyright, intellectual property, cost and user experience for both Enterprise and Education.
This platform is being launched in the next month ... go to their website for details or to visit this new world for free

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Streaming Video onto a Prim in Sec.Life

After the ISTE Workshop last week (see last post) a few of us stayed around chatting (as often happens in-world) and Scott Merrick (Scottmerrick Oh in S.L.) signed on to ustream at home, threw up a prim and (using the new media on a prim function) threw the live video of himself and his son Colin ... see the pic below ... onto that prim.
This is soooooo easy to do now ... I've added it to the list of instructional videos I plan to make ... to show just how easy.
Also great fun as father and son attempted to share a single set of headphones ... who said two heads are better than one?.

Friday, 23 April 2010

ISTE Workshop: Open Source, Copyright, Plagiarism

I was invited to run another workshop by ISTE ... 22 April 2010 one their beach.  Topic was Open Source, Copyright and Plagiarism ... it was a fun and information session ... many thanks to all those who attended ... I do enjoy doing these. Details at
More images at

Thursday, 8 April 2010

New media on a Prim Opportunities.

In March 2010 Linden Labs released a new viewer (2.0) for Second Life, after only a few weeks in Beta it is now the default viewer for new subscribers.
One new application in this viewer is the ability to put interactive media (including webpages) on any face of any object ... this is really a game change upgrade.
To illustrate one of the new possibilities I've set up 18 screens which display 18 different backchannel tools for use in S.L. and/or R.L. ... to help compare these tools.
The screens are free to take and full perms so they can be copied, modified under a cc licence.
On Int.Schools Island at

Friday, 5 February 2010

360 degree picture of Int.Schs.Island

The website Peek360 allows you to take these panoramic images in Second Life without even going into S.L. ... very clever.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Last few weeks have been fun and informative

The last few weeks have been real fun and informative learning experiences ... I reckon this 'lifelong learning' theory might just catch on .... more photographs can be seen in one of my Flickr sets ..

Sunday, 25 October 2009

College Fair in Second Life .. Open

The College Fair started (on Int.Schs.Islands) this weekend with two days of presentations ... and they were 'brilliant'.
It was opened by Claudia Linden who was followed by 8 other presentations.
At one point the SIM was full to capacity, avatars just could just not get in (unfortunately a frustrating experience).

There are 37 Colleges and Universities with stands (including UK Open Univ) ... these stand will now stay up until 13th Nov. Well worth a visit even if just to collect all the in-world freebies that they have put out.

For me it has been an extremely rewarding professional development learning experience, working with the other organisers plus ... presenters, visitors and builders  ... and I am really grateful to all for sharing their skills, time, experiences and views.
There is really no doubt in my mind that Virtual Worlds are a very valuable platform to add to the other blended mix of teaching and learning tools/opportunities available.
I took a pile of photographs all at Flickr or search for the tag #SLCF09

Monday, 5 October 2009

College Fair in Second Life SLCF09

Later this month (Oct 2009) there will be a College Fair in Second Life and I'm pleased to say that Int. Schs. Island is able to support this by providing the venue.
Presentations: 24th and 25th October 2009
Exhibits displayed: 24th Oct to 13 Nov. 2009
Venue; International Schools Island
Full details at ...
Tag: #SLCF09

If you would like to be kept up-to-date with developments then please join the Google group.

Google Groups

Subscribe to Second Life College Fair


Visit this group

Friday, 25 September 2009

Avatars in Second Life

Avatar design is such a rich topic to discuss with students ... this avatar was spotted at a meeting on International Schools Island early in September 2009 ... for some reason the design had an impact that many others have not. Needless to say I shall not reveal the real identity ... just to say he is Hong Kong based and may be in the ESF .... brilliant design ... and even wearing a 'Shambles' free t-shirt.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Flat Classroom Presentation

A really enjoyable and informative session on the mountain top yesterday, I had the pleasure of being about to talk with the key players of the Flat Classroom Project.
Full details at classroom .... and full set of images at Flickr

Friday, 28 August 2009

Screencast: VWs area on

A screencast of a mini tour around the Virtual Worlds area on the website.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Web 2.0 Workshop in SL

I co-ordinated another of the ISTE Thursday workshops today (21 or 22 May09 depending on timezone) ... in Second Life with a theme of Web 2.0.
The session was a blend of whole-group presentation and small-group work ... and also a blend of communicating by voice and chat.
Also experimented with using Google Docs as an organisational, communication and archiving tool during the session, see
The public session was preceeded with a session just for the small group facilitators ... who I am really grateful to, it would not have worked so well without these volunteers.
Death by PowerPoint was minimal and individual sharing was high ! ... thank goodness.
Picture can be seen at

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Shamblesguru in OpenLifeGrid (OpenSIM)

Registered Shamblesguru Voom in the OpenLife Virtual World (OpenSIM) today ... downloaded the "OpenLife R16_3" viewer which is very similar to the SL viewer ... and logged in.

Unfortunately I must have missed a step somewhere ... as I (Shamblesguru) seems to have had a sex operation on the way .. and is now female.

More details about the OpenLifeGrid at

Now need to research sex changes .... and investigate the possibility of an International Schools Island in this Virtual World.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

"Team Building" Workshop 16April09

Just finished a workshop today with the focus on team building and collaboration; the task of each group was to build an avatar out of a given set of  individual prims.
It was really 2 professional development events ... yesterday I met with six volunteers to be the individual team facilitators and one volunteer who was to be the judge for the best build (there were
definite criteria)
Our meeting yesterday ended up being over two hours of sharing of suggestions, skills, strategies and tools to consider when running
today's public session.
We had around 40 avatars attend the 90 min session, after a brief intro with the whole group we then split into the six teams with it's facilitator for 45
mins and the collaboration and building began.
For the last 20 mins we all reconvened and each of the facilitators reported back on their sessions and finally Judge Louise nominated teams 1 and 4 as the joint winners.
There was so much learning that happened in these two session for me that there is just not room to list specifics here .... suffice to say that we all survived better equipped to support future teaching and learning in a virtual world environment.
I'm most grateful to all who contributed.
Photographs can be seen at my Flickr account

Saturday, 11 April 2009

isi Group .. easier subscription

In an earlier post I described how to subscribe to an Int.Schs.Island group using the official SL application.  The problem with this is that you are only allowed to join a maximum of 25 groups.
I'm now using a third party application to create and manage groups that you can subscribe to that does not take from your maximum of 25.
This group is designed to mainly send out notices of new developments, objects and tools on isi.
So to join just find one of the subscription boards as in this picture and click on "Subscribe"
There is one at

Friday, 27 March 2009

VW Best Practices in Education Conf. 2009

The Virtual World Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) conference
27th to 29th March 2009
International Schools Island had a display in the 'Poster" area

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Video of Presentation mentioned below

There are other videos for this presentation

Preamble/setting up:
Q&A session:

Transforming School Libraries Conference

The Transforming School Libraries online conference at 20 Feb to 1st March 2009
The conference was hosted mainly online at
This session, on the last day, took place in Second Life with Dianne McKenzie (Dimac Dastardly in SL), Hong Kong teacher-librarian, presenting and leading a discussion on "Second Life - A game or an exceptional opportunity for professional growth and development?"
Moderated by yours truely Shamblesguru Voom.
We had a turn out of twenty avatars which I thought was very encouraging especially as it was held at a time when the USA was asleep.
Venue was the meeting area top of mountain top 2 on International Schools Island
Other pictures can be seen on Flickr

Friday, 27 February 2009

AASL-ISTE SIGMS Presentation

This morning I had the pleasure of being invited to the monthly AASL-ISTE SIGMS group meeting in S.L. ... (American Association of School Librarians).
A very pleasant group who made me feel very comfortable at the meeting ... the theme being : “Keeping Current in a Global Environment”.
One of several thrills for me was with Dana Dukic, librarian, contributing from her desk at West Island School in Hong Kong with the sound of students in the background ... brilliant.
I think I may have talked a little too much though .... it was good to see contributions using public chat while I used mainly voice.
S.L. and my connectivity (Thailand) coped very well again technically .... and it's nice to be able to focus on the content rather than the process, although we did go off on a couple of technical aspects, all very positive learning experiences.
Many thanks to Lisa Perez in Chicago (Elaine Tulip in SL) for a very pleasant start to the day (my time).

Wow ... this is the 100th post on the Int.Schs.Island Blog ... 

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

The 2nd QuestioN !

I started today with a fun experience ... I was invited to be a panel member on the 41st episode of The 2nd Question .... publicised as "a fast paced science themed show with the best & the brightest of experience in SL & beyond .... a one hour whirl of madness and merrymaking"
It really was fun ... but also very informative, the show is broadcast live across Second Life by SLCN (S.L.Cable Network) and recorded for archiving on the web ... see the next Blog post for the video.
SLCN staff spent considerable time before the show doing sound checks and coaching us through some SL tech tips to help make the programme run smoothly ..... and, to their credit, it all went well ... I'm not sure how much was due to the whip that was carried by Yxes.
It is on every Tuesday 7:00pm SL time with hosts Pooky Amsterdam and  Hydra Shaftoe and located at the futuristic SciLands
The only bad part about the whole experience ..... I LOST :-(

Friday, 20 February 2009

Workshop : Free Edu Tools on isi

I ran another workshop today for ISTE in S.L. showcasing more of the free resources hosted on International Schools Island.
This time I choose the "Library on a Stick" .. object and concept by
JJ Drinkwater.
The session reconfirmed that the facilitators are often the 'Master Learners'  .. again I learnt so much myself about running workshops in virtual worlds.
The turnout was brilliant with 40 avatars from locations including Japan, Australia, Europe, USA,
Hong Kong with me in Thailand.
S.L. behaved brilliantly (technically) as I expected so many avatars to cause 'lag' ... very encouraging. My preferred medium for communication was (is) voice but many avatars did not have microphones or could not use them because of their local R.L. environment ... most seemed to have loudspeakers or headsets.
I still feel uncomfortable not having real life eye contact with participants and uneasy with silences ... but am coming to accept that audio silence does not mean participants are not being active .. reading
notecards, building, communicating with IM ....
This learning journey continues and I'm grateful again for the constructive feedback from participants ...and the
privilege to be able to work with such a professional group of educators.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Bloom's Taxonomy Model in the Holodeck

I was kindly given a 3D interactive model of Bloom's Taxonomy by the creator Thursday Xu ... I've now put this in the International Schools Island Holodeck ... in fact when you rez it up you get three copies so a large group of avatars can split up.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Data Visualisation Workshop

Every Thursday evening (SL time) ISTE have a social event or show & tell session ... usually by the beach campfires.
This week I was fortunate enough to be able to share some of my data visualisation tools ... and more importantly .. to listen to feedback and suggestions about how they might be useful in teaching and learning.
Enjoyable and productive session ....

Thursday, 22 January 2009

SL Education Support Faire Jan 25th-30th 2009

Education Support Faire January 25th-30th 2009

International Schools Island is one of the exhibitors
... hope you can visit
... even if just for some freebies ;-)

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

New SIM (Open Space) 12 Dec 08

New SIM delivered to the International Schools Estate on 12 Dec 2008
In fact it's not a full SIM but called an OpenSpace ... same physical size but with less prims to build and some other restrictions ... but the monthly rental is cheaper than a full SIM.
From 5th January 2009 OpenSpaces will be changed to what is being called "Homestead" Islands ... see details at
So what will I be using 'International Schools 3' for? .... watch this space. 
(Star Trek fans have higher odds of guessing)
Merry Christmas.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Data Visualisation part 2 (more 3D graphing boards)

As a result of some feedback and requests I've built some additional 3D graphing boards ... one even 40m x 40m x 40m so you need a lot of air space for it to float in.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Data Visualisation & free 3D Graphing Tool

I've been to several talks over the past few months about Data Visualisation (DV) in SL ... so decided to build a DV display/exhibition in Int.Schs.Island.
This project went a little further than I anticipated ... I've also built a 3D graphing tool ... which I suspect may also have other teaching/learning uses rather than just DV ... it is free for you to take.
All in the lobby of the Technology Tower...
Feedback always welcome.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

3rd Speakers Series : Size isn't everything

Tonight we had the final of our mini Int.Schs.Island (Pilot) Speaker Series ... with the topic "k-12 Recruitment".
The turnout was not large but the quality of the discussion reminded me that size isn't everything ... 
Thanks Jeff and Jon for sharing and others from Bangkok, Laos and Australia .. I personally learnt a lot.
The technology did kick me out once and also made it difficult for Jon from China but that was  a reminder that we really are pioneers at the cutting edge ... and it's OK to bleed a little.
P.S. health warning ... never accept a drink from Utes Torok in world .. I crashed immediately after accepting one ... I suspect it was spiked ;-) ... have fun.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Speakers Series : 19 Nov ... (part 2)

Many thanks to Dianne and Doug ... larger audience this week ... and lots of participation and sharing ... the only problem for me was that Dianne stayed as 'Casper the Ghost" for the whole hour for me ;-)

Next session ... Wed. 26th Nov. same time ... topic is "Recruitment" .. see the Google doc for full details.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Speaker Series .... 19 Nov08 Libraries and Info Literacy (k-12)

The second in the International Schools "Live in Second Life" (Speaker Series) is happening on Wednesday 19th November 
4:00a.m. S.L. time ... 12:00 lunchtime (London) ... 7:00pm (Thailand) ... 8:00pm (Hong Kong) ... 9:00pm (Tokyo) ... 11:00pm (Sydney)

Venue: International Schools Island Mountain Top 2

The session this week has a 'Libraries' and 'Information Literacy' (k-12) theme
... and on the sofa will be 
  • Dianne McKenzie (Dimac Dastardly) Teacher Librarian, Discovery College, Hong Kong
  • Doug Johnson (BlueSkunk Johnson) Director of Media and Technology, Mankato Area Public Schools Blue Skunk Blog:  
The session will also continue with the focus on teaching in an international community.

I hope you can attend as I continue with the "Larry King Live" format.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Speaker Series .... 12 Nov08 Fire Centaur

International Schools "Live in Second Life" (Speaker Series) .. the first of a 3 part 'pilot' series.Fire Centaur (Paul Preibisch) owner of the  English Village SIM and teacher in South Korea was the very first to be welcomed to the sofa by myself pretending I could do a "Larry King Live".
Fire did a brilliant job sharing his experiences working in South Korea and offering advice to those considering working there ... then giving the fully Monty about the establishment and development of his SIM.Finally he demostrated a game he has built  which used Zombies to motivate English Language learning, and finally he introduced his "bot" .. a dinosaur he had built and programmed which kept muttering "I smell avatars" as he moved around.Fire is an educator that also has design and programming skills, a sense of humour and a strong interest in Virtual Worlds ..... many thanks.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Presentation Video : SL & VWs

When I do real life presentations at conference/workshops about SL / VWs I often show a 17 min video that I talk to (stops me rambling) then we get into discussions.
I've just put the video inworld on Int.Schs.Island at
This is version 1 ... I plan to modify. (aren't we always)
No soundtrack as I usually talk to it live ... but may be of interest.
It is streaming into this location from 

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Universal (Language) Translator

There are several language translators available in Second Life ... my preferred one is the "Universal Translator" from Hank Ramos.
It translates 35 languages ... including some Asian, the translations are done in the text chat window.
You just choose your own language from the drop down blue menu that you get when you click on the box ... it will then translate the text chat from others who have also clicked on the box ... from their language to yours ... amazing.
What is even more amazing is that it is free.
There are several scattered around Int.Schs.Island, including in the Mod.Foreign Languages area on the 5th Floor in the Curriculum Tower.
You can pick up your own translator at

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Dance with an Alien : The Movie

Thank you Erudit Drut (Susan)

Saturday, 18 October 2008

ISTE Presentation to Director (EdTech,US Dept.of Edu)

One of the sessions I try and attend each week is the ISTE Speakers Series on a Tuesday evening (SL time) .. Wed morning Thai time.
Recently I was asked to be one of several to present to
Tim Mangner, Director, Office of Educational Technology, US Dept.of Education.
We were asked to talk for 10 mins  about our experiences in SL, how we use VWs and how we thought VWs can change education.
It was a real pleasure to be given this opportunity ... and encouraging to see the USA DoE taking such an interest in Virtual Worlds.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Learn 2.008 : Shanghai Pre-Conference Meetings

(education/technology/k-12) conference is about to happen in Shanghai, visit Ning at Learning 2.008 for specifics.
The three Sundays before the real life meeting sees three pre-conference sessions being hosted on International Schools Island. Two of those sessions have been completed, for images search Fickr for the TAG learn2cn.  
Specifics of these sessions can be seen on Google docs.
Educators from several continents attended including some of those invited to present at the real life conference, David Warlick, Alan Levine and Ewan McIntosh

These have been brilliant events ... Second Life has performed technically well and allowed discussions using voice and text chat (phew)  ... many of these discussions focussed on questions being raised at the main conference and I certainly found them interesting,relevant and stimulating ... especially when being shared across the world in real time.

One of the principal learning experiences for me was that for the second meeting we were joined by two anonymous "griefers" ... griefers are avatars who wonder virtual worlds determined to be disruptive ... and this was the first time I'd been involved in an event that had become their focus ... possibly attracted by our large attendance.

I should have guessed an attack was underway when someone kept changing the slide presentations or when the Daleks  appeared.  Only after weird materials started to rain down from the sky did I realise this was for real (or should that be "for virtual'?) ... switching off the ability to run scripts stopped most of the distractions .. and then I ejected the griefers from the venue ... which land owners have the ability to do.
I also accidently ejected a USA teacher ... but a polite request in the text chat from their colleague let me know and I opened their permissions to come back in (I'm still slightly embarrassed about this) ... classroom management has taken on a whole new perspective for me even after all these years of experience ... with new tools and strategies to be learnt or invented.

If you are attending in Shanghai and meet Ewan McIntosh ... then please do not mention the naked female streaker that broke his concentration ... I do suspect he's still recovering.

Virtual Worlds in Education ... the future is going to be fun ;-)
Venue International Schools Island

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Media Players in S.L.

Media Players in S.L. seem to be evolving almost daily ... I just purchased the NHC Media Center - Q308 for L$500 (US$2.50) to experiment with ... attracted by the boast of being able to play YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
... and it works brilliantly although I did need a little help from creator Sylvio Runo
It plays | Movies in Sequence | Direct YouTube Search & Play | Slide Show with Your Photos and Textures | Audio Music Parcel Manager | Radio Stations | plus ....
Support to lots of media types with auto adjust of the correct mime-type: php, asp, htm, html, mov, sdp, mp4, mv4, mpg, mpe, mpa, jpg, gif, txt, tiff, mpeg, 3gpp, and pict.
If you want to play with this one then just tp to isi at
More details of this particular player can be seen at SLEX

Of course ... playing media in S.L. works best on a high spec computer with a good connection.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Organised Sport in SL

I've been giving a lot of attention to the Physical Education and Sports display on the 7th Floor of the Curriculum Tower.
In particular ... organised Sports ... there is now quite a large display of information and links to places in S.L.
After research ... my favourite sport seems to be leaning towards "Giant Snail Racing" ... but I've yet to get my giant snail avatar ;-).
You can watch some of these sports archived at

Display SLURL

Friday, 25 July 2008

Today was "Lip Sync" Day (for me at least)

Today I downloaded the latest S.L. viewer 1-20-15 and by clicking just one button the lips of all the avatars I view (including me) are now moving when they talk with voice.
This is ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT and is going to completely change the social interactions in S.L. ... gone are the days of clay/wooden faces.
I'm over the moon about this ... in fact if you click on this photo to get a larger image ... look closely at my lips ... you can see them moving with a slight smile.

BTW the button to click is "Advanced" = > "Character" => "Lip Syn (beta)"

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Another isi mini outpost ... OSU

Int.Schs.Island has another mini outpost, this time on OSU Medicine Island ...and what is special about OSU? ... 100+ metres up in the air is the 'giant testis' model that I wrote about in an earlier Blog posting.
I'll resist the temptation to say that this island has the ----s to model simulations in Virtual Worlds.