Archive for December, 2008

Published by Joe Sanchez on 04 Dec 2008

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.
partnership4children_003.bmp
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.
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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,

Published by Joe Sanchez on 03 Dec 2008

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
Texas.
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! ?