i had an email, via LinkedIn, asking how to stream an avatar into an elementary classroom. the teacher has experience in Second Life but knows that his elementary students won’t be able to access it. of course i suggested OpenSim! (Ener “OpenSim” Hax at your service) =p
at first i was thinking of streaming screen capture like WebEx or Adobe Connect and then realised (derr) that all you need is a laptop and a projector. you could add a real mic, like the fantastic and economical Blue Snowball*, so that students could ask questions clearly. the teacher logs in to OpenSim as does the guest lecturer and voila!
incredibly simple and most schools have projectors but what about OpenSim?
sim-on-a-stick won’t work and many schools probably won’t have a server available or resources to set up OpenSim, so what’s a viable option?
Kitely! and it’s a reasonably priced option with a high level of accessibility (make sure the school is not blocking any ports you may need – a common practice for schools and corporations)
the scenario above would require minimal world setup (a podium? a chair? you just need a simple stage setting). you may want to spend some time before doing the lecture to upload any images (like PowerPoint slides) or even setup MoaP (media on a prim). depending on the guest lecturer, you may want to create their avatar and teach them how to use voice (Kitely has Vivox)
a class of 20, plus the teacher and lecturer, for an hour would be less than $5.00! =)
* – subQuark swears by the Snowball and it is the top choice for elearning and podcasting – it’s used in this dated (jan 2008) first and only attempt at machinima by us (the audio is compressed by blip but you get the idea)