A rough transcription of the advice, suggestions, issues raised for the preparation of this keynote. Sometimes a conversation, sometimes snippets from mails or Skype conversations.

Technical Advice

BEE: I have asked for two LCD projectors and two screens so that I can have one computer with my own presentation on one screen and the other projecting the community online. The options for the latter would be Elluminate and the Webheads chat at Worldbridges or Second Life.

ALAN LEVINE: You might need to have two computers, unless yours is powerful enough to drive to external monitors. If you are doing Second Life, I'd suggest requesting a hard line net connection, and best, one isolated from public bandwidth on wireless. You will want audio out from your community projection into the house sound. If you do voice in SL, you will want to use best an external quality microphone into your computer; I have done it with built in mike on my MacBookPro w/o any feedback.
During your presentation, when you are ready, you can project the screen showing the SL environment (I would have it ready, do not demo how long ti takes to log in!). There is voice capability now on Boracy, so if you connect your computer output to the house sound, and use a decent microphone, you ought to be able to have audio dialogue with avatars present, e.g. have then talke about their community and possibility in a virtual world

BEE: Yes...I would have my Mac for SL and the other computer would be "a quiet one" with my slides (if any).

ALAN: Since you asked about Second Life-- it was not exactly clear how/what sort of interaction you had in mind. What I envisioned from your description, is that you'd like to somehow bring in members of the distributed community you interact with as a live demo for your audience. For this, you ought to (a) invite some remote participants who can show up to a designated location in SL (e.g. Boracay, Nick Noakes's sim).

BEE: This is the idea...I would like to have at least one participant from each community on Boracay island: the Webheads in Action, TALO, K12... I have not had any news from he on holidays?
This is what I did last year for the Braz-TEsol Conference in Brasilia - but with voice only on Skype and Worldbridges (Bee). Is there a way to record the sound that is generated in SL and in the conference room - it´s a Skypecast, right?

  • Computer with the Second Life software installed (runs on Mac or Windows)
  • Dedicated internet connection (not good to use the shared wireless) Projector and audio connection - so the audience can see and hear what's happening
  • A microphone connected to the computer (Some Macs have a built-inMic, others could use a USB mic) - so she can talk to the people in Second Life
  • Being able to speak to people in Second Life is relatively new, but I am told it works well. Previously, people just typed messages to
    each other, like online Chat.


  • The Second Life software needs to be installed on the presentation computer (No big deal)
  • Any firewall needs to have open the ports that Second Life uses. From the Second Life web-site "Second Life needs to connect to ports 443/TCP, 12043/TCP, 12035/UDP, 12036/UDP, and 13000-13050/UDP. You should configure your firewall to allow outbound traffic on those ports, and related inbound traffic." This may not be a big deal, but this needs to be checked on with the Sheraton folkS


BEE: What I am brainstorming here is the first 30 minutes - - I am trying to make my thinking process explicit here, read your suggestions, incorporate them and check whether this tool helps me or hinders me here - not very easy...feel free to weave in ideas and comments.
IMHO what we have to bean in mind as well is:
the format of the presentation : this is a final keynote not a presentation of a case study. I have only 40 minutes + 20 QA - it is a final keynote so it must be inspiring, upllifting but also drive its point so that people feel like taking action afterwards
theme of the conference: Jazz it up with Merlot
There might be 500 people attending (universities, community colleges, professors, technical departments)
place and history: symbolic significance
main points to be transmitted: will set the rhetoric style adopted
Format: anyone with experience in keynotes - the do´s and don´ts?
Theme + place and history

This year Merlot focuses on humanities so I thought of a transdisciplinary approach bringing together ICTs, languages, history, music and art.New Orleans - cradle of jazz, mixture of cultures (French, African, American) - painters (French impressionists?)
Need some inspiring jazz quotes, music snippets
So throwing some ideas in:
how to weave in the artistic, linguistic, historical, social to the diversity, multiculturality, interaction.
Reflection time: See Ulisses Mejias questions
Main points to be transmitted
opportunities for learners and educators, exposure and access, local and international communities of practice, formal and informal learning, knowledge acquisition, questioning of traditional classroom delivery and e-learning, creativity, openness, interaction and sustainable partnerships
How does this all tie with Merlot? What suggestions can we give, based on our experience online, what would we want to see happening?
How can we contribute, collaborate?

BEE: Any good ideas how I can jazz up this keynote?

CARLA: Dear Bee, maybe if your online participants show the audience something that they are doing with their students in the different areas...For example, Dafne comes to my mind with architecture, Teresa with the kids... I guess just the fact of having such a multicultural group can jazz up your presentation! You could ask people to talk about a different aspect of their classrooms that you consider they could be great examples of this multidisciplinary approach you're looking for...

BEE: Carla, thanks for joining and contributing. This is my intention and this is why I have invited you to jump in, open a page, share your experience, which I will condense "we will celebrate not only what is possible but what is already happening "

ALAN: Minimize the presentation and maximize the demos, connections of community. For a presentation, avoid bullet slides or anything that more or less echoes what you are saying. Mine are mostly images used as backdrop. I've taken to setting up a rotating slide show of images +/- music to go while the audience comes in (easy peasy in iPhoto, but other ways abound)- more stimulating than just a title slide. Or maybe make a title slide with a puzzle, joke, something people can be drawn in to.


BEE: Music, photos and quotes..leave it to me...I just love this kind of stuff ... as for jokes,, ugh... I am not very jokes usually fall flat :-(
I feel that what is important is how open networked learning is promoted in each particular case, whether the tools help us (or not) and how openness, creativity, participation is built into it (an architecture of participation). (all this in 2 or 3 minutes maximum...not easy..and not very satisfying I know...)
(I was thinking about how to use Voice Thread with pics for a complementary, more personal account on how all this has changed the way we envisage teaching and learning )

AIDEN YEH: I think you also need to address the lack of technological support from the administration, lack of persistence and motivation on the part of the teachers--you can say this in 1 or 2 sentences. And highlight the fact that many young Americans are already using these tools outside schools- so why not make use of them in their education/learning? You need evidence for this- but you could easily project webpages or other pages that support this claim. The point is it's not the students that need to jazz these tools up but the teachers and the schools that really need to get on their toes and start to get used to this hype.



I am just back from Tufts University where our keynoter went into Second Life and it really enhanced the presentation for the audience. I think that if it is possible for Bee to try this, it would be really good for us and exciting to the audience.Perhaps Bee could send the Sheraton tech guy (and/or you, Debbie) her urls and see if they can test them in advance. If she comes with a plan A&B, maybe we'll do SL and maybe not, but I wonder if we should not at least try. As for sponsorship to cut costs, I hope we will explore this possibility, because it will really enhance our program.

the BC adult isle isn't been used at the moment. If you decide to use the BC island, I can easily rez some buildings etc but it won't be as "designed" as boracay. I'm around for another week if you want help with this.


Absolutely! I am open for collaboration (quite giddy for the opportunity, actually ;) - - and if there comes an opportunity to do more inworld (live, simultaneously, etc.) - I would be interested in discussing that too. I just am of the impression that time is short and that seems to be one of the good alternate solutions.
Our location for MERLOT in SL on EduIsland ( ) can be quickly expanded to accommodate whatever we need (we have 4096 sq meters to play with). It's just a little cabin right now, but I think MERLOT can occupy much of this spot in perpetuity if it's put to good use. If you give me a wishlist of uses for the MERLOT Conference, I'll terraform and build the land early next week then grant folks in our team the necessary group rights so everyone will be able to configure the streaming, etc. that we need to do as Bee suggests.
We can also likely get access to the nearby EduIsland auditorium, which has good seating and media setup for conferences (it was used for the Second Life Best Practices in Education conference, for instance). I have cc'ed Ross Perkins and Cathy Arreguin, managers of EduIsland to see if this might be workable. :)
Zoho or Slideshare would work with the short time gap - or we could have the presenters turn their slides to jpg or tga files and show them inworld too.
I am also really excited about all of this... our project at the UofO to develop some tools and a community around the various learning objects in SL /salamanderwiki with MERLOT might fit in here, oui? - we will have some Learning Materials descriptor tools (a Heads Up Display being developed by our partner, SLoog ready soon....we'd sure like to collaborate with all of the MERLOT partner communities and see what linkages to this larger idea of "architectures of participation" we can resonate with. There seem to be many possibilities:
  • * Second Life may assist each Community of Practice with MERLOT by enabling these architectures of participation (constructionist + collaboration tools) - allowing members of disciplines, etc. to better connect, communicate, and build things together. On the MERLOT land on EduIsland, we can look to host events, activities, and collaborative efforts for each of the MERLOT communities.... In addition to NMC, I would like to include the good folks at EduIsland (assuming we use that locale as headquarters), friends at ISTE ( and ACHUB ( as likely and excellent partners developing events and activities.
  • * Second Life will increasingly contain objects that may be useful to various communities of practice (see, for example, the Virtual Portfolio ("vPortfolio") build that is likely of interest to the ePortfolio Community: - just as there are learning materials for other MERLOT communities. The SL MERLOT Community can grow to function in this capacity. We plan to showcase those Learning Materials that are vetted as "best in show" and encourage active participation of the SLED (Second Life Education) community as our capacity to engage folks comes online.


ALAN: I have seen a HUGE impact of the voice features for Sl demos, more so than anything else. You can then think of someway to create interaction with your Rl audience- be it a "guess who the avatar is" or some sort of activity that you can facilitate (or even invite someone on stage to speak into the mike). If however, you are hoping to bring your presentation "live" in SL, that is another complicated matter as it involves having the capability to stream live audio and/or video to a remote audience, something I doubt the conference or hotel is able to to

BEE: Two way interaction as I had envisaged would be lovely, but very difficult due to bandwidth, I know. I am planning a support structure for people who cannot make or do not want to get into SL. I am trying to find some way to stream what will be happening during the conference into SL, Alado and the Webheads in Action site and out to the people at Merlot.

ALAN: The issue is you have multiple audio inputs/outputs:(1) audio in and out from SL (anyone anywhere could do this by running shoutcart and sending a stream to WorldBridges(2) audio in and out from you in new orleansif you are expecting the third audience to also participate by voice, then this is a third channel

JEFF LEBOW: Sounds like another webheadorrific presentation. You're more than welcome to use the chat room and Worldbridges streams. I'm not sure if I will be personally available to stream (and probably won't be able to confirm until a few days before the presentation), but if I am, I'll be glad to do so. In the meantime (and as a sensible backup plan even if I am available), perhaps another member of the team (Carla?, Vance?) could prepare to facilitate the skype call and stream as well. Will let you know as soon as I can confirm my status.

BEE: Thanks for answering and being there...and yes, although I am planning to do the webcast session next week, I will definitely need support for the streaming and recording. I will have too much on my mind on this day. Vance is not sure whether he will be back in the UAE when this happens.
Would it be possible to stream it through Worldbridges in and out of webheads in action and SL (if I manage to have it)? I am totally ignorant in this area...must pull up my

map 1

JEFF LEBOW: Yes, it is certainly possible to stream so that people could access audio from any Worldbridges site,, and inworld at any SL venue (provided that the land's media properties are set to the stream URL). Those on the ground in New Orleans would be listening to the audio directly from the skype conf, and setting that up so echo is not a problem will need to be sound checked onsite beforehand.
The other key ingredient is a person to manage the skype conf and stream it to the WB server. The Worldbridges server resources are definitely available, I'm just not sure that I will personally be available to coordinate the stream, which is why I suggested finding another webcaster to serve as backup in case I'm not available. Other Webheads who might be able to stream include Lee Baber, Cheryl Oakes, & Graham Stanley.

Bee: How can I best distribute all these venues between 2 computers. SL will be projected on one screen and use one computer of its own, I suppose.
I will then have my own computer connected to a microphone with Skype (?) streaming out (and in) through the loudspeakers. On the screen I will be projecting participants in the Alado chatroom - can I open both at the same time? How do I manage the sound on the microphone? Should I mute Skype when using Alado? How will participants who are gathered in SL hear and be heard by people at the conference and Alado?
Andy has drawn a gliffy map to illustrate the electrical connections of the computers. I have made another one adding some more on top of it as he does not show the sound.


map 2

How do we bridge the different online environments so that they can listen and speak? broadband and Skype/webcast?
How is the sound going to work inside the conference room? How do I avoid an echo chamber? Do I need a sound mixer?