• November 2009 39th Annual M.E.Ch.A Annual High School Conference We presented SDSU's Aztlan Island to a room of about 25 high school students attending the conference. Both girls and boys attended the presentation and were enthusiastic about the idea of a virtual world. The conference exposes low-income and minority students to the idea that going to college in in their reach.
  • January 2010 - First formal email call to select Faculty: "SDSU's virtual campus in Second Life--develop your students' 21st century skills even more!" This first mailing (See mail below) was targeted to faculty in the art and design fields such as graphic arts, interior design and art. In addition I contacted faculty I'd worked with in civil engineering and tourism and recreation, faculty who had expressed interest previously. Mark Siprut, graphic arts, and Tina Yapelli, Director of the University Art Gallery responded. I met with each of them and subsequently presented the initiative to Tina's Gallery Exhibit Design class (Art 591/592) late February. Follow the Gallery Exhibit project.
  • March 2010 Explore SDSU is a free all-campus open-house event. We hosted four workshops introducing the Island to visitors exploring SDSU on March 20, 2010.
  • CTL Lunch on Learning with the Provost and President Weber's avatar doing the ribbon cutting.
  • November 2010 40th Annual M.E.Ch.A Annual High School Conference "Spreading consciousness through solidarity across all borders" It was standing room only for this year's presentation about Aztlan to high school students attending this empowering conference which exposes low-income and minority students to the idea that going to college is in their reach. Of the 40 students, none had heard of Second Life, which is not surprising considering ECARs findings over the last 3 years--about 9% of undergraduates said they visit virtual worlds like Second Life. Still they were full of questions about how it worked.

First mailing (late Jan 2010)

Dear ...
Happy new year to each of you. I wanted to plant this idea in your garden: We have an entire island in Second Life (64,000 virtual square meters) now and I’m soliciting faculty and program directors, who are interested in working with me to provide some incentives for students to get involved with and use the platform.

One example: David Morong, (3D design in Film) offered students extra credit for this initiative I set up for them: http://sdsu-aztlan.wikispaces.com/3ddesign.
He’s hoping to have student do an independent study to continue, but has come up with these so far. http://sdsu-aztlan.wikispaces.com/models
He’s also interested in getting colleagues in his department interested in the platform and plans to present it to them.

Along with the CTL and Library, we’ll be doing a grand opening of the island in March, at a Provost’s lunch. Date, tbd. See the attached draft press release.

Our website lays out the intend of this initiative http://sdsu-aztlan.wikispaces.com/

My vision is modest really. It’s about getting interested students involved in meaningful activities with the platform, and creating something they can put in their portfolios. However, beyond designing and programming things, there are research opportunities as well.

I know each of you has been interested at some point in the platform, so I wanted to revisit it with you again, and see what we might be able to facilitate.
I’d love to talk to you about it.

Looking forward to hearing from you!