Dear Presenters,


First, I'm sure we speak for all of the folks involved with the conference planning team when we thank you again for participating. We hope you know how much your contributions are appreciated and how many people are looking forward to hearing and reading them. There are almost 700 registrations and we expect more over the next few days!

We ask for your patience and understanding, as we are doing our very best to coordinate over 100+ presenters, poster sessions, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and vendors. We were unable to accommodate some requests for venue changes and we do apologize for that, but we hope you understand our concerns about lag and potential security issues.

Before we get to the rest of this message, please take a moment to complete the form located at http://fleeep.net/bpe/slbpe2007 _VEP.html. ALL PRESENTERS need to complete this form, even if you do not have any media needs. This will give us your most up-to-date contact information should we need to reach you in an urgent situation.


Apologies for the lengthy message, but please read the following carefully as recent changes may pertain to you.

Venues Changing?


As our registration numbers have grown steeply in the past couple of days, so have our concerns about lag. We initially planned to hold several activities on NMC Outreach, but after meeting and discussing the options, we think it might be best to try to spread some of those activities out across multiple sims in the event that avatar traffic bogs us down.

As of this writing, we are planning to move the Games and Learning Activities to another venue to help reduce script related lag. For those who are currently scheduled to present on NMC Outreach, we can now offer the main auditorium on EduIsland as an alternative venue. Our goal is to accommodate as many people as we can, and we hope that spreading the fun around a bit will help. Anyone scheduled to present on NMC Outreach is still welcome to do so, but we offer the option to move your presentation to EduIsland to help reduce sim lag and would like to have confirmation of which venue you prefer by 1PM SLT on Thursday, May 24, 2007.

- Please visit the Presentation Schedule located at http://slbestpractices2007.wikispaces.com/PresentationSchedule. For those who wish to move their presentation from NMC Outreach to EduIsland, please edit the wiki page and move your information over to the EduIsland column.

Again, we appreciate your help and patience as we do our best to anticipate potential issues and head them off at the pass.

Live-Audio


SLCN.TV, the Second Life Cable Network, has graciously offered us the ability to provide live-audio voice presentation capabilities via a telephone conferencing system. With this method, you would only need to dial a telephone number from your landline telephone and enter a "conference room" number and a pass code. No more wrestling with WinAmp! SLCN.TV will attempt to provide a local phone number to call so that the presenter doesn't have to pay long distance charges, but at this point, we can't guarantee it.

- Anyone who wants to use live-audio through the phone conferencing system, please email slbpe-chairs@googlegroups.com with your city, state, and country as soon as possible.

- If anyone must have live-audio but cannot use a landline telephone to do so, please email fleep.tuque@gmail.com as soon as possible.

We will do our very best to accommodate all requests. Please do not use cell phones to do a live-audio presentation; the quality of the sound is sub-optimal.

Video Coverage


SLCN.TV will also be providing full, live video coverage of all keynote presentations. These broadcasts will be piped into several overflow locations to accommodate the maximum number of viewers possible, and the video will also be streamed from their website at http://slcn.tv. They will also be covering other events at the conference, and may just show up at your presentation. If so, smile for the camera and let us know to look for you on their newscasts!

Slides and Rezzing Objects


This issue is a thorny one. Of all the coordination issues we face, coordinating slides and the ability to rez objects is one of the most complex due to all of the potential permissions issues with land, objects, textures, and groups, and the number of venues involved.

As of this writing, we are _hoping_ to provide the ability to rez objects to all presenters, but this is not yet confirmed. Until further notice, the plan is to have a scripted slideshow viewer available with your slide presentations pre-loaded. The slideshow viewer will allow each presenter to advance through their slides with a click. But this won't work if you don't send your slides, properly named, and with full permissions!

- To create JPG images from a PowerPoint presentation, open your presentation and choose File - Save As - and use the pull down menu at the bottom to select the JPG file type. In the dialog box that appears, choose "Every Slide". This will export your slides as images that can be imported into SL.

- Upload your files to SL through the File menu - it costs $10L to upload each image.

- The slides should be named SLBPE_slide1_yourSLName, SLBPE_slide2_yourSLname, etc. with FULL PERMISSIONS!

- To set the permisions, right click on each slide/texture - choose Properties - and click the checkboxes for "Next owner can..." Modify, Copy, Transfer.

- Send your slide images in a folder named "SLBPE_SLIDES_yourSLName" to Fleep Tuque in world.

If you have already sent your slides, don't sweat it, as long as we have permissions we will rename them as needed. If you haven't sent your slides, please do so by 5PM SLT on Thursday, May 24, 2007. We must have enough lead time to pre-load all the slides, and again, we thank you for your patience and assistance with this process.

The Big Day


On the day of the conference, we ask that you teleport to the venue where you will be presenting at least 20 minutes in advance of your time slot. At this time you should:

- Verify that you are in the right time slot! It may sound silly, but with so many time zones in play, it is easy to confuse local time with the server time. Make sure that the clock in the SL window is 20 minutes prior to your presentation time listed at http://slbestpractices2007.wikispaces.com/PresentationSchedule.

- Activate your BPE Presenter title in the Best Practices in Education group.

- If you have difficulty entering the sim (very possible), send an IM to Veritas Variscan and she will work with the Land Managers to make room for you.

- Those using live-audio through the phone conferencing system should make a test call using the "conference room" number and pass code to be provided. Someone will be listening on that channel and will IM you to confirm that your audio is working. You will then need to WAIT until the previous presentation has ended to make a second phone call to the live "conference room", so be sure to have these numbers and your landline phone handy when you sit down.

- A moderator will be present at all sessions, and will "read" an announcement through text chat, and introduce you. Be ready to step up to the mic or keyboard as the case may be! That's it! Showtime!


Two additional notes of advice from those who have experience in these sorts of things:

- At the beginning of each presentation, the moderator's announcement will include information about directing sound questions or problems to their attention. If you are doing a live-audio presentation and someone in the audience says that they are having sound problems, GO ON WITH THE PRESENTATION. We have staff on hand who will assist the audience with individual sound problems. If they don't have sound, they can't hear you trying to help them anyway. =)

- If you are not doing a live-audio presentation, it would be helpful to have the majority of your presentation pre-typed and ready to go. Milosun Czervik of ICT Library fame recently made an excellent SLED post about automatic chat tools that may be helpful to you: https://lists.secondlife.com/pipermail/educators/2007-May/009797.html


Griefers and Other Potential Disturbances


Not to end this incredibly long missive on a down note, but, difficulties are something that we must try to anticipate. We have tried our level best to head off trouble at the pass, by consulting with others who have been down this road, hiring a security team, hiring someone to monitor sim traffic and sim performance, and by trying to spread out the events of the conference among multiple sims.

Still, there is always the possibility that the worst will happen. Griefers (troublemakers) may attempt to disrupt the proceedings and there is always the possibility of SL performance problems that are unrelated to the conference. In the event of trouble, please try to keep these things in mind:

- DON'T PANIC. Fortunately, in a virtual world we're all safe from physical harm. However, a troublesome event can feel very real and disconcerting. Try to keep your cool even if things become confusing.

- Depending on the severity of the disturbance, you should continue with your presentation as uninterrupted as possible. Griefers generally thrive on negative attention, so if you see a naked avatar or some minor issue, you can IM the Moderator who will be right near you, and continue with your presentation. The Moderators are directly connected to our security team who will deal with the problem.

- If a major griefer attack is unleashed, our security team will be on it, but there may be a pause in the proceedings until the event is handled. You will have to use your best judgment, and especially those of you using live-audio, please think about what you might want to say in this circumstance. Keeping things low-key is usually the best option.

- If the sim goes down, ouch. Regroup at the primary overflow site for your presentation, which will be listed on the wiki by the date of the presentation, and we will try to make the show go on as best as we can. Usually sims are brought back online within a few moments and we can decide at that juncture whether to continue in the overflow sim or attempt to return to the original venue.


If you managed to read this far.. you are a trooper. We look forward to Friday's events and encourage you to email your questions to slbpe-chairs@googlegroups.com if you need assistance. Also please bookmark the wiki page where all of this information can be found for quick reference during the conference:

http://slbestpractices2007.wikispaces.com/presenter_notes

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your efforts, your patience, and your enthusiasm for the conference.


Sincerely,

Marlene Brooks (SL Zana Kohime)
Chris Collins (SL Fleep Tuque)
Doreen Pugh (SL Veritas Variscan)
Beth Ritter-Guth (SL Desideria Stockton)

Conference Co-Chairs
Second Life Best Practices in Education: Teaching, Learning, and Research
2007 International Conference
http://slbestpractices2007.wikispaces.com/