Educator pens OpenSim guide

An educator has released a free, 160-page “quick start” guide this week. The guide is a complete instruction manual for schools — or other institutions — looking to set up OpenSim-based environments from scratch.

David Deeds

The guide was created by David Deeds, IT manager and teacher at the Changchun American International School, based in northeast China’s Jilin province.

“We’re giving it away,” Deeds told Hypergrid Business. “Anyone is free to use it and post it.”

Deeds only requested that anyone who distributes the ebook gives proper credit, does not sell it, and does not edit it.

(See full license terms here.)

The guide is available for reading or download on Scribd and can also be downloaded from Deeds’ personal website.

The book also comes with a free OAR file — a pre-made starting region — contributed by ReactionGrid, which can be downloaded here: ReactionGrid OAR.

The objects in the region were created by ReactionGrid CTO Chris Hart, and are distributed under a BSD open source license, she told Hypergrid Business.

“I don’t have any problems with folks ripping the contents apart and editing, using it to learn from,” she said. “That’s how I learned how to make hairstyles in the first place. I made all the objects in that kit from scratch, so it’s just something I did to help clients and the community.”

Since it is distributed for free, she said that she would prefer that people not sell it. In addition, if anyone else distributes the OAR file, she asks that they credit ReactionGrid as the source.

ReactionGrid is one of the most popular hosting companies with educators, and the company also helps schools set up private, behind-the-firewall grids, grids hosted in outside data centers, and regions on ReactionGrid’s own education-friendly main grid. ReactionGrid also provides the hosting for JokaydiaGrid, another grid popular with educators. (Full list of OpenSim hosting companies is here.)

Help schools get going

Some schools have been interested in OpenSim but have been having difficulties in getting the software running. This is the problem that the guide seeks to address, which would help increased the educational use of OpenSim.

“I believe this just might get the proverbial ball rolling,” Deeds said.

An OAR file contributed by ReactionGrid includes a selection of starting avatars as well as hairstyles and clothing.

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Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

4 Responses

  1.' Jim Barr says:

    Very, very nice! I now have LOTS to read this weekend! It looks like it's crammed with some excellent information.

    My only nit is that I wish the document was single-spaced instead of double-spaced. I am not an educator–I'm an IT guy who loves 3D sim environments–so maybe the format of this kind of document is typical, but being single-spaced would have saved me a considerable amount of paper… But that's OK, I'll kill a couple extra trees if it helps me become more savvy in OpenSIm! 😉

  2.' Jim Barr says:

    Very, very nice! I now have LOTS to read this weekend! It looks like it's crammed with some excellent information.

  3. One note on using the ReactionGrid OAR file: all items are set by default to "click to buy" for L$0 — which could be a problem if you don't have the shopping scripts enabled on your grid.

    To get this working, I right-clicked on each panel (such as the hair panel), clicked on "edit" then set it to Copy instead of Buy when the object is touched. I also enabled the "Copy" option. If you're using this on a private grid and want it usable by your residents, this is a quick and easy way to do that.

    You will also need to do this if you upload the region to Kitely.

  4.' Eric O says:

    Note to eduators: clothes do sometimes disappear off of avatars just as principals or school directors walk into the computer lab.