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Does the end of educational discounts at Linden Labs equal more growth of Open Source Virtual Worlds?

News of Linden Labs ending the educational discount for lands within SecondLife has implications for schools that are using the virtual worlds.

(How) Is this affecting your institution?

OpenSim, an open source virtual world, presents its own set of issues for storage, support and security. The costs of buying, hosting and supporting servers may be similar to the costs of Linden Lab's built in support.

Is your institution looking at open source virtual worlds?  Are your faculty teaching in virtual world settings?  

We currently work with faculty who are exploring OpenSim as an additional facet to supplement on-ground class meetings.  One faculty is examining using OpenSim as a opportunity to create a gallery-like experience for her digital photography students. Students can manipulate the lighting to best display their pictures.  Virtual critiques can be conducted and lighting manipulated to see the impact on the images. Students have received this technology with a sense of exploration and excitement, about 30 minutes of class time had to be set aside to walk students through installing an OpenSim viewer and getting students connected to the appropriate server. 

Any information on ideas for use/success/pitfall is appreciated.

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