Posted by & filed under Announcement, kikas babenko, Links, Livestreams Links, Odyssey Simulator, OSCC, Photos, Second Life, Senses Places.

Senses Places testing

NoSense dancing 8                      © Kikas Babenko

Sharing the Flickr Album by Kikas Babenko of the performance 😀              

Lugares Sentidos / Senses Places @ OpenSim Community Conference 2016
Ambiente de performance participativa em realidade mista
Dez/Dec 9 > 16

Performance Abertura/Opening
SEXTA/FRIDAY 9.12.2016
16.00-17.00h (GMT-3/Salvador, BR)
11AM-12PM (SLT/GMT-8)

Ambiente aberto para visita e interacção
14h30 as 17h (GMT-3/Salvador, BR)
9.30AM to 12PM (SLT/GMT-8)

Performance Fecho/Closing
SEXTA/FRIDAY 16.12.2016
19.00-20.00h (GMT-3/Salvador, BR)

OpenSim Community Conference 2016:
Lugar físico público: Laboratório Mocap PPGD/Escola de Dança/UFBA, Campus Ondina, Salvador, BA, Brasil
Lugar virtual: Odyssey Contemporary Art and Performance Simulator (Second Life)

Canais de transmissão vídeo / Livestream channels:

Senses Places é um ambiente participativo em realidade mista desenvolvido desde 2011 por uma colaboração internacional transdisciplinar em dança somática e tecnológica. Quer testemunhar a emergência de interactividades corporealizadas num clima acessível e inclusivo. Trata-se de uma experimentação artística em rede através da partilha física, biométrica, telemática e virtual. A experiência interativa propõe um ambiente criativo crítico sensível através de interfaces que conectam participantes de todo o mundo em corporealidades partilhadas.

A ênfase das conexões com nossas diversas simulações e ambientes é somática, voltada para uma empatia cinestésica media(tiza)da, alicerce da criação/investigação de uma experiência humana mais profunda e diversificada. Lugares Sentidos acontece entre lugares físicos remotos públicos/privados e o lugar virtual partilhado na Odyssey Contemporary Art and Performance Simulator (Second Life).


© Butler2 Evelyn

Apresentação/Conference Talk @ OpenSimulator Community Conference 2016           por/by Isabel Valverde aka Butler2 Evelyn
21-21.30h (GMT-3/Salvador, BR)
4-4.30PM (SLT/GMT-8)

Lugar virtual @ Avacon OSim Hypergrid:
Live Stream:
                                              Registo Machinima:

Senses Places is an ongoing collaborative transdisciplinary project creating mixed reality participatory performance environments that engage participants in a physical and mediat(iz)ed kinesthetic/somatic movement relational experience.

Isabel will discuss Senses Places artistic vision towards mixed reality embodied interfacing encompassing instead of simply substituting the physical body and environment. The focus will be given to the latest process experimenting with simultaneous modes of embodied movement interaction by engaging physically and virtually through different bodily senses, particularly kinesthesis.

What will be of our virtual presence and activity without our physical embodied engagement with the machines? The transdisciplinary dance/performance art-tech approach develops improvisational situations on somatic based practices, including CI, Butoh, Yoga, Tai Chi that contribute to and expand our awareness and communication channels. We believe that this kind of approach promotes healthy and evolving interactivity with and through intelligent machines.

About the OpenSimulator Community Conference 2016: The OpenSimulator Community Conference is an annual conference that focuses on the community around the OpenSimulator software. The conference features two days of presentations, workshops, keynote sessions, and social events across diverse sectors of the OpenSimulator user base.
For more information see

Isabel Valverde/Butler2 Evelyn (artistic director, choreographer, performer, PT)
Todd Cochrane/Toddles Aeon (technical director, developer, SL expert, NZ)
Ana Moura/Anisabel (choreographer, performer, PT)
Barbara Teixeira/Kikas Babenko (SL performance artist, PT)
Liz Solo (SL multidisciplinary artist and curator Odyssey)
SaveMe Oh (SL visual theater artist, NL)
Isa Seppi/Janjii Rugani (choreographer, performer, BR)
Clara Gomes/Lux Nix (video artist, performer, PT)
Yukihiko Yoshida/Island Habana (coordinator of Japan node, dance educator, critic, JP)
Kae Ishimoto (choreographer, performer, JP)
Jun Makime (choreographer, performer, JP)
Yumi Sagara (choreographer, performer, JP)
Keiji Mitsubuchi (developer, SL expert, JP)
Paulo Fernandes/Genious Bickin (SL designer, performer, PT)
Catarina Carneiro de Sousa/CapCat Ragu (Meta_body avatar design, PT)
Sameiro Oliveira Martins/Meilo Minotaur (Meta_body avatar design, PT)
Artica (biometric interface, PT)
Nick Rothwell (sound interface system, composer, UK)
Mick Mengucci (image-sound interface, developer artist, PT/IT)
Joana Martins/Fonteyn (webcam interface design, performer, PT)
Fernando Cassola Marques (researcher Kinect interface, PT)
Membros do Laboratório Mocap UFBA (Brazil)
Microbiarte (Brazil)

Escola de Dança / Direcção: Profa. Dra. Dulce Tamara da Rocha Lamego da Silva / Vice-Direcção: Profa. Carmen Paternostro
PPGDança /Coordenação: Profa. Dra. Lenira Peral Rengel / Vice-coordenação: Profa. Dra. Ludmila Pimentel
Agradecimentos/Apoio: PPGDança/UFBA, Ailton Pancho, Neide, Odyssey Sim

!!! Estão todos convidados !!!
!!! All are invited !!!

Let’s allow our bodies to interact intuitively, attaining for close/intimate/inner/somatic/energetic/kinesthetic connections, bringing into play our senses and subjective trans-cultural backgrounds. Our common concept is the experimentation and reflection upon the very shared interfacing experience and what kind of dance we develop through this mixed reality approach. The experiment is anchored in the sense of embodying and how we adapt to different mediations of self, others and environments 😀


Posted by & filed under General.

It’s been an exciting and thought-provoking week, with creative and transformative energies making waves through the digital education community. As university-led and associated exploratory projects like Codesign16 get underway, there’s a stirring sense of activism in the digital basements of higher education. Not that there wasn’t before, but last Wednesday (16th Nov), at Coventry University’s DMLL Expo: University Remixed I was reminded that we are living through unusual times, where some of the assumptions we had either enjoyed or learned to accept in HE (and the world) are now being challenged and it’s less clear now who or what might drive the future. One thing is strikingly clear, however, which is that digital processes will be targeted as problems, solutions and drivers in educational change whichever direction it takes. The question has to be asked, then, who will be making the decisions?

You know you’re in for a good day when you arrive to a complimentary breakfast buffet and pots of Play-Doh and Lego. The purpose of the University Remixed Expo was to start exploring ideas about what the university of the future might look like… physically, digitally, pedagogically, even politically. And so, attendees from Coventry and other universities engaged in a combination of thoughtfully intertwined activities; from the sharing of experiences and fascinating keynote talks, to playful workshops and installations, the programme was highly engaging and multidimensional.

Our first keynote speaker, Jesse Stommel, Executive Director of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies at University of Mary Washington, set a rebellious tone for the rest of the day. He described a defensive and sharp-toothed online academic community’s response to an article he had written in defence of the least-privileged students and against widespread practices of ‘student-shaming’. The pace, language and dark humour of the story was refreshingly rigorous and unsettling.

Stommel was exposing the ugly reality of how passion for his profession had been attacked on a deeply personal level, with instances of seemingly homophobic undertones. It’s shocking and deeply disappointing to see such vulgar behaviour within the academic community, even if it is online. Digital anonymity may afford us the privilege of free speech, but if educational professionals can’t fashion an argument without resorting to cheap and vulgar attacks, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of society.

I appreciate that as a Learning Technologist, rather than a full-time lecturer, my perspective may lack certain insights, but I was delighted to hear from a fellow optimist championing the use of technology to enhance and celebrate learning for all, rather than manage and control it for the few. The reality, of course, is that while we may be able to discuss the future of the university at events like this, the traditional economies (knowledge, money, power) of UK universities may not afford us the influence needed to effect real change higher up in HE. I am not naive or utopian enough to dismiss the fact that universities are businesses, but that does not neatly equate academics with employees or students with customers. The ecology of a university is far more complex, multilayered and nuanced. Stommel talked about dehumanising practices, like learning analytics and anti-plagiarism procedures. We are no strangers to this issue in UK HE, as I regularly hear and read laments of universities becoming “sausage factories”.  As part of my role, I sometimes attend presentations from learning analytics professionals attempting to promote the benefits of their systems and try to do so with an open mind. Unfortunately, I rarely hear about the pedagogical or experiential benefits that do actually interest me. It’s almost always about things like predicting dropout rates. To me it makes sense that if you put enough thought and effort into the design of the student experience, more students will come and fewer will drop out. But what do I know.

The current political climate presents many questions about the future of higher education systems of the UK and the US. The ‘post-election hangover’ described by our second keynote, Martha Burtis, Director of the Digital Knowledge Center at Mary Washington University, was coldly emotive and almost tangibly unnerving. I share her sense that the things we held to be true no longer are, that our trusted sources of answers are dumbfounded and silent, it’s like we’re still stuck on “…wait …what?” as we still wake up each day to find it wasn’t a dream. And what about our students? How do we advise or reassure them? Burtis shared a domestic argument she’d had about the implications of pro-open and public digital identities and how she lost the argument and changed her stance. The potential value of increased if not unlimited access to individuals’ personal digital data is understandably irresistible to all sorts of organisations, and for more reasons than they tend to cite. Burtis also pointed out the need to question the information at our fingertips, who put it there and especially how come it’s sitting at the top of the search results. Having been awakened to increasing dangers of our digital footprints, she now advocates increased awareness of these issues among staff and students.

In these uncertain times, we are left wondering what to do and whether anything we do will make a difference. As the drivers of change may be increasingly commercial or political, less about learning and more about popularity, it’s easy to feel like your vote, your voice doesn’t matter anymore. Through the promotion of digitally liberating projects like Domain of One’s Own (this is a DoOO blog!), students and academics may be given a voice and take back some control of their digital presence. However, we can all make a difference, argued Burtis, by starting small and asking:


Posted by & filed under #altwm, #codesign16, disruptive, General, learning technology.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the second meeting of the ALT West Midlands Regional Learning Technology Group at Coventry University to discuss disruptive practices in learning technology. Curled up with coffee and beanbags in the DMLL’s astroturf amphitheatre, representatives from universities across the West Midlands gathered to hear and discuss perspectives and experiences of the disruptive movement.

Kicking off the session, Teresa MacKinnon of Warwick University described her experiences of creating connective learning experiences when teaching languages online. She warned of the dangers of false dichotomies found in educational approaches and pointed out the exciting possibilities that often exist at the fulcrum of the “seesaw”, a thought provoking metaphor, I thought.


She also discussed the importance of social platforms as well as some of the challenges of using “vintage” tools like instant messaging, designed by and for a somewhat older generation. There seem to be some quiet ironies of having to teach modern learners how to use traditional web tools so that they might have a more “progressive” learning experience. MacKinnon described her experience of collaborative online language teaching as being one of tensions, giving rise to some very interesting questions, challenges and opportunities. In conclusion, she added the importance of openness in online education, and in this spirit her slides are available via slideshare.

Andy Wright of Mirrador and the University of Birmingham introduced us to the new immersive, virtual learning platform, ALiS. He explained the affordances of virtual world technology and how the barriers associated with platforms like Second Life had been challenged and overcome in the design and development of ALiS. The creative energies behind the project shone through as he enthusiastically described a world where you could be playing a video game and a lecture could pop up on your Xbox. As someone who experienced a live-streamed graduation ceremony as an avatar in Second Life, I’m keen to follow this project as I too can see some untapped potential of virtual worlds in HE.


To conclude the first half, we welcomed Claire Gardener and Louise Hart of the University of Derby to lead an insightful workshop on the disruption caused by the rollout of Office 365. This highlighted the need to engage academic staff in the implementation of new technology and anticipate and provide support where needed.

Following three very different contributions, the diversity of meanings ascribed to the term disruptive was dominating my thoughts. The two main definitions of disruptive are somewhat polarised as negative inconvenience versus positive innovation. When discussing disruptive learning technologies at the home of the DMLL, Coventry University’s Disruptive Media Learning Lab, I feel a sense of responsibility to mindfully and intentionally use the term disruptive to make meanings from both poles and anywhere in between. While Christensen’s (2003) writings on the subject discuss disruptive innovation as a move away from customer-focused practices, our discussions about disruption appear to highlight tensions between the positive and negative poles of disruption. Attempts to innovate outside of the increasingly customer-focused context of HE, could be perceived as disruptive in several senses of the word, and without common understanding of positive disruption, could deter more ambitious projects.

Later, Lawrie Phipps of JISC called upon us to engage with #Codesign16, a collaborative search and discussion on the innovations that will bring about positive change in the future of learning technologies. From our discussions in this session, I’d imagine that truly transformative innovations will arise through disruptive projects. As the subsequent speaker, Jon Rhodes of Wolverhampton University pointed out however, disruption of the positive kind might not necessarily be found through a search for solutions. He hailed the positive outcomes that can arise from perceived problems, using the analogy of misbehaving SatNavs leading to new journeys, new destinations. This concept, he explained, led his team to explore problems as a disruptive approach, rather than pursue terminal searches for solutions.


I really liked this insight, which to me exemplified a real disruptive energy, in the sense that wherever the definition of disruption might be found, it broke the rules.


And so, I went away from this thought-provoking morning with a sense of activism. However broad or narrow our definition of disruptive innovation, there seem to be common themes and tensions arising from a threat to established rules and belief systems. Whether we’re searching for problems or solutions, real innovation and transformation means looking at the rules, asking why they’re there and what happens if we break them. As agents of disruptive learning technology, it falls upon us to wade into controversy and tension in order that we might identify, rescue and champion the disruptive breakthroughs of the future.


Christensen, Clayton M. (2003). The innovator’s solution : creating and sustaining successful growth. Harvard Business Press.



Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Yesterday I attended Kom naar Buiten, a day on science communication organised by VLIR-UOS (the department of the Flemish Interuniversity Council, focussed on development cooperation). The day brought together scientists from different disciplines and press officers and science journalists from different media. It was a very interesting day, where I met people from quite different backgrounds and interests in this field.

What everyone seems to agree on though, is that science communication is necessary – certainly more of it is needed! However, what the purpose of it is and how it can be done, is up for discussion.

Here are some practical tips that I picked up across the day

(note: these are tips for going to mass media – but they may be applicable for other target groups/ non-researchers in general):

  • Katleen Bracke (VRT) explained what her work looks like. It was quite unexpected to hear that science journalists in the broadcast media (and maybe print media is similar) have less than a minute (45sec to be exact!) to convince their editors of the news value of an item. Keeping that in mind, it is clear that when scientists approach the media with something interesting, they need to be able to explain in one sentence, why the news is important, why its relevant and why we should give our attention to it.
  • Hetty Helsmoortel referred to the key concepts of  Content (why does it matter?) Clarity (explain it in simple terms) and Charisma (explain it with passion).  Her tips: tell a story, do not restrict yourself to your own research and dare to step out of your comfort zone.
  • Think of oneliner messages that people should take away from your input (Ann Dooms)
  • It is important to think about when you communicate (after publication, but not too often) (Tim Nawrot)
  • Convey your passion for the topic (Herwig Leirs)
  • It’s ok to be incomplete (in academic terms) – find a balance between giving insight into the research but not going too much in the details.
  • Link up with what is in the news and it’s ok to use buzzwords (they draw attention of the science journalist, the deciding editors and the public)
  • When writing a press release, add quotes and mimic the writing style of a newspaper article. This increases the likelihood that your text is taken on as is (with minimal editing). (In this way, you can have more control over how your work is presented in the media).
  • If the media call you for reactions, it will happen in the first 24 hours after the press release. When they do, be available, be prepared with your message and bring on the enthusiasm.

science communication

Some reflections from my side:

Throughout the day I kept thinking of what the value of communicating about your research in the mass media is. I guess it is an issue of what you want to do as an academic and what you want the target audience to take away.

As with the any use of media for communicating, I think it’s important to think about who you are communicating with and what the goal of the communication is. It may therefore be important to identify the target groups and networks of the target groups that you want to reach.

Apart from this, there is a question of the role you want to play in society as an academic. For me that role is one of opinion-making, deepening the content of a discussion, and providing reflection and nuance on your topic. For these issues, I would certainly reach out to the mass media, and I guess this requires a different sort of reputation building as a academic. What I learnt from this event, is that to achieve that goal, you would need to play by the rules of the mass media (including recognising newsworthiness, entertainment-value, etc.), but maintain your quality as a researcher. In fact, I think if you succeed, you would not only make a difference to public opinion, but also, make your research more relevant to societal needs.

And finally, can we hear some more from researchers in the humanities please??? 🙂

(Disclaimer: I did miss the closing session…)

Must read

Saving Science by Daniel Sarewitz

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Ever since I participated in Tim Riches’s workshop on Open Badges at the PLE Conference in 2013 (Berlin), I have been fascinated with the seemingly endless possibilities of this instrument.
For the past year or so, I have had the opportunity to get closer to the development of an Open Badge set for recognising intercultural competences acquired through student exchanges (through the GO2B project).

Today, I attended a session on this topic at the Onderwijsdagen, organised by SURF in Rotterdam, where they presented a white paper on how Open Badges could potentially be used in the Dutch educational system. The presentation, but also, the reactions from members of the audience were very enlightening.
Some of my observations:

1. The strength of Open Badges in my view is their simplicity: they give a framework for accrediting well-defined skills and competences, but stay away from dictating the content of these skills and competences. Seen in this way, Open Badges define the process rather than the outcome. And this makes them highly useable for very different fields of application.
2. The value of a Badge is defined by the community it is supported by. Outside this community it may not have much perceived value (but couldn’t you say the same of degrees?)
3. As an instrument, Open Badges are particularly suited to support peer learning and peer feedback/ peer assessment practices. However, this particular strength is not picked up on by many… I wonder why….
4. In the same line of thought: from the learners’ perspective, Open Badges not only help them structure their own learning path, but also teach them to critically look at others’ work and give (constructive) feedback. In other words, these instruments help them self-regulate their own learning and be valued partners in their peers’ learning. I haven’t seen many other scalable practices that do that.

So, in short, my key observation is: why do we not use the opportunities that Open Badges give to push the boundaries of the current educational system, beyond the degree system that we have now?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.


This week I came across a post by Alyssa Tormala on the edutopia site. Entitled ‘Discomfort, Growth, and Innovation’ Tormala outlined the essential nature of innovation in education, highlighting the need to disrupt the status quo but tempered with the notion that, for many, changing what we do brings discomfort.

Here, at the end of the semester, there is a period of reflection and projection. There is some sense of comfort in what has been completed and a feeling that students have enjoyed their learning experience but this is surpassed by thoughts of what comes next – what can I do differently next time?  what can I tweak?

I feel I am drawn to discomfort and uncertainty – looking for new ways to do things, trying them even when I’m not sure they will work. I feel my drive for continual change is almost more about my needs than those of the students. I could change nothing and things would very likely work well.

Discomfort is also something I expect from my students. Teaching ethics begins with a period of unlearning; an unsettledness for students where the long established assumptions about life’s issues or their specific professional practice unravels a little as they are encouraged to examine the underpinnings of their decisions. Sometimes, for the first time, students are confronted with the complexity and inconsistencies that make up their decision-making processes, something those of us in this and related fields grappled with a lengthy time ago; inconsistencies in which we now find comfort.

At present I am at the start of a new discomfort trajectory. I have been given a new paper to teach next semester. It is not entirely new but has been gathering dust having not been offered for the past 6 years. It’s called Media and Communication in Health Promotion. Tormala’s ‘Discomfort, Growth and Innovation’ are all words that come to mind given the exponential change to our conception of ‘media’ and ‘communication’ during the time of this paper’s dormancy. A complete overhaul is needed. A blank slate. A fresh start. Exciting but daunting as I suddenly feel ill-equipped, inadequate and a little overwhelmed. Discomfort is definitely present but this time my questions what can I do differently and what needs to change aren’t so much reflections of personal indulgence but completely essential. This feels like a new type of discomfort, a feeling of pressure by others rather than me looking for personal growth. Perhaps I have grown comfortable with my own form of discomfort? Maybe its time to disrupt my status quo.


Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.


Sure, for most part I relate blog to the words slog, fog, bog or even a flog. All quite negative terms and yet all relate to my personal feelings of having to write when perhaps I could be drinking coffee/ beer or resting. All of which are very important to me and pose no effort to think or strain such as I find myself in whilst writing this Blog.

So first things first, I thought it important to understand what a blog is, how should I spell the word… G or two, what does the word actually mean and why would I want to blog? After several google searches and one or two sips of coffee and a little rest (it’s too early for a beer), I came up with all the relevant answers.

A blog is “[a] collection of posts…short, informal, sometimes controversial, and sometimes deeply personal…with the freshest information at the top.”–Meg Hourihan.

Of interest one site I read outlined in fine detail why people blog, stating…..”that every human has a voice and wishes their voice to be heard”. Sure, I agree that most of us have a voice and most would like to be listened to, but do most of us wish to voice our thoughts to a global audience? In fact, who really wants to read what I am writing here? I have to be honest and say that it wold be a little weird if someone other than my work colleagues where to read this and at the same time a little exciting if more did read this post. A wee paradox me thinks!

I have discovered how to spell blog (not always my strongest point), I understand what it means and is, and now I need to investigate why I would blog!

Is this just another life addiction to replace Twitter, texting, emails, internet, mobile devices, Facebook, TV, etc etc etc. Is this just another way to use up time that could be used productively on life itself by drinking coffee, beer and resting? Is this just another way to fill up our lives with useless, unread prose?  Do I really need to know  the 8 Reasons Successful People Are Choosing to Wear the Same Thing Every Day? Come on, surely we all have better things to do with our time.

Whilst I listen intently to my thoughts and feelings on this matter I also listen intently to my sensei Thom and decided to “reflect”….ooohm, ohm, ohm. Whilst meditation is not for everyone and can be a difficult skill to master,  what meditation tells us is that we can use Brainwave entertainment also known as soundwave meditation or binaural beats to access and alter different levels of the subconscious mind.  Brainwave meditation is not only relaxing – practitioners believe it can open a mind to new ideas, inspire you and help you to think more creatively.

So after much meditation I conclude that this blog thing could serve as a personal/professional journal. It can train me to be observant and gives weight to the personal growth that I experience. It may train my mind to track life and articulate the changes I experience. My blog can become a digital record of my life that is saved “in the cloud.” As a result, it can never be lost, stolen, or destroyed by fire, and most importantly I will always have a record of my mind…….very cool.

Perhaps we all have a reason to blog wether it be our choice of clothes or to record our mind. One thing I now recognise is that mung beans and lentils are okay for some and beer and coffee are okay for others. My reason to blog is to record, reflect and smile…. ooohm, ohm, ohm.

Posted by & filed under General.


I’m Liz Hudson and this blog is about learning technology, e-learning, digital education and all the buzzwords that, well, buzz around them. I’m a UK-based learning technologist and instructional designer, working in higher education and freelance. I am taking part in Domain Of One’s Own (DoOO) at Coventry University, an exciting initiative to enable staff and students to take ownership of their online identities by creating and curating their own webspaces. As I am championing the project across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, it makes sense that I get my hands dirty too! Besides, it’s about time I got back into blogging so that my musings, rants and rambles have a digital, shareable home.

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Jim Groom from Reclaim Hosting to learn more about the project, which, having had success at a growing number of international HE institutions, is looking very promising here in Coventry.

It’s all very exciting stuff and I’m looking forward to seeing how the project unfolds over the coming months. In addition to DoOO updates, I’ll be sharing ideas and resources to engage and support anyone who is interested in digital learning experiences. Watch this space…

Posted by & filed under data.

Things 15 and 16 go together because the data management plan is a preparation for publishing. Macquarie is not listed as having data management tools ( but there are instructions on the website: Create a data management plan which includes a Word template to fill out, with these headings: Thing 16 – Dryad again […]

Posted by & filed under data.

ANDS, for Research Data Australia, faced with the challenge of trying to sort 104 metadata schemas. What is a crosswalk? A schema crosswalk is a table that shows equivalent elements (or “fields”) in more than one database schema. It maps the elements in one schema to the equivalent elements in another schema. []