Firestorm, OpenSim and Virtual Worlds

by Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin – Virtual World Explorer

Better late than never!  After watching my son battle giants, slay dragons, and built complete societies, I decided to become cool too.  To achieve that highly desired “cool mom” status I enrolled in a course at Marlboro College for Graduate and Professional Studies and am taking an online course in Games and Simulations. I am currently pursuing a Certificate in Educational Technology at Marlboro College.

I shall be writing about my adventures in JokaydiaGRID, which is an OpenSim grid for education. Click me to go to Jokaydiagrid and enter an educational world.  So far, I have created an Avatar in Jokaydia and joined Second Life, a 3D virtual world created by its users.Signing up for JokaydiaGRID will take a couple of days as one gets vetted.  How I don’t know!

A Firestorm in Germany Real Life Photo by Jasmin Bey Cowin.

However, before I could enter any world I had to get acquainted more closely with my computer operating system and install Firestorm an OpenSim viewer which is a software program developed by the Phoenix Viewer Project. There are many Open Simulators but this was the one recommended by my teachers – or should I say Virtual World guru guides?

Was the signing up easy, painless and hassle free?  No, it was filled with vexing problems, online tutorials and sad emails such as Which buttons do I press? Why does it not load? Or even:  Where am I?  I will explore the finer points of In World experiences my next blog.

I shall let you know through updates where my travels have taken me, which worlds I discovered or created and the fabulous failures which surely will happen.

Visit my blog often!


Author: drcowinj

As an Assistant Professor & Practicum Coordinator for TESOL and Bilingual Programs at Touro College, Graduate School of Education my focus is on the Responsibility to Touro Students (Teaching), Responsibility to the Discipline (Scholarship), and Responsibility to Touro College and Community (Service). As the Practicum Coordinator, my Teacher Professional Practice identifies those aspects of a teacher’s responsibilities that have been documented through empirical studies and theoretical research as promoting improved student learning. In the framework, the complex activity of teaching is divided into the seven New York State Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) Standards for teacher evaluation that are clustered into four domains of teaching responsibility (as framed in the Teachscape Danielson Rubric approved by New York State). I strive to inspire students to be creative and to model the love of lifelong learning by inculcating the habits and attitudes that create agile mindsets. 21st-century education extends well beyond the classroom and incorporates online learning technologies for L2 language acquisition and current global trends in teaching English as a Second Language. I participate fully in the larger world of TESOL academic discipline as elected Vice President and Chair Elect for the New York State, NYSTESOL organization, for the 2021 conference. Ongoing research, expressed in scholarly contributions to the advancement of knowledge is demonstrated through publications (articles in Education Update), presentations, and participation in academic conferences, blogging, and other scholarly activities, including public performances and exhibitions at conferences and workshops. Of particular interest to me are The Blockchain of Things and its implications for Higher Education; Current Global Trends in TESOL; Developing Materials and Resources in Teaching English; E-learning & Micro-Methodology in TESOL; E-Resources Discovery and Analysis; and Language Acquisition and the Oculus Rift in VR.

4 thoughts on “Firestorm, OpenSim and Virtual Worlds”

  1. Hi Jasmine, Thanks for your informative post. You are certainly on your way to being a “cool mom” as you said. Aside from the usual trials and tribulations of starting up new software and viewers, you seemed to have survived the first “quest”! Congrats! See you online soon. One of the “guru guides”, Mike B.


    1. Hi Jasmine,
      I can commiserate with your pain regarding getting started with JokaydiaGRID. I ran in to technical problems that it took hours of trouble shooting with Sally via email to just get onto the Grid, then we even had to meet up for an hour and a half on hangouts to truly resolve the issue and get me completely up and running. My avatar was on like a 10 minute delay. I could not navigate and it was impossible for me to get places because of the delayed response one minute I would be walking to the store the next minute completely somewhere else. This experience alone instantly made me hate this online worlds and made me wonder why people do this.

      Now that I am logged on and everything seems to be working I find it more manageable and interesting but also hesitant to explore because I do not want to get sucked into wondering around. I have two other graduate courses and a full teaching load and coaching. The amount of time loging in was already a huge time suck. I do not want to spend hours on the GRID that I should be spending reading and writing for other grad courses or lesson planning for my students. But I will have to get over that aversion log on and move on. Good job on getting over the initial hurdles and like Matt said your blog looks awesome I wish I could make mine nice.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If you really want to be cool, let’s go parachuting. Our sons’ll know for sure that we are the COOLEST MOMS EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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