One of the reasons it took me some time to get the blog up and running again is that we at Sand Castle Studios have been so blessed by being able to work on so many great projects in the last few months.
You can view some of what we have been up to at our picture blog on Flickr.
There is one project in particular though that is very close to my heart. That project is the development of the NESIM/VESIM technology.
One of the very first people I met upon coming into Second Life was a nursing instructor who goes by the avatar name of markin Pau. Even then he was very passionate about the educational uses for virtual worlds, especially in the field of nursing and health care. At the time he was doing some work with the Ann Meyers Medical Center in Second Life. AMMC only had a small parcel then and it was in the middle of a noisy lag-filled sim, so markin bought them a sim and had it developed and tried to give them a head start in achieving the goal of education in Second Life. The head start paid off and AMMC along with markin began to collaborate with some great minds in the healthcare industry. Eventually they were able to buy the island from markin, team up with Sprott Shaw College, and have since gone on to do some very interesting educational work in Second Life. While markin found his work with AMMC fulfilling he wanted more. He wanted to create a simulation tool that would be truly interactive.
A few months ago markin approached me about working on a project with him. He had met another avatar, JS Vavoom, who was also a nursing instructor. JS Vavoom is the avatar of real life educator John Miller. John had a class already established in Second Life. This gave markin the opportunity to test his concepts for a nursing education simulation tool later to be known as NESIM. With this new opportunity available to him, markin commissioned us to begin working with him on the development of NESIM. The task was large and we had only a few weeks to get it completed and in front of John’s students.
Fast forward to current time… while we knew markin’s concept was innovative, we never could have predicted the amount of attention it would receive and the way it would change education as we know it in Second Life. NESIM has been recognized by the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Nurseweek Magazine, and many other publications and blogs. John Miller himself has become somewhat of a celebrity for his work using NESIM. Other organizations have been inspired and are beginning to work on similar projects.
We at SCS are very excited to be part of the future of education in virtual worlds. To learn more about NESIM and how it has been used so far, check out the these videos and subscribe to updates for future information.