Boise State University EDTech


New Partner Island in Second Life, CAVE

Ribbon CuttingEdTech at Boise State continues to lead research, practice, and promotion of education in virtual worlds and is pleased to announce our latest partnership in virtual world environments. Adjacent to EdTech Island in Second Life, is the newly developed CAVE Island. While offering several classes a year on Edtech Island, Boise State developed partnerships with other well known professional and research organization. The partners have created a unique shared island space for cooperative activities, professional development, and conference hosting. CAVE is an acronym for Community of Academic Virtual Educators. Within an island space in the virtual world of Second Life, four unique and influential organizations (AECT, iNACOL, ARVEL SIG , and the ICT Library at the Dept. of EDTECH) collaborate to support virtual world teaching, learning, and research.

Perhaps the most exciting element of this unique virtual world space is the metaphor derived from the community's name. The island itself has a system of caves created by its partners that will entice any virtual world explorer. Participating in embedded virtual world-games and scavenger hunts, participants can explore secret and beautiful subterranean caverns, tunnels, and rooms.

AECT_SL , the virtual worlds committee of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology created unique office meeting and class rooms in the spacious "cloud nine" facility, the AECT_SL campus is host to numerous teaching and meeting spaces. iNACOL (International Association for K-12 Online Learning) focuses on leveling the playing field for students through online learning and ensure all students have access to world-class education. ARVEL SIG (Applied Research in Virtual Environments for Learning special interest group.) is affiliated with the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and is comprised of educators, scholars, and practitioners this group is dedicated to researching computer-mediated 3-D communities. Finally, the ICT Library is a premier in-world resource for educational tools and resources.

So far, CAVE island has played host for two conference events and numerous educators and guest speakers. The island is open to visitors. Take the tour, see the space, and explore the creativity waiting for you on Cave Island.


The EdTech Graduate Student Association needs some creative minds to come up with a “branding image” for our new student association. We are opening this up as an opportunity for our fellow students to use their creative minds to come up with something that represents a student organization that is a product of the BSU Department of Educational Technology.

We have provided you with some background on the EDTECH GSA, guidelines, timelines, and submission requirements below! EDTECHGSA_Branding_Image_Contest.pdf

EdTech GSA Background
Several EdTech students have been working throughout the Fall 2009 semester on building a university recognized student organization. The association submitted a governing document to BSU’s Center for Student Involvement for approval. An announcement will be made once it has been approved by the University. At that time, we will open up the association for membership to all EdTech students.The association has been titled EDTECH Graduate Student Association of Boise State University. The purpose of the association is as follows:

  • providing outreach, mentoring, and communication mechanisms for the benefit of prospective and current students.
  • providing a means for establishing long-term friendships and business associations both during and beyond the degree or certificate program.
  • acting as an advisor to the Department of Educational Technology on any issues that come before us for discussion.

Part of being a University Recognized Student Organization is that we can use the BSU logo to promote ourselves; however, we’d like to create something unique that sets us apart from the EDTECH Department as well as Boise State University, while still maintaining our affiliation with the both.

The Contest The contest is basically for you to design a branding image for the association and submit it for a vote. The image can be anything you want; however, remember that this is a student organization and part of the EDTECH Department of Boise State University.

Branding Image Guidelines It is important that the existing BSU Logo be a part of your logo. You are limited in what you can do with the BSU Logo as you can imagine, and I’m sure you have some questions on this issue. To assist you, we are providing you some links to websites that will hopefully answer some of your questions. When in doubt, you can always contact the Marketing and Communications Department

1. To download the BSU image, go to
2. A Graphics and Reference guide can be downloaded at This guide will be most helpful in explaining what can and cannot be altered in the logo. For instance, the diamond shape cannot be changed in the logo, but the location of the letters can. The font size cannot be altered, but something you add to the logo could (although you probably don’t want those letters to be larger than the BSU logo, but that is up to you).
3. More specific information, such as the hex values for the blue and white can be found at

Timeline All images should be submitted no later than January 4, 2010!

How do I submit?All images should be submitted to the EdTech GSA Techretary, Jennifer Donatelli via email at: email

How will the winner be chosen? Only members of the EdTech GSA will be able to vote for a winning submission. The final vote will take place on the EdTech GSA Moodle site located at: Membership for the association will open as soon as the organization has obtained final approval from the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership Center as a University Recognized Student Organization.Look for announcements at:

Your student Bronco Mail account at Bronco Web

What will the winner receive?

The winner will receive a $50.00 gift card for use at the Bronco Shop, but more importantly, they will get bragging rights on their design, as well as recognition on the EDTECH website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and via Bronco Mail.

AECT International Division

Ross PerkinsDr. Ross Perkins, assistant professor of educational technology at Boise State University, assumed the role of president of the International Division of the Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT) this past October, during the organization's annual conference. The conference was held in Louisville, Ky.

Perkins has been an active member of AECT since 2000, and a member of the International Division (ID) Board of Directors since 2003. Previously, he served as the ID communications coordinator. This past year, he was the president-elect, which included managing the division's conference proposals, presentations, and activities. Perkins' goals for the ID this year include helping country advisors increase the visibility of AECT outside the U.S., and encouraging continued scholarly, collaborative projects among its members.

"I am happy to be able to serve the International Division and AECT," said Perkins. "I think back to my days in the 'American Field Service' club in high school and to my own foreign exchange experience, and the many international friends I developed over the years. I love learning my colleagues' perspectives - not only on education and technology - but also on many other issues as well. They have insights that are so important to consider."

Perkins has other experience with international matters as well. For example, his dissertation was a case study that looked at how the context of Malawi, Africa impacted the design of distance learning courses created in the U.S. The study of that topic was made possible because of his role as manager for a U.S.-Malawi partnership project sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which took place during the time Perkins was at Virginia Tech. For the past three summers, he has worked with teachers and school leaders from South Africa, Switzerland, Brazil, and Vietnam, during a three week program held in Virginia.

AECT is one of the oldest organizations in the United States (founded 1923) that promotes research, theory building, design, and development of educational communications and technologies. Well-recognized publications associated with AECT are Educational Technology Research & Development, TechTrends, and the Handbook of research for educational communications and technology (now in its third edition). The mission of the International Division is to "promote interactions that transcend international boundaries and cultural lines by mentoring and fostering educational endeavors, and coordinating communication with sister associations around the world." More information can be found at Next year's AECT conference will be held from Oct. 27-30 in Anaheim, Calif.

New EdTech Courses!

Spring 2010 - EDTECH 597: Teaching Mathematics in Virtual Worlds, requires synchronous meetings in Second Life, Thursdays, 3-5 PM PT. Dr. Randall Holmes (graduate course, 3 credits) Syllabus:

Summer 2010 – EDTECH 597: Mobile Learning, requires iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPod Nano

July 2010: 3D GameLab, Teen Leadership Encounter


Dr. Chareen Snelson

Dr. Snelson was recently cited in the November issue of the Media in Education Newsletter due to her role in the WatchKnow project. Here is the newsletter:

Drs. Kerry Rice & Lisa Dawley

Drs. Rice and Dawley gave two talks at the Virtual School Symposium recently hosted in Austin, TX. In their standing room only presentations, they discussed how to measure the effectiveness of training online teachers by measuring students outcomes and learning, and the linkages between research, policy, and practice. View their materials at: and

Dr. Dawley gave the keynote address, Let’s Change the World, at the Northwest eLearning Conference on Oct. 30th. For those of you who missed it, you may visit this URL to view:

Dr. Jackie Gerstein

Dr. Gerstein began a Diigo social bookmarking site so that she can share resources with her students and the students with one another. This is an invitation for the EdTech community to join and add resources. The group site is:

Here are some tutorials if you are unfamiliar with Diigo:



Jerry Foster

Program Admissions Coordinator

Jerry Foster

Jerry Foster has more irons in the fire than he can handle.

He’s recruited and advised graduate students for nearly nine years, but he’s more excited about EdTech now than ever before.

And why not?

“We’re about to announce two incredible opportunities—a study abroad program and an online Doctor of Education degree in EdTech. We’ve been dreaming about these kinds of programs for years,” he says, though one goal continues to elude him.

“I’ve wanted to partner with one or more minority colleges, but I just haven’t got it done. Have you heard the song, ‘Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette’? It was obscure even in the 1940s or ‘50s, when it was released. The chorus went something like: ‘Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate I’m gonna have to make him wait ‘cause I just gotta have another cigarette.’ That’s the way I feel about partnering with minority colleges; I just can’t retire or die until I get it done.”

In previous lives, he spent 13 years in the news media and another 13 in public relations. He has represented services he didn’t believe in, but that has never been the case with EdTech. He’s played a pivotal role in the department’s growth over the past eight-plus years. “I could not have helped the department become the largest graduate program at Boise State if I didn’t believe in it,” he says.

In his spare time, he contemplates teaching in Asia one day, and researches southern attitudes of discontent before and after America’s un-Civil War (Jerry, who holds two writing-related master’s degrees, wonders “what’s so civil about warring on civilians?”). He’s writing a book in which the central figure, his great-great grandfather, evolves from a wealthy slave owner to a one-mule survival farmer and socialist. “He sympathized with mostly northern workers whose government had warred to free slaves but now sends deputies and soldiers to club them into submission or gunned them down when they went on strike for better working conditions. He thought it was remarkable hypocrisy.”

So many irons in the fire—Jerry wonders how he can get it all done.


Dr. Chareen Snelson

Dr. Chareen Snelson recently developed an interactive branching story using Second Life and YouTube. The “Save Princess Dot” interactive video on YouTube was created as both a project example for the YouTube for Educators course and a working model of interactive machinima. Machinima is the art of movie-making using video games or virtual worlds. This project takes machinima a step further by producing an interactive video game with technologies that are both used and taught within EDTECH courses. This type of project is something that many people should be able to create.

The underlying story for “Save Princess Dot” was based on the archetypal escape story of an evil queen pursuing a good princess. Users win or lose depending on responses to science questions at the end of the video clips. The YouTube annotation tool was used to create the questions and the links between video clips. These questions can be changed without recreating the actual videos.

The “Save Princess Dot” interactive branching story may be viewed on YouTube. The starting point is here: The storyboard for the branching interactive story is also available to help explain the design. This is in PDF format available for download here:

The virtual movie set, characters, and costumes were all created in Second Life. Those of you who have Second Life accounts may explore the interactive movie set here: SLURL:

Click the links for more information

December 1, 2009

  • New Partner Island in Second Life, CAVE; EdTech Graduate Student Association; AECT International; New Courses
  • Faculty Publications
  • Staff Spotlight - Jerry Foster
  • Combining Second Life and YouTube
  • Instructional Video


3, Thursday
Free Virtual Conference and Expo, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM EST Register for a FREE Virtual Conference & Expo.

The producers of Campus Technology conferences invite you and your team to participate in Campus Technology '09 Virtual Conference—a FREE online event designed to immerse you in the latest education technologies. Attend this live online event and enjoy:

  • Expert speakers sharing their views in an effective, interactive way
  • A live virtual networking lounge to reconnect with colleagues and make new contacts
  • Technology product and services demos in the virtual exhibit hall
  • Free content downloads and presentations to go
  • No travel expenses, no conference fees and no lines.

13, Sunday
Weekend University classes end.

14-17, Mon-Thursday
Final semester examinations for the Regular session (exam schedule listed on BroncoWeb).

18, Friday
Residence halls close (Noon)

18, Friday

22, Tuesday
Grade reports due to Registrar’s Office.

22, Tuesday
Last day to submit Report of Culminating Activity form to Graduate Admission and Degree Services for graduate degrees to be awarded in December.

25-31, Fri-Thursday
University offices closed. Happy Holidays!


1, Friday
University offices closed. Happy New Year!

  • ISTE 2010,

June 27-30,
Denver, CO

  • 2010 CUE Conference,

March 4-6,
Palm Springs, CA.

  • Happy Holidays

    Wishing you a joyous holiday season! Image provided by Google
  • Modern Christmas



EdTech on twitter EdTech on YouTube Facebook Dr. Schroeder - blog Dr. Dawley - blog Dr. Snelson - YouTube Click to EDTECH Boise State University