I am Eloise Pasteur in Second Life. I entered Second Life recreationally in July 2004, and have barely missed day since. For about two years I have been gradually making money through scripting and building. I am now making a living from creating and selling materials, environments and landscaping sims for educational purposes, although I still work with commercial groups and I will work with you if you are not an educational concern.
In addition to the skills of building, scripting and landscaping in SL, I have a Ph.D. in Biology and I am a qualified teacher. I have taught biology at all levels, numeracy and literacy skills, and I regularly work supporting students with learning difficulties such as dyslexia and students with disabilities including cerebral palsy and mental health conditions. I have also worked in community outreach education, teaching ICT skills and working to popularise science in the community. This mixture of Second Life and teaching skills helps me understand the needs of educators in Second Life, and some of the pressures from administrators and the like.
I have a firm belief that education in Second Life, just like education in Real Life, requires a strong focus on the learner and presenting the educational content to them. Second Life obviously requires some skills to use the interface but, unless you are teaching 3D modeling or scripting, the basics of using SL - moving, teleporting, chatting, IMing, touching objects - plus well constructed provision of easy to use tools to present educational content is the correct balance point. This permeates my work, along with a "it should just work" attitude that possibly comes from being a lifelong Mac user.
I maintain a blog about my work as well as about my real life, which you are welcome to read.
About my work:
Although my most recent work is not covered by an NDA, it consists of several projects which are hard to usefully share via a website, simply because they are back-end projects. For example, I have been working with a consortium of US/Canadian Medical Schools on a system to help their students practise taking histories. This all sounds very glamarous, and indeed it is. My part in this project has mainly been to develop an interface so that the medics can easily enter questions and answers to a database. This database is then exported as XML. That marks the limit of my involvement (apart from occasionally playing with the tool to test various bits). Another programmer takes that XML and hooks it up to an AIML generator and links that to bot-avatars. Overall the project is very impressive - my part is a password protected suite of webpages that show the contents of a database. Vital, but not enthralling to write about!
I have also completed a much smaller project, ironic given my deafness, for a teacher of English and as a foreign language. She required games to help her students learn and improve their phonics skills, particularly recognising the short and long vowel sounds that we use in English. In the end this turned into two games, one asking if the vowel sounds matched when played back as audio clips and the other asking if the vowel sounds would match based on two pictures. For example, a picture of a pin and a cube, do the vowel sounds match? No, short i and long u - but without seeing and hearing the words it checks an extra layer of recall. I just hope that the audio clips that the client provided were labelled properly!
I have worked on a number of educational and commercial projects which are covered by non-disclosure agreements, however a range of my projects, big and small are available for public use and some are listed below:
- House of Seven Gables
- The Archetypal Cavern
- Dante's Inferno and Linden Hills (updated)
- Willow Springs
- British Gothic Literature
- Bailey's Café and Brewster Place
- Am. Lit. classes
- Drexel Island
- Second Nature water treatment plant
- Beta Technologies projects
I also make and sell educational products in SL:
And I provide various resources and guides to others
In my commercial work I often work with databases, coding in PHP and using MySQL. This work was also used in an educational setting when I created and hosted the registration service for the highly successful Second Life Best Practices in Education conference.
Although I have many demands on my time, I strive to support educational activities within SL where possible. This work includes:
- Fairy Godmother and standing chair of Literature Alive! and a contributor to the Literature Alive! blog.
- Advisor to University of Illinois, Springfield for their island in Second Life
- Hosting the registration site and building and scripting for Second Life Best Practises in Education conference
- I am moderator for the Open SLedware wiki and google group. Open SLedware is a group dedicated to making teaching resources freely available to other teachers - this includes textures, resources and some elements of builds and scripts in my case.
- Second Life mentor
- LSL wiki scripting mentor
The best way to hire me is to contact me in Second Life to discuss, in outline, your needs. I may well ask for additional information and detailed materials to be sent to me by email so I can consider them away from the screen.
My rates start at US$120/hour for commercial builds, but educational builds receive a discount to this rate, often as high as 50%.
How does this work out in practice? Well, for some of the builds above my fees would have been:
- Dante's Inferno and Linden Hills - my involvement 15 hours (planning, creating terrain file and textures, creating towers, textures for signs, coffins, etc. - cost 15 X 120 X 0.5 = US$900.
- Willow Springs - my involvement here was a bit greater because there was a lot of audio and texture work, as well as a change in design to an underwater classroom, and trying to cope with terraforming back after doing that. Total time: 25 hours, cost 25 X 120 X 0.5 = US$1500.
- Am. Lit. classes - There are really three classes here, and 3 distinct builds (read the notes on the linked page). The simple classrooms, time about 90 minutes, cost US$90. The forest class space, and ice-breaker game, time about 2 hours, cost US$120. The Poe House, Young Goodman Brown trail etc. time about 12 hours, cost $720.
Why do I say "would have been?" Well, these were all actually pro bono work with Literature Alive!
- Drexel Island - for this I was actually paid! I created the island terrain file, tweaked land textures, created the display pods used by both the COAS departments and the library, installed and provided open source easy to set up teleport systems around the island, did a LOT of texturing work to import textures for the departments, library branches etc. I also parceled the island up, installed and rescripted video screens, installed and scripted display systems for several displays from members of faculty and the like. Total cost US$750 for 30 hours work, although at current rates this would be $1800.
I will travel and provide face-to-face training. However, this is considerably more expensive than training in Second Life: typically £175/hour for one day's training, with some reductions for longer periods. All expenses to be borne by the hirer. The reasons for this are two-fold:
- If you want training about teaching in Second Life, it makes sense to me to use Second Life to deliver that teaching. Charging at a much higher rate encourages you to consider this option carefully;
- Travelling, unless it's a really short journey, often disrupts at least the day before, often the day after and generally messes things up. You're not only paying for the time I'm spending with you, you're paying for the time I'm not able to earn because I have to travel to work with you.
Although not a routine part of my work, I will also undertake feasibility studies, reports and recommendations for projects in Second Life. Prices on application.
About my teaching in SL
I teach a mixture of Second Life skills and real life skills in Second Life. These include, but are not limited to scripting , building and general second life skills as well as study skills, essay planning, photoshop, biology, literacy and numeracy. I also work with a number of educators in Second Life, mentoring them as they learn the skills necessary to work comfortably in this environment. These sessions may be regular or ad hoc - like most mentoring relationships they develop into the latter and I stay in touch with many of mentees for informal consultations at later dates.
If you are approaching me for professional development training then I charge a professional development training rate. Cheaper rates may be available for those not receiving institutional or business support for their costs.