First Reaction to: Reaction Grid

This past week, several members of the Second Life LC ventured into the virtual world known as Reaction Grid. We met up with Jokay Wollongong (Jo Kay in RL) who guided us around and answered questions while we got our bearings. She also took us to her own spot on the RG called jokaydia.We decided to explore Reaction Grid because there are many other virtual worlds besides Second Life, and many educators are interested in finding out what virtual worlds can offer for their students as well as for their own professional development. Since Reaction Grid is strictly a PG environment it is suitable for all ages, unlike the main SL grid which is only for ages 18 and up. Many higher education groups have been making use of the SL environment  but what about K-12 students? Reaction Grid provides a viable alternative.

Jokay also told us that the cost of a sim in Reaction Grid is far less expensive than in Second Life. She has also developed her own virtual world called JoKaydiaGrid. You can register for an account on the site. Reaction Grid, Joykadiagrid and others are part of the OpenSim project. Although OpenSim does not have the “web on a prim” capability that the SL Viewer 2 has, there are developers working on it as we speak. (Correction: Reaction Grid is working on web on a prim; Open Sim does have that functionality.Thanks to readers for pointing this out.)I experimented accessing Reaction Grid through the Second Life Viewer (1.23 not viewer 2) and also the Hippo OpenSim Viewer. (Download at http://sourceforge.net/projects/opensim-viewer/) There are others that can be used as well but the interface is basically what you are familiar with in Second Life so there is really no learning curve with the viewer. The support tab at reactiongrid.com gives detailed instructions on using these viewers.

The most difficult thing for me was having to create a new avatar and leave my familiar self behind in SL! I could take the same name and use the same password, however. You can get an account by clicking on “Register” at the bottom of the Reaction Grid home page. The objects and clothing available in Reaction Grid are free (yes, free, though somewhat limited at this time) and there is no cost to upload textures, unlike the 10L per texture we are used to in Second Life. We are planning another excursion in the near future and next time hope to investigate work being done by other educators. I took a sneak peak at (and a photo of) Scott Merrick’s “scottsperiment” on Reaction Grid, but didn’t have time to venture further. We are excited to find out more about what ideas these RG educators are cooking up and how they use the virtual environment with their students.

Info on jokaydia in Reaction Grid and SL Jokaydia blog.

Scott Merrick’s Oh! Virtual Learning blog

Virtual Environments Education Videos

Microsoft Case Study on Reaction Grid from May 2009

See you in-world (any world!)

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9 Comments

  1. Maria Korolov said:

    Patti —

    Actually, OpenSim does have media-on-a-prim and SL Viewer 2 support in the latest version — 0.71. You can request it from your hosting providers if you have them set up your own private grid for you. If you want to try it out, create a free account on GermanGrid (http://www.germangrid.de), which was one of the first to roll it out. It works great — just as in Second Life.

    ReactionGrid is usually a couple of releases behind everyone else, to as to ensure stability. They wait for the cutting-edge grids to test out the new releases, then upgrade when all the kinks have been worked out.

    There are some commercial stores already on ReactionGrid, but you can always hypergrid teleport from ReactionGrid to any other grid and go shopping there. The OMC currency from Virwox is multi-grid — you get the balance showing up in your viewer — and you can use it to shop on 14 grids now and counting. (It’s fully convertible with Lindens, Euros, and dollars.)

    Link: https://www.virwox.com/omc-open-metaverse-currency.php

    A couple of things to watch out for when hypergrid teleporting: You can’t go from a grid running a version of OpenSim prior to the new hypergrid security upgrades to one running the upgrades. Unfortunately, right now, that means you can’t teleport directly from ReactionGrid to GermanGrid, but there are dozens of other grids to explore — and ReactionGrid will upgrade soon enough.

    The other thing is that there’s a bug in the Second Life viewer that keeps you from teleporting more than 4,000 regions in any direction. That means if you want to go from ReactionGrid to, say, FrancoGrid (to practice your French, or buy new shoes), you have to jump to some locations half way between them — like having a stopover in Chicago when flying from coast to coast in the U.S.

    For a list of around 300 hypergrid destinations (and growing), check out the Hyperica directory:
    http://www.hyperica.com

    – Maria Korolov
    Editor, Hypergrid Business
    http://www.hypergridbusiness.com

  2. Ener Hax said:

    incorrect on OpenSim not having web on a prim – Reaction Grid does not because it is on OpenSim version 0.6.9

    the current version of OpenSim (0.7.1) does support web on a prim using the 2.0 Second Life viewer

    I came from 4 years in Second Life and 19 sims into Reaction Grid where we have 16 sims being developed for environmental science field trips for K-12 kids =)

  3. Patti Ruffing said:

    Thanks, Maria and Ener, for that correction. I should have said that the web on a prim issue related to Reaction Grid not Open Sim. I have not tried teleporting between grids as this venture was my first into Reaction Grid and the whole Open Sim idea is still pretty new to me. I am definitely a newbie in this environment and the additional info is most welcome. Ener, your blog is a great resource on Reaction Grid and I have read several of your posts on the topic. It seems you are very pleased with the support offered by the Reaction Grid team. That is great to know! I think we would be interested to know more about your work on the science field trips!

  4. Mary Del Bianco said:

    Patti, Thanks for the great report. I hope we can continue to explore and learn about Open Sims and the Reaction Grid in particular.
    I am also grateful to Maria and Ener for joining the conversation. I’d like to find out more about the science field trips, too.
    As for hypergrid teleporting, there is a good explanation on Core 1 in the Landmark area. Strawberry Manhattan has posted a clear set of guideline. I am still learning the lingo, but I think I understand the parameters for successful teleporting. Now I have to jump in and give it a try!

  5. Noreen Strehlow said:

    The ability on the Reaction Grid to give younger students the same rich building environment as Second Life is far more valuable than any of the flashy details people seem to be worrying about. When a classroom teacher can take a group of 3rd or 4th graders and not have to worry about them wandering around to check out other sims, it is a wonderful thing. Even on the teen grid I had to keep my 13 and 14 yr olds sequestered on our private island and they would have loved to go elsewhere. I invite anyone to my K-12 art resource island on the Reaction Grid. Search for PESD and check it out.

  6. Patti Ruffing said:

    Noreen,
    You are absolutely right that having a safe environment for student learning and exploration is top priority, and along with that I would add a stable platform that you can count on when you need it. We now have two new places to add to our next tour. Your blog also has some great examples of what your students do as well.

    Because of Linden Lab proposing to close the Teen Grid and allow 16 and 17 year olds on the main grid, more and more educators may be exploring the Reaction Grid as an alternative virtual environment.

  7. Ener Hax said:

    OpenSim works very well for education and is improving. it is not as stable as Second Life but i have no complaints about that.

    for $160 to $175 per month, you can easily run 16 sims (SimHost is about to roll out an 8 GB RAM offering at that price point, enough for a very robust 16 sim estate)

    if you have a friendly IT department, deploying OpenSim on your own servers is a very safe way to go =)

  8. Pingback: Why do people blame parents for every little thing? | Parenting QnA

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