For some reason recently, I've been asked by a couple of groups exploring Second Life about the history behind Boracay. What was I trying to do .. what was my aim, how long did it take .... etc. So here goes an attempt at an answer ....

Boracay was a 6-month experiment. I'd been in SL for about 3 months or so when I really wanted to have a go at constructing my own learning environment and because I believe in learner agency through self-directed team and individual learning, I tried to set things up for this. I also wanted to leverage one of the affordances I saw in virtual worlds which was the ability for learners to have flexible and manipulable spaces. I also wanted to follow some of Shrage's work on Serious Play and Wenger's on Communities of Practice and learning trajectories through our multiple communities.

I have to say that I would do things very differently if I bought an island (often called a sim) of my own again. But right now the $$$ aren't there ... and nor is my time availability. I was about to sell the island back in Feb 07 - had a buyer in fact and would have broken even with my expenditure - but New Media Consortium stepped in as they liked the aesthetic and wanted to keep it on. So it belongs to them and I basically manage it, which is incredibly generous of them, but I have not really done much to it since then. We used the island as one of the regular venues for the NMC Teachers Buzz meetings, which were biweekly for two years up to May 08, when Alan and I decided to quietly retire it. Multiple other groups had taken up the same format and there was plenty going on for teachers in Second Life and also for us in the physical world.

I've spent a lot of time in Second Life since 2007 mentoring people new to this virtual world (in 4 different groups .. Linden Labs, ISTE, Virtual Ability and Help People).

A big passion of mine outside of learning and facilitating in Second Life is artists in virtual worlds ... there are some fantastically creative people in that community! And if you folks ever want a tour of some fantastic art sims, give me a shout. You will see some of my favourite artists' work on Boracay ... but not all of them unfortunately.

If you want to visit some other education spaces in Second Life, then there is an education spaces exhibit (among others) on Boracay that you can rez-on-demand (now there's a new phrase for you perhaps) if you are a member of the Boracay group. If you want to be a member and / or would like a tour of Boracay, give me a bell inworld.

Boracay is named after a real tropical island in the Philippines. However, it is only meant to be a replica in spirit of Boracay in the early 80's when I was there - was a great place to visit - but not in the actual terrain. This is because I wanted to play around with things you can't do in real life e.g. go from tropical beach to snow peak with minimal height gain (although Big Island, Hawaii comes close to this but would be much bigger in terms of virtual real estate in Second Life).

OK, I've purposely left a few gaps in this brief text for you to ask some follow on questions should you so desire ... and if you don't, that's cool too!
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Nick