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MachinEVO 2015



MachinEVO is a 5-week workshop in Second Life, for language educators to learn how to produce films for teaching and learning English. It starts on 12th January 2015 and is free of charge. Registrations will be open from 5 -11 January 2015.


A machinima is a film made in a virtual world such as Second Life. The word is derived from combining the words machine and cinema. 


A major advantage of creating films in Second Life is that they are far less expensive than real world productions, and a teacher can make them quite easily and very cheaply. 


In this EVO session we will learn how to create machinima using screencasting and video editing.. Our videos will be uploaded onto the YouTube or Vimeo hosting sites.


The pedagogical aspects of creating language-learning resources will also be explored.


We will investigate scriptwriting, storyboarding, and making films from live footage.


All participants will work toward the goal of producing a complete machinima by the end of Week 5.




Where does it take place?

All practical sessions will be held in Second Life, we have EduNation, Learn It Town and MOSP open and ready for our use.

There are many other ways of producing machinima of course, but we exclusively use Second Life.

To sign up for a free account and to select an avatar for Second Life, participants need to go to http://www.secondlife.com

Participants need to download the latest Second Life Viewer from that page.


Participants do not have to have experience in Second Life. There is a list of prerequisites on the wiki. We will provide special familiarization sessions for moving, communicating, changing avatars, camera control and so on.


Target audience

Anyone involved in the teaching of TEFL/TESOL who is interested in making machinima for use with learners.


During the first two weeks people who already have experience in SL will help train less experienced participants in basic SL skills and film these first attempts - including entertaining, instructive mistakes ( 'Bloopers',‘Howlers’).for a 'Bloopers' reel.


In the remaining weeks everyone will work in smaller groups to enable each individual participant to come away with a machinima of their own whatever their level of competence.


Sponsored by: CALL-IS


Session objectives

At the end of our session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand basic film production techniques (not only) in virtual environments like Second Life.
  • Be able to design and create short machinima by means of screen capturing and video editing tools (Fraps and Camtasia will be used as examples).
  • Be able to edit and upload the video clips onto video hosting sites, such as YouTube and Vimeo.
  • Use gestures, animations, special effects and culturally rich sets or sims to create videos for language learning.


Week 1: Basic Second Life skills, introductions, examples and explanations about the session, groups set up


  • Basic Second Life skills needed for teachers of EFL, ESL, TESOL who want to use machinima as an aid to learning or teaching.
  • A 'bloopers'/'howlers' reel will be made as our hosts meet, greet and assess participants’ needs and abilities and check their computer power and introduce them to the ‘Camtasia’ Interface, the software program we will be using throughout this session to edit video.
  • The moderators will check that everybody's virtual ‘camera’ is working and participants be asked to practice using them with the free version of Fraps.
  •  We will be getting familiar with EduNation and Learn It Town.

Week 2:

  • Concentrate on navigating the environment, customising avatars, talking privately in groups or in “no sound” parcels. Participants will be shown best practice to edit their profiles.

  • Film crew group building, finding out if our guests are happy to work together or individually, co-ordinating time zones / work commitment etc, to form working groups.

  • Group discussion to develop a storyline.

  • Telephoto or Wide angle lenses

  • Fraps, Best Practice and taking live footage, camera practice. Practice filming for “cut away” shots, close ups and following actors. Avatar animations and gestures. Groups of four in the ballon, two filming and two talking and groups of two people in the boats ride, one filming and one talking or acting.


Guest webinar:  A Pedagogy for Machinma

Marisa Constantinides will present a webinar in Adobe Connect covering aspects of pedagogy relating to machinima.



Week 3: Basic filming and editing


  • During week 3 we will be visiting places in Second Life suitable for filming.  The bulk of the work in machinima, and in this session, will be the collection of the required shots to make a story. Participants can film for their own script, or to assemble footage compiled to create a story at the end of a project.

Guest talk: How to use Holodecks for Machinima Making by Randall Sadler

Holodecks are complete scenes packed away in an electronic box which can be rezzed (made visible) in an instant with one click. Randall will demonstrate their use and teach participants how to use the ones that are available on EduNation.



Week 4: Advanced editing techniques

  • Enhancing productions with special effects, credits and music.
  • Search for free music on the web and learn how to create an intro and an outro (credits) for participants' videos.
  • Participants will continue to receive peer feedback on their final edits.


Webinar by HazelDazel - The Use of Green Screen for Special Effects

HazelDazel will demonstrate chroma key techniques to achieve special effects in machinimatography. 


Week 5: The Final Cut

The final editing, uploading and VIEWING of other’s works for the wrap party.

For those members of the teaching profession unfamiliar with the term “wrap” party, it is the party held by the cast and crew of a movie to celebrate its end. It is time to wrap up and go home. “Wrap” parties are bitter-sweet affairs ……… because tomorrow it is time to go hunting for the next job.

Certificates of participation will be awarded to those people who have complete a machinima.




  • Second Life
  • Adobe Connect (screensharing for presentations and lectures with integrated chat function)
  • Google + documents (exchanging and storing information for planning and implementing group projects etc.)
  • Dropbox (exchange platform for bigger data volumes)
  • YouTube and/or Vimeo (publishing and exchange platforms for videos)
  • Camtasia (video editing software especially suitable for educational/instruction videos; free trial version)
  • Fraps (screen capturing/video recording software; free trial version)
  • Audacity (audio editing (optional); freeware)
  • Wiki http://machinevo.pbworks.com/




Dennis Newson, M.A. (Cantab), P.D.E.S.L (Leeds),

taught EFL in Africa, Arabia, Norway, and Germany in middle schools, secondary schools, teacher training colleges, a technical university, and an arts university. He was consultant for short periods in Bosnia and Kosovo, and conferences have taken him to Poland, Hungary, Las Palmas, Russia, and England. He has developed his interest in SL since his alleged retirement. In Second Life he is known as Osnacantab Nesterov. He lives in Germany.


Shelwyn Corrigan (Wynshel Heir/English Easily) (tutor)

has a Master's in Linguistics, a Master's in Digital Media & Learning, and certification in Multimedia Studies. She has worked in digital design since 1994. In addition, she has taught ESL and EFL in Europe and South America and at universities in California and New York. Her interests are in teaching pronunciation, academic oral skills, and the integration of new media in the classroom. She is working on machinima development for language learners and teachers. She is a media consultant and web designer and has taught ESL at the University of San Francisco (USF) since 2001. She also works in Second Life as a teacher in English City. Shelwyn teaches graduate courses in the Digital Media and Learning Program and is currently devoting most of her time to course development for the new online MA TESOL Program at USF. (here are some informal sandbox/working file samples) She lives in the USA. 


Hazel Workman (Hazel Zapedzki) (tutor)

Hazel has twenty years of experience in the TRADITIONAL animation industry, Ten years experience of budget 3D animation work and five years experience of using other people's assets to make Machinima. The ease with which moving images can be made / recorded in Second Life have convinced her / him ( you can never be certain in SecondLIFE ) that ANIMATION can now be democratised and used by students and teachers alike. There is no longer a role for those that once used to draw and paint each single frame of film by hand. She has an Art 'A' level. S/he lives in the UK.


Dr. Doris Molero (Pionia Destiny)

Doris is an EFL Professor from Rafael Belloso Chacin University (URBE) in Maracaibo, Venezuela. She is a doctor of Sciences in Education, specializing in curriculum and instruction. Her doctoral research was based on the use of Web 2.0 tools as multiliterate agents in EFL classes at the university level. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Informatics. She lives in Venezuela.


Helen Myers (Karelia Kondor)

 is a teacher of French and a manager in at The Ashcombe School, a large UK secondary school and chair of the London branch of ALL (Association of Language Learning) and its former president.  She is an active member of the MachinEVO group, SLexperiments and Virtual Worlds Round table and she is helping to set up a private SL island for teenagers with SEGfL and the British Computer Society. Her blog contains information about her SL activities, which include weekly English pronunciation classes open to all.  For examples of her video work, go to her YouTube channel Arcachon playlist, read her short guide here and see her short video where she enthuses about language learning in Second Life. She lives in the UK.


Alfonso Perfferle

is the digital representation in Virtual Worlds for Alfonso Garavito Olivar (Bachelor in Primary Education and foreign language) who has been teaching English for more than twenty years for elementary, middle and high School, technical education and higher education.

      • Spanish online for the last three years. Both as foreign languages (EFL) (ELE). Machinimatographer certified by the University of Valencia in 2011.
      • Participant then co-moderator in MachinEVO 2012, 2013 2014.
      • Director, actor, writer, editor and producer for some Educational and Entertaining Machinima projects. In this playlist you can see and learn more about his different machinama projects.

         He lives in the USA.


Randall Sadler (Randall Renoir)

is Associate professor at  Illinois University, head of the Virtual Worlds SIG of CALICO, and a book author on language learning in virtual worlds and telecollaboration. He is a TESOL member and co-owner of EduNation islands in Second Life. ‘Virtual Worlds for Language Learning: From Theory to Practice (Telecollaboration in Education)’, Randall Sadler, published by Peter Lang AG, Switzerland

He lives in the USA.


Ann Nowak (Ann von Rhein) (tutor)

has a Master's in Linguistics, certification in Blended Learning, ICT in the classroom, mLearning and Digital Games in ELT. She has more than 20 years teaching experience at companies, secondary school, technical colleague, university and technical university in Germany. Won an award with her team in Machinevo 2014. She lives in Germany


Carol Rainbow (Carolrb Roux) (tutor)

holds a B phil Ed (hons) and has taught in the UK for many years before moving into teacher training for Oxfordshire County Council. She is now teaching totally online, mostly running courses for The Consultants-E.   Carol is co-author of the book Making and Using Machinima for Language Teaching along with Christel Schneider. The book is available on Amazon and SmashWords. Carol was a moderator on MachineEVo in 2011, 2012, and 2013. She lives in the UK.


Advisors - they will be working with us in the background but may not actually take part

Heike Philp 

is CEO of let's talk online sprl, a technology support provider for language learning and events in real-time. She is co-initiator of EU funded LANCELOT (virtual classroom) and AVALON (virtual world) and the newly granted CAMELOT project (machinima for language teachers). She is founder of the Virtual Round Table Conference and co-owns EduNation in Second Life. (NB if Heike is well she may do some Master of Ceremonies type of tasks, she is longing to take part.)  She lives in Germany.


Dr Michael Thomas BA (Hons) Cert. TESOL M.Ed. MBA Ph.D. FHEA

is an Associate Professor in the School of Language, Literature and International Studies at the University of Central Lancashire, UK. He is the course leader of the MA in TESOL with Applied Linguistics by E-Learning and course leader of a BA (Hons) degree in intercultural business communication by blended learning. He is the lead and founding editor of three book series, Advances in Digital Language Learning and Teaching (Bloomsbury/Continuum), Digital Education and Learning (Palgrave Macmillan), and Advances in Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (ISR). Dt Michael Thomas is the lead partner on The CAMELOT EU funded project 2013 – 2015. He lives in the UK.



Primary Contact

Dennis Newson   (djn at dennisnewson dot de)


How to join this session?

There is a Google form for registration, http://camelotproject.eu/machinevo-registration/ 

Enrolment will be open from January 5 to 11, 2015. 

The workshop itself will start on January 12, 2015!

See more




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