Suffern Middle School in Virtual Worlds

A running account of the process of the proposal, acquisition, development and integration of a virtual presence for education at Suffern Middle School, Suffern, New York, USA.

Suffern Middle School in Virtual Worlds

Instructions Part 2: Purchase

Let’s begin with the actual purchase!

Buying Land

Two types of land are available:

  1. A Private Region lets you control over access and visibility so you can create a completely private space for your organization. You control who can see your region and who has access to your region. However, you always have the option of making your private region public and opening access to anyone on the Second Life Grid.
  2. A Mainland Region provides you with ‘walk-in’ traffic and control over access, but people can see and hear into your space. But like in the real world, you have no control over who your neighbors are, what they build, and what they do.

Most schools select private regions for internal use; for public projects, select either mainland or private regions depending on your project needs. You can also rent land for a short-term project.

For a complete overview of the types of land available for purchase and pricing, visit the land section of secondlife.com. It contains a link to the Land Portal that allows you to purchase land directly from either Linden Lab or an online auction. You can purchase small or large regions, including private regions and open spaces.

Invoicing for Special Orders of Land in Second Life

This article explains how to make use of our invoicing option when ordering private regions (islands and openspaces) in Second Life.

Who uses invoices?

Invoicing is meant to be used by a specific set of Second Life users under specific circumstances:

  • Verified, approved educators and non-profit institutions, who receive a discount on the regular setup costs and monthly fees for private regions (islands).
  • Companies who fulfill the following conditions:
    • Require an invoice before payment can be made.
    • Are willing to pay either 6 months or 1 year of maintenance in advance.
  • Those who work with Purchase Order number requirements.
  • All Teen Second Life private island orders.
Note: While land orders from Teen Second Life make use of the special ordering system, land orders from individuals in Teen Second Life are not invoiced and hence not subject to the 30-day grace period; individual land purchasers in Teen Second Life (i.e. not schools or non-profits) must pay setup fees upon delivery, as well as monthly maintenance thereafter.

To receive the education and non-profit discounts, you must use the invoicing option.

Where do I go to get an invoice?

Second Life offers the invoicing option though our special orders selection from the Land Store.
You can also access invoicing directly from the following URL: http://specialorders.secondlife.com

What information do I need to supply to get an invoice?

The following is information that you will need for the invoicing option. Please read it carefully and if your questions are not answered by this document, please submit a Support ticket to request explanation (please include “Education” in the ticket summary).

Verification Information

Company verification

The customer and address given must match the company URL.

If you do not wish to pay for the island setup and maintenance in advance ($2770.00 for 6 months or $4540.00 for 1 year), then you may go to the Land Store website, where you can pay for the island and then island maintenance fees on a month-by-month basis. Payments are made through your Second Life account and the form of payment specified therein. We have monthly account statements in PDF format available from your account for business accounting and reconciliation purposes, available from the Account Statements link in your account page.

Note: At this time, individuals (either in Second Life or Teen Second Life) may not use the invoicing option.

Educational and non-profit institution verification

To receive the discount for island purchase and monthly maintenance, we must be able to verify:

  • That your institution is a valid educational or non-profit institution.
  • That the person who ordered this island is an employee of said institution.
Note: We do not offer this discount to developers who are working on behalf of education or non-profit institutions. Please refer to the aforementioned requirement concerning individuals.

Educational Institutions: Please provide us with proof of institution status as well as proof of the ordering individual’s employment with the institution. The quickest method of verification is through your institution’s website. We should then be able to access your name in conjunction with the institution. If your institution does not list staff/faculty/employees, you may send a written verification from the director of your department.

  • The island is ultimately owned by the university, and the avatar who operates the island in Second Life must be a verified employee.
  • The business conducted on the island must be of educational concern and related to the university who owns said island.
  • As stated above, we do not give discounted islands to individuals; this includes educational professionals who wish to pursue island purchase for personal use, as well as developers who wish to purchase an island for the institution.

Non-profit institutions: We require 501(c)3 non-profit accreditation proof or similar not-for-profit licensing proof in countries other than the United States. Again, we should be able to connect the ordering individual’s name with the institution as an employee. If you do not include non-profit documents through your website, you may provide the documents via ticket attachment, fax, or post. Those who have applied for non-profit status and are waiting for the appropriate documentation are considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • The island will be ultimately owned by the verified non-profit who provides the documentation requested above, and the avatar who operates the island in Second Life must be a verified employee.
  • The business conducted on the island must be of a non-profit concern and related to the non-profit business who owns said island.
  • As stated above, we do not give discounted islands to individuals; this includes employees of the non-profit business who wish to pursue island purchase for personal use, as well as developers who wish to purchase the island for the non-profit institution.

Copies of appropriate documentation can be submitted by fax to 415-243-9045.

Approval and Island Delivery Information

Submitting an order does not obligate you to pay immediately; payment is made once the island has been delivered and the invoice sent.

  1. When you place the order, you receive a sales order confirmation. This is merely an order confirmation, not a notice of delivery.
  2. Once you place the order, your order is submitted into the approval queue.
  3. Once the island order is approved, you receive an approval email, and then your order is placed in the delivery queue.
  4. After approval, delivery time under normal circumstances takes 10-15 business days.

The delivery process could take a bit longer if:

  • You have island naming issues.
  • You have not set up your Second Life account.
  • You have placement issues with the other private regions whom you are bordering.

You will have access to your account in Netsuite (Second Life’s special orders system) through the special ordering website.

Note: Netsuite is a different website than secondlife.com.

In your Netsuite account, you will be able to:

  • View your sales order
  • Add your credit card information
  • Pay your invoice with a credit card

Under normal circumstances, you may expect your island to be up within 10-15 business days. You’ll receive an email with delivery instructions and an invoice (NOT the same as the sales order) for payment once your island has been delivered, displaying the correct amount based on the maintenance period that you chose. This is what you pay for. You cannot make a payment until you have received an invoice (bill), after which you have 30 days to pay for it. Late payment may result in your island being shut down and the possibility of lost inventory on the island. Invoices for maintenance will be emailed when the payment schedule is ready for renewal.

Payment Information

After you have received your invoice you may pay via check, credit card or wire transfer.

  • We neither accept Paypal nor use funds from your Second Life account to pay for your invoiced island order.
  • Currently, VAT is not added to our invoiced orders, but we will inform you as soon as this happens. Find out more about VAT and Second Life in this Knowledge Base article.

Wire Transfer

Payment

Educators and nonprofits requiring an invoice should place their Private Region orders by using the Special Island Order Form.

Please use this order form if either of the following conditions applies:

  1. For any order requiring an invoice (payments by wire transfer, check or credit card). This process is designed specifically for businesses using a process that requires a formal invoice, receipt, or purchase order number. We do not require a purchase order number at the time you order.
  2. To qualify for educational or nonprofit discounted pricing (We must verify your status as an educator or nonprofit)

NOTE:

  1. All orders placed using this form require payment in advance for either six (6) or twelve (12) months of maintenance.
  2. We add maintenance to your order invoice based on the Payment Cycle you choose: $295.00 / month ($147.50, if educational/non-profit discounted).
  3. Payment is due upon receipt of your invoice; the invoice is issued upon the delivery of your region. Your first invoice will include fees for both the setup and the first cycle of maintenance.

If your purchase does not fall into one of these categories, please place your order at the Land Store.

Pricing for Educational & Non-profit*

*Requires verification. Make sure you read the Conditions of EDNP Pricing BEFORE submitting an order
Type
Size
Price
Maintainence Fee
(monthly)
Private Region 65,536 sqm $700 $147.50
Openspace Region 65,536 sqm $175 $37.50

NOTE: The following info is taken directly from SIm Teach Wiki…

The differences between closed and open estates

Closed estates and open/public access estates each have their own unique advantages and constraints.

Closed estate model

We have many successful projects in TSL using the closed estate model. Ramapo Islands, Skoolaborate are examples of education projects using this model. Their islands are closed to everyone but their own students. Adult and student accounts are all assigned to the same estate. This allows them to form groups, IM and exchange objects with each other. The adult and student accounts cannot leave the island. The residents of the Teen Grid have no access to these estates.

On the closed estate model, educators need to work with a TG-approved developer to set up the accounts with the registration API.Skoolaborate has now created a very user friendly and affordable Registration system available at: http://avatar-registry.com

  • Adult and teen accounts will all be able to communicate very easily
    • They can form groups
    • They can IM
    • They can exchange objects.
  • All accounts will be confined to that particular estate -
    • This is an advantage for groups who want to control the student experience
    • This is a disadvantage for groups who would like teens to be able to roam freely in TSL for a Global Experience!

Open estate model

In contrast, Eye4You Alliance island for example is an “open” or “public access” estate. Teens from the mainland of Teen Second Life can come to their island and participate in activities.

  • Advantage: Teens from the mainland of TSL can visit.
  • Challenge: Adults cannot IM or form groups with mainland TSL teens.
    • Teens who have created their own TSL accounts are technically on a different estate.
    • Avatars on different estates cannot form groups, IM or exchange objects. They will not be able to see each other in Search.

To set your island to open, first you will have to follow some requirements in close cooperation with Linden Lab. Estates are delivered in the closed mode. Please DO NOT enable the Public Access option without following the process here. If you choose the open estate model with its unique features and limitations:

  • Advise concierge
  • Linden Lab staff adds estate owner and lead developer to Approved Adult group inworld
  • Linden Lab provides a notecard dispenser for you to set up. You can edit the script to include information you want visitors to have, but it should state the name of your island and that the approved adults will be wearing their TSL Approved Adult nametags.
  • You set the estate for single point of entry and set up telehub.
    • You must disable *Allow Direct Teleport* on the *Estate* tab of the Region/Estate window.
    • Search telehub in the Knowledge base for instructions on setting up a telehub.
  • Place notecard dispenser at entry point to announce to visiting teens the presence of Approved Adults. Always wear your Approved Adult group nametag when on the island.
  • Add this text to the description of any parcel on the estate: “Approved (non-Linden) adults may be present”. Right-click on the land or use World>About Land to change this information on the General tab.
  • Then, you will set to open
    • Menu>World>Region/Estate>Estate>choose public access

Other ‘open estate models’ include:

  • British Isle
  • Digischool (Netherlands)
  • Eye4You Alliance
  • Global Kids
  • Land of Lincoln
  • Metaversa
  • Tech Savvy
  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum

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