Education

Education and training

[Douglas Rushkoff invites us to imagine] “a classroom of students with a teacher, occurring in real time. The students are from twelve different countries, each plugged in to a VR system, all modemed to the teacher’s house. They sit around a virtual classroom, see one another and the teacher. The teacher explains that today’s topic is the Colosseum in ancient Rome. She holds up a map of ancient Rome and says, ‘Let’s go’. The students fly over the skyline of the ancient city, following their teacher. ‘Stay together now,’ she says, pointing out the Colosseum and explaining why it was positioned across town from the Forum. The class lands at the main archway to the Colosseum. ‘Let’s go inside …’ “(Rushkoff, 1994, pp.69-70)

Education and training in multi-user virtual worlds

Douglas Rushkoff’s vision has now effectively, with SecondLife and ActiveWorlds, become a reality. The Active Worlds Educational Universe (AWEDU) has been around a long time, and now has virtual campuses for 116 educational institutions around the world including Cornell University, Lancaster University, University of Twente, De Montfort University, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, University of California San Diego, and University of Hong Kong.
» http://edu.activeworlds.com
» http://www.activeworlds.com/edu/awedu.asp
See the video at:

Second Life is a newcomer, but arguably—with nearly 100 campuses since its launch in July 2003—already more successful. The following promotional video from Ohio University Second Life Campus gives a flavour of how it is being used:

See also:

The New Media Consortium
“NMC Virtual Worlds is a program of the New Media Consortium, an international 501(c3) not-for-profit consortium of more than 225 world-class colleges, universities, and research centers. The mission of NMC Virtual Worlds is to help learning-focused organizations to explore the potential of virtual spaces in a manner that builds on community knowledge, is cost-effective, and ensures high quality. NMC Virtual Worlds provides a palette of premium custom services for education and training, and conducts an ongoing series of events, conferences, and programs. A suite of pro bono services and fellowships are a central aspect of the organization, and reflect our deep commitment to learning and access.”
» http://sl.nmc.org
» http://www.nmc.org/taxonomy/term/50
» http://virtualworlds.nmc.org

Intellagirl (Sarah Robbins)
“… this blog is a record of some of the thoughts I’ve had about using SecondLife as a research and education tool.”
» http://www.secondlife.intellagirl.com

Blog-EFL
Teaching English as a foreign language through Second Life
» http://blog-efl.blogspot.com/search/label/secondlife

The Second Life Library, Grand Opening

Readings, reports, projects, research

Tiffin, J. & Rajasingham, L. (1995). In Search of the Virtual Class. London: Routledge. ISBN: 0415124832. [Amazon]
Tiffin, J. & Rajasingham, L. (2003). The Global Virtual University. London: Routledge Falmer. ISBN: 0415287022. [Amazon]

Virtual Reality in Training and Education: Resource Guide to Citations and Online Information
—a comprehensive bibliography of documents on VR in education and training
» http://www.hitl.washington.edu/kb/edvr/

The Synthetic Worlds Initiative
“The Synthetic Worlds Initiative is a research center at Indiana University whose aim is to promote innovative thinking on synthetic worlds. Synthetic worlds are immersive digital spaces that can host many online users on a persistent basis. The most popular applications of this technology today are massive video games. Our goal is to learn about this technology and deploy it for research and education. The Initiative holds a bi-annual series of conferences, the Ludium, and is building Arden: The World of William Shakespeare, a massive synthetic world.”
» http://swi.indiana.edu/index.htm

The Virtual Gorilla Exhibit Project
» http://www.cc.gatech.edu/grads/a/Don.Allison/gorilla/gorilla.html

More documentation can be found in The Virtual Gorilla Exhibit: Teaching Principles of Zoo Habitat Design Using an Immersive Virtual Environments Application
» http://vtopus.cs.vt.edu/~bowman/gorilla_design.html

Education

Teacher Resource Bank: Virtual Reality Learning Resource Sampler
A long listing of VR worlds and models in all VR formats (QTVR, VRML, Viscape)
» http://www.teacherresourcebank.com/vrml/vrml_resources.htm
[Link verified and viewed 17 March 2007]

Distance Education: a gallery of demonstrations (‘How your car works’, ‘Gear Box’, ‘Excavator’, ‘The 3D Periodic Table’, ‘Golf’) from ParallelGraphics (with free downloads of all models).
» http://www.parallelgraphics.com/products/showroom/distance-education/
[Link verified and viewed 17 March 2007]

EduSim
“Edusim is a free opensource 3D virtual world specifically for your classroom interactive whiteboard! Edusim is an extremely powerful way to engage your students by bringing a 3D virtual environment that allows the direct manipulation of the 3D virtual learning objects directly from the interactive whiteboard surface. The Edusim is extendable allowing multiple classrooms to connect their interactive whiteboards for collaborative learning session.”

» http://edusim3d.com
» http://edusim.ning.com

VRMath
“VRMath is an open, online VRLE (Virtual Reality Learning Environment), in which users can use a Logo like language to construct 3D virtual worlds. During the construction processes, users will improve their spatial ability by linking their mathematical language to 3D real time graphics, and participating in online community.”
» http://cobia.ed.qut.edu.au/~andy/vrmath/index.php

[Link verified and viewed 22 Feb 2005]

The Virtual Solar System (Viscape)
» http://www.nationalgeographic.com/solarsystem/ax/high.html
[Link verified and viewed 17 March 2007]

Yuri Gagarin’s Space Flight, 12th April 1961 (VRML)
I’m really not sure whether this counts as education … or history … or entertainment … or even virtual tourism 🙂 … or maybe all four. Whatever the case, this is just stunning!
» http://www.parallelgraphics.com/vrml/gagarin3/
[Link verified and viewed 16 January 2008]

Consumerland (Viscape)
“The purpose of this virtual world is to explain the European-wide aspect of consumer protection with the intention of providing consumers with the confidence needed to explore the advantages of the Single Market and participate in its construction.”
» http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/consumerland/consumer/internet/c_en/accueil.htm
[Link verified and viewed 17 March 2007]

Virtual Natural Ecosystems: Tidal Flat Information System, Korea (Viscape)
» http://www.wetland.or.kr/html/eng/
[Link verified and viewed 17 March 2007]

Physics (Viscape)
» http://imej.wfu.edu/articles/2001/2/02/index.asp
See also:
» http://heebok.kongju.ac.kr/VRPS/
[Link verified and viewed 22 Feb 2005]

Virtual RadLab (key stage 4 radioactivity topic) (Viscape)
» http://www.virart.nottingham.ac.uk/virart/index.php? option=content&task=view&id=35&Itemid=31
» http://www.virart.nottingham.ac.uk/radlab4.svr
[Link verified and viewed 22 Feb 2005]

Training

JHU Virtual Submarine (Viscape)
» http://www.jhuapl.edu/websub/
[Link verified and viewed 09 Feb 2005]

Traffic-City (road safety training) (Viscape)
» http://www.traffic-city.de/demo/main.htm

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s