Virtually There Virtual Worlds for Online Collaboration and Community Building School of Urban and Public Affairs, UT Arlington July 20, 2011 Sarah Jones, Digital Library Services UT Arlington Library
Virtually There Scenario:You have two groups of people who need to work together to accomplish goals. These people cannot meet face-to-face regularly, so they need to communicate and collaborate using internet-based tools. Question:What online environment will be most successful in enabling the group to hold live meetings?
Options for Online Meetings - 1 Web-based conferencing Examples: Adobe Connect, GoToMeeting, WebEx, Yugma (or other free solutions). Pros: very easy for people to attend your event, usually provide for a variety of multimedia presentations, usually provide at least a speaker’s webcam. Cons: usually expensive and/or require someone to set it up for you, are best for presentations rather than a group discussion.
Options for Online Meetings - 2 Teleconferencing Examples: Skype, videoconferencing, telepresence. Pros: Skype is pretty easy and free and provides a conference call experience, telepresence is reportedly impressive (I don’t have experience with it). Cons: Skype is basically a phone call and can be a useful component in a broader online meeting experience but may not be sufficient on its own, videoconferencing usually requires others to do setup and tech support, telepresence has got to be expensive (though there are two public Cisco Telepresence rooms in North Texas: at the DFW Airport Marriott and at the Sheraton Dallas).
Options for Online Meetings - 3 Immersive Environment Examples: Second Life, Jibe.
What is Second Life? Online, 3D, real-time interactive environment You are represented as an avatar All other avatars you encounter are real people typing at their computers somewhere in the world The environments you visit were created by other real people, just like yourselves It’s not a “game” Secondlife.com
Why Second Life? Travel and attendant time and cost Did you make a special trip here this morning for this workshop? Global access to speakers, discussion groups, networking with colleagues 3D, real-time, shared experience designed to visually, aurally, and “physically” support the purpose and goals of the activity
Activities? Meetings, discussions, presentations, Birds of a Feather gatherings UT Arlington College of Nursing Genomics Journal Club Discussions with targeted groups – Virtual Ability Island community members Training – Idaho Bioterrorism Awareness and Preparedness Program Patient and caregiver support Department of Veteran Affairs – military amputee support Alzheimer’s caregiver support ShockProof and Dreams – Stroke/TIA, Asperger/autism, pregnancy & infant loss, BrainTalk.org communities
More Activities - Simulations Simulations UT Medical School Emergency Department – hands-on simulation for emergency medical teams Virtual Hallucinations (UC Davis) – demonstration of the experience of hallucinations of patients with schizophrenia – video Vanderbilt University – teaching faculty how to manage clinical simulations with their nursing students
More Activities - Simulations The Testis Tour (Ohio State University) – an “up-close and personal” multi-sensory tour of the male reproductive system – video Virtual Birthing Unit (Second Life Education New Zealand project) – hands-on simulation for midwifery and other birth team students
More Activities – Patient Education HealthInfo Island – created with librarians to offer health and wellness information T2 Virtual PTSD Experience – an immersive, interactive learning experience designed to educate visitors about combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder
More Activities – Research UT Arlington Smart Hospital – Clinical Simulations in the Physical and Virtual Worlds Collaborating with a researcher at Coventry University in the UK Comparing the simulation experience in the physical Smart Hospital and a re-creation of a Smart Hospital room in Second Life
Let’s take a look at Jibe It’s all in a web page: no software to download and install Includes text and voice chat - or use Skype on the side if you prefer Create items/displays/environments that include interactivity - tutorials? games? self-paced learning modules? Use an inworld Presentation screen for slides or video, or supplement your presentation with a desktop sharing application like join.me Industry-standard creation and development tools See Jibemix.com
Why use an immersive environment? Opportunity for participating in activities, such as above Plus: Sense of Self, Sense of Place, Sense of Presence Embodiment - as you adjust to seeing yourself as an avatar, you start to feel embodied in that avatar .. not scary! but rather you find that what you experience as an avatar becomes part of your entire personal experience (same mind! just one body is made of molecules, and the other is made of pixels) – dancing, floating in water, mirror therapy for amputees Co-presence – the other people/avatars share your experience: visually, aurally, mentally (through the conversations you share) As a result, you “feel” that you are all together, even though physically you are distant. More engaging than a videoconference, webcast, or Skype meeting
Cons? Technology Need a fairly modern computer with good graphics card for the best experience (but notice my small laptop from 2007) Need DSL or cable internet (wireless can be ok; satellite internet is too slow) “Culture shock” Can take a while to adjust to “seeing” in a 3D, computer screen, environment Can be an adjustment to “being” an avatar BUT – you do not need to be a gamer or techie nerd Mostly, what’s helpful is to have a flexible imagination to feel at home in a virtual environment
Pros and Cons – Second Life vs. Jibe Pros (both): Immersive, 3D, multimedia, real-time/synchronous experience, avatar-based. Leads to attendees having an enhanced sense of place, sense of co-presence, engagement with the event, memory of their online experience.
Pros and Cons – Second Life vs. Jibe Pros (Jibe) No software to download, user interface is intuitive, pricing is attractive ($47/month hosted, $295 one time cost for self-hosted), support for mobile devices coming in 2011. Pros (Second Life) Mature, well-established, large community; real-time inworld collaborative creation of nearly anything you can imagine; nearly infinitely customizable avatars.
Pros and Cons – Second Life vs. Jibe Cons (Second Life) requires software installation, software interface can be challenging and requires some commitment for users to adjust, environment creation/development requires learning skills, pricing is less attractive ($295/month). Cons (Jibe) environment creation/development requires learning some skills, it’s a new-ish platform but with additional features in development, including support for iOS and Android.
Second Life Locations The Alamo at UT Arlington UTA Smart Hospital room Other places to visit Education Replicas of Real Life locations More Second Life destinations
Jibe Locations Demonstration Jibe world created for the Defense Acquisition University John “Pathfinder” Lester’s Jibe world - Office Hours in your web browser Virtual Career Center @ Rock Creek Park - See how a Jibe world can be embedded in a Facebook page UT Arlington Library’s first foray into Jibe
Thank you! Sarah Jones - firstname.lastname@example.org University of Texas Arlington, Digital Library Services www.uta.edu/library www.uta.edu/secondlife In SL: RazitraArtizar (Raz) This presentation: www.slideshare.net/razitra