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Options for Online Meetings


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  • 1. 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
  • 2. 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?
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. Options for Online Meetings - 2
    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).
  • 5. Options for Online Meetings - 3
    Immersive Environment
    Examples: Second Life, Jibe.
  • 6. 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”
  • 7. 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
  • 8. Conference Room
  • 9. 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, communities
  • 10. More Activities - 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
  • 11. 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
  • 12. 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
  • 13. 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
  • 14. 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
    Industry-standard creation and development tools
  • 15. 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
  • 16. Places to think, Places to relax
  • 17. Cons?
    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
  • 18. 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.
  • 19. 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.
  • 20. 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.
  • 21. Second Life Locations
    The Alamo at UT Arlington
    UTA Smart Hospital room
    Other places to visit
    Replicas of Real Life locations
    More Second Life destinations
  • 22. 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
  • 23. Questions?
  • 24. Thank you!
    Sarah Jones -
    University of Texas Arlington, Digital Library Services
    In SL: RazitraArtizar (Raz)
    This presentation: