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Second Life as a platform for collaboration and teaching

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Presentation held at ECT Forum 09, 23.9.2009 in Helsinki Fair Centre. …

Presentation held at ECT Forum 09, 23.9.2009 in Helsinki Fair Centre.

The presentation is based on my experiences from VinCo research project funded by MIDE, the Multidisciplinary Institute of Digitalisation and Energy in Helsinki University of Technology.

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • 1. Second Life as a platform for collaboration and teaching BIT Research Centre Teemu Surakka teemu.surakka@tkk.fi +358 50 381 9787 Presentation held at ECT Forum 09, 23.9.2009 in Helsinki Fair Centre.
  • 2. Agenda Background – Vinco project What kind of Virtual Environments (VEs) we are looking into Why we chose Second Life Initial results of the project Experiences New trends
  • 3. Project participants Research Manager Researcher Professor Anu Sivunen Marko Hakonen Matti Vartiainen Researcher Researcher Teemu Surakka Sami Ahma-aho
  • 4. Vinco Project The research project studies how collaboration and communication in global distributed teams and in fully virtual environments can enhance business and innovation. Virtual environments are 3D environments, where users can change flexibly their avatars = Second Life in this project. Dynamics of communication and innovative, value-adding collaboration in fully virtual settings beyond computer game research are yet not extensively studied. This study explores the interfaces between virtual and traditional environments and investigates virtual worlds as centers for collaboration and business.
  • 5. What are virtual worlds? One definition: A synchronous, persistent network of people, represented by avatar, facilitated by computers. -- Mark Bell
  • 6. Qwaq Forums -> Teleplace 3.0 Teleplace (formerly Qwaq) Source: http://www.teleplace.com/
  • 7. OpenSim based Virtual Worlds realXtend - Beneath The Waves By: Ludocraft Source: http://www.ludocraft.com/images.html OpenSim screenshot By: Sean Dague Source: http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Media
  • 8. CryEngine2 based Virtual Worlds Preview Cry Engine Screenshots By: Mindark Source: http://www.mindark.com/press/image- gallery/ Blue Mars screenshots By: Avatar Reality Source: http://www.avatar- reality.com/newsroom/gallery.html
  • 9. What is Second Life? Source: “Virtual World, Real Change” by John Lester (Pathfinder Linden) Community and Education Manager Linden Lab. Presentation in “Games for Change” conference June 28, 2006. A world where anyone can create anything. A world full of real people. A world of high emotional bandwidth. A world shared.
  • 10. Vinco Project – initial results Collaboration: Four basic notions of the current VE research 1. Scholars tend to assume that real-life behavioral norms of group work apply also in VEs. How about uniqueness of the new environment? 2. There is a lack of considering VEs as potential platform for distributed work teams. Search for potential gains for distributed teams. 3. The scope on groups in current research has a strong focus on micro- level phenomena, like personal distance. Why not study also, for instance leadership or trust. 4. There is a lack of covering (meta)theories of group processes. More emphasis on theoretical integration. Business: Three reasons to do business research in VE 1. The social and economic patterns of human interactions seem to translate to VEs [Castronova 2005] 2. Possibility to research many aspects of business that are difficult or impossible in real life settings 3. Diverse and growing economy
  • 11. Experiences – professional use Professional use is currently: Meetings – for example therapeutic sessions for people suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome Learning and Training – for example StatoilHydro’s safety training environment Collaborative Work – focus on reducing travel costs, hopefully not just Powerpoint Operational Applications – Data visualization and simulation
  • 12. Experiences – professional use, cont. Companies are concerned / interested about: Multiple platforms / interoperability Connections to HRM / KM solutions Low entry barrier for employees Confidentiality Robust communication Source: “Strangers In A Strange Land: IBM’s Exploration of Virtual Worlds” by Craig Becker & Jessica Qin / IBM. Presentation in “New Ventures and Leadership in Virtual Worlds” conference 2.4.2009.
  • 13. Experiences – professional use, cont. Source: “Overview of Virtual Worlds” by Eilif Trondsen / SRIC-BI. Presentation in Tekes seminar on Virtual Spaces and Places for Work and Learning 19.1.2009
  • 14. Second Life -> 2.0 Synchronous in-world web browsing Document sharing A new enterprise portal Avatar phone numbers A new viewer Mesh imports
  • 15. Experiences from educational uses – different cultures and role-play
  • 16. Experiences from educational uses – language teaching
  • 17. Experiences from educational uses – historical reenactment and immersion
  • 18. Experiences from educational uses – stigmergy Source: “Virtual Worlds in Online Education: Are You Ready to Teach in Second Life?” by Cynthia Calongne / Colorado Technical University. Presentation in TELECOOP 2007 April 11-13, 2007
  • 19. Experiences from educational uses – interactive builds Source: “Virtual Worlds in Online Education: Are You Ready to Teach in Second Life?” by Cynthia Calongne / Colorado Technical University. Presentation in TELECOOP 2007 April 11-13, 2007
  • 20. Experiences from educational uses – active community Source: “Virtual Worlds in Online Education: Are You Ready to Teach in Second Life?” by Cynthia Calongne / Colorado Technical University. Presentation in TELECOOP 2007 April 11-13, 2007
  • 21. Experiences from educational uses – different viewpoints
  • 22. Experiences from educational uses – performing arts
  • 23. Experiences from educational uses – economy Second Life economy Source: https://blogs.secondlife.com/community/features/blog/2009/08/12/the-second-life-economy- second-quarter-2009-in-detail
  • 24. Experiences from educational uses Educators are currently concerned about: Not knowing what we don’t know Bandwidth / firewalls Costs Learning Curve Adults and teens Source: “Make ‘em a deal!: Making Explicit Learning Bargains with Students Learning in Virtual Worlds” by Sarah “Intellagirl” Robbins, Ball State University. Presentation in “Oppiminen eri maailmoissa” seminar 6.7.2009.
  • 25. New trends @ Work Prototyping and experimentation – for example branding in hotel rooms Team building and socialization – especially in distributed work Focus groups Talent discovery and recruiting – for example TMP Worldwide, Manpower @ Education Virtual Business Exercise
  • 26. Virtual Business Exercise – try your skills as a virtual entrepreneur and compete with your peers – for free! Do you have a business idea that you want to test in virtual world? Or do you just want to know what Second Life is really about? For more information: http://www.vincoproject.net/virtualbusiness/
  • 27. Final Plans Funeral Home Final resting place for your avatars that have moved to the next life. Final Plans Funeral Home offers their clientele a place for remembrance and if needed the funeral procedures for the avatar that is passing on.
  • 28. More information Public sources used in this presentation: http://www.fredcavazza.net/ Qwaq: http://www.qwaq.com/products/qwaq_forums.php RealXtend: http://www.ludocraft.com/images.html OpenSim: http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Media Entropia Universe: http://www.mindark.com/press/image-gallery/ Blue Mars: http://www.avatar-reality.com/newsroom/gallery.html Second Life: http://secondlife.com/ ja https://blogs.secondlife.com/community/features/blog/2009/08/12/the-second-life- economy--second-quarter-2009-in-detail “Virtual World, Real Change” by John Lester: http://zero.hastypastry.net/pathfinder/ “Strangers In A Strange Land: IBM’s Exploration of Virtual Worlds” by Craig Becker: http://www.mccombs.utexas.edu/virtual-worlds-conference/keynotes.asp “Overview of Virtual Worlds” by Eilif Trondsen: http://www.videonet.fi/tekes/20090119/2/ “Virtual Worlds in Online Education: Are You Ready to Teach in Second Life?” by Cynthia Calongne: http://www.slideworld.org/viewslides.aspx/Conference-Materials- ppt-115577 “Make ‘em a deal!: Making Explicit Learning Bargains with Students Learning in Virtual Worlds” by Sarah “Intellagirl” Robbins: http://toisessamaailmassa.fi/ohjelma/ http://www.vmwork.net/vinco/