UWS - Virtual Worlds For Education Nov 2007

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Presentation on the use of Virtual Worlds (primarily Second Life) in Education. For a workshop at the University of the West of Scotland, November 2007.

UWS - Virtual Worlds For Education Nov 2007

  1. 1. Virtual Worlds in Education from Dungeon to Second Life Daniel Livingstone
  2. 2. <ul><li>Welcome to Adventure!! Would you like </li></ul><ul><li>instructions? </li></ul><ul><li>>no </li></ul><ul><li>You are standing at the end of a road </li></ul><ul><li>before a small brick building. </li></ul><ul><li>Around you is a forest. A small </li></ul><ul><li>stream flows out of the building and </li></ul><ul><li>down a gully. In the distance there is </li></ul><ul><li>a tall gleaming white tower. </li></ul><ul><li>> </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Elizabethan tearoom. </li></ul><ul><li>This cosy, Tudor room is where all adventures start. Its exposed oak beams and soft, velvet-covered furnishings provide it with the ideal atmosphere in which to relax before venturing out into that strange, timeless realm. A sense of decency and decorum prevails, and a feeling of kinship with those who, like you, seek their destiny in The Land. There are exits in all directions, each of which leads into a wisping, magical mist of obvious teleportative properties... </li></ul><ul><li>> </li></ul>
  4. 4. MUDs and MOOs <ul><li>Multi-user text based adventure games </li></ul><ul><li>Many variants… MUD, MUCK, MUSH, TinyMUD, MOO </li></ul><ul><li>MOO (MUD Object Oriented) allowed players to modify the game by adding rooms, monsters, items, etc. (after gaining Wizard status) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Object-oriented programming while in-game </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you could code… steep learning curve </li></ul></ul><ul><li>LambdaMoo and MUD can still be played today </li></ul>
  5. 5. MOOs in Education <ul><li>MOOs allowed users/admins to change content </li></ul><ul><li>Enabled creation of text-based educational virtual worlds </li></ul><ul><li>Literature, computer science, social forums, language learning, …. </li></ul><ul><li>Not known if any are still running! </li></ul>
  6. 6. MMORPGs, MMOGs and MUVEs <ul><li>Massively-multiplayer online gaming in 3D virtual worlds now a significant industry. </li></ul><ul><li>World of Warcraft alone has over 9 million subscribers world-wide </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Has perhaps 1/3 – ½ of all MMOG subscriptions? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Ultima Online
  8. 8. Runescape
  9. 9. World of Warcraft
  10. 10. WoW in Action
  11. 11. How to make items, the MMOG way <ul><li>Have pattern (mould) </li></ul><ul><li>Have skill level X (e.g. Smithing Lvl 60) </li></ul><ul><li>Have ingredients (e.g. 20 wolf-pelts) </li></ul><ul><li>Have tools required (e.g. access to anvil, hammer…) </li></ul><ul><li>Then… click a mouse button </li></ul>
  12. 12. How to make real money the MMOG way <ul><li>Players can trade items in games </li></ul><ul><li>Can trade accounts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People started selling items and characters for real money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual assets = real money </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Generally discouraged by developers – with exceptions </li></ul><ul><li>Gold Farming </li></ul>
  13. 13. Not just fantasy… <ul><li>City of Heroes (and Villains!) </li></ul><ul><li>Star Wars Galaxies </li></ul><ul><li>Eve Online </li></ul><ul><li>Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates </li></ul><ul><li>APB </li></ul>
  14. 14. Learning in Games <ul><li>Team building & management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporations and guilds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Numeracy and Literacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Despite visual emphasis, a lot of information is communicated in text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A lot of number crunching </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Are these skills transferable? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal learning in games </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. MUVEs <ul><li>A range of 3D virtual worlds are more ‘general purpose’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not games per se </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Active Worlds </li></ul><ul><li>There </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life / Teen Second Life </li></ul>
  16. 16. Some numbers
  17. 17. Second Life <ul><li>Any - and every - user is able to create content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buildings, Furniture, Scenery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With scripts – pets, vehicles, guns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avatar clothing, skins, custom avatars </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A user-created world </li></ul><ul><li>With IP rights and freely convertible in-world currency (L$) </li></ul><ul><li>Social platform: Engaging with other ‘residents’ is the core experience </li></ul>
  18. 18. Seriously Engaging
  19. 19. Make items the SL Way
  20. 20. Web Interoperability <ul><li>Scripts running inside SL can communicate with the internet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>XML-RPC (must be initiated externally) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HTTP Request (incl. GET/POST) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Streaming audio/video </li></ul>
  21. 21. Resident Run Businesses <ul><li>Many residents enjoy SL for the ability to create their own content </li></ul><ul><li>Many choose to sell their creations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To cover their in-world expenses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To supplement RL income </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or even as their primary real-life income </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SLExchange & OnRez: eCommerce web sites for Second Life </li></ul>
  22. 22. Real Life Businesses <ul><li>Increasing number of real-life businesses creating presences in SL </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IBM, Dell, ABN AMRO, Sun, Amazon, O’Reilly, Wired, C|Net, BBH, Vodaphone, BBC, Adidas, Nissan, Sony Ericsson, Fox Movies, … </li></ul></ul>
  23. 26. What’s in it for business? <ul><li>Sales and direct income? </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Market size? Degree of contact? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engaging with audience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A business tool? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual meetings </li></ul></ul>
  24. 27. Resident Run Education Programmes <ul><li>Academy of Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>New Citizens Inc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resident run enterprises which teach a wide range of SL skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From navigation and ‘user’ skills to advanced content creations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Initially encouraged by payments from Linden Lab </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Now some classes supported by commercial sponsors (e.g. L-Word) </li></ul></ul>
  25. 28. The International Spaceflight Museum
  26. 29. Real Life Educational Programmes <ul><li>Mainly tertiary level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quite limited RL-Education activity on TSL </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Digital cultures, ethics, law in the internet age, rhetoric, game-development, programming, AI, business, collaborative virtual environments… </li></ul>
  27. 30. Virtual Morocco <ul><li>Johnson & Wales </li></ul><ul><li>- Identify social issues </li></ul><ul><li>Develop business solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Work with official Morocco tourist bodies </li></ul>
  28. 31. Education Applications <ul><li>Simulation </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Business projects with ‘real’ customers </li></ul><ul><li>Role-play </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitating discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Machinima </li></ul><ul><li>Constructionist projects </li></ul>
  29. 35. Sloodle <ul><li>Project to bridge SL & the Open Source Moodle VLE to provide additional support for learning (and for learning management) to SL </li></ul><ul><li>Funded and supported by Eduserv </li></ul>
  30. 37. Chat: Web-Intercom
  31. 38. UI Integration
  32. 39. PrimDrop – Digital Dropbox <ul><li>Gathering assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Version control </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Permissions </li></ul><ul><li>Returning submissions </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting reflection </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=VUUnnLm-AG4 </li></ul>
  33. 40. Getting Started <ul><li>Create a free account </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.secondlife.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Download client </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows, Mac, Linux </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Explore Orientation Island </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic skills </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Explore Help Island </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More skills practice, some free items to get you started </li></ul></ul>
  34. 41. Then what? <ul><li>The next bit is the hard part… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You get dumped onto the ‘mainland’ where you’ll meet a random collection of mostly equally new (and confused) residents </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What do you do now? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some people randomly explore a bit, fail to find anything interesting then log off never to return </li></ul></ul>
  35. 42. I hate Second Life! <ul><li>There is no inherent goal… </li></ul><ul><li>Take time to explore and see a variety of places </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to a variety of people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask what they find interesting in SL; ask if they can help you find stuff that interests you </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If at first you hate SL – you aren’t alone! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But exploration and time might reveal depths you can’t see at first </li></ul></ul>
  36. 43. What Happened When I taught with SL… <ul><li>Virtual world too open-ended, lacks obvious goals, rich social & technical environment </li></ul><ul><li>Students need support and direction </li></ul><ul><li>Get familiar with Second Life before inflicting it on your students! You will need to support them during their orientation… </li></ul>
  37. 44. UWS Virtual Worlds Learning Community <ul><li>I would benefit from more virtual worlds activity at UWS </li></ul><ul><li>I think UWS might benefit too! </li></ul><ul><li>Would you? </li></ul><ul><li>Propose a UWS learning community </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Share experience; practical support; shared development of resources; meet on-line, ‘in-world’ and on campus (various) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I hope you’ll want to join me in this! </li></ul></ul>

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