Intro to Virtual Worlds

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  • Potential research in virtual worlds: laws in virtual worlds; banks, money, and safety; who owns the virtual world’s content, is anyone responsible for safety?
  • I saw a presentation on the use of Second Life for a simulated emergency evacuation at Children’s Memorial. It is a cost effective way to train people in emergency response. Can be used over and over without additional cost.
  • Here’s the login screen. It changes periodically. Frankly, I liked the winter scene better. This is a little creepy. My avatar is named Kitty Fhloston. You can specify your avatar’s first name, but you pick from list of last names.
  • Once I log into SL, I am in the place where I last was when I quit SL. This is Info Island by the Alliance Virtual Library. Notice my Group Notices in the upper right-hand corner. I took a tour of Info Island with a group of librarians (Librarians of Second Life) and I joined the group that day.
  • Here “I” am, Ms. Kitty Fhloston. Notice that I am no longer sporting a pony tail or a pink dress with white polka dots.
  • To get some ideas of where to go, click on the Search button (lower middle). Amongst other ways of searching, you can look at the Showcase. Under Education and Nonprofit, There is Ecole SL (French School). I went there when I was still having technical difficulties and it was really weird. I think it would be a great place to go to speak French.
  • NASA International Spaceflight Museum is another location that you can visit. You click to get more information. Then you can Teleport, instantly travel, to your destination.
  • Looking around I can see a scale model of Cape Canaveral. Also, if I click on certain objects, in this case the Cape Canaveral sign, I get a note to read. I can also keep the note as a souvenir.
  • I thought it would be interesting to explore.
  • I’m done and I would like to go somewhere else. So I search for Info Island.
  • More info on Info Island.
  • Note that Harvard Law school and Princeton University are showcased. There are many other educational institutions in SL that are not showcased. Though you could find them if you searched for them.
  • I have teleported to Columbia College Chicago. It is an arts college afterall. There’s a sculpture and a hotdog cart. You can interact with the cart and get both a beverage and a hotdog. This was done by one faculty member and the students in the Interactive Media department.
  • Here we have some advertising that hasn’t fully loaded, or rez’d as they say. But look, Kitty is flying.
  • Students can be very resourceful. I love the ideas these folks come up with….cars on a stick in Berwyn. It’s gone now.
  • This is the upstairs art gallery. Some of the students have also recreated an el stop with a moving train.
  • I’ve always wanted to go to Paris.
  • Intro to Virtual Worlds

    1. 1. Virtual Worlds By Kathy Jordan-Baker (a.k.a, Kitty Fhloston)
    2. 2. What are virtual worlds? <ul><li>A.k.a, immersive technology. </li></ul><ul><li>3 dimensional online social networks. </li></ul><ul><li>Explored using an avatar, a digital persona that you create. Your avatar can be just like you or not. </li></ul><ul><li>Hundreds of publically accessible virtual worlds.* </li></ul><ul><li>Evolved from MMOGs (massive multi-player online games) like the Sims, and text-based online roll-playing games. # </li></ul>
    3. 3. Second Life www.secondlife.com <ul><li>“ Second Life® is a 3-D virtual world created by its Residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by millions of Residents from around the globe. </li></ul><ul><li>From the moment you enter the World you'll discover a vast digital continent, teeming with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity. Once you've explored a bit, perhaps you'll find a perfect parcel of land to build your house or business. </li></ul><ul><li>You'll also be surrounded by the Creations of your fellow Residents. Because Residents retain intellectual property rights in their digital creations, they can buy, sell and trade with other Residents. </li></ul><ul><li>The Marketplace currently supports millions of US dollars in monthly transactions. This commerce is handled with the inworld unit of trade, the Linden™ dollar, which can be converted to US dollars at several thriving online Linden dollar exchanges. </li></ul><ul><li>Welcome to the Second Life world. We look forward to seeing you inworld.” </li></ul>
    4. 4. Active Worlds www.activeworlds.com <ul><li>“ Active Worlds, the web's most powerful Virtual Reality experience, lets you visit and chat in incredible 3D worlds that are built by other users. Think you have what it takes to build your own world or Virtual Reality game? Active Worlds is the place for you, where in minutes you can create fascinating 3D worlds that others can visit and chat in. The Active Worlds Universe is a community of hundreds of thousands of users who chat and build 3D virtual reality environments in millions of square kilometers of virtual territory. Take a quick look at some of our satellite maps and see how our community has grown over the years. Launch the free software and come check us out for yourself. You'll be amazed at how vast our Virtual Worlds universe is.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Requires Windows) </li></ul><ul><li>The Active Worlds Educational Universe </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.activeworlds.com/edu/index.asp </li></ul><ul><li>Around since 1997 # </li></ul>
    5. 5. Education Grid http://mediagrid.org/news/2008-06_Education_Grid.html <ul><li>Requires membership to an organization. I tried to get into it and never heard back. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>“ BOSTON, MA - June 20, 2008 - The Immersive Education Initiative today launched the Education Grid with an early preview of Sun Microsystems Laboratory's Project Wonderland virtual world servers (&quot;nodes&quot;) hosted by Essex University (United Kingdom), University of Oregon, St. Paul College, New Media Consortium (NMC), Common Need, and Sun Microsystems. Faculty and staff from each host organization will join initiative members and faculty from the Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College to guide visitors through the virtual worlds that debut on the Education Grid today at 4pm EST.” </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    6. 6. Kaneva www.kaneva.com <ul><li>“ A digital metropolis full of cool hangouts, interesting people, and entertainment hot spots, Kaneva's free virtual world offers you an immersive 3D experience where you can play games, shop, or build your dream home. Bring your friends, your favorite videos and music… bring your imagination, and step into our free virtual world, the World of Kaneva.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Requires Windows) </li></ul>
    7. 7. ScienceSim http://www.sciencesim.com/wiki/doku.php <ul><li>Required download of a non-specific 3d client. </li></ul><ul><li>For my Mac, I had to type in a command at a prompt and it did not accept my login and password. Needless to say, I didn’t spend that much more time on this one. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The 3D Internet refers to a currently disparate but rapidly converging set of 3D technologies used for visualizing 3D information on the web. This convergence promises to provide a new set of collaborative tools with application in collaborative visualization, education, training and scientific discovery. As part of the Supercomputing Conference this year working with supporters in the community we have made available a virtual world based on the open source package OpenSim. You will find instructions for accessing this environment and packages for extending the environment into your facility at this link. We encourage you to join ScienceSim and experiment with new uses.“ </li></ul>
    8. 8. Arts Metaverse http://artsmetaverse.arts.ubc.ca/ <ul><li>“ The Arts Metaverse strives to provide students with the authentic and meaningful learning experience of visiting virtual and digital 3D buildings, communities, and cultures without leaving their home or school. Wandering and virtually exploring an environment while digitally interacting with peers or teachers should help students achieve a better sense and understanding of the architecture, culture, or society they are virtually exploring and studying.” </li></ul>
    9. 9. Webster’s New Millennium Definition <ul><li>“ a computer-generated, three-dimensional representation of a setting in which the user of the technology perceives themselves to be and within which interaction takes place; also called virtual landscape, virtual space, virtual world” </li></ul><ul><li>Webster's New Millennium™ Dictionary of English, Preview Edition (v 0.9.7). Retrieved February 07, 2009, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/virtual environment </li></ul>
    10. 10. Wikipedia Definition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_world <ul><li>NB: Needs cleanup, citations, and clarification. </li></ul><ul><li>“ A virtual world is a computer-based simulated environment intended for its users to inhabit and interact via avatars. These avatars are usually depicted as textual, two-dimensional, or three-dimensional graphical representations, although other forms are possible[1] (auditory[2] and touch sensations for example).” </li></ul>
    11. 11. Why should we use this technology? <ul><li>As with other online learning environments, virtual worlds can open doors for people who might not otherwise get the opportunity to experience or learn. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accommodates disabilities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traveling without physically travelling. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provides a visual, audio, and kinesthetic/navigation learning environment. You are immersed within the technology and fully engaged, if the learning style suits you. </li></ul><ul><li>Simulations: cost effective, more controlled in the context of emergency response. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Who is using virtual worlds? <ul><li>Corporate, higher ed, K-12, non-profit, healthcare. </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s Memorial - Simulations that are too costly and logistically difficult can be recreated in second life. Children's Memorial had an emergency evacuation training sim created. </li></ul><ul><li>IBM – New employee training. </li></ul><ul><li>Simulations. </li></ul><ul><li>Creating online versions of institutions that cannot feasibly exist in real life, (buildings, cost, space, more money). </li></ul><ul><li>Meetings, conferences, concerts (live streaming music), book discussions. </li></ul><ul><li>Info Island will allow groups to use meeting space just like real public libraries. </li></ul><ul><li>Columbia College: art galleries, development space for students, advertising </li></ul><ul><li>NASA International Spaceflight Museum </li></ul><ul><li>DePaul CDM (College of Computing and Digital Media) </li></ul><ul><li>And many, many more (including Princeton U. and Harvard Law School </li></ul>
    13. 13. When is this technology probably used most effectively? What other process or procedure is it replacing? What circumstances are the users finding it is most useful? <ul><li>Simulations and safety training, for things that cannot be created realistically in real life, replaces expensive and disruptive simulations. </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency evacuation training. </li></ul><ul><li>Adds to social networking meeting &quot;spaces,” gives a sense of place. </li></ul><ul><li>It works well in a blended online learning environment. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Second Life <ul><li>First, sign up for an account (avatar/digital persona) and download/install the software. </li></ul><ul><li>Login, then what do you do? </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages: Mac compatible (and PC), most popular so there are more islands (places to visit), larger social network, compelling and engaging, lots of documentation. </li></ul><ul><li>Disadvantages: total hardware, software, and network bandwidth hog; even though it is one of the most approachable, it is not for the technological faint of heart yet (it took 6 hours before I started to have fun). </li></ul>
    15. 30. Personal Reflections <ul><li>I have never used this technology before because it has always seemed so off-putting as I do not consider myself a “gamer”. Also, I already have one life so why would I want another one? </li></ul><ul><li>I was surprised at how much I became interested in it. Second life is so immersive and it involves so many senses and thought processes that I found myself paying attention to the tour I took, more so than I would for a lecture of the same length. </li></ul>
    16. 31. What did I learn? <ul><li>This technology can be very useful, especially in simulations. It is not as freakish as I anticipated. I admit coming to it with quite a bias. </li></ul><ul><li>I enjoyed exploring Second Life. It is fascinating to see what other people have done in an educational capacity. </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of computing resources are needed to successfully work in Second Life. </li></ul><ul><li>I took a tour of Info Island with a group of librarians and learned about what libraries are doing on SL. </li></ul><ul><li>I participated in a tour of what Centrax has been doing. Centrax is the company that created the sim for Children’s. </li></ul>
    17. 32. My biggest success? <ul><li>Removing the ponytail from my avatar. The pink dress with white polka dots was gone in a New York minute. But that darned ponytail just wouldn’t go away. </li></ul>
    18. 33. What would I have done differently? <ul><li>I was so determined to make it work for me that I spent more time at home than was appropriate. I should have stopped working after 2 hours and tried again at work or somewhere else with more bandwidth and a more current computer. </li></ul>
    19. 34. <ul><li>Articles </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Calongne, Cynthia. (2008). Education frontiers: Learning in a virtual world. EDUCAUSE Review . 43(5). Retrieved February 17, 2009, from http://connect.educause.edu/Library/EDUCAUSE+Review/EducationalFrontiersLearn/47221?time=1233518719 . </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Lamb, Gregory. (2006, October 5). Real learning in a virtual world. The Christian Science Monitor . http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1005/p13s02-legn.html </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>* Menneck, Brian E., NcNeill, David, Ganis, Matthew, Roche, Edward M., Bray, David, Konsynski, Benn, Townsend, Anthony M., & Lester, John. (2008) Second life and other virtual worlds: a roadmap for research. The Communications of the Association for Information Systems . 22(20). </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Rose, Frank (2007). How Madison Avenue Is Wasting Millions on a Deserted Second Life. Wired Magazine , 15(8) , Retrieved February 17, 2009, from http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/magazine/15-08/ff_sheep?currentPage=1 </li></ul>
    20. 35. <ul><li>Mailing Lists </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life Educators </li></ul><ul><li>https://lists.secondlife.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/educators </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life Researcher’s List </li></ul><ul><li>http://list.academ-x.com/listinfo.cgi/slrl-academ-x.com </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    21. 36. <ul><li>Websites </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>The Active Worlds Educational Universe </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.activeworlds.com/edu/index.asp </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>The Immersive Education Initiative (Media Grid) </li></ul><ul><li>http://immersiveeducation.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Institutions and Organizations in SL, SimTeach, http://simteach.com/wiki/index.php?title=Institutions_and_Organizations_in_SL#UNIVERSITIES.2C_COLLEGES_.26_SCHOOLS </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Ode to Virtual Learning, EDUCAUSE Review Magazine, Volume 43, Number 5, September/October 2008 (several articles related to Virtual Worlds in Education) </li></ul><ul><li>http://connect.educause.edu/Library/EDUCAUSE+Review/EDUCAUSEReviewMagazineVol/47218 </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual World Review </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.virtualworldreview.com </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li># The Virtual Worlds Timeline Web site: Retrieved February 17, 2009, from http://www.dipity.com/user/xantherus/timeline/Virtual_Worlds. </li></ul>

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