3 D Virtual Connexions Advice Center


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Presented at INACOL Virtual Schools Symposium, Austin, TX November 2009.

We began with a bright idea of having a virtual, "Second Life"-style counseling center for our local 13-19 year old students. This case study explores how we overcame various barriers and obstacles to commission and establish a safe, virtual environment, where teenage students in our area can access resources, chat with counselors, and join live group sessions on topics such as career, health and personal welfare. We also discuss how you might develop your own virtual center at low cost.

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3 D Virtual Connexions Advice Center

  1. 1. 3D Virtual Connexions Advice Center Michael Larbalestier
  2. 2. What’s your 3D world experience? Regular user http://www.flickr.com/photos/pathfinderlinden/ Once saw a 3D movie Dabbler http://www.flickr.com/photos/playerx/
  3. 3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilwykes/
  4. 4. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Concrete_Cowboy
  5. 5. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdpettitt/
  6. 6. http://www.flickr.com/photos/arenamontanus/
  7. 7. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdpettitt/
  8. 8. Connexions • Government youth support service in England • For 13-19 year olds • Most funding devolved to 150 districts • Also a nationally run contact centre web/phone • Health, careers, relationships, housing, money, jobs, college applications, resume advice • Services delivered from the city office and at local schools, colleges and community centers
  9. 9. Why go virtual? • We proposed it in our bid to run the service • Counselors not using technology effectively • Young people want us to use web 2.0 tools • Connexions services don’t reach everyone • With web 2.0 can reach more young people • Maybe it will cost a little less.... • Huge budget cuts are planned from 2010
  10. 10. The Brief • Browser based – no large download • 2D accessible version • Reach more young people • Friendly and fun • Relevant information • Technology familiar to young people • Safe • Build user confidence • Accessible • Easy to build rooms and change content
  11. 11. TPLD World leader in team game-based learning solutions. Integrate multi-player game technology with the psychology of learning Build generic collaborative platform Build tools that create 3D team learning environments Partner with subject matter experts
  12. 12. AGILE Development Process Phase 1: Requirements Workshop Prototype design Phase 2: Development - Back end system - 2 D site - 3 D site - Beta testing Phase 3: Deployment and testing
  13. 13. Demo Virtual Reception PA Room Radio Station Training Fair Assessment Room MK College Room Resume Maze game University Room Job Cafe
  14. 14. What can young people do here? • Explore different rooms • Consume/Contribute video, audio and images • Join live workshops • Play resume game / Update resume • Play infiniteams team development game • Chat & share files with counselor • Download logs of chat and activities
  15. 15. What can counselors do here? • Greet visitors & engage proactively • Review visitor’s prior chat/activity logs/files • Guide to rooms and content • Offer counseling chat session • Push content for live groups • Facilitate radio/video content generation • Assess needs in a different way
  16. 16. Challenges • Record levels of youth unemployment • Counselors lack web 2.0 skills • Professional belief that FACE TO FACE is best • Worries about child safety • Our IT network is not built for web 2.0 • Accessibility – how far to go?
  17. 17. budget 3d counseling center • sleducation.wikispaces.com/educationaluses • arianeb.com/more3Dworlds.htm – list of worlds • Google “browser based 3d virtual world” • gogofrog.com
  18. 18. Thank you Michael Larbalestier Please visit www.virtualconnexionsmk.co.uk Email: michael.larbalestier@prospects.co.uk Blog: careerswork20.blogspot.com