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Virtual World Watch: past, present and future


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A summary of Virtual World Watch activities, midway through the first year of funded service activity.

Published in: Education
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Virtual World Watch: past, present and future

  1. 1. VViirrttuuaall WWoorrlldd WWaattcchh Past, present and future
  2. 2. Why this? April 15th 2009 marks the halfway point in the one year funding of Virtual World Watch by Eduserv. But what has been done? And what will be done? And what’s the future for Virtual World Watch...
  3. 3. The five year arc Seeing Virtual World Watch as a five year arc from Spring 2007 to Spring 2012. Virtual world use in UK HE and FE. Trend tracking. Practice and proof dissemination. Issues-based lobbying.
  4. 4. PPrree--OOccttoobbeerr ’’0088
  5. 5. UUKKOOLLNN 11999977 John (3rd, back row), Andy (6th, back row).
  6. 6. Checking out SL Andy: Taking a look, seeing the educational potential. John: Occasional games researcher and open-minded sceptic. Shown round SL by Aleks Krotoski (right); “Aha!” moment.
  7. 7. Reports, event logs Snapshot 1: July ’07. Snapshot 2: Sept ’07. Measuring the impact of SL: March ’08. Snapshot 3: May ’08.
  8. 8. Eduserv Foundation Put out several calls for research funding proposals, which led to many UK HE applications. Held split-world very busy symposium on SL matters. Great people to work with. No meetings, informal, quick payment by BACS.
  9. 9. OOccttoobbeerr ’’0088 -- ’’0099
  10. 10. What academics want IT services making it work. Easier access to proof. (Paid) work time to build stuff, not 1 in the morning. Free “stuff” they can use to quickly build their “stuff”. Contact with other academics doing the same. Greater control, autonomy, security of what they do. Integration with other tools and services.
  11. 11. Snapshots Snapshot 4: October ’08. Snapshot 5: February ’09. Snapshot 6: May ’09. Snapshot 7: August ’09. Snapshot 8: October ’09.
  12. 12. Other reports Second Life and alternative virtual worlds (1): May ’09. Virtual world research themes: August ’09. Second Life and alternative virtual worlds (2): Oct ’09.
  13. 13. Website Placeholder for snapshots, past, present and future. And other reports. And ... stuff. Constantly being defined.
  14. 14. Podcasts Started in January ’09. “Start the Week” every monday morning. Mainly UK academic developers. Quality improving with technology and experience. Strange cult following.
  15. 15. Resource directory To try and answer the “Easier access” request from academics. Annotated gateway to resources (retro!). Rolling out over the next few months, then keeping up to date.
  16. 16. We haz data LOL! Side benefit of snapshots. An increasing pile of data, albeit in different formats and unmapped. Humming and haa-ing about what to do with it. And how to extract trends.
  17. 17. OOcctt ’’0099 -- AApprr ’’1122
  18. 18. Why 2.5 years more? Virtual worlds aren’t going to go away. The perfect storm: Broadband is getting faster, more ubiquitous. PC / Mac specifications are getting better; virtual worlds are getting better. More uses, success stories, in education. Lots of data already in the bag. More data = more analysis. Complex contact network built up; shame to waste it. Experiments in running a service virtually.
  19. 19. Planning an island Experimentations in dissemination. More experience in design. Convenient place to interview, chat to academics. Not cheap, are they? Have to make it worthwhile.
  20. 20. Further snapshots Need to keep quality control high for credibility. Snapshot 9: April ’10. Snapshot 10: October ’10. Snapshot 11: April ’11. Snapshot 12: October ’11. Snapshot 13: April ’12.
  21. 21. Issue based work Aspects of virtual world use in the UK academic sector. Further investigations, resulting ephemera. Dissemination. Lobbying - media, funding bodies, academic bodies.
  22. 22. Uncertainties Emerging technologies for virtual world integration, communication, for dissemination (re: rapid rise of Twitter). Which virtual worlds will wax and wane in UK academia.
  23. 23. “Congratulations on your funding! So what’s your exit strategy?” Chris Rusbridge, eLib project managers workshop, Warwick, 1997
  24. 24. Mixed funding model Research funding (cheap; I haz no institutional overheads LOL). e-book sales. Donations. Affiliate streams. Experiments in real, virtual income generation.
  25. 25. Then what? (Shrug) dunno. Who knows what kind of a world(s) we will be in by Spring 2012? Will decide around the start of 2012.
  26. 26. Pictures Art Fossett at Annabeth’s Art Gallery: Eduserv Foundation Symposium: Aleks Krotoski: Discussion table: Manchester Business School: University of Ulster SLOODLE: Communicating results:
  27. 27. More pictures Eduserv Symposium: Eduserv island meeting pod: Annabeth’s oceanside apartment: The Collective - student work: Art Dollar: George the whale: