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Virtual Worlds and the (real) West Midlands

A presentation to the JISC West Midlands Virtual Worlds in Education Forum.

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Virtual Worlds and the (real) West Midlands

  1. 1. Virtual Worlds and the (real) West Midlands Virtual Worlds in Education Forum #VWEF7UggBoy
  2. 2. Prevailing images of BirminghamPete Ashton Clive A Brown
  3. 3. Mmmm, bright lights and shiny things John Kirriemuir
  4. 4. Mmm, food... Rubén díaz
  5. 5. IT’S (FINALLY) GOOD TO LIVE INBIRMINGHAM Over 1,000 years old but constantly regenerating. One of Europe’s largest and busiest city shopping areas. 8 minutes by train from the centre to the airport. Building one of Europe’s major public libraries. Growing digital media sector...
  6. 6. Birmingham digital conference top trended more than #sxsw
  7. 7. Speaking of #sxsw...
  8. 8. Social Media City Lloyd Davis
  9. 9. 3D Birmingham in Second Life Daden Media
  11. 11. CURRENT STATE OF PLAY• 90%+ of UK academics who use VWs use Second Life.• All bar one UK university has done something in VWs.• Activity in UK colleges much patchier.• Some, but not much, overlap with academic communities who use other technologies e.g. Blackboard, digital games.• Steadily growing research base of materials.• Difficulty in quickly/simply showing benefits of virtual worlds to colleagues, students, noobs underlying problem.
  12. 12. Meeting, exchanging information, using info services Sheila Webber
  13. 13. Learning about e-Learning (MSc graduation) Fiona Littleton
  14. 14. Training in dealing with medical situations Kate Boardman
  15. 15. WHY USE A VIRTUAL WORLD?SOME (STILL VALID) REASONS...• Meet, talk, while at home or office - reduce CO2 emissions ...• ... and save travel time and expense.• Develop team communication and collaboration skills.• Develop design and programming skills.• Integrate video, audio, digital media as you want it, into an event or display which anyone globally can access.• Teach, either one-to-one or one-to-many.
  16. 16. Tour of the testicle (difficult in real life) Sheila Webber
  17. 17. Make virtual stuff that (safely) does physical stuff SGVW team, University of Ulster
  18. 18. Mix up, integrate, access other digital content Marf Shopmyer
  19. 19. SECOND LIFE: EMBRACE OR AVOID? “It’s easy to use.” “It’s hard to use.” “There’s loads of free stuff “Bloody expensive to get a in there already.” decent chunk of land.” “There’s lots of other “Academics I know have academics in my subject been scared off it because area using it.” of newspaper stories.” “Been around for many “Every week a VW seems to years, so looks solid.” fold; is Second Life next?”
  20. 20. Testing virtual worlds now gone e.g. Metaplace Daniel Livingstone
  21. 21. Testing other virtual worlds e.g. ReactionGrid Annabeth Robinson
  22. 22. MAIN SUBJECT AREAS OF VW USE Health and medicine. Art and fashion. Nursing training. Legal training. Midwifery. Theatre and drama. Health and safety training. Computer science programming. Physics simulations e.g. wind turbines. Crime scene training. Information science theory. Languages, esp. Spanish.
  23. 23. PROBLEMO...
  24. 24. “What the hell is going on?” Josie Anderton
  25. 25. Everything you do online will kill you
  26. 26. Everything your kids do non-traditionally will kill them(Because “we” never had online “in my day”...) Campaign for Real Education
  27. 27. Chatroulette: pouring petrol on the sensationalist bonfire
  28. 28. Money and politics and expenditure and debt and money...