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... http://www.flickr.com/photos/rorymunro/3501595396/
Birmingham digital conference top trended more than #sxsw
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.
Meeting, exchanging information, using info services Sheila Webber http://www.flickr.com/photos/23396182@N00/4259812586/
Learning about e-Learning (MSc graduation) Fiona Littleton http://www.flickr.com/photos/flittleton/4150476530/
Training in dealing with medical situations Kate Boardman http://www.flickr.com/photos/kattanhurnung/4115602444/
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.
Tour of the testicle (difficult in real life) Sheila Webber http://www.flickr.com/photos/23396182@N00/4383619832/
Make virtual stuff that (safely) does physical stuff SGVW team, University of Ulster http://www.flickr.com/photos/33422226@N04/4381901772/
Mix up, integrate, access other digital content Marf Shopmyer http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfita/4086703367/
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?”
Testing virtual worlds now gone e.g. Metaplace Daniel Livingstone http://www.flickr.com/photos/dlivingstone/3386455574/
Testing other virtual worlds e.g. ReactionGrid Annabeth Robinson http://www.flickr.com/photos/annamorphic/3977757074/
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.