Thursday, May 22, 2008

e-Learning Summit:3-D Learning Environments Breakout

This session focused on different Virtual 3-D environments that may impact education.

Second Life
Everything created in Second Life is the property of Linden Labs, the creators of Second Life. MNSCU Island is MNSCU's presence in SL.

Sun-Project Wonderland
MPK20 Sun's Virtual Workspace

Sun is using this for collaborative, business interaction which allows people to interact in a business environment. This mimics the real world more than Second Life does, but you can also include live video interaction combining the real with the virtual.
Currently, Wonderland is a bit rough. In fact, Sun still uses Second Life for their virtual conferences. Wonderland is free, open source and Java based.


Julie Sykes, a Spanish instructor at the U of M and Liz Wendlund, developed Croquet, which allows you to pull in open source content for 3-D simulation. The simulations are task based, meaning they are monitored and assessed as you move through the simulation.

The next step is to have students complete the simulation to determine course placement in the Spanish language program.

What was interesting in this session, was that with my laptop, I was able to create this blog, and fact-check the presenter. He stated that Second Life was for people 8-85, when in fact it's 18-85. He also said that a Dr. Nora Paul had developed Croquet, when in fact it was Dr. Sykes.
Had I not had access, all of the people in the session would have been misinformed.

One of the participants also mentioned Active Worlds as a site that may be more appropriate for education.
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