Today's Campus magazine covers the people, campuses, and companies making business news in higher education" The short article, "Virtual Learning Landscape" is on pages 10-11.
"Virtual Learning Landscape: The newest landscape for higher education" by Brian Shuster. The 2-page article is in Today's Campus, published online as a flipbook at Uberflip.com. It may take an extra minute to load. He mentions using a virtual world platform to build historical settings. One mentioned is "Harlem Renaissance", by Dr. Bryan Carter.
I know of two instances where history is learned through immersive learning in a virtual world. A graduate program for future librarians at the SJSU School of Library and Information Science has a Fall 2013 course "Virtual Worlds: Life in Tudor Times" where students must help recreate a small tudor village and do role playing. In Spring 2014 they are offering "Virtual Worlds: Traveling Through Times and Space: BIrth of the Renaissance in Florence".
There are are hundreds of virtual worlds that have free accounts. However, there is a steep learning curve if the participants are going to be required to build a whole village. Building and role-playing require a lot of research by the participants.
Have your avatar exercise along with you by using a free mobile fitness app. CTO David Daeschler says, "The app is currently able to track the level of activity when walking, running, and using stationary bikes and elliptical trainers. Turning isn’t currently supported, just forward motion, so in order for avatars to use this to, say, explore a scenic region, they need to be following a pre-built path."
Just imagine the future creative expansion of this to something besides fitness. I am thinking business and education uses. The InWorldz virtual grid an exciting place to be...no wonder it is growing so fast!
The only other thing I can think of is if they were planning on closing down second life and selling it. I imagine, theoretically, they could sell it for more if they owned the entire thing from code to content. A new owner would have the freedom to make drastic changes if they had to, but perhaps without that new TOS they could be wary of being handcuffed.
Have you been following discussions on the recent Second Life TOS changes? Friends and I moved over to the InWorldz grid ages ago when we discovered affordable virtual land ($75 / month and curently no setup fee), a lot of prims for creating (35,000 to 45,000 per region instead of 15,000), many wonderful and generous InWorldz residents. Since the TOS changes, artists and other creators are moving over to InWorldz.
The virtual world of Cloud Party is built on WebGL and HTML5 technology, so it runs directly in a modern browser. Copy and share your URL with anyone in the world and they can be there with you in seconds. No plugins. No downloads. For a fast start to creating a Cloud Party account, read this Cloud Party Quick Guide for Educators.
This advice about texture sizes is relevant to many virtual worlds. Mona discusses the download size of a 1024x1024 24-bit color-depth texture versus the download size of smaller texture sizes and how that impacts the visitor's viewer. In May 2013, Ciaran Laval blogged about this topic also: http://sl.governormarley.com/?p=3128#more-3128
Helen Babbs meets two video game designers who have taken their inspiration from nature and swapped gun toting for tree planting
Relax in nature and music. Babbs writes, "Enter planet Proteus and you're invited to wander through a rough-edged landscape that responds to your presence with music. Eufloria blends exploration with a cultivation quest and is more aggressive, involving fighting a diseased strain of seedling that's hindering your attempts to colonise an asteroid belt with trees. Both games are inspired by the natural world, and both are selling surprisingly well."
"This thesis explores the features of Second Life and OpenSim that affect the choice of academics who are planning to use a virtual world in order to meet the learning needs of their students. For the conduct of this study, what was taken into account is a preexisting framework which proposes the evaluation of virtual worlds against four dimensions: their contexts, the immersion encountered within each, their cost, and their persistence. "
Submit your presentation by June 15th! "Calling all virtual world educators! Share your innovations and best practices at VWBPE 2013 24 – 27 July. We are encouraging presentations from across all virtual worlds, hosting presentations in Second Life, OpenSim, Unity/Jibe, and Cloud Party. The theme is Beyond the Stage."
VWBPE is over for another year, but is it? The virtual world tours were moved to a post-conference MOOC that starts today.
Would you like to explore more virtual worlds? Perhaps you heard something at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference and would like to see how this might apply in your teaching and learning practice? Consider participating in the 2013 VWBPE MOOC - Virtual Worlds Explorations. There are 2 levels: 1. Just the tours please. 2. Engaging in the MOOC discussions about the tours.
Each week there will be 1 or 2 tours to virtual world environments, hosted by the people who developed the virtual learning environments. We will start in AvayaAlive on Monday 29 July, finishing the week of 19 August with Jokaydia Grid. Seven tours in all.
Choose either: * MOOC Starting Course (for just the tours) or * MOOC Basics (if you want the full meal deal, discussions and articles). You will be asked to create a new account with MOOC Basics that will give you full access to the course.
The online June 2013 issue of Journal of Virtual Worlds Research had been published. It covers the arts.
"This issue on Arts and Virtual Worlds features six exciting papers from artists and scholars on a variety of topics, each investigating at least one art medium (though often more) and its relevance to and within virtual worlds. You will find papers about music, television, storytelling along side avatar designs, real world assemblages and more artistic processes. JVWR continues to encourage this diverse approach as we explore and expand our field."
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