Media Grid News

Immersive Education Initiative Launches The Education Grid


BOSTON, MA - June 20, 2008 - The Immersive Education Initiative today launched the Education Grid with an early preview of Sun Microsystems Laboratory's Project Wonderland virtual world servers ("nodes") hosted by Essex University (United Kingdom), University of Oregon, St. Paul College, New Media Consortium (NMC), Common Need, and Sun Microsystems. Faculty and staff from each host organization will join initiative members and faculty from the Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College to guide visitors through the virtual worlds that debut on the Education Grid today at 4pm EST.

Today's event gives educators early access to the Sun Microsystems Laboratory's Project Wonderland platform and corresponding server-side Education Grid. Later this month the initiative will launch Education Grid services for Second Life, followed by services for Cobalt/Croquet.

Immersive EducationThe Education Grid is a free public utility provided by the Immersive Education Initiative and its members. Starting today initiative members have early access to the Education Grid, where they can conduct classes and meetings within a growing collection of virtual worlds. Initiative members can also use the Education Grid to build custom virtual learning worlds, simulations, and learning games. Virtual learning environments on the Education Grid may be hosted by the initiative, by member organizations (such as high schools, colleges and universities), or at multiple locations for fail-safe redundancy.

Immersive Education's virtual world Platform Ecosystem and Education Grid together provide educators with an open and comprehensive end-to-end infrastructure for a new generation of learning worlds, interactive learning games, and simulations. Immersive Education's Platform Ecosystem currently consists of Sun Microsystems Laboratory's Project Wonderland, the open source Second Life viewer, and Cobalt/Croquet. The corresponding Education Grid provides content delivery services, collaboration services and academic services to these and other client-side platforms.

Immersive Education is developed by the Immersive Education Initiative, a non-profit international collaboration of universities, colleges, research institutes, consortia and companies that are working together to define and develop open standards, best practices, platforms, and communities of support for virtual worlds, simulators and game-based learning and training systems.



About Immersive Education
Immersive Education ( combines interactive 3D graphics, commercial game and simulation technology, virtual reality, voice chat (Voice over IP/VoIP), Web cameras (webcams) and rich digital media with collaborative online course environments and classrooms. Immersive Education gives participants a sense of "being there" even when attending a class or training session in person isn't possible, practical, or desirable, which in turn provides educators and students with the ability to connect and communicate in a way that greatly enhances the learning experience. Unlike traditional computer-based learning systems, Immersive Education is designed to immerse and engage students in the same way that today's best video games grab and keep the attention of players. Immersive Education supports self-directed learning as well as collaborative group-based learning environments that can be delivered over the Internet or using fixed-media such as CD-ROM and DVD. Shorter mini-games and interactive lessons can be injected into larger bodies of course material to further heighten and enrich the Immersive Education experience.

About the Media Grid
The Media Grid is a public utility for digital media. Based on new and emerging distributed computational grid technologies, the Media Grid builds upon existing Internet and Web standards to create a unique network optimized for digital media delivery, storage, and processing. As an on-demand public computing utility, a range of software programs and Web sites can use the Media Grid for delivery and storage of rich media content, media processing, and computing power. The Media Grid is an open and extensible platform that enables a wide range of applications not possible with the traditional Internet alone, including: Massive Media on Demand (MMoD); Interactive digital cinema on demand; Immersive Education and distance learning; Truly immersive multiplayer games and Virtual Reality (VR); Hollywood movie and film rendering, special effects, and composition; Real-time rendering of high resolution graphics; Real-time visualization of complex weather patterns; Real-time protein modeling and drug design; Telepresence, telemedicine, and telesurgery; Vehicle and aircraft design and simulation; Visualization of scientific and medical data.

The Grid Institute leads the design and development of the global Media Grid through the open standards organization in collaboration with industry, academia, and governments from around the world.

To learn more about the Media Grid, Immersive Education or the Education Grid visit:, and