Media Grid News

Media Grid Launches Library Technology Working Group (LIB.TWG) for Immersive Education


BOSTON, MA - December 12, 2008 - The Media Grid this month launched the Library Technology Working Group (LIB.TWG) to define, implement, evolve and maintain applications and open standards related to the provision of library services associated with Immersive Education. Participation in the Library TWG is open to the public and members of the Immersive Education Initiative having experience with real-world or digital libraries, or extensive experience developing or using virtual worlds, simulators or video games. Access to the Library TWG is available through the group charter at

Immersive EducationIn the age of Immersive Education libraries are challenged to provide resources and personalized research and learning services that transcend physical space. Scholarly communication that once depended on printed books and journals is now network disseminated and enriched with the spectrum of multimedia—moving and still photo/video images, sound, animation, immersive 3D and virtual reality, simulation, executable code, large data sets—as well as interactive communication among reviewers and readers. Pedagogy that was predominantly an independent and competitive process for students outside class now makes greater use of collaboration, cooperation, and group study.

In addition to a changed learning and research environment, librarians face continually changing sources for the digital literature and other assets they acquire and make available, and continually changing tools for scholars to locate and use these resources. Management of the library enterprise is characterized by more complex and intense communication among librarians, and the delivery of library services is distinguished by the need for direct, personalized advice on what is available and instruction on how to use it.

Although library practice has been deeply technological for thirty years or more, and a cornerstone of research and course delivery, it is now constrained by the traditions of physical services in real buildings. Similarly, working relations among library staff and with consortial partners depend on traditional modes of email, telephone and process control systems. Certainly, ample opportunity exists to enable vastly greater efficiencies in communication through the use of virtual reality meetings and consultations.

The Library Technology Working Group is chartered to project library services beyond the limits of the brick and mortar physical plant through the application of interactive 3D graphics and animation, open video game and simulation technology, virtual reality, voice over IP, web cams and other rich digital media. These technologies can be leveraged today toward the creation of virtual collaborative study spaces, virtual information literacy programs, virtual research and course consultations, virtual interlibrary document management, and virtual service delivery to name just a few possibilities.

To join visit the Library TWG charter at


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