Media Grid News

Immersive Education 2010 In Review

Notable iED events, activities, "Inside Scoop" Twitter items and discussions from 2010


BOSTON, MA - January 13, 2011 - The Immersive Education Initiative today released a summary of the year 2010 in review, organized into three categories:

The Initiative's year in review is a summary of annual progress made by the 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 reality and game-based learning and training systems. Thousands of faculty, teachers, researchers, staff, administrators and students are members of the Immersive Education Initiative.


Notable Events and Activities in 2010

iED 2010: The Immersive Education Initiative's 2010 Summit ("iED 2010") was held in Boston from April 23-25 through special arrangement with the Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College. Organized specifically for educators, researchers, and administrators, the three-day conference consisted of presentations, panel discussions, break-out sessions and workshops that provided attendees with an in-depth overview of new and emerging virtual worlds, learning games, educational simulations, mixed/augmented reality, and related teaching tools, techniques, technologies, standards and best practices. The Education Grid, Open Wonderland, Open Cobalt, Open Simulator (OpenSim) and realXtend were among the immersive learning technologies featured at iED 2010.

iED 2011: The Immersive Education Initiative announced that iED 2011 will be held in Boston May 13-15. The Initiative issued an open call for iED 2011 papers, posters, workshops, panels, general presentations, demos, and outliers (novel late-breaking research and technology). Previous speakers have included faculty, researchers, and administrators from The Grid Institute, Boston College, Harvard University (Harvard Graduate School of Education, Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, and Harvard Kennedy School of Government), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), MIT Media Lab, The Smithsonian Institution, Loyola Marymount University, Stanford University, United States Department of Education, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Federation of American Scientists (FAS), Duke University, Temple University, Southeast Kansas Education Service Center, Cornell University, Amherst College, Boston Library Consortium, South Park Elementary School, Open Wonderland Foundation, realXtend (Finland), The MOFET Institute (Israel), University of Aizu (Japan), Keio University (Japan), National University of Singapore, Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), University of Essex (UK), Giunti Labs (Italy) and European Learning Industry Group, Open University (UK), and more.

iED Chapters: Chapters of the Immersive Education Initiative were formed in Europe, Kansas, Colorado, and Oregon in late 2010 and will officially launch in early 2011. In December the Board of Governors for the European Chapter of Immersive Education ("iED Europe") was assembled from leading immersive teaching and learning experts at universities across Europe (England, France, Finland, Austria, Switzerland and Scotland). As of iED 2010 the Immersive Education Initiative has supported the formation of local, regional, and student chapters. iED chapters consist of Initiative members who share common interests and geographical proximity. iED chapters receive technical and organizational support and direction from the international Immersive Education Initiative, and are authorized to host official iED events both in-world (virtually) and in person (e.g., Summits and Days).

Boston College Going 100% Immersive: During his opening address at iED 2010, James A. Woods, Dean of Boston College's Woods College of Advancing Studies, announced that the college's undergraduate courses will be offered as fully immersive distance learning classes through the Immersive Education Initiative. Having started with 4 classes in fall 2010, the entire Woods College of Advancing Studies course catalog is expected to become fully immersive over the next five years. Standard Boston College credit is issued for immersive Advancing Studies courses, with no distinction made between the amount or form of credit given for traditional in-person classes. Students enrolled in immersive classes attend entirely within an online immersive learning environment, using open and freely available technologies endorsed by the Initiative, and may therefore reside anywhere in the world.

Create Once, Experience Everywhere: The Immersive Education Initiative's "Create Once, Experience Everywhere"™ 3D/VR format was unveiled in late 2010, providing an open and royalty-free cross-platform 3D/VR mesh file format that enables 3D and virtual reality (3D/VR) content to be created once and experienced across a range of virtual worlds, games, simulators and mixed/augmented reality applications. The culmination of over 2 years of work conducted through the Open File Formats Technology Working Group (OFF.TWG), iED 3D/VR™ is aligned with the COLLADA™ standard and supported by official iED virtual world platforms realXtend, Open Wonderland, Open Simulator ("OpenSim") and Open Cobalt in addition to the candidate iED platform Sirikata.

Psychologically Beneficial Immersive Environments: The Immersive Education Initiative's Psychology of Immersive Environments Technology Working Group (PIE.TWG) issued a formal call for "psychologically beneficial immersive environments" in mid 2010. The results of this call and related PIE.TWG activities will establish a searchable repository of psychologically beneficial virtual worlds, simulations, video games, mixed/augmented reality applications in addition to leading papers, case studies, and research in the field. The purpose of the repository is to 1) provide examples of best practices to promote psychologically beneficial effects of immersive environments, 2) showcase state-of-the-art applications of immersive technologies and platforms in the field of psychology, and 3) provide a functional sub-set of the Education Grid dedicated specifically to psychology.

iED Audio Whiteboard with Web-to-World (w2w) capabilities: The Immersive Education Initiative's Library Technology Working Group (LIB.TWG) released the first major rendition of the iED Audio Whiteboard, featuring "Web-to-World" (w2w) capabilities. The iED Audio Whiteboard provides shared (collaborative) whiteboard functionality; private audio lecture rooms within shared virtual worlds; a reliable alternate audio channel that is helpful in ensuring that all individuals in a virtual world are capable of hearing and talking by voice even in cases where the virtual world's own audio system is problematic; and "Web-to-World" (w2w) content authoring capabilities that greatly simplify the process of placing content and reference materials into virtual worlds. Using the iED Audio Whiteboard anyone with a standard Web browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.) can populate a virtual world with hyperlinked whiteboard imagery and 2D images, and soon 3D objects as well, using only their Web browser: no virtual world building or authoring skills required.

  • Video overview of Web-to-World (w2w)
  • Web-to-World (w2w) overview and guide
  • iED Audio Whiteboard overview and forums
  • Virtual World Platform Support: Products and Services for Immersive Libraries (article by iED LIB.TWG co-chair Jerome Yavarkovsky)

Call for Legal Opinions on Second Life: In early 2010 the Immersive Education Initiative issued a call for expert legal opinions on Second Life related to 1) content ownership, 2) terms of service, and 3) potential legal liabilities for teaching in the virtual world of Second Life. The Initiative issued its call to the international legal community in response to 1) new Second Life terms of service that went into effect after iED 2010, and 2) a growing concern for legal liabilities for educators and schools that require students to enter and reside in a public virtual world populated with anonymous users and potentially offensive content. Following the change in terms of service Second Life's education discount was discontinued and the teenage area in Second Life ("Teen Second Life") was closed and scheduled to merge with the adult area.

  • After Frustrations in Second Life, Colleges Look to New Virtual Worlds (Chronicle of Higher Ed.)
  • Second Life To Drop Educational Discount (Chronicle of Higher Education)
  • Academics Discuss Mass Migration From Second Life (Chronicle of Higher Education)
  • K-12 Groups Stranded in Second Life Teen Grid Shutdown (THE Journal)


Notable "Inside Scoop" Twitter items in 2010

Follow for sneak peeks and early access to iED events, activities, news, software, research, best practices, member discussions and more. Notable 2010 Inside Scoop tweets:

#iED #SNEAKPEEK: New Immersive Education Initiative website to launch January 2011. Sneak peek at

#iED SPEAKERS: Submit your presentation proposals for iED 2011 (Immersive Education 2011 Summit) at #immersive #edu

#iED #ARTICLE: "Immersive Education Initiative: free land for educators migrating from Second Life"

#iED SNEAK PEEK: Updated news "Free Teen Second Life Migration Land+Services Announced by Immersive Education Initiative"

#iED: Teen Second Life to be added to registry of abandoned virtual words at

#iED #CAVE: Immersive Education Initiative CAVEs (room-sized immersive caves) to premier at 2011 iED Summit.

#iED #SNEAKPEEK: Video of South Park's new Immersive Education CAVE is online at #CAVE #OFF #MXR #iED2011

#iED: Delegates from Oregon Chapter of Immersive Education Initiative preparing iED 2011 presentations #iED2011

#iED #DAYS: Have official Immersive Education Initiative "DAYS" at your school. See "iED Days" at

#iED #CHAPTER: Start an official Immersive Education Initiative chapter at your school, state or region. See "chapters"

#iED #TEG: The realXtend virtual world has successfully rezzed 3D objects stored in Wonderland servers. Cross-platform content exchange.

#iED: Preparing virtual training schedule to teach educators how to create cross-platform immersive 3D/VR content

#iED: Preparing Cobalt Tuesdays, Wonderland Wednesdays, realXtend Thursdays, Sirikata Saturdays, OpenSim Sundays.

#iED SPECIAL EVENT: "Video Game Addiction" panel discussion for parents and educators this Sunday. See "EVENTS" at

#iED PIE: Violence added to video game addiction work items for the Psychology of Immersive Environments Working Group

#iED WEEKLY: The Immersive Education Weekly Paper is out at Immersive Education Initiative #immersive #edu

#iED POLL: Mac, Windows, Linux or Other? What type of computer do you primarily use? #poll #edu #immersive #mac #win

#iED MIDWEST USA: Starting now - "Launching the Kansas Chapter of Immersive Education" event & agenda #iEDKANSAS #edu

#iED K-12: Starting now - "Preparing to launch the K-12 Technology Working Group (K12.TWG)" event and agenda at #edu

#iED TEG: "Avatar Portability, Federated Identity (single sign-on), and Global-scale Virtual Worlds" standards started

#iED #TEG: The Education Grid weekly meeting in session to enable interoperable virtual world infrastructure for global-scale virtual worlds

#iED #MINNESOTA: iED Director Aaron E. Walsh and MiRTLE inventor Michael Gardner now speaking during opening ceremony of iED Day Minnesota

#iED #MXR "Mixing Real & Virtual Worlds: Lessons from the MiRTLE Project" iED SUMMIT 2009:LONDON session #iED2009

#iED #MXR Video of MiRTLE Mixed Reality Teaching & Learning Environment featured at iED SUMMIT 2010:BOSTON #iED2010

#iED POLICY: Immersive Education Initiative's open and royalty-free Intellectual Property policy #edu #immersive #open

#iED PROCESS: Immersive Education Initiative's open and royalty-free standardization process at #edu #immersive #open



Notable iED Member Discussions in 2010

iED member discussion forums were opened in late 2010. Following are notable discussions that have started since the member forums were opened. Click on a discussion link below to jump directly into that particular discussion, or visit to see all forums:

iED Mixed Reality Prototypes - Installation and Usage Instructions

RESEARCH: The Effects of Fully Immersive Virtual Reality on the Learning of Physical Task

Building in OpenSim on The Education Grid (TEG)

New learning modules - Math, Keyboarding (typing), Solar System Spy, and Spacestation game

Launch date for iED Kansas launch AND Location of iED Kansas launch event?

K12 Technology Working Group (K12.TWG) DRAFT CHARTER AND Launch date for K12.TWG

Augmented reality for language translation

To Hypergrid or not to Hypergrid: That is the question! Pros and Cons of Hypergridding in OpenSim

Wonderland APIs For Scripting?

Article: Virtual World Platform Support: Products and Services for Immersive Libraries - RezLibris

New Report : Immersive Internet Australia: Education

realXtend is running very slowly on my computer. Can I improve performance in any way?

Open Cobalt Demonstration at 2010 Summit: Enthusiasm and the Realization of how Limited by Skills Are

SPECIAL EVENT: "Video Game Addiction" panel discussion for parents and educators

realXtend Thursday: Smithsonian Virtual Watershed



Thousands of Members Worldwide

The Immersive Education Initiative is 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 reality and game-based learning and training systems. Thousands of faculty, teachers, researchers, staff, administrators and students are members of the Immersive Education Initiative.


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