PRESENTATION SESSIONS START APRIL 23 AT 9:00 AM AND CONCLUDE AT 2:30 PM ON APRIL 25. HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS RUN UNTIL 4:00 p.m. ON APRIL 25. SPECIAL SESSIONS AND EVENTS THAT ARE NOT LISTED HERE ARE EMAILED DIRECTLY TO REGISTERED ATTENDEES PERIODICALLY DURING THE MONTH OF APRIL.
Aaron opens the 2010 Boston Summit with an in-depth overview of Immersive Education past, present, and future. He will show early examples of Immersive Education, dating back to the 1990s, and a variety of current examples that utilize modern immersive learning platforms. He will also provide attendees with an advance preview of new features and capabilities now under development for the next generation of Immersive Education. Aaron will discuss the Immersive Education "platform ecosystem" for virtual worlds, which presently consists of Open Wonderland, realXtend, OpenSimulator (OpenSim) and Cobalt. He will also describe how the Immersive Education Initiative provides an enhanced descendant of the open source Second Life viewer (client-side end user software) that is paired with open source virtual world servers to provide educators with a fully open, cost-free alternative to Second Life.
During this session Aaron will demonstrate a new generation of "mixed reality" Immersive Education technology that combines the real world with the virtual [see video]. He will also provide an overview of the various Immersive Education technology and community groups through which educators, researchers, and graduate students can participate directly in the ongoing design and development of immersive learning technologies, best practices, learning content, and standards.
Aaron concludes with an overview of the permanent virtual world land that attendees of the Immersive Education 2010 Summit receive for free.
Immersive Education, a non-profit Media Grid initiative, is award-winning learning technology that combines interactive 3D graphics, commercial game and simulation technology, virtual reality, voice chat, 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. Immersive Education is developed by the Immersive Education Initiative, an 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 immersive learning and training systems. Thousands of faculty, researchers, staff, administrators and students are members of the Immersive Education Initiative, which is growing at the rate of approximately 100 new members every month.
In the context of Immersive Education the term 'platform' refers to any virtual world, simulator or 3D environment that may be used for teaching or training purposes. The Immersive Education platform has evolved considerably over the past decade and the 3rd generation ("next generation") is now under development. Whereas the previous two generations were based on specific client-side platforms tied to proprietary server-side infrastructures, the future of Immersive Education revolves around multiple client-side platforms working in unison through the server-side Education Grid. The Platform Ecosystem and Education Grid provide educators with a comprehensive end-to-end infrastructure for a new generation of learning environments, learning games, and simulations.
Open Wonderland: The Past, Present, and Future
TRACK: DAY 1 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION : GENERAL INTEREST TIME : 10:30-11:30 AM April 23 (60 MINUTES) IN MURRAY ROOM
KEYWORDS: wonderland, java, sun, oracle, open source, open standards, open art path, security, scalability, reliability, collaborative virtual worlds
Open Wonderland is an official Immersive Education Initiative virtual worlds platform. Wonderland powered the very first virtual worlds on The Education Grid, and is today used by schools around the globe. As an open-source toolkit for building 3D virtual worlds, Open Wonderland supports immersive audio, 2D and 3D shared applications, multi-user Java programs in 2D or 3D, and telephony integration. Wonderland is completely open and highly extensible and features simple drag-and-drop building tools that enable educators and students alike to create a wide array of richly customized virtual worlds.
In this keynote presentation Nicole will give a brief history of the Wonderland project, starting with its origins at Sun Microsystems through the recent formation of the Open Wonderland Foundation. She will then give attendees a visual tour of how Wonderland is being used today, focusing on education and collaboration applications. Finally, Nicole will conclude with an overview of key Wonderland features and will close with her thoughts about where the Wonderland is headed in the future.
Open Cobalt Alpha: A Virtual World Browser and Creation Toolkit
TRACK: DAY 1 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION : GENERAL INTEREST TIME : 11:30-12:30 PM April 23 (60 MINUTES) IN MURRAY ROOM
KEYWORDS: virtual worlds, alpha release, cobalt, virtual multi-user workspaces, 3D portals, peer to peer, toolkit, croquet, national science foundation, NSF, mellon foundation
Open Cobalt is an official Immersive Education Initiative virtual worlds platform. Open Cobalt Alpha is the first step in a long term project to make available a free and open source platform for constructing, accessing, and sharing hyperlinked virtual workspaces for research and education. The technology is designed to make it easy to create highly capable and interlinked multi-user virtual workspaces, virtual exhibit spaces, and game-based learning and training environments that run on all major software operating systems. By using a peer-based messaging protocol to reduce reliance on server infrastructures for support of basic in world interactions across many participants, Open Cobalt makes it possible for people hyperlink their virtual worlds via 3D portals to form a large distributed network of interconnected collaboration spaces.
In this keynote presentation Julian and Mark will give a brief history of the Open Cobalt project, starting with the very first lines of code that they wrote together at the 2008 Immersive Education Boston Summit, through the launch of Open Cobalt Alpha at the 2010 Boston Summit.
DAY 1 LUNCH BREAK AND SOCIAL PERIOD TIME : 12:30-02:00 PM April 23 (90 MINUTES) IN HILLSIDE CAFE AND CORCORAN COMMONS (NEAR HEIGHTS ROOM)
Electromagnetism in Wonderland: A Paradigm Shift in Instruction
TRACK: HIGHER EDUCATION (PRIMARY TRACK), RESEARCH (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : 02:00-02:45 PM April 23 (45 MINUTES) IN MURRAY ROOM
The use of immersive 3D virtual worlds has the potential to transform instruction in many STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects. To effectively capitalize on the potential of virtual worlds in instruction we must first choose subject matter that lends itself to a virtual experience and makes sense in the world created for it. In this session John argues that electromagnetism—much of which is focused on understanding geometry in three dimensions—is an ideal content domain for immersive education. In addition to appropriate content, John suggests that educators must also design an aesthetic style and virtual structure that is both conceptually appropriate, as well as attractive and inviting. Finally, he recommends that the overall experience must be driven by ease of use, clear navigational patterns and intuitive interactive components. As he will explain in this session, the development of immersive teaching and learning environments becomes an exercise in finding the delicate balance that considers all of these important factors: content, design, and experience.
In this session John will report on the first steps that his team at MIT has taken in building a Wonderland-based virtual world for collaborative instruction in electromagnetism:
"Electromagnetism is a subject that is both widely taught and widely acknowledged to present significant conceptual difficulties for student learners. Because vector cross-products are fundamental to the statement of the laws of electromagnetism, the conceptual visualizations required of students are inherently three dimensional, and many of their learning difficulties cluster around 3D geometrical concepts. To address such difficulties, we have previously developed a number of stand-alone Java3D simulations for use in teaching introductory freshman physics at MIT in the Technology Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) studio physics format. We collectively refer to those simulations as the TEALsim simulations, many of which can be found online at MIT. Our long term goal is to create a three dimensional immersive world that will be home to a range of 3D visualizations, on-line experiments, interactive instructional content, and social media mechanisms that allow for rich collaboration among teachers and learners. We are interested in the iterative design and development process in creating such worlds; the usability, enjoyment of and engagement with content in a virtual space; the engagement with real world experiments from a virtual space; and the learning outcomes assessment studies associated with the virtual world and the content found therein.
In our first steps toward this long term goal, we have succeeded in importing TEALsim simulations into the Wonderland virtual environment in a one-off fashion, and are now building a protocol to systematically import TEALsim electromagnetism simulations into Wonderland, with modifications to make them more collaborative in nature. In this talk, we report on those efforts, as well as usability studies using MIT students as test subjects for what we have developed. We also discuss the technical difficulties we have encountered in this process, and progress we are making in the large scale merging of Java3D TEALsim simulations into Wonderland. Finally, we will discuss how the first steps described in this talk fit into the longer term educational goal we have outlined above.
Immerse yourself! Play, Experience and Learn: The Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum (LVM)
TRACK: GENERAL INTEREST (HIGHER EDUCATION AND K-12) TIME : 02:45-03:30 PM April 23 (45 MINUTES) IN MURRAY ROOM
KEYWORDS: Open Standards, best practices, Cultural Heritage, Latino, K-12, virtual worlds, simulation, learning games, virtual ecosystems, virtual watershed, Smithsonian, Museum, ecosystem model, 3D learning objects, Education Grid
The Smithsonian Latino Center (SLC) is a pan-institutional unit that works with the entire network of Smithsonian museums, research centers, the National Zoo and over 150 affiliates nationwide to foster understanding and appreciation of contributions made by Latinos to history, science, society and culture.
The Smithsonian Latino Center (SLC) continues the momentum created in 2007-2009 exploring the use of 3D Multi-User Virtual Environments (MUVEs) to target select audiences such as educators, students and researchers to participate in a range of immersive learning activities. This new form and medium has helped us to better understand how we might want to inform and re-merge with our physical resources. The Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum (LVM) is well into its fourth year of experimentation and exploration in multi-user virtual world environments, leveraging games and simulations to create innovative teaching and learning environments.
At the Immersive Education 2010 Boston Summit we will introduce conference participants to our current work in immersive education by demonstrating activities and learning objects developed for our site on the Second Life main Grid as well as for our site developed on a standalone open source virtual world platform on The Education Grid.
As we continue to create strategic partnerships in-world and in the real world by leveraging key resources and expertise, our goal is to establish a museum model based on best practices and open source standards for learning, working and cultural exchange in virtual world environments. A critical external partner for LVM in 2010 is the Immersive Education Initiative, which has been working collaboratively with the LVM team to create a kids version of LVM virtual watershed on a standalone virtual world grid based on open source technologies (Education Grid ecosystem).
The LVM Virtual Watershed is a unique component of the LVM virtual ecosystem that currently encompasses the existing five islands, thus, illustrating a 21st century approach to environmental education using multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) and emerging technologies. The overall goal with LVM is to explore the relationship between culture and the environment and the sustainability of both. This ecosystem model addresses how people participate in sustainable behavior and how we measure human impact and their consequences on biology, biodiversity and climate change for example. The LVM ecosystem is an added unique learning experience for our visitors interested in learning about Latino heritage through art, culture, history and science.
SLC continues strategic partnerships in the virtual world and in the real world, leveraging key resources and expertise to establish best practices and standards for learning, working, and cultural exchange in virtual world environments. The continued emphasis on community building among visitors, teachers, children, researchers and the general public interested in Latino history, art and culture through our online educational initiatives such as LVM will serve to provide innovative learning experiences based on 21st century approaches to immersive education from within informal learning environments.
Libraries in the Age of Immersive Education
TRACK: general (PRIMARY TRACK), higher education (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : 03:30-04:15 PM April 23 (45 MINUTES) IN MURRAY ROOM
KEYWORDS: LIB.TWG, library, collections, immersive study rooms, collaborative spaces, personal spaces, multimedia, virtual worlds, simulations, learning games
In this session Jerome will address the evolving role of the library as we enter the age of immersive education, and the work of the Immersive Education Initiative's Library Technology Working Group (LIB.TWG) in developing the capacity for scholars and teachers to exploit this library transformation. Jerome's presentation will feature prototype individual and group immersive learning spaces recently developed by the Library Technology Working Group, which will be made available to all attendees of the Immersive Education 2010 Boston Summit.
The library in immersive education is a repository and source for information; a collaborative workspace where students and others come together to investigate, to create and to learn; and an administrative entity engaged with educators, researchers, librarians, students and others. Immersive systems hold the promise of creating environments for individuals, wherever they are located, to be able to work together in virtual space with library materials and tools—search engines, online catalogs, media, text—as well as with productivity tools such as word processors, spreadsheets, graphic design software, and so forth. This will be a boon not only for real-world institutions lacking sufficient physical space—library study rooms, dormitory study rooms and classrooms—but also for distance education and international education.
Immersive libraries are not limited to digitized traditional library materials. Virtual representations of books—educational simulations that are interactive experiences with literature--and Web3D books are new forms made possible in virtual spaces.
Hence there is a further important role for immersive libraries: to organize and make accessible the learning and research resources created within or available to the virtual world. As virtual learning objects and immersive environments proliferate, there will be a growing challenge to identify and locate them for re-use, sharing or enhancement.
The Immersive Education Initiative's Library Technology Working Group (LIB.TWG) is responsible for defining, implementing, evolving and maintaining applications and open standards related to the provision of library services associated with Immersive Education. In 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.
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. Visit http://MediaGrid.org/groups to access the LIB.TWG charter, mission statement, use cases, and membership criteria.
Rebuilding K-5 Education with Immersive Education
TRACK: K-12 (PRIMARY TRACK), general (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : 02:00-02:45 PM April 23 (45 MINUTES) IN HEIGHTS ROOM
South Park Elementary is an urban K-5 school in southeastern Colorado. More than 60% of South Park's students live below poverty level and thus lack even the most basic cultural and educational experiences that many of us take for granted. Lack of adequate funding for field trips and hands-on experiences combined with high pupil-to-teacher ratios make it difficult to differentiate instruction and authentically engage the individual learner. Immersive Education is beginning to break down these barriers at South Park.
In this session Principal Cary Palumbo will provide an overview of Immersive Education Initiative projects that are underway at South Park, including the newly introduced Rocket World virtual learning environment. Cary will discuss how an integrated curricular approach in utilizing Immersive Education will be applied at South Park, as well as options in assessing student growth and performance as the school system embraces these new forms of technology-based teaching and learning.
Building a 100% Immersive Education Public School From Scratch
TRACK: K-12 (PRIMARY TRACK), research (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : 02:45-03:30 PM April 23 (45 MINUTES) IN HEIGHTS ROOM
In this session Wes will describe how Boston's Roxbury Institute of Technology (RIT) is transforming into a fully immersive high school that is chartered to provide a second chance for teenage learners who have not found success in a traditional school environment. Incarcerated, court-involved and at-risk learners, as well as Advanced Placement and Honors students with an special interest in technology, will be encouraged to apply.
Each student enrolled in the RIT Immersive Education high school will be provided with a personalized strategic learning and lifestyle change plan. Students will also be appointed a personal board of directors (formal mentors) who will help to guide them through the roadblocks they presently face in their day to day lives.
In this session Wes will detail how the RIT iED high school started, the process they have followed to date, and how the founding group is now awaiting a public charter from the Massachusetts Department of Education for a September 2011 opening.
The Roxbury Institute of Technology iED high school is a proposed charter public high school in Boston, MA. The school will offer traditional educational services delivered over a pure (entirely virtual) Immersive Education platform. The teaching faculty and the student body have partnered with an 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.
Virtual Worlds and Advanced Visualization in the K-6 classroom
TRACK: K-12 (PRIMARY TRACK), GENERAL (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : 03:30-04:00 PM April 23 (30 MINUTES) IN HEIGHTS ROOM
The Greenbush Southeast Kansas Education Service Center provides educational services to over 3,000 learners in the state of Kansas. At the core of every Greenbush program is the unyielding belief that every student, regardless of geographic location, deserves equal educational opportunities. The main Greenbush campus is the site for unique learning facilities such as the Abernathy Science Center and rain forest, Mission Space Station, Astrophysical Observatory, and Greenbush Archaeological Dig. However, learning opportunities for students are by no means limited to the Greenbush campus. The Greenbush Interactive Distance Learning Network, Virtual Prescriptive Learning, Migrant Education, and Virtual Greenbush provide students across the state with curriculum and learning experiences ranging from algebra and history to career/technical education and foreign language instruction.
This session will provide a broad overview and practical use case examples of the open source Immersive Education 3D virtual world platforms (as well as hardware platforms) that the Greenbush Education Service Center has been deploying with K-6 students over the past 4 years. At Greenbush we have graduated over 200 students through our "Virtual World Builders" project over the past several years, and in this session I look forward to sharing with you the many tips, tricks, and methods that we have developed that you can use immediately in your own K-6 and K-12 classrooms.
This session will discuss OpenSimulator (OpenSim), Google Sketchup, CBModelPro, Open Cobat, the classroom interactive whiteboard, and our new Mobile Immersive Learning Lab conceptual design.
2010: A FACE ODYSSEY — EXITING THE UNCANNY VALLEY
TRACK: DAY 1 CLOSING PRESENTATION : GENERAL INTEREST TIME : 04:15-04:45 PM April 23 (30 MINUTES) IN MURRAY ROOM
From Boston College take the GREEN LINE train (T) to Arlington Street. The T ride to Arlington Street takes approximately 20 minutes. Exit the train at the Arlington stop. From Arlington Street walk through the Boston Public Garden, past the pond and swan boats, to the opposite side of the garden. Cheers is at 84 Beacon Street. Beacon Street is a 5 minute walk from Arlington Street. [click here for more directions to Cheers]
DAY 2 : April 24, 2010
Virtual worlds done the web way
TRACK: GENERAL (PRIMARY TRACK), RESEARCH (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : 09:00-09:45 AM April 24 (45 MINUTES) IN FULTON 230
KEYWORDS: OFF.TWG, web3D, world wide web, web, webgl, virtual worlds, mobile 3D, Khronos, open standards
Is the World Wide Web the future of 3D virtual worlds? The barrier to entry for interactive 3D has traditionally been too high for many people. Upgrading or buying new hardware, installing specialized software, and upgrading device drivers are among the barriers that prevent many educators from even making it to the start of the traditional steep learning curve involved with actually learning how to use and teach in 3D virtual worlds. Meanwhile the web has grown from its origins as a digital documents mechanism to also being a full-fledged software application platform. We believe that networked 3D can benefit from this.
The work I will present in this session grew out of building Sirikata, an innovative open source virtual world project that originated at Stanford University. We now are taking this to the web in a way that requires nothing more than a standard web browser: no installation of 3rd party or special software, including plug-ins, is necessary. The enabling technology is WebGL, the new open 3D graphics format for web browsers developed by the Mozilla Foundation, Apple, Google and others. WebGL is expected to soon to be a standard feature of upcoming versions of major web browsers including Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. It will also be available for Internet Explorer (through a plug-in). Can you imagine sending someone a link from which they can launch themselves into your multiuser 3D environments directly within their web browser? In this session you'll not only see how this is possible, you'll also see the way in which virtual worlds may be created and delivered in the near future.
Open Source solutions for improving the accessibility of 3D virtual world environments
TRACK: HIGHER EDUCATION (PRIMARY TRACK), RESEARCH (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : 09:45-10:30 AM April 24 (45 MINUTES) IN FULTON 230
KEYWORDS: accessibility, disability, virtual guidedog, 3D virtual learning environment, open source, Open Simulator, OpenSim, OpenSim, Access Globe, virtual worlds, AJAX, ARIA, Web3D, mobile 3D
This session and paper describes a project funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, which aims to address such accessibility challenges through the design and development of an open source 3D virtual learning platform, an associated Web 2.0 interface, accessible teaching tools and guidelines for the design and development of accessible 3D virtual worlds. The session begins with a report of the findings of our research into the accessibility issues and challenges faced by people with disabilities in navigating 3D virtual worlds. These challenges include lack of alternative text for graphical content, poor support for screen readers used by people who are blind, limitations relating to keyboard access, the need for streaming captions for audio visual material and the need for logical ordering of links to interface elements.
The next section of the session describes existing solutions and supports available within virtual worlds such as Second Life. Building on the work of such groups as Virtual Helping Hands, which developed the virtual guidedog currently in use in Second Life, we describe how technologies such as MaxVoice are being integrated into the open source SnowGlobe client application to improve accessibility within Second Life and OpenSimulator (OpenSim) virtual world environments. We also describe a Web 2.0 environment under development which utilizes AJAX and ARIA technologies to provide a light weight interface to virtual worlds via Web browsers and mobile devices. The preliminary findings from our initial trials are reported and the challenges encountered in our early development work are discussed. Based on the findings of these early trials and the solutions we have developed to address these identified challenges, we explore the potential for extending the open source solution to other 3D virtual world platforms. Finally, we highlight the benefits of applying universal design principles to the development of open source 3D virtual world environments.
CREATE ONCE, EXPERIENCE EVERYWHERE: BUILDING PORTABLE AND CROSS-PLATFORM IMMERSIVE EDUCATION LEARNING EXPERIENCES
TRACK: GENERAL (PRIMARY TRACK), RESEARCH (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : 10:30-11:00 AM April 24 (30 MINUTES) IN FULTON 230
KEYWORDS: OFF.TWG, OPEN FILE FORMATS, WALLED GARDENS, OPEN VIRTUAL WORLDS, CROSS-PLATFORM CONTENT, "CREATE ONCE, EXPERIENCE ANYWHERE"
In this session Richard will present the charter and mission of the Psychology of Immersive Environments Technology Working Group (PIE.TWG), along with an overview of the P.R.O.S.E. Project (an in-world research center where a program of empirical studies is being conducted to systematically investigate the psychology of advanced virtual worlds). Major findings from the first four studies (i.e., on Addiction, Identity, Relationships, and Sexuality) will be presented and methodological challenges in conducting scientifically-sound in-world research will be discussed. His presentation will conclude with a look at the year ahead for PIE.TWG and an overview of the next phase of studies to be conducted under the auspices of P.R.O.S.E.
WORKSHOP: FROM SECOND LIFE TO THE EDUCATION GRID
TRACK: GENERAL TIME : 02:45-04:15 PM April 24 (90 MINUTES) IN FULTON 230
KEYWORDS: second life, Education Grid, Open Simulator, OpenSim, security, privacy, reliability, virtual world, migration, backup, copy
PANEL: ASSESSMENT AND PEDAGOGY IN THE AGE OF IMMERSIVE EDUCATION
TRACK: GENERAL TIME : 04:15-05:15 PM April 24 (60 MINUTES) IN FULTON 230
KEYWORDS: assessment, pedagogy, state standards, national standards
Board Member, Immersive Education Initiative
Executive Director, Office for Research and Sponsored Projects, Loyola Marymount University
Faculty, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Fellow, American Physical Society (APS)
Principal, South Park Elementary, Colorado
Research Associate, Harvard University, Graduate School of Education
Diane Jass Ketelhut
Faculty, Temple University
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, Graduate School of Education
Open Cobalt Alpha and the Interactive Whiteboard: Opening new worlds to your K-6 classroom
TRACK: K-12 (PRIMARY TRACK), general (SECONDARY TRACK) IN FULTON 250 TIME : 09:00-09:45 AM April 24 (45 MINUTES)
In this session Rich will provide an overview of the Edusim project. Edusim is a simplified rendition of the Open Cobalt project that is created specifically for K-6 teachers and students. Edusim is designed to leverage interactive whiteboards as a simple yet powerful classroom visualization tool to: 1) increase student engagement, 2) improve the overall learning experience for K-6 students, and 3) enhance the "first/last 5 minutes" of any class lesson. During this session Rich will demonstrate Edusim and "immersive touch" environments for K-6 classrooms. He will share a number of tips and techniques that attendees can apply immediately in their own classrooms, including a simple framework for embedding the "first/last 5 minutes" immersion strategy in traditional classroom lessons. Rich will also demonstrate how to quickly build and store 3D virtual world lessons, and also provide attendees with free resources and an art path that make building immersive K-6 learning worlds even easier.
Video Games in Education: How to Build a Sustainable Innovation Ecosystem
TRACK: K-12 (PRIMARY TRACK), general (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : 09:45-10:30 AM April 24 (45 MINUTES) IN FULTON 250
There has been a recent wave of research validating the efficacy of video games in the K-12 classroom. The Obama Administration recently unveiled a draft of its National Educational Technology Plan which emphasizes the need for "engaging and empowering learning experiences for all learners." The Department of Education articulates consistently the foregone conclusion that students' lives today are filled with technology that provides mobile, 24/7 access to content; enables them to create their own multimedia content and share it with the world; and participate in online social networks where people from all over the world share ideas, collaborate and learn new things. The challenge is how to leverage these consumption trends to create a mirrored experience tailored for the classroom environment.
While there is an increasing demand for game-based learning products in the K-12 classroom, there continues to be a significant under-supply of these tools stemming from the lack of a visible profit incentive to invest in this sector. While these products are still considered examples of "disruptive innovation," investments to date are dependent on stimulus grants, SBIR grants, philanthropy and other non-profit sources (with few exception). Competition drives innovation and profits, and how can a sustainable innovation ecosystem be created to accelerate the development and adoption of game-based learning products?
In this session Al will articulate the principles of disruptive innovation theory as conceived by Harvard Business School professor (and author of Disrupting Class) Clayton Christensen. Al will demonstrate, through the lens of video games, how this theory can be successfully applied to education. Al will briefly present several popular video games in this session, demonstrating how such games can lead to successful learning outcomes and be deployed in the classroom environment.
Significantly, Al will outline in this session the key ingredients for what researchers and leaders of reform have dubbed an innovation ecosystem, and how these elements can be mapped to K-12 game-based learning. In this session Al presents the argument that more favorable conditions for investment will be crucial to alleviating the supply problem, ensuring that video games can continue to play a central role in mitigating the "education epidemic" and allowing students to be well-prepared for the 21st century digitally-driven work environment.
ROCKET WORLD: A JOURNEY INTO IMMMERSIVE CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
TRACK: K-12 (PRIMARY TRACK), general (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : 10:30-11:00 AM April 24 (30 MINUTES) IN FULTON 250
Karen will provide attendees with an overview of the implementation of Rocket World and Immersive Education this year at South Park Elementary school. Topics Karen will address include the hardware issues involved, challenges of the implementation, and the process of integrating Rocket World into the school's curriculum. As a part of the integration, Karemn will share some of the activities created to generate student enthusiasm and background knowledge.
IMMERSIVE VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS FOR ASSESSING SCIENCE INQUIRY
TRACK: K-12 (PRIMARY TRACK), GENERAL (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : 11:00-11:45 AM April 24 (45 MINUTES) IN FULTON 250
Advances in information technology are creating new possibilities for using immersive virtual environments for learning and assessment. Immersive Virtual Environments (IVEs) are three dimensional (3-D) contexts, either single or multi-user, where digitized participants can engage in virtual activities and experiences. Each participant takes on the identity of an avatar, a virtual persona that can move around the 3-D context.
Assessment is the core of education. Yet, research shows that multiple-choice tests are limited in the kinds of knowledge they can measure. We think IVEs have the potential to create better observations and evidence of student learning. Since IVEs for assessment is still in its infancy, researchers and proponents of IVEs must build a case based on empirical proof that virtual performance assessments can measure learning with reliability and validity. In this three year Virtual Performance Assessment project, funded by the U.S. Department of Educations Institute for Education Sciences, we are using IVEs to develop single-user virtual assessments that measure middle school students ability to conduct inquiry in the context of ecosystems science
In this three year Virtual Performance Assessment project, funded by the U.S. Department of Educations Institute for Education Sciences, we are using IVEs to develop single-user virtual assessments that measure middle school students ability to conduct inquiry in the context of ecosystems science (http://virtualassessment.org). These summative assessments are meant to supplement paper-and-pencil tests of science inquiry, which researchers have demonstrated are not aligned with state standards on scientific inquiry and are not adequate measures of scientific inquiry. We believe that, by developing standardized assessments in IVEs, we are not only capturing student learning in a more authentic and accurate way, but we can also mitigate limitations associated with hands-on performance assessments as well as paper and pencil item-based tests.
We are using a game development platform to recreate a marine ecosystem. In this assessment, students take on the role of a scientist and have to identify and solve the problem for why the kelp in the bay is dying. Students walk around the bay and can interact with people who populate the landscape, such as a bird watcher, a park ranger, and a hiker. Students are also given tools to measure water (temperature, salinity, turbidity) that they can use to collect data and use as evidence. In addition to interacting with the 3-D environment, students will also interact with palettes that will be used as part of the assessment. For example, in one palette, students have to make a claim about what is happening and use evidence to support it. Through students interactions with the world and the palettes, we can collect multiple observations of students inquiry learning.
This session will discuss preliminary findings from our work. The research questions we will address are: how can IVEs be utilized for assessment of scientific inquiry skills and processes? What evidence do we have that IVE-based assessments are reliable and valid measures of science inquiry skills? In order to answer these questions, we are employing design-based research methodology. We are conducting a series of studies, including iterative pilot testing, alignment analysis, and cognitive analysis. These methods inform the development of the IVE and provide evidence of construct validity for the assessments.
ECOMUVE: LEARNING COMPLEX CAUSALITY IN ECOSYSTEMS VIA A MULTI-USER VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT
TRACK: general (PRIMARY TRACK), K-12 (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : 11:45-12:30 PM April 24 (45 MINUTES) IN FULTON 250
EcoMUVE is a Multi-User Virtual Environment (MUVE) for middle-school science students to learn about complex causal relationships in ecosystems. An understanding of complex causality is a necessary foundational skill for learning ecosystems. However, even after instruction, students reveal considerable difficulty reasoning about ecosystems as systems; examples include understanding non-obvious causes and indirect effects, time delays between causes and visible effects, population versus individual effects, and balance and flux.
Multi-user virtual environments are a promising platform for educational applications, in part because they can simulate environments and experiences otherwise impossible in school settings. Ten years with the River City project has shown that MUVEs can be an effective platform for authentic inquiry in middle school science. Allowing students to immerse themselves in a virtual world can increase engagement and learning. Building on our experience with River City, the three-year EcoMUVE project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences, targets middle school ecosystems education to support student understanding of complex causality.
EcoMUVE is built on a game development platform and includes two one-week modules representing different ecosystems: a pond and a forest. Working in teams, students explore the virtual environment and discover realistic organisms in their natural habitats. A submarine tool lets students dive in to examine microscopic pond life, helping them realize that ecosystems involve non-obvious causes hard to detect with the naked eye. Students use simulated measuring tools to collect and analyze physical, chemical, and biological data in order to figure out the complex relationships involved in specific ecological phenomena.
EcoMUVE doesn't replace students going out into nature, but provides new ways of accessing the relationships in an ecosystem via immersive education. EcoMUVE tests the effectiveness of design features and specialized tools that facilitate student learning of concepts difficult to attain in the real world, such as: zooming in to the microscopic level and out to a population view; traveling to different points in time; seeing and interacting with objects and their emergent effects; graphing patterns to see relationships between small behaviors and large outcomes; visualizing causal patterns in play.
The EcoMUVE project uses design-based research methodology. Early pilot testing informed the design of the software during which students found the realistic graphics and multi-player elements particularly engaging and appreciated the opportunity to collect data and to "have a problem to solve." We are conducting pilot evaluations in classrooms during spring, 2010. During our session at the Immersive Education 2010 Summit we will present the results on usability, implementation feasibility, and student and teacher experiences.
DAY 2 LUNCH BREAK AND SOCIAL PERIOD TIME : 12:30-02:00 PM April 24 (90 MINUTES) HILLSIDE CAFE AND MCELROY
ASSESSING SCIENCE UNDERSTANDING WITH IMMERSIVE VIRTUAL WORLDS
TRACK: RESEARCH (PRIMARY TRACK), k-12 (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : 02:00-02:30 PM April 24 (30 MINUTES) IN FULTON 250
KEYWORDS: k-12, science, assessment, scientific inquiry, SAVE SCIENCE, virtual environments, Immersive virtual environments, IVE, learning games
The current climate in the United States puts the burden of assessment on standardized tests. However, these tests do not give a full picture of what students know or understand about the complexity of science, where inquiry should be integrated seamlessly into content. The format of these tests is important in assessing inquiry as inquiry involves higher order skills that are not easily measured by multiple-choice tests. Consequently, students are mor often assessed on whether they understand terms such as hypothesis or control, but in-depth assessment of their abilities to formulate questions and hypotheses is often neglected.
Some state assessments have tried to account for this by creating detailed, lengthy and open-ended questions. However, these questions rely on students reading abilities as well as their science knowledge which calls into question whether science knowledge or reading ability is being tested. This issue has been raised regarding the TIMSS assessment where in one study it was shown that students could correctly answer science questions in an interview that they had answered incorrectly because of poor reading and English language skills.
The 2009 Carnegie report, Opportunity Equation, recommends that a broad spectrum of assessments be utilized in math and science education, including performance assessments, portfolios, formative assessment, and high stakes assessments. Alternative assessments, such as performance assessments and portfolios are typically seen as capturing student understanding better than standardized tests, which is seen as decontextualized. However, they are not cost effective, cannot be compared from teacher to teacher, and some argue that they are inconclusive about what the tasks are really measuring.
Immersive virtual environments (IVEs) facilitate a way to create performance assessments which play up their strengths, capturing understanding and contextualization while diminishing some of the drawbacks of cost, scale and validity. Recent research indicates that IVEs can also offer insights into student understanding not easily captured with other assessment methods, giving information about students strategies in solving the problem in addition to the solutions.
In this talk, we will introduce the SAVE Science project, a series of IVE-based adventures that assess both science content and inquiry that is taught in the middle grades science classroom, as well as results from initial implementations. In the SAVE Science project, students have an overall goal of uncovering the likely contributors to a series of problems facing a small virtual town (sick farm animals, weather-related crop failure, and climate-related problems with the town's water).
Throughout the assessment modules, student activity is recorded in the database allowing us to analyze both explicit answers to questions posed by characters as well as students' processes in coming to those answers. Automatically recorded in-world actions are used to understand the problem-solving behaviors of students, and are recorded in the database with a location and time-stamp. By coding these actions based on content expert analysis, we score the process taken by students in solving the posed problems in addition to their solutions.
FINLAND'S SCHOOL OF THE FUTURE AND TOY: A TRANSFORMATIONAL VIRTUAL EXTENSION OF THE TRADITIONAL SCHOOL
TRACK: GENERAL (PRIMARY TRACK), K-12 (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : 02:30-03:15 PM April 24 (45 MINUTES) IN FULTON 250
The aim of this session and paper is to describe the transformation of the traditional school environment into a functional virtual learning environment of the future.
Finland's Oulu region develops its schools and educational system to meet the challenges of the future. The pupils of the 21st century and the skills and knowledge they are required to have are central in the process. Learning has changed, and learners have changed: they need to be prepared to meet the requirements of the future. Learning environments must change in order to reach this goal; this must be evident either in traditional or virtual future classrooms.
The aim of the School of the Future program is to guide traditional schools, school buildings and learning environments into the 21st century. The focus is on pupils' ability to learn and the functional entities that support this. The pressure for change is especially directed at the role of teachers, leadership, educational support services, technology, and spatial and learning environment solutions. The process will be supported by development projects piloted in Living Lab test environments.
The architectural plans made in the program display the latest concepts for building and renovating public premises. Functional aspects based on agreed values and the new operational culture based on 21st century principals of learning, and the learning environment, control the use of space.
The main entrance is an essential part of the school building. The entrance hall should be inviting and make visitors feel welcome. The purpose of the premises and the activities carried out in the building must be immediately evident. There should be numerous work areas and learning environments in the entrance hall, separated from each other by furniture, colors and lighting.
Pupils, teachers and auxiliary staff working in the nest form a learning community. The pedagogical framework relies on investigative, project- or event-based learning methods, learning from creative problem-solving or communal learning processes. The usage of space and activities are based on an open learning environment which utilizes movable walls and flexible structures. It is also important that small-scale lessons can be arranged anywhere in the area. In this school environment the furniture and technology are designed with the users' needs in mind, and these are designed to work together as effortlessly as possible.
The main points of these two spaces will be presented in virtual 3D game-like learning environment (TOY). New forms and modalities of learning will be supported by simulations and mobile learning possibilities. It is designed to yield realistic outcomes based on the virtual learning environment, and to showcase the potential of the future Internet. The system is implemented using realXtend, an official Immersive Education Initiative virtual world platform, and is being constructed by two main development companies in cooperation with the Future Learning Environment Project. This work includes new features and capabilities that make it one of the first virtual learning environments of its type in the world. This learning environment is scheduled to be released shortly after the Immersive Education 2010 Boston Summit.
PANEL: CONFRONTING CHALLENGES AND REAPING THE REWARDS OF IMMERSIVE EDUCATION IN K-12 SCHOOLS (PRIMARY, SECONDARY, AND HIGH SCHOOL)
TRACK: K-12 TIME : 03:15-04:15 PM April 24 (60 MINUTES) IN FULTON 250
Members of the Immersive Education Initiative, especially Summit attendees, inherently understand that virtual worlds aren't useful only for entertainment and other commercial purposes: they can also be powerful educational tools when used properly. To date, however, we believe that many educators have focused primarily on re-creating well-known real world concepts in the virtual world (e.g. classrooms, libraries, and lecture halls).
Although it can be argued that the primary advantage of recasting the physical world in this way resides in the ability to overcome traditional limitations related to time and distance, we also believe that new and important didactic concepts can be applied to virtual learning experiences. We also believe that so-called "serious games" hold great potential for education, especially when combined with virtual worlds.
In this session we will provide an overview of the great potential of virtual worlds and learning games for education. We will present case studies and examples of how virtual worlds and learning games can be "connected" in a way that enhances the overall teaching and learning experience.
COUNSELING AVATARS: SYSTEMIC COUNSELING IN VIRTUAL WORLDS
TRACK: research (PRIMARY TRACK), general (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : [SCHEDULE CHANGE: SEE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE DAY 3, SUNDAY, FOR EXACT TIME AND ROOM]
Virtual worlds seem to be playing an increasingly important role our lives, and may even have the ability to directly influence our every-day reality. In this session we will exam the potential of using virtual worlds as the primary setting for psychosocial counseling. We will explore the possibility of using virtual environments to enhance personal identity, and as a means for providing multiple modes of communication and interaction during counseling sessions. We will also examine characteristics of the virtual worlds that may make make these environments an attractive alternative for individuals that will not visit a counselor in the real world.
MIRTLE, SIMILLE AND +SPACES
TRACK: Research (PRIMARY TRACK), general (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : [SCHEDULE CHANGE: SEE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE DAY 3, SUNDAY, FOR EXACT TIME AND ROOM]
KEYWORDS: Wonderland, virtual worlds, mixed reality, language learning, JISC, eGovernment, Intelligent Virtual Spaces, Intelligent Environments, European Union, EU
In this session Michael will provide attendees with an overview of three Wonderland-based virtual world research projects under development at the University of Essex in England:
MiRTLE: The MiRTLE project is a "MIxed Reality Teaching and Learning Environment” that enables teachers and students participating in real-time mixed and online classes to interact with avatar representations of each other. MiRTLE is designed to provide a mixed reality environment for a combination of local and remote students in a traditional instructive higher education setting. The solution augments existing teaching practice with the ability to foster a sense of community amongst remote students, and between remote and co-located locations.
SIMiLLE: This presentation is based on work on the JISC funded SIMiLLE project to build a culturally sensitive virtual world to support language learning. This builds on the MiRTLE project, which created a mixed-reality space for teaching and learning. The aim of the SIMiLLE project is to investigate the technical feasibility and pedagogical value of using virtual environments to provide a realistic socio-cultural setting and content for language learning interaction. The presentation starts by providing some background information on the Wonderland platform and the MiRTLE project, and then outlines the requirements for SIMiLLE, and how these requirements will be supported through the use of a virtual world based on Wonderland. We then present our plans for the evaluation of the system, with a particular focus on the importance of incorporating pedagogy into the design of these systems, and how we can support good practice with the ever-growing use of 3D virtual environments in formalised education.
+Spaces: +Spaces is a new EU collaborative project focused on intelligent virtual spaces for eGovernment. Intelligent environments most commonly take a physical form (such as homes, offices, hotels, restaurants, shops, and so forth) that are equipped with advanced networked computer based systems, which enable better or new lifestyles for people. However, intelligent environments can also take the form of immersive virtual world spaces, which can mimic the real world and provide functionalities that could not be provided in reality, such as advanced simulations and movement. There is the growing trend for people to spend more time in such virtual environments and, to these ends, this presentation reports on a new project, +Spaces which is developing a range of virtual world tools for e-government applications, and presents some of the concepts and technical challenges involved in creating these intelligent virtual spaces for e-government.
TRACK: research (PRIMARY TRACK), higher education (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : [SCHEDULE CHANGE: SEE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE DAY 3, SUNDAY, FOR EXACT TIME AND ROOM]
KEYWORDS: subjectivity, avatar, identity, place, point of view, phenomenology, first-person perspective, computer mediated communication, social interaction, experience
What does it mean to say "I" in a virtual world? What does it mean to have a first-person experience of feeling, perceiving, understanding, learning, desiring, being repulsed by, and making meaning in a virtual world? What does it mean to be in a context in which identity can be so self-consciously shaped and refined?
If subjectivity is the first-person experience of the "I," shaped by both individual psychological experiences and wider cultural forces, and it is intersubjective created socially then the people behind the avatars certainly bring their actual world subjectivities in here. However, once inworld, instead of having a body through which to experience the world, there is an avatar and visual and sound input that are not necessarily connected to that avatar's position. There are "mirror neurons" in the brain that respond to what the avatar does, but it is different than direct sensory input. Therefore, the already blurry line between the self and the world is completely smudged in virtual subjectivity.
Throughout the rise of visual culture, physical point of view and subjectivity have been connected. To some extent, all visual representation explores this, and as each new visual medium arises, that relationship is recreated and extended. In silent film, the development of continuity editing between expressive camera shots created a narrative-based, emotionally grounded point of view based on a fusion of physical, intellectual, and emotional perspectives. Sound, color, digital effects, and other technological developments in film and then television reinforce and deepen this, but nothing is as significant as that leap to the film spectator.
Until, perhaps, now, with the new spectatorship/participatory gaze with the immersive and interactive virtual world. Specifically, because of the way the viewing position is not by default first-person, in a virtual world, the viewer position is both immersive and detached, both connected intimately to our experience of the avatar but also strangely outside of him, her, or it. Instead of an "I," inworld we have an I/Eye through which we create virtual subjectivity.
This presentation will use my original machinima and images to illustrate my definition of "virtual subjectivity:" a mode of first-person experience in a virtual world that is founded on a fusion of visual and metaphoric point of view, shaped through "self-design" of the avatar and environment, reinforced and extended through social interaction, known through the avatar body's actions and movements in virtual space and place, and enacted through virtual agency.
ARCHITECTURAL OPTIONS FOR IMMERSIVE PERSONAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
TRACK: research (PRIMARY TRACK), k-12 (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : [SCHEDULE CHANGE: SEE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE DAY 3, SUNDAY, FOR EXACT TIME AND ROOM]
KEYWORDS: Architecture, Social Interaction Matrix, Taxonomy of Realities, Personal Learning Environments
Architect and Chief Technologist, OpenVES
Developers of Immersive Learning Environments have taken one of three approaches in building the infrastructure to support their environments: some have utilized existing portals or virtual worlds as a foundation for their work, others have ignored the need for an integration platform and have simply built their immersive spaces as independent standalone environments, and a few intrepid developers have started with architectural design patterns and have built upon them. In this presentation we will show the importance of a pervasive architecture to large scale immersive learning environments, and what happens when you fail to address key architectural issues early on. Recounting experiences in the development of large scale PK-12 and higher ed learning environments, we will explore the consequences of building without an architecture. If sustainability scalability, performance, and cost are important to you, the case studies presented will be informative.
Immersive learning environments sometimes have built their own collaborative tools and spaces, and sometimes they have simply engineered hooks or extensions to the evolving social graph on the web. This decision to port, aggregate, and embed social networking tools and technologies is one of the key design choices immersive developers will make. The consequences of these decisions can lead to fragile, brittle, collaborative infrastructure or to aggregation entropy. Our presentation will look at the key design choices which need to be made, against the backdrop of a generalized Social Interactions Matrix, and we will illuminate the opportunities and consequences they present.
The architecture of immersive environments designed for educational purposes can also raise interesting philosophical questions. What is the relation of the space to reality? Does it abstract reality using a lightweight model? Does it create a rich alternate or virtual reality? Or, does it enhance or augment reality itself? Using a Taxonomy of Realities we will look at these and other options, and their benefits in educational projects.
We believe that large and small scale, open immersive learning environments on the web will be the building blocks of the Semantic Learning Web. Through the use of case studies, implementation examples, social interaction models, and architectural design principles we will demonstrate and illustrate the key design points and decision nodes that can lead to success or failure in large scale immersive environments.
VIRTUAL WORLD MUSIC — MUSIC BROWSER IN WONDERLAND
TRACK: research (PRIMARY TRACK), higher education (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : [SCHEDULE CHANGE: SEE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE DAY 3, SUNDAY, FOR EXACT TIME AND ROOM]
As immersive virtual environments and online music networks become increasingly popular, it behooves researchers to explore their convergence: groupware music browsers populated by figurative avatars. We developed a virtual environment, based upon and similar to the ``Music in Wonderland'' proof-of-concept by Sun Microsystems, that enables a place where avatar-represented users can go to browse musical databases. Music is used for a wide range of purposes in different situations in very different ways in real life. Different systems and interfaces exist for the broad range of needs in music consumption. Locating a particular recording is well supported by traditional search interfaces via metadata, but improving search techniques via different strategies is a growing need.
Our music browser is a cylinder in which a transparent rectangular map of the world is texture mapped, and tracks are placed according to origins of tracks, enabling location-aware browsing. The cylinder can be easily defined and projected in the 3D environment either declaratively or procedurally. Since Wonderland does not permit currently recumbency, the avatar always stands vertically. A sphere limits angle of view as subjects approach the poles; but on the other hand a cylinder can be effectively used to indicate geographical location using a suitable projection. An avatar can enter the cylinder, and click to listen track samples. The selected tracks are highlighted and also multiple tracks can be heard at the same time when the user moves near from one track to another and in between sound may always overlap. The system is collaborative: multiple users can hear the same music together, and they can hear each others' speech via voice chat.
Wonderland supports stereophonic audio communication. With speakers or a headset, participants get realtime immersive stereo audio with distance attenuation, means the voices of others present become louder when approached and decay when withdrawn. Audio spatialization supports stereo (2 channels) and only left/right positioning including delay effect. The stereo effect is done at the server side by the Audio Treatment Component. Two interleaved channels are sent in each packet. One channel is delayed by 0-0.63 ms, depending on the location of the source relative to the sink. As this is done on the server, it is possible to mix many audio sources appropriately for each receiver, which also reduces the required bandwidth. Technically, the music collection is an XML file. Using the SAX (Simple API for XML) parser, which invokes callback methods as it reads an XML file, generic, artistic, and geographic details about each album can be extracted and displayed in client browser.
AN INTEGRATED STRATEGY FOR IMMERSIVE MEDICAL TRAINING AND USER ENGAGEMENT IN INNOVATION PROJECTS
TRACK: higher education (PRIMARY TRACK), research (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : [SCHEDULE CHANGE: SEE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE DAY 3, SUNDAY, FOR EXACT TIME AND ROOM]
IAVANTE is a non-profit foundation formed by the Regional Ministry of Health in Spain. Founded in 2002, IAVANTE provides highly specialized medical training to approximately fifteen thousand professionals each year. IAVANTE's mission is to facilitate and promote the development and comprehensive training of medical professionals using the most innovative learning methods and to play a leading role in the development of new technologies to be applied in the healthcare system. Since its inception the Foundation has aimed to raise teaching and research activity to the highest level of quality and leadership on a national and international level. With innovation as its driving force the Foundation has two main, and complimentary, areas of action: highly specialized medical training and innovative ICT projects for the healthcare sector.
IAVANTE utilizes many different immersive technologies and is focused on a convergence strategy for all immersive education activities it undertakes. Through its three facilities the Foundation trains thousands of healthcare professionals annually, and manages approximately $4 million in innovation projects that include novel immersive education projects. In this session Bidatzi will provide an overview of the many ways in which IAVANTE currently utilizes immersive learning and training technologies, and how the Foundation is positioning itself with respect to immersive education in the future.
Bidatzi will discuss how IAVANTE utilizes virtual 3D simulations for training medical professionals on complex techniques such as endoscopic surgery, diagnostic endoscopy, nephrology and urology. For this purpose the organization uses sophisticated simulators that allow trainees to obtain a high degree of competence without on-the-job training on live patients. She will also discuss several IAVANTE e-learning initiatives that utilize immersive virtual worlds for collaborative meetings and student discussions.
During this session Bidatzi will describe how the Foundation is piloting immersive education for foreign-language training where the rich multimedia interaction enabled by virtual worlds provides a significant added value over traditional forum/chat based interaction. For surgical and emergency-care training IAVANTE utilizes advanced robotic systems (DaVinci Surgical System and METI Human Patient Simulators) that are in the process of being incorporated into the Foundation's immersive environments. She will discuss how the Foundation provides distance training in which every visitor can access remote cameras for visualizing or recording what is happening in every simulation scenario.
IAVANTE manages an open innovation community with more than 70 members including several local universities, engineering colleges, professional associations, multinational corporations (Sun/Oracle, Intel, Vodafone, HP, Cisco, Siemens, and many more), local SMEs, healthcare providers, citizens associations, municipalities, and more. Bidatzi will describe how the Foundation is developing a Wonderland-based virtual world that will be used as a rapid deployment platform for future projects launched within this community and for integrating most of the aforementioned simulation-based and e-training efforts. IAVANTE is also integrating technologies for making 3D output from the Foundation's medical simulators (surgery, endoscopy, and so forth) available for visualization within the virtual world. Finally, Bidatzi will discuss an additional integration effort that is being undertaken to incorporate internal research projects, such as the Foundation's Virtual Simulated Patient (VSP), into immersive education environments.
OPEN SIMULATOR (OPENSIM) FOR EDUCATION
TRACK: general (PRIMARY TRACK), higher education (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : [SCHEDULE CHANGE: SEE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE DAY 3, SUNDAY, FOR EXACT TIME AND ROOM]
KEYWORDS: open simulator, opensim, virtual worlds, VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTs
OpenSimulator ("OpenSim") is an official Immersive Education virtual world platform that enables collaborative 3D learning for very low financial cost. The platform itself is free, and since OpenSim offers an experience similar to Second Life (including some extra features that are not available in the commercial version of Second Life) it presents a fantastic opportunity to educators and innovators for working with an emerging technology that has tremendous potential.
This session will present several examples of OpenSimulator success stories for education and also reveal key aspects of this platform that it such a great choice for educators.
SURVEY OF EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH IN LEARNING WITH CAVE, HMD, AND DIGITAL DOME DISPLAYS
TRACK: research (PRIMARY TRACK), general (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : [SCHEDULE CHANGE: SEE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE DAY 3, SUNDAY, FOR EXACT TIME AND ROOM]
In this session Jeffrey provides a survey of empirical research on the educational use of Virtual Reality (VR) applications based on HMD (Head-mounted Display), CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment), and Digital Dome displays.
The applications in the learning experiments we looked at are not necessarily stereographic, but all provide a large Field of Regard, allowing the user to look around in most directions. This visually immerses the user in the virtual environment. Also, the applications provide autonomy (the freedom to move and do), interaction (the environment responds to the user) and presence (the feeling of actually residing in the virtual space). Finally, the applications are said to be educational because they teach the types of things that one learns in school. This is different from traditional VR training applications that primarily involve psychomotor learning and procedural knowledge (e.g. flight simulators).
To date, we found no more than fourteen serious educational experiments for this type of VR despite the fact that hundreds of educational applications employ it. Why so few? We suggest that the lack of formal educational experiments in this field is due to the fact that proper experiments are difficult to construct and, although costs have come down recently, visually immersive displays are relatively expensive and they are often difficult to assemble and maintain. We also suggest that because the potential for VR as a learning tool is so compelling that many educators simply accept its educational value on faith without actually considering formal research on the topic. Finally, it is observed that much of the serious educational research in VR has shifted to online virtual environments (such as virtual worlds and learning games) because of the great potential and very low cost of such systems. Nevertheless, we assert that visual immersion has unique benefits for learning if used properly.
A striking non-result from these studies is the lack of proof that presence enhances learning. Presence is the feeling of "being there" in the virtual environment, which has been widely thought to improve learning by engaging the student more closely with the material. However, experimental evidence from the studies we surveyed do not support a causal link, and the two studies that tried to directly test for it produced no result. Instead, we believe that presence is correlated with improved learning because both arise from the same causes. We also believe presence is too poorly defined to be useful for structured experiments. Fortunately, work is underway to produce a testable definition.
The most important result we see in these studies is that visual immersion is an advantage when the student can have an informative or helpful inside view of something. Examples from the literature include a virtual classroom, an Egyptian temple, Puget Sound, and a magnetic field. A standard computer monitor can provide an outside view, which is also helpful, but one must use an immersive display (such as an HMD, CAVE, or Dome) to provide the inside view. Enabling students to switch between both types of views may be advantageous. Finally, we conclude that visual immersion is helpful in learning if—and only if—an inside view of the object or environment being studied 1) actually reveals information not otherwise visible, or 2) emphasizes information in a unique and helpful way.
PANEL: THE FUTURE OF IMMERSIVE EDUCATION—VIRTUAL WORLDS, SIMULATORS, GAMES, AND AUGMENTED/MIXED REALITY IN K-12 AND HIGHER EDUCATION
TRACK: general TIME : [SCHEDULE CHANGE: SEE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE DAY 3, SUNDAY, FOR EXACT TIME AND ROOM]
DAY 3 LUNCH BREAK AND SOCIAL PERIOD TIME : [SCHEDULE CHANGE: SEE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE DAY 3, SUNDAY, FOR EXACT TIME AND ROOM]
DAY 3 HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS RUN THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON (SEE WORKSHOPS FOR DETAILS) TIME : [SCHEDULE CHANGE: SEE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE DAY 3, SUNDAY, FOR EXACT TIME AND ROOM]
Lessons Learned from the Big Blue Sandbox
TRACK: general (PRIMARY TRACK), higher education (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : [SCHEDULE CHANGE: SEE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE DAY 3, SUNDAY, FOR EXACT TIME AND ROOM]
KEYWORDS: virtual worlds, learning games, social learning, community, collaboration, home, work, play
3D Internet Technology and Solutions
IBM Center for Advanced Learning
With close to 400,000 employees worldwide, IBM is a unique sandbox that enables us to deploy and test a wide variety of immersive learning offerings. A company of this size also presents significant challenges as we struggle to enable a large geographically distributed workforce. One way in which we are meeting this challenge is to draw from our many years of experience to design and deliver IBM Learning Commons.
IBM Learning Commons is a multipurpose, configurable space for learning and collaboration. It is currently available both in Second Life in front of the firewall and Second Life Enterprise, and we plan to port it to OpenSim. This two-region 3D space enables learning professionals and others to design and deliver many different types of learning offerings and events, following proven best practices and at low cost. Visitors to Learning Commons are provided with a set of "best of breed" learning tools which help facilitators and enrich the learning experience.
During this session, we will look at many of the types of learning that are easy to offer in IBM Learning Commons, including mentoring, rehearsal or role play, poster sessions, and informal learning. As we tour Learning Commons, we will discuss the thinking behind our design as well as lessons learned from the project. Specifically we will look at how to:
-- Control design and development costs in virtual worlds projects
-- Choose the best balance of openness and sense of security in your 3D build
-- Choose the correct degree of verisimilitude for your type of learning
-- Avoid common mistakes when measuring the effectiveness of your learning offering
VIRTUAL WORLDS FOR KNOWLEDGE MATURING IN ORGANIZATIONS
TRACK: research (PRIMARY TRACK), general (SECONDARY TRACK) TIME : CANCELED DUE TO ICELANDIC VOLCANO
TIME : 02:00-4:00 PM APRIL 25 (GASSON HALL 06) NOTE: THIS 60 MINUTE WORKSHOP IS REPEATED TWICE
HANDS-ON COMPUTER LAB WORKSHOP: realXtend and OpenSimulator Behind The Firewall Installing realXtend and OpenSimulator (OpenSim) on Your School Network for Private, Secure and Cost-Free Immersive Education Experiences
KEYWORDS: WORKSHOP, SECOND LIFE, REALXTEND, OPEN SIMULATOR, OPENSIM, SOLARIS, LINUX, NETWORK ADMIN, SECURITY
TIME : 2:00-4:00 PM APRIL 24 (GASSON HALL 06) NOTE: THIS 60 MINUTE WORKSHOP IS REPEATED TWICE