Archive for January, 2010

Certificate in Virtual Worlds at the University of Washington

January 25, 2010

One of the places that 2b3d spends their time is at the University of Washington. Randy and Janice have put together a full year curriculum to skill up entrepreneurs in using virtual worlds. Once you get through this program, you’ll be able to select and use 3D learning environments, design and develop 3D learning environments, measure and market 3D learning environments. You’ll live in the Virtual World BioDome with all the students from previous years, the speakers, the cognescenti of virtual worlds, and soon the faculty from the iSchool, the cybersecurity community, and the virtual legal community. Check it out.

Learn to use simulated environments to enhance all types of organizations, including online communities, education, retailing, political expression and military training. As technologies develop, Virtual Worlds become more sophisticated, more common and people spend more time in them. Position yourself to be part of this emerging movement that has become a reality beyond just gaming. Your education will be hands-on and practical; you will learn exclusively in a simulated environment.

What the Program Covers

  • Platform selection and use
  • World design and creation
  • Human interactivity and metrics
  • Integration with business systems or databases
  • Effective evaluation of Virtual Worlds


You will learn to navigate, build and evaluate Virtual Worlds, and develop their practical, applied, and business potential.

Who Should Apply

Level: All Experience Levels

  • Programmers
  • Graphic designers
  • Game developers
  • Communications specialists
  • Marketers
  • Educators
  • Entrepreneurs

Looking backward, looking forward

January 25, 2010

Thank you for joining us into a future view of 3D learning. These forecasts in the year 2020 revolve around the notion that learners need to learn “to be” in 3D. No longer are they focused on learning about stuff and then going to apply it somewhere else; learners adapt to learning environments in which they are participating all of the time. Work environments are virtual, learning environments are virtual, connected entertainment environments are virtual. Learning is continuous and is integrated in all of our digital life.

Here are some thoughts about learning in the year 2020 that reflect these changes. These are macro forecasts that shape the way we will think about learning, and how to design it and leverage it in new ways as part of the knowledge economy.

At the end of the essay, to provide a historical perspective, I provide a comparative table of earlier predictions made by my colleagues and I in a report produced for the U. S. Department of Commerce, called 2020 Visions: Transforming Education and Training through Advanced Technologies. Those predictions were made seven years ago in 2002. What’s changed?

First start by looking at this set of predictions written ten years ago for the US Department of Commerce by ten notables in this space.

From the book, here are the forecasts from Randy Hinrichs, Managing Partner of 2b3d, Faculty at UW iSchool in Virtual Worlds, Consultant and advocate of 3D learning for over 15 years.

Forecast 1:  We will live inside the data in the 2020, learning through adaptation. The learner becomes the group manager of a problem solving activity. They will simultaneously move between the virtual and physical through mobile computing devices.  They will operate in task oriented, rich role playing holodecks that read data directly from physical sensors. Connected to each other as avatars in virtual worlds, learners will jump into a virtual scenario to practice skills with other participants by accomplishing something that needs to get done, and time, quality and money will be the drivers to get the job done.

Forecast 2:  We evolve into problem-based, reflective learners.  In 2020, students will think of learning as what they need to know to solve a problem, not memorization. They are active in learning what resources are needed, what tools they’ll need, who is their collaborators and competitors. They frame the problem in a virtual world, bringing together their customers and partners into their 3D learning environments to help them review the problem and form a strategy for pursuing a solution.

Forecast 3: We frame our learning into visualizations. In 2020, the learner has tools for combining all their expressions into a rich 3D interactive visualization. 3D interactivity becomes a literacy and students are immersed in 3D and producing 3D content rapidly. Software tools will enable learners to easily design, develop, measure, and demonstrate their learning through immersive experience.

Forecast 4: We create everything new the first time. Unlike content on the web today which is always on, always the same information pushed to us no matter who we are, in 2020 the places that a learner goes to retrieve information changes automatically upon their arrival. The learning environment evaluates all prior knowledge and begins an interactive dialogue with the learner asking questions and listening to the responses. The user moves information components around, sensing and reflecting on their appropriate place in the environment. The people that appear in the learning environment are paired to the learner because of their novelty and their emotional IQ. Experiential interaction is the key outcome. The learner creates the environment by pulling forward those components that satisfy the learning needs.

Forecast 5:  Learners filter their results into transactional interfaces. Because all sorts of people are available in-world, learners can buy nanoconsulting time from others to help them figure out a component of their problem. They can use money or knowledge objects as transaction currency. Adding this layer to learning creates motivation and quality development.

Each learner has the potential to distribute their outcomes to the rest of the world in 2020. Instead of document management tools, shared 2D web spaces, virtual worlds are generated on the fly adding context to each new location. Given the bandwidth and computing speeds in 2020, learners will easily be able to upload 100-gigabits of content per second. The more original content that a learner creates, the more valuable the learner becomes in his contributions.

Prediction in 2002 Prediction in 2009 Comment
STRATEGIES: Learning relies on technology to connect diverse groups together to work on relevant tasks and create digital archives of work. STRATEGIES:  Learning relies on virtual worlds to connect communities of experts, mentors and peers to co-create inside virtual environments. Shift from just accessing technology to living in the data inside rich visual environments.
HARDWARE: Learners rely on broadband videoconferencing, interactive visualizations across interconnected networks, multiple devices and an “Internet in the ear” device. HARDWARE: Learners will wear devices that allow computing on any surface, access to supercomputers, and body sensors for determining cognitive state.  Move away from “the computer” to digital interaction with every device. More integration into the body for feedback.
SOFTWARE: Software supports collaborative learning through video, audio, and voice recognition.  Software personalizes all your information. SOFTWARE:  Software supports production in multimedia virtual worlds, with personalized dynamic 3D digital libraries. Software focuses on relevance of your information. Shift into production in 3D virtual worlds and interaction with data, rather than “searching” for data.
PEDAGOGY: Learning will be experiential and personalized in game like environments. Q&A dominates interaction. PEDAGOGY: Learning will be problem based and driven by requirements, milestones, and acceptance criteria. Learning is more directly connected to solving problems through visualizations rather than consumption. So, users will create to learn.
CONTENT: No one owns content as an end product. It is molecular at its origin and shared by everyone. CONTENT: IP ownership on content is discrete with embedded meta data for copy, transfer and modify rights. Learning environments provide experience and social networking adding value to content, and making it and the learner more a part of the knowledge economy.
TOYS: Embedded technology captures learner’s habits and preferences. TOYS:  Embedded technology captures learner’s habits and adapts. Toys contain chips and can communicate to 3D printers for reconstruction.
MENTORS: Virtual mentors will assist all learners. MENTORS: Virtual teams will assist all learners. Guilds of professionals move as one in virtual worlds.
ASSESSMENT: Capture technologies record learner’s cognitive achievement and provide constant feedback. ASSESSMENT: Learners assess the learning environments cognitive achievement and sends it constant feedback as well.  Assessment is the heart of interconnected learning and requires bi-directional feedback.
ECONOMICS: Transactions and recommender systems are integrated into the learning environment. School is tied more to industry and civic activities for content. ECONOMICS: Every learner creates their own digital learning objects and sells them or gives them away. Learning by doing by putting the leaner in the center of the experience.  3D learning creates jobs and scales education to a universal model.

The book goes into the detail.

Welcome to 2b3d 3D Learning Blog Time

January 24, 2010

Welcome to 2b3d 3D Learning Blog Tour

Welcome to the 3D Learning Blog Stop at 2b3d. We’re proud to host the Blog Tour for this amazing book. There has never been an event like this before, and it is showing a new way of marketing and community that incorporates the virtual world and the textual world of blogging.

3D virtual learning is about the experience. When you take your first class in a virtual world, you wonder, what is this technology? How do I move around? What do I do first? The instructions may seem like they are obvious to the designer and the developer, but do you remember the first time you landed in an airport that was in a different city? Do you remember the first time you took a subway? It isn’t easy to interpret all of the 3D images. But, if you sit down for a second, take it all in, and turn on your wayfinding instincts, you’ll start to move around with your arrow keys and you’ll start figuring it all out. You have to figure out how to move your camera, since virtual worlds always give you the ability to look around and discover. Then, you’ll have to figure out how to communicate, talk to your teacher, your peers, and groups that you’ll unlikely be participating with in the virtual world experience. Well, like all first timers, relax, enjoy and get ready to learn in a new way.

We’ve been using 3D technologies to teach and learn. We teach at the University of Washington every Thursday night; and, we’ve been doing that for over a year and a half. We have taught Cisco, the DoD, Ernst and Young, Club One Fitness, NextIt, it goes on and on. And, we’ve developed the culture for using this environment so that it produces competencies and skills both in virtual worlds and in the expertise of the instruction. Come aboard, let’s chat. We’ve got lots of experience, and we’re willing to share it with you. It’s not about the database, it’s about the human race.

Future Predictions of 2010

January 18, 2010

1. Build, build, build. There is an enormous amount of creative building going on in virtual worlds that extend beyond conferencing and meeting places.

2. People, people, people. The intelligence of the mentor is moving onto the virtual hypergrid and expertise is becoming available as an enormous bank.

3. Sell, sell, sell. Mentorship by the moment is a microtransction and very valuable in the right time, in the right place. Products in context become clickables in virtual worlds, and you’ll build your own home and choose Furnish It!

4. Relationships, relationships, relationships. Therapists, family reunions, coaches, trainers, counselors, anyone who offers services in an office will offer services in virtual worlds.

5. Trust, trust, trust. Building trust in the workplace, around the cooler and in dynamic social spaces will dominate and define whom to work with.

6. Learn, learn, learn. Practically everyone who teaches something that requires a lecture will teach it in a virtual world.

7. Measure, measure, measure. If you want to make sure it’s working, you’ll figure out how to use the software to measure the teaching and learning experience. This can be procedural if you want to watch a task being completed accurately and rapidly; or it can be process oriented, so you can watch how ideas were analyzed, synthesized and recreated into new knowledge assets.

8. Fame, fame, fame. Avatars are going to arise as personalities and celebrities.

9. Mobile, mobile, mobile. You must be able to reach your virtual world, your mirrored world from anywhere, not just sitting down at your PC.

10. Upgrade, upgrade, upgrade. The happiest people of all will be the software, hardware and broadband companies, because virtual worlds demand an upgrade to every piece of technology that you’re using. The new surfaces are coming!

3D Book Learning Tour

January 18, 2010

We begin blogging about Tony and Karl’s book on the 25th of January. Here is some preliminary information.

1.  Twitter hashtag for the book and tour is #lrn3d.

2.  Each week, Tony and Karl will give away one book, chosen at random from everyone who tweeted about the book with the hashtag #lrn3d

3.  Book Web Site

4.  Readers can get a 20% discount off of the book by using the code L3D1 at the Pfieffer/Wiley web site at

5.  Tony will be writing daily tweets and sometimes more from the book and will be writing some paragraph teasers on his blog as well.

6.  FaceBook at

7.  Wiki page is
Get ready to blog the 2b3d way.

3D Learning is coming

January 16, 2010

The 3D Learning tour began with a bang! Instead of touring physical bookstores, the tour slogged between different blog sites. The difference is clear. No longer is the author the center of attention, the buyer is. The authors have written their piece, aggregated their best thoughts, demo’d their best guesses at what worked and what didn’t. And, now the customer is unleashing their intellectual fury. Now that might sound like a malestrom, but it isn’t. It’s the resounding voice of interest. What is this thing called 3D Learning and what are we going to do about it? Read the blogs, read the book, talk to Tony, Karl, Chuck, Randy and all the others, talk to the the experts, debate, challenge, expound and watch this phenomena turn into, “why did we do learning any other way”.