Archive for May, 2012

2b3d teaches “How to Use Virtual Worlds to Teach”

May 8, 2012

2b3d has experienced many years of formally creating learning experiences in virtual worlds. We have created simulations for accounting firms in which users use a Kiosk based system to follow course ware, learning the terminology of Inventory Audits. Then, the user enters into a warehouse and begins to learn how to conduct an inventory audit. 2b3d has taught retail sellers to identify what the pain points are of their end users in a large retail store like a Target or Costco and figure out their communication needs, and choose the right communications platform to ease those pain points. 2b3d has engaged in healthy living courses in which studies have indicated that users loose more weight in world, than they do in the physical health club. We have been instrumental in education and outreach in post traumatic stress disorder. We have been responsible for creating and teaching a Certificate in Virtual Worlds at a major university in the U.S. We meet in world, we learn in world, we teach, we co-create, we develop long term strategies for creating learner centric environments.

So, we are going to begin a set of training events in world to show people how to use the virtual environment in the 21st century of virtuality. This is a combination of when reality, the instructors, mentors, content, and place come together with a virtual environment, the construct of Second Life. We will be able to teach our course in any virtual environment – the content stays the same, we simply transport our context from virtual world to virtual world.

Our idea is to teach you the theory behind why virtual worlds work – what is it in the psychology of the avatar that works to make a user feel as if they are present in the environment and responsible for their learning. What is it about the sociology of the avatar group that makes users collaborate, feel the tension of time and other constraints to push them further in their learning as a consequence of being in a group. How is culture handled, differences in diversity, and motivation. How does architecture work in the environment, so users feel comfortable. What are the interaction models that work. What are the methods and techniques that work in virtual worlds?

We then move on to discuss design, and use the archetypes of peregrination, “touring”, and virtual critique to evaluate the environments of the virtual world. We insist everyone design a presentation and present a design. What works in terms of Gagne’s principles of learning?

How do you use virtual worlds to

1. Gain Attention
2. Inform learner of objective
3. Stimulate prerequisite recall
4. Present stimulus material
5. Provide learning guidance
6 Elicit performance
7. Provide feedback
8. Assess performance
9. Enhance retention and transfer

We are going to begin classes in June, and invite you to visit to learn more about our program.

Video Conferencing and Virtual Worlds

May 7, 2012

Altadyn – 3DXplorer boasts a new Facebook application to get into their virtual world. Further, they state that they are creating a new U.S. Embassy in their space. See them on the BBC.

One has to wonder about the uses of video conferencing versus virtual worlds. The eyeballing that is referred to is important – looking at someone in the eye stimulates a flight or fight response, that is inevitable. But, that must fire off neurons in the brain and release chemicals that make the body respond rapidly. So, no amount of camera and waist to head body shots is going to stimulate the need to get away, or to dig it. Video conferencing will consume lots of bandwidth for Cisco, and they’ll be able to sell lots of hardware to run that video. But, what I’m hoping to see here is something more profound. Is it possible to represent the body more significantly, and watch every reaction of the other avatar? It is possible to watch avatars as they move about in virtual worlds – they stand in front of certain exhibits, their bodies move about to tell you which direction they are facing. Their heads move and their lips move – much like in video conferencing, but they do so with respect to the environment they are in, not just a bland room in which people are sitting and moving. What I’m suggesting here is that we can all do much better than that. We can drive some new applications for interaction using a combination of virtual, 3D technology, which provide context, and video conferencing applications which supplies a certain amount of realism. We are going to have to get much more interesting and realistic, if we are going to take on communication wholeheartedly in the virtual space.