Thursday, June 04, 2009

#IeL09 Virtual Worlds and Real Learning

Presentation: Virtual Worlds and Real Learning
Presenter: Mark Oehlert

Sarah Robbins - Ubernoggin

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Sparga - Second Life
- We can choose not to re-create classrooms. Really.

Please think as differently as you can when approaching virtual worlds.
- Do NOT stop at the recreation of physical spaces

Virtual worlds CAN change the dynamic of experiential learning from simulated approximation of role play to authentic practice in realistic contexts.

To realize this shift will demand a reassessment of how we perceive learning and a revolution in how we DESIGN learning experiences.

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We are only limited by our design thinking AND OUR DESIRE TO CHANGE IT!!!!

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Think ninja

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The future of virtual worlds
- Virtual worlds propogate like websites
+ Creating one will be easy

- The ability to prototype culture as easily as products
+ [This may be HUGE, especially in corporate applications]
+ Economic world inside world. What happens in the virtual economy - see what happens. Synthetic Worlds Initiative - Indiana U.
-- Found Everquest had 42nd largest economy in the WORLD!
-- People make REAL MONEY in these virtual worlds.
-- There are entire groups just GoldFarming. Will then re-sell.

- Reinventing locality
+ IBM Global Services - don't have offices.

- Avatars as focal points - tracking student records ACROSS WORLDS.
+ Scanned you as verification model
+ Single point of portability across worlds

- Augmented reality - virtual overlay physical
+ Lady of Mazes (book)
+ We may be looking at virtual overlays as we walk

- Manipulation of the real through the virtual
+ Can go into virtual world now - looks like manipulating virtual, really manipulating real object with real consequences.

- Can become the UI
+ Can become the main UI for the web
+ We are visual / spacial creatures

The hangup
- design, design, design........

In Virtual
- The whole ability to point people to the thing you are talking about - powerful.
- You can make chairs disappear when working in the virtual world when stand
- "So why did we sit and watch powerpoint if we can fly!"

Virtual world allows you to replicate processes hard to see in real life.

What is the end result you are looking for!
- Not about - how you are going to implement.

We have to rethink from the end user standpoint

One model - ADDIE
- ADDIE is a PRODUCTION model. Not about learning.

When get into virtual worlds, we need to consider more.
- You want to look at filmmaking prduction

Unified Field Theory of Design
- VERY powerful for design of all sorts.
- Maybe we ought to consider this as one way to think about instructional design

2D representations of 3D worlds seem to have more viceral impact than we have initially given credit for.

As an anthropologist - avatars fascinating
-- Avatars tell you a lot about you.
-- Might be the most truthful representation of how they perceive themselves.

Why are the first things we construct floors and stairs and walls....
- How rapidly we re-create the known.

What are the hidden literacy expectations for these worlds?
- 1 Laptop per Child project.
+ How do you tell someone how to use a computer if they are not literate?
+ Literacy more apt than skillset as a way to look at computers and technology use. Ability to move in Virtual environments a literacy

- Example - WASD forward/left/right/back. Space = jump ALmost all PC games

Context is absolutely critical - Virtual Worlds allow you to create really rich contexts around the content you create.

Schizophrenic Clinic in Second Life
- When walk in - can put something on avatar that cedes control of the system
- Can choose male or female experience.
- AS soon as you put on badge, hear voices
- Very disconcerting
- About as close as you can get to the experience without actually being schizophrenic

Can mimic and roleplay all sorts of new scenarios.
- Sounds trivial until you do it.
- We can't roleplay enough to get people actually relate to it in real life.

Prediction - WIthin 5 years, virtual world technology will integrate with or subsume enterprise activities such as
- Recruiting, retention, training, learning, education, collaboration, HR, KM

Linden Lab - now working on 2D to 3D collaboration on command.

Technological and cost barriers are falling away.

The strategic thinking of how to USE these technologies will become significantly more important.

KPMG - world wide recruiting drive using Virtual Worlds.
- We are failing to recognize how quickly the barriers are falling.

Virtual Worlds getting traction - in early adopter stage.
- They are looking at Virtual Worlds because its a competitive advantage.
- We may move along the curve a lot faster than we have.
- When talking about corporate deployments - Sun, IBM, Oracle, Shell, Chevron. This is REALLY happening.

A Brief Definition of Virtual Worlds
- Spatial
- Persistent (when you leave it - things are still going on)
- Real-time
- User-Agency (ability to not have a pre-scripted series of actions and motivations)

World of Warcraft - NOT a virtual world, still quite a bit of pre-scripting
- Games have goals.
- Designed from someone other than you.

Blessing and Curse of Second Life - VERY Freeform
- The cognitive dissonance in Second Life - from Education, Porn and wings is HUGE.

Of course in a corporate and learning enterprise, there will be limits.

Linden Lab - hosting company. Their space is 3D. "Land" in second life is space in server.

Almost all virtual worlds have economy system.
- Allows context of competition, measurement of success, "gaining stature"

What is the ability of someone to participate in a virtual world who can't see?
- [Has this been discussed much?]
- Huge issue in Fed Govt.
- Disabled groups using virtual worlds and like that they can fully participate in the world.

Ultimately, it all goes back to design.
- It's not the technology!

If we apply the right level of effort to see how organization can use this - can be powerful.
- There is a WINDOW where this is a competitive advantage.
- Develop a strategy.
- Think cultural, social, technological

The investment that you will be able to make and SUSTAIN is the knowledge of how the tool works and how to implement and how it can impact the strategy of your organization.
- You learn how to deal with the process even better.

Sustainability - some consistent assets that carry from world to world.
- It's a process.

At DAU - looking at virtual worlds for
- Tool class. Getting familiar with applications.
+ Phone number, listen for several hours
+ Maybe use the virtual world to let them get familiar with tools in the environment
- Using it to model process flows, system flows.
- Can replicate low frequency, high consequence (like disarming bombs)

Federal consortium of virtual worlds
- Major focus on authentication and the ability to operate behind a firewall
- Focusing on interoperability / data portability

Same rules on human experimentation apply in Virtual Worlds.
- Same rules for disclosure
- Information front - already have those.

Biggest challenge is design!
How are we going to use this thing!
- Really ought

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