Arts Metaverse is an interesting-looking example of a 3d learning environment that’d be an alternative to Second Life (which has many problems for education, not least of which it’s proprietary). Arts Metaverse is developed by the University of British Columbiaís Arts Instructional Support & Information Technology unit, and is based on Croquet, “a powerful open source software development environment for the creation and large-scale distributed deployment of multi-user virtual 3D applications and metaverses that are (1) persistent (2) deeply collaborative, (3) interconnected and (4) interoperable. The Croquet architecture supports synchronous communication, collaboration, resource sharing and computation among large numbers of users on multiple platforms and multiple devices.” (Via Tim Wang’s Learning Blog.

1 Comment

  1. Geoff Cain

    This is interesting looking. One of the reasons why Second Life is such a good place for educator’s is the amount of people on it NOT doing educational things there. SL has this huge population of people who are writing scripts and building objects all geared toward playing and communicating. The thin layer of education that exists in SL benefits from all of these people screwing around. We can take objects and techniques meant to make a UFO hover and create an educational simulation. I am all for open source — I think in the software industry, it is the life-blood of true innovation. I am wondering if the “educational” versions of SL (www.there.com) or this open source version will lose something by not having the connection to a seething undercurrent of gamers. I am not sure what “many problems” Tim is referring to, but I think the biggest problem with education in SL and other places like it are those educators who see SL as a place to reproduce the one-way, “sage on the stage” version of teaching. In that case, they will need an environment with fewer distractions. SL represents this great opportunity for role-playing and simulation and it is most often used as a place where avatars sit in a big room and watch someone give a Powerpoint presentation. Although transmitting information is important, there is so much more that can (and does) go on.

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