Virtual Worlds & 3D learning

Wow – did you miss Sean Fitzgerald’s webinar yesterday??
If you did – you really did miss something sensational!
Thanks Sean for putting so much time and effort into the preparation – and also the supporting wiki resource to accompany the webinar!!

I’ve been trying to resist getting into the Virtual Worlds … at least until I had finished writing my PhD.. but now.. well – Sean has really convinced me that these environments cannot be ignored!
The learning implications and potential are enormous – but complicated. Perhaps it’s too early to really "get"¬† what’s happening – but if the early adopters (researchers & educators) don’t get in there, we may well miss (or misunderstand) the opportunities to engage learners (and their avatars).

Sean predicts that within 5 years everyone will have at least 1 avatar – perhaps 2! 1 for business, and 1 for personal experiences. And maybe we should add 1 for learning?!
For those of you that automatically react with scepticism¬† – think about emails…
In 2000, as a lecturer, very few of my students had personal emails and the University didn’t offer student emails. Now – in 2007 – does anyone NOT have an email?? Even my cat has an email!

One of the issues Sean and I discussed after the webinar (shame we couldn’t keep the webinar going for this discussion) was the current trend where educational institutions are setting up spaces and islands, populating them with traditional buildings and lecture halls, and seating the learners in rows to watch traditional lectures….!
They just don’t get it…. do they!!!!

If you want to loose yourself for a couple of hours (or more) – explore the resources Sean has identified on his wiki.… and then tell me, as educators, that we shouldn’t be paying some attention to these environments !!

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