Monthly Archives: September 2008

“Quick CAVE” for kids – an immersive environment built by students

Our “Quick Cave” design concept is below.  We plan to implement it with the Middle School Leadership Students.In a nutshell its goal is that the students will construct the simple 2 walled CAVE unit (image below), build their 3D virtual world (in Edusim or on the GreenbushGrid), attach the 2 projectors (2 video cards are required for this one)… throw the images behind the CAVE walls (rear projected) … Navigate via the Wiimote (and WIIRemote software).

Resources needed:
* PVC Pipe
* Thin White Fabric (as the screen)
* Safety Pins
* PC with 2 graphics cards
* 2 projectors
* Wiimote
* Edusim or GreenbushGrid (CBModel Pro for modeling if Edusim)

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We hope giving the students a more immersive way to experience their constructed virtual world (Eco City base on environmentally friendly design & power grid) will increase their being able to relate to the content .

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GreenbushGrid news and updates for 9-17-08

We continue to register new accounts through http://grid.greenbush.us as educators explore our opensim environment.  The work now revolves around a web based backend to manage users, classes, and island configurations.

Being that our Opensim database engine is MySQL we have been able to seemlessly create a web front end that, as of now, allows users to register acounts.  The work now focuses on assigning account types (Teacher or Student) and then doing the following:

(1) Give teacher accounts the ability to  schedule classes, select the students they want in that class,  and select their island configuration

(2)  Give all accounts the ability to earn and check “Quest Points” but only give teachers the ability to assign”Quest Points”

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In the classroom of the future – every desk is an interactive surface

And another screen for Edusim :)

SynergyNet will integrate ICT into the fabric of the classroom. The new desk with a ‘multi-touch’ surface will be the central component; the desks will be networked and linked to a main smartboard offering new opportunities for teaching and collaboration.

Several students will be able to work together at a desk as the desks allow simultaneous screen contact by multiple users using fingers or pens. Durham researchers want to create a ‘natural way’ for students to use computers in class. The system encourages collaboration between students and teachers, and a move away from teacher-centric learning.

The government’s ICT vision aims to: ‘transform teaching, learning and help to improve outcomes through shared ideas, more exciting lessons… and to engage ‘hard to reach’ learners, with special needs support, more motivating ways of learning, and more choice about how and where to learn.’

Dr. Liz Burd, Director of Active Learning in Computing at Durham University says: “Our vision is that every desk in school in 10 years time will be interactive. IT in schools is an exciting prospect – our system is very similar to the type of interface shown as a vision of the future in the TV series Star Trek!

“We can now by-pass the ‘move-to-use’ whiteboard. The new desk can be both a screen and a keyboard, it can act like a multi-touch whiteboard and several students can use it at once. It offers fantastic scope for more participative teaching and learning.

“The system will also boost equal access in school. In IT, we have found that males have been the dominant actors – interactive classrooms will encourage more females to take part in lessons. It will also enable more disabled students to participate in lessons and allow more personalized learning.”

A single work-desk can operate as a set of individual work spaces and/or a large screen allowing students to cooperate on a task. The software will be used to link everything together in a fully interactive classroom system of desks and smartboards.

Teachers will be able to instantly display examples of good work by students on the main smart-board; tasks could also be set for each individual desk. Numeracy tasks could include exercises where pupils have to split a restaurant bill by sliding visual representations of money into a group space.

check out the rest here 

Drew and Edusim

How many kids play video games ? All of them !

 It’s a common scenario, according to a new national survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project that illustrates just how ingrained games have become in youth culture.

The survey found that while young Americans don’t necessarily play the same thing, nearly all of them — girls included — play video games of one kind or another.

And they don’t just play by themselves.

Nearly two-thirds play video games to socialize face-to-face with friends and family, while just over a quarter said they play with Internet friends.

“It shows that gamers are social people,” says Amanda Lenhart, a senior researcher at Pew who led the report on the survey. “They communicate just as much. They spend time face-to-face, just as much as other kids. They e-mail and text.”

Read the rest here

Today its Edusim in the classroom – tomorrow it could be the the Cocoon CAVE based system !

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An interesting story poped up on CNN yesterday involving a new form factor for a CAVE based virtual environment called the Cocoon!

Educational historical journeys are just one possible use of the Immersive Cocoon, a walk-in virtual-reality pod being developed by NAU, an international design collective that aims to revolutionize the way we interact with computers.

When complete, the Immersive Cocoon will be a sleek and shiny human-sized dome. Step inside and you’ll be enveloped by a 360° display screen and full surround sound.

When the software boots up, instead of using a joystick or mouse to navigate the screens, motion-tracking cameras will follow the movement of your arms, legs and face, and a motion-sensitive platform will detect if you’re walking or jumping.

“You’ve got display, sound and interaction all combined to create this fully immersed digital experience,” explains Tino Schaedler, the architect-turned-film designer who is one third of NAU.

Read the rest here

An interesting and immersive future awaits !  Perhaps this form factor makes it into a future classroom some day … perhaps a 3rd or 4th generation IWB.

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Augmented Reality, Edusim, and making the real world & virtual world react to each other !

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With the Edusim work over the past 12 months focused heavily in the area of providing an augmented reality experience to the classrooom by the use of the classroom interactive whiteboard and the ability of the student to directly manipulate the 3D virtual object by touching it – I found this segment at the virtual worlds conference on augmented reality to be particularly interesting.