Final 2011 Learning in 3D Class

It was a great but quick summer semester for Learning in 3D.

The last class we took a tour of some well known Second Life locations and discussed the educational implications while sitting around a camp fire.

So the final questions are:

What is the potential of 3D virtual immersive environments for learning? How far off do you think we are from wide spread adoption of 3D virtual worlds for learning?

How are you planning (if you are) to use a 3D virtual immersive environment in the future to provide education/instruction/training to others?

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  1. Frederick Bloss August 15, 2011

    The potential of virtual 3D environments is the ability to give a learner an immersive environment to learn in. It would provide an experience which is as close as possible to actually using a skill in the field. The main obstacle in widespread adoption is a technological one. Not everyone has access to the bandwidth or the hardware to run 3D applications. Mobile devices still lack the battery life to run such applications for any length of time. However, everyday we come closer to overcoming these barriers.

    As I have shown in my lesson plan, 3D worlds could have a very strong collaboration component which makes them different from other kinds of e-learning. I would definitely use them if what the learners needed to learn was something collaborative in nature. It is also useful for teaching complex lessons, where text on a screen would not be sufficient. Learners would be able to learn about something in a holistic fashion at their own pace.

  2. Jessica Christ August 15, 2011

    Even though this class flew by I learned quite a bit about 3D virtual worlds. I was actually very new to the entire topic prior to this class, and now I am thinking of ways that I can incorporate it into my lessons! Nothing will ever replace the classroom teacher but 3D virtual worlds can be an essential resource for education. The possibilities are endless in 3D education, so I think it is only a matter of time until schools will be taking advantage of this outstanding resource. I think in the near future every school will be able to take a field trip to the Holocaust Museum, get a first hand encounter with dinosaurs, and learn about volcanoes by exploring them from the inside! That is the best thing about 3D virtual worlds; students will be able to learn topics by doing rather than reading (which was the only way to learn certain topics without 3D learning). I also think that with the way the economy is today companies, such as travel companies, are not far off from adopting this technology for their business. Being able to visit a country or destination before booking a trip is an ideal way to plan your next vacation and being able to have meetings with members of a company from all over the world without flying them in would save so much money! Lastly, I am very excited to show my students what all I have been doing in the 3D world this summer. I hope to get some of my top math/technology students hooked on this and get them insight in a career that they never thought possible.

  3. Katherine Hinkle August 15, 2011

    3D virtual environments potential are practically limitless. Most, are very easy to use and offer a wide variety of features that can suit pretty much any industry and need. I feel as though that we are not far off from widespread use of such enviroments. With the cost of gasoline being so high, people are finding it harder and harder to travel, and 3D environments offer a very cost effective alternative.

    At this point in time, I do not see myself incorporating 3D virtual enviroments into my life, though I really did enjoy this class. I was always curious about SecondLife and what it really was, and this class gave me a great opportunity to explore it. Even though I don’t really see the need to incorporate such technology into my life at this time, the opportunities are really endless and in the future I would not be hesitant to use such technology because now I am familiar with it.

  4. Lauren Dyer August 15, 2011

    What is the potential of 3D virtual immersive environments for learning? How far off do you think we are from wide spread adoption of 3D virtual worlds for learning? I feel as if the potential for 3D virtual immersive environments is huge! It could make things that are impossible possible, moreso than they are right now. People, whoever they may be, young or old, can experience things that they wouldn’t be able to experience otherwise. Business men and women could use it to meet with potential clients or the employees of their company, while educators could use this as a tool to help engage their students. I feel as if the way things are going now, that we are not too far from wide spread adoption for education. There are so many ways already that educators are taking 3D learning to the next level.

    How are you planning (if you are) to use a 3D virtual immersive environment in the future to provide education/instruction/training to others? I feel that using 3D in a business sense when I graduate will help me not only communicate in ways with clients that I am not able to do, due to the distance, but it will also allow me to open my wide range of tools that i am able to share with fellow employees to help implement into their work.

  5. Dan Kreisher August 15, 2011

    This summer in 3D worlds was absolutely amazing. Having absolutely no previous experience with 3D worlds as a teaching tool was a lot of fun. I have played ‘games’ in which users are required to navigate a world as a character to complete some sort of mission or compete in a sporting event. Utilizing these worlds to for learning has tremendous potential for learning. I feel that where we currently stand in education, we are just a few steps away from utilizing these worlds more frequently in education. With the revolution of cyber schools, the ability to implement a 3D world to make that type of learning environment more interactive is a great way to allow students to still experience education. While it still does not allow for true hands on experience in many cases, it is still a great way to introduce concepts to learners.

    I would like to implement a 3D virtual environment into my physical systems classes where we utilize the wood lab to manufacture prototypes. It would utilize the same layout of the lab and have all of the machines that we use in lab. I would utilize this world as a safety trainer, where students would be able to walk around the lab and interact with the machines to learn about the different parts and safety features of each machine. Currently, students do not get that excited about learning safety for machine and safe working habits. However, implementing a type of 3D world that is new and unconventional may motivate students to explore more of the world and learn something about safety.

  6. Tracey Turnquist August 14, 2011

    With the economy today I believe 3D virtual environments will be a good alternative to things. I can visit resorts prior to booking a trip, I can order and outfit based on my body makeup. I think it could take off in a lot of different areas including education.

    However when it comes to education the finances are never available to do what needs to be done. I feel like whoever sinks money into this type of environment will be very successful but that is the only way to ensure the success of virtual environments. I feel like this would be an overwhelming success in education if we could get the financing needed to build strong virtual environments.

    I don’t see using virtual environments in the near future but if I were to teach an online synchronous class I think this would be the only way to go if I could find the right one with very few technical problems. I know it would make the learning environment much more interactive and keep students engaged. I plan on staying informed on these virtual environments and now that I have some inside information it will allow me to be more knowledgeable.

  7. Yousef Alshrari August 14, 2011

    I believe that 3D virtual immersive environments are going to be useful tools to use for getting information from famous places in the future. They will help people make friends from all around the world. The 3D virtual immersive environments that I have attended through the summer semester were made the world even smaller for me. I gained extremely good information from using these 3D environments. I had the opportunity to visit many places that I have never been in real life. Immersive 3D environments help learners get a real feeling of exploring new things, without having to travel across the world to actually explore. Also, these environments will be great tools for people who would like to explore different cultures, like we saw in our last class about Morocco. As I have mentioned before in previous comments, these environments will help learners get as much information as they want, especially for those who wish to learn a new language, such as English.

    I would really love to learn new things, such as languages and visiting new countries using the 3D virtual immersive environments. Also, I will use these environments to help my students gain more information about the Pyramids of Egypt, by having them visit the Pyramids using one of these virtual environments, such as Second Life. Also, I have a lot of friends who would like to learn the English language. The virtual immersive environments would be suitable tool for them to use, in order to learn English. This class helped me gain knowledge about new materials that are used or will be used in many educational environments. Before this class, I had no idea about the 3D virtual environments, but now I have valuable information about how to use different 3D environments to get as much information as I want, in any subject. Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Kapp for giving us great information about the virtual world environments

  8. Rachied Blythe August 13, 2011

    To be completely honest I think that learning in a 3D environment is a tool that businesses,schools and other organizations should begin to utilize. I think a lot of people are really unaware of all the potential a 3D environment can offer to learners and the knowledge and experiences they can take from it. When you place a learner in a 3D virtual immersive environment you are opening up another level to learning because the learners are actively participating and most importantly they are experiencing all the aspects of the lesson or instruction without actually being there. If I was to use a 3D learning environment I would use it when instruction/lessons puts a learners safety in danger or if I would like to show learners a different place around the world; but do to the fact that traveling can be very costly a 3D environment would definitely make the difference.

    Overall I really enjoyed the class and learning all that 3D environments have to offer. If I was to incorporate a 3D environment into my lessons or instruction I would have to make sure that there are no technical problems; if learners begin to get frustrated I would have lost their attention and then my lesson or instruction will not be effective.

  9. Fred Mealia August 13, 2011

    The potential i believe could be unlimited, i feel like the sky is the limit when it comes to the technology that we have created, from just meeting in a virtual world, to creating a huge world that anyone can interact as if they were in an actual real world environment.
    i think that virtual worlds will be a wide spread norm for at least the education sector, as well as business. i think this will be adopted but it may take a few years.
    if i had to plan on using a virtual world it would most likely be for meetings with business partners or persons that are far away and i would like to talk to. it could turn into a skype like deal.

  10. Linda Brown August 13, 2011

    The potential for 3D VIE in learning is great. From a corporate perspective, trying to communicate and teach new applications to overcome distance between employees and keep employees engaged is a challenge. We’ve seen the technology pave the way from a group of individuals gather around one phone in a room to participate in a learning event, to employees logged in on individual devices in a variety of locations with their own avatars in settings that are contextually appropriate. The 3D environments add an element of fun for the learners and reduce the potential for the employee to be distracted by trying to multi-task during the learning event.

    Regarding wide spread adoption, I think we are closer than one might think. A 3D environment is commonly associated with gaming. As the workforce changes and baby boomer begin retiring (that is if they can after the recent stock market roller coaster), the Gen Y workforce has grown up with 3D environments and gaming will be a natural fit for 3D VIE for learning. Additionally, as companies such as VenueGen, VirtualU and Designing Digitally solidify a space in the educational realm, uptake will be fast and furious.

    I’m planning to use 3D VIE as part of sales training. Product knowledge is a must in sales. As a financial institution, we offer a wide range of services. Teaching and learning products tends to be boring and mundane. We could create a virtually grocery store of our products with interactive stations helping employees understand the features and benefits of a particular product. After employees have mastered products and services, we could transfer this knowledge into a role play to assess what they’ve learned. The role play could be done in a small group setting so participants can learn from each other.

    We’ve also discussed using 3D VIE as part of our disaster recovery planning. We conduct drills to prepare for situations such as fires, robberies and hostage situations. If we could simulate these events in a virtual world, I think the participants would gain a better understanding as to how they would respond versus us just talking about it or conducting a table-top drill. There emotional engagement would be higher.

  11. Jamie Weaver August 12, 2011

    I had the opportunity this week to visit the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh with two pre-teens. This is a hands-on learning environment. We went to see the Robotics exhibit and enjoyed it immensely. What I took away from the experience was that learning is more immersive, less work and somehow easier when you can put your hands in and make things, try things and work things.

    Each of the 3D virtual environments we visited sparked many ideas based on their individual strengths. And what they all had in common was the ability to interact with the environment. Done correctly, learning and sharing can be as fun and as immersive as playing with the real robots, right?! However, my warning would be that the flip side of Carnegie was several displays that took too long to introduce the concept. Translated … if it takes too long to figure out, we are going to move on to the next new thing.

    I would say that we are still probably 5 years out from widespread adoption. But even then, I would qualify “widespread” by saying that this type of a learning environment may very well remain a niche. I see it being more quickly and widely adopted by educational and more progressive (creative) organizations.

  12. Desiree Eddins August 11, 2011

    I think that there is great potential for 3D virtual immersive learning environments. These environments provide wonderful opportunities for people who would not otherwise be able to experience many things. For example, some of the virtual environments we explored could help students visit college campuses, explore a mine and nuclear power plant up close, and have class in a court room. All of these are great learning environments because they get students “out of the classroom” and engaged in their learning. Learning becomes fun because they can actually become involved in the activity and learn through “hands-on” experiences. Therefore, I think that 3D virtual immersive learning environments are becoming more and more prominent, especially with the development of virtual schools. For this reason, I think we will start to see their use more and more within the next five years. Everyone just needs to learn about the benefits and uses of the different virtual environments available to students.

    My overall goal is to become a distance educator. After learning and experiencing the many different virtual environments, I plan to use some of the virtual environments in my virtual classroom. For example, I would love to use VenueGen to take the students out of the classroom to visit different areas without ever having to go anywhere. I would also like to use Second Life to give my students a new view on learning. They can become their own person through their choice in avatar. They can also have the opportunity to leave the classroom environment and explore different museums with a hands-on learning experience. Therefore, when I become a distance educator I definitely plan on utilizing various 3D learning environments.

  13. Beckie Brisson August 11, 2011

    What is the potential of 3D virtual immersive environments for learning?
    Already, the 3d world has so many possibilities when it comes to teaching topics. Becasue of the level of detail virtual worlds have now and how they will advance, one possibility is all college classes will be taken in virtual worlds. Going to college online not through a program where its simply listening to the teacher but actually interacting in a virtual world is somthing that is slowly approaching. It would save studemts money and let them have a more varied choice of colleges.

    How far off do you think we are from wide spread adoption of 3D virtual worlds for learning?
    I believe based on what I saw in the virtual worlds we visited in class that within 5 years virtual learning
    will be possibly all over the world and be utilized enough where it will be an actual option for soon to be college studemts.
    How are you planning (if you are) to use a 3D virtual immersive environment in the future to provide education/instruction/training to others?
    We as instuctional designers want to emmerse the learners in the training they will need to be able to do.And also make sure they can apply the knowledge they have learned. Creating a training program where the learners can actuallly drive a car, take apart an engine, bulid furmiture etc, makes the possiblilites for learning endless and also, makes the instructional designers job more fullfulling and effective.

  14. Ken Boland August 11, 2011

    After viewing several different 3D environments throughout the semester it is apparent that there is a significant amount of potential for these worlds to be used for learning. One of the most significant benefits of the 3D virtual worlds is the ability to digitally put the learner in the context and environment of the learning situation, which can be a great alternative when the real world environment cannot be experienced due to danger, travel, or costs. I think that 3D virtual environments would be a great way to have online synchronous meetings and class sessions. In traditional synchronous environments it is difficult to know whether or not the participants are actively engaged in the meeting or class. In a 3D virtual environment the participants are required to move their avatar and be actively involved in the environment. There are endless possibilities for incorporating 3D virtual learning into both educational institutions as well as corporate training. As educational institutions and corporate areas start to fill with more digital natives and 3D gamers, I believe this technology will start to take off. I could see within 5 years, 3D virtual learning could be incorporated into K-12 and post secondary education on a frequent basis by teachers who are currently incorporating Web 2.0 technology in their lesson plans. It may take longer for 3D virtual learning to be in widespread use in the corporate sector, but I think within 7-8 years it could be used on a frequent basis by companies that are currently using learning management systems and synchronous instruction.

    Starting this fall, another teacher in my department will be teaching a 3D Animation course for the first time. It is possible that with enough interest in the course, I could end up teaching a section of the course. I think using an existing 3D virtual environment would be a great way to introduce the students to the idea of 3D environments and the interaction that is possible in those environments. If possible, Second Life could be used as a way to tour different areas and see how a 3D environment can be constructed. In a current course that I teach, I have students use Google SketchUp to create the first floor of a house in 3D. I have found several discussions and blogs put together from people who want the ability to upload their 3D structures made in Google SketchUp into Second Life. While this concept is currently unable to be accomplished, if it were a possibility in the future, I could definitely see using Second Life to teach students about the different considerations that should be made in constructing a home (flow of people, location of rooms in relation to other rooms, aesthetic appeal, locations of entrances, exits, and windows, etc.). This could easily be accomplished by taking students on a virtual tour of a 3D house or allow them to take a self-guided tour of the 3D house. In 3-5 years, I hope I have the opportunity to use 3D learning environments in my lessons, but as with any new technology, it can take some effort to convince people (especially the people who make the policies) that the benefits of the technology for learning far out way the possible negative aspects that may come from it.

  15. Joshua Stoner August 11, 2011

    3D environments provide great potential for learning in the future as the environments continue to improve. I believe the 3D learning environments will become a significant tool for higher education in bringing together various individuals across the country and the world. As 3D environments improve I believe a significant push for their usage will inevitably follow, although, it may still be a significant number of years from now, the baseline is set. 3D environments have always been a great vision for humanity’s advancement in the future and therefore an attribute that our development in technology strives to improve upon.
    If I were to use a 3D virtual immersive environment in the future, it would incorporate a great deal of exploration and hands-on, so to speak, with what the training is detailing. The 3D virtual environment provides a great simulation for any subject of training and by placing a learner into a simulated typed of environment the actual learning from the experience can be greater than just being done in a classroom. Classrooms may incorporate slideshows, images and films, but the 3D environment provides a great deal of interaction in the learning process to which the learners grasp concepts better and become more affiliated with information that is being presented.

  16. Aaron Forte August 11, 2011

    The potential for 3D virtual learning is very high. I think as time goes on and technolgy progresses it will open the doors for many new activities and programs for the rest of the world to enjoy.

    I think we are very close to an adoption from a wide spread 3D world of learning. They Have it for many of the progrms we have visited these past few weeks and it only a matter of time before it hit the world by storm. We participated in several of them and all were very interesting. I think in the next ten year there will be a major increase in 3D virtual Learning and it will mainly be because of the college structure is expanding. With distance learning becoming more coming in todays world, 3d learning is right around the corner and this will make it easier for people to enjoy and attend a higher education.

    If I were to use 3D virtual world, I would definitely use it for a corporation to communicate across the globe as well as in colleges and high school, this could benefit them greatly letting them get used to a sofeware or program that could be greatly used in the upcoming future.

  17. Marcus Valeriano August 10, 2011

    I strongly believe the sky is the limit with 3D virtual immersive environments for learning. After viewing the many different environments that companies are developing for all different types of industries and education settings, I feel that the learning environment is more engaging and more realistic, even though it is virtual, than an actual classroom or 2D class environment. There seems to be an environment for ‘virtually’ every type of situation that could be experienced. Although, being an avid tech user, I still feel that wide spread adoption is a good decade away. I have heard of some k-12 schools using virtual immersive worlds, but it is a very small percentage. I hope that more k-12 schools as well as higher-ed and distance learning universities will implement virtual immersive environments into their lesson plans. The problem with the current situation is that many teachers and, more specifically, professors are accustomed to an ‘old fashioned’ conservative way of teaching. Also there is more of a percentage of teachers and professors that are not technologically savvy due to their time period of gaining their teaching degrees.

    I found so many ways of using a 3D virtual immersive environment for future endeavors. It is such an excellent tool for role playing and simulation environments. I am an avid sports fan, and I feel that the market for 3D virtual immersive environments could grow at an exponential pace. I have always wanted to see some of the most prestigious soccer stadiums in the world. I came across FC Barcelona’s stadium and decided to use that to develop a guided tour lesson plan for this class. If more stadiums were created like FC Barcelona’s stadium, not only for soccer but all sports, there would be a massive amount of people exploring the architecture and history of clubs and teams. This is only one example of how I could use these types of environments in my future endeavors. As mentioned in my first paragraph, the sky is the limit and I could use 3D virtually immersive environments for virtually (no pun intended) anything.

  18. Alyssa Genovese August 10, 2011

    I believe 3D immersive environments are going to be used more frequently in the future. Businesses can use 3D environments for hands on training and allow their new employees to become familiar with a work environment from their own home. Just as instructional technology has been becoming more predominant with workplace training, I believe utilizing 3D environments in workplace training will start becoming more popular also.

    I do not have any particular area in my studies that I think needs a virtual environment, however I like that I have the experience and knowledge of 3D worlds to have the option of incorporating in my professional career. This class was a great learning experience about non-traditional learning/training environments and I am glad I now have the skills and knowledge to use them in the future.

  19. Amanda Bughman August 10, 2011

    It’s frustrating to know that the most ideal learning experiences are rarely feasible for any given project. We end up with click-through content and drill-and-kill games because there are very real constraints, not the least of which are budgets and technical limitations. So is the case with 3D virtual environments. I would love to integrate something like VirtualU to immerse health care students into a decision-making situation or simulation, but I have to do it on a budget that barely affords a few stock photos.

    Then there are the technical issues. It surprised me how unstable some of the environments were. Believe it or not, there are still many, many people (especially in hands-on occupations like health care) who are at a complete loss when sat in-front of a computer. These users would not be able to adapt and overcome the technical issues, let alone use the navigation and try to interact with one another.

    But this class convinced me that there is a place for 3D in training and that we’ll get there some day. I need a secure, stable, custom immersive environment like VirtualU, where learners can select avatars as easily as Second Life, and with controls that are more intuitive to use than even those in VenueGen. I’ll be there with some early-adopter clients when that day arrives.

  20. Scott Stahl August 10, 2011

    I believe there is a great deal of potential for 3d virtual immersive learning environments. Funding for field trips seems to be getting harder and harder to find. Immersive 3d environments provide learners with the ability to get a real feel for exploring certain items with out ever leaving the class room. Also, it gives students the capability to see objects like they couldn’t even imagine. For example, I teach a lesson on how computers work. I have a bunch of computer parts that I show the kids but it would be a much richer learning experience if they could actually walk around inside a computer. That’s just not possible in real life!

    I would love to start incorporating some of this technology into the classes I teach. I teach middle school and so just getting into a 3d program would be a great start but I really think it would be a great learning tool in two ways. It would first introduce kids to the technology and it would allow them to have a learning experience like no other. I would like to slowly share this technology with my students!

Karl Kapp
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