Tag Archives: virtual

What’s with the (Virtual Class)Room Setup?

Dr. Jenny Dearborn, the CLO at SuccessFactors, an SAP company, recently posted her point of view on an often neglected aspect of instructor-led training: the room arrangement. After all, the environment has a big part to play in how people learn in the classroom.

Now, how about virtual instructor-led training or even completely self-paced eLearning experiences?

How do you design learning from an environment perspective for virtual classrooms or eLearning? When you can’t physically arrange chairs, place computer monitors, mobile devices in strategic places to foster discovery and conversations, what do YOU do as an instructional designer and instructor?

Please comment below!


Cite this article:
Silva E (2013-06-21 09:52:05). What's with the (Virtual Class)Room Setup?. Enzo Silva blog. Retrieved: Apr 24, 2014, from http://enzosilva.com/blog/2013/06/21/whats-with-the-virtual-classroom-setup/

Why confine creativity to a closed space? How Yahoo set back the workplace to the dark ages

How interesting that people confine creativity to collaboration in a closed space…

There is creativity in solitude and in collaboration (the latter being virtual or in person)…

Creativity and productivity are organic…

Open up your minds…

In recent news, Yahoo steps decades backward in workplace evolution by banning their work-from-home program.

All their CEO and high execs needed to do was search the Web for an Infographic or other sources of information on the advantages of working from home, and they’d have recanted this tragic decision:

Source: dashburst.com via Enzo on Pinterest

Thinkbalm’s Enterprise Immersive Software Decision Guide

Thinkbalm just published this short but informative guide on immersive software for the enterprise. A recommended read for those looking for an overview of solutions in virtual world solutions out there.

From Thinkbalm’s announcement we have:

The Enterprise Immersive Software Decision-Making Guide was designed to help business decision makers recognize and adapt to the challenges of choosing the right enterprise immersive software. It is a use case-based guide that presents “if/then” scenarios and highlights good-fit software vendors for common situations. The report offers guidance on how to: 1) ask core business questions to frame the discussion, 2) choose a research-and-demo, do-it-yourself, or combination approach, 3) identify requirements based on your use case, and 4) filter your options based on important limiters. The following vendors are covered in the report: A World for Us, Altadyn, American Research Institute, Inc., Amphisocial, Avaya, Forterra Systems, IBM, InXpo, Linden Lab, ON24, ProtonMedia, ReactionGrid, Rivers Run Red, Sun Microsystems, Teleplace, Unisfair, VastPark, VenueGen, and Virtual Italian Parks.”

Click this link to learn more about the report. Or click here to download it directly as a PDF document.

Second Life’s Decline? – Whatever Happened to Second Life?

This post by Barry Collins for PCPro highlights the author’s adventures in Second Life and the decline of his interest in the virtual world. As many of us when we first get into something new and cool, he a peak of interest which then started to turn into boredom as he experienced and saw more of the same every time he walked into the world of Second Life.

The last points he raises such as goals and rewards would probably make users stay in Second Life longer. Besides the social interaction and some interactive attractions in Second Life, there is not much to it if designers/developers don’t put much effort in creating new experiences rather then only replicating what we already see in real life.

Metaverse Roadmap Overview

I just came across a great article from the Metaverse Roadmap Overview with some interesting findings, discussions and survey results around virtual worlds, game-based learning, augmented reality and other innovative ways or using virtual world technologies mixed with “real world” ones to create new realities.

As stated in the article:

“Virtual worlds increasingly augment the economic and social life of physical world communities. The sharpness of many virtual and physical world distinctions will be eroded going forward. In both spaces, issues of identity, trust and reputation, social roles, rules, and interaction remain at the forefront.”

Stigmergy in Virtual Worlds

Many researchers have been talking about stigmergy in Web-based environments. Sarah Intellagirl Robbins has been doing research in facets of Virtual Worlds and their potential for education. Stigmergy is one of the affordances she identified (or put the name to the face) in working with Virtual Worlds.

From Wikipedia we have:

Stigmergy is a mechanism of spontaneous, indirect coordination between agents or actions, where the trace left in the environment by an action stimulates the performance of a subsequent action, by the same or a different agent. Stigmergy is a form of self-organization.

For stigmergy in other contexts visit: 

Web Stigmergy

Definitions of Stigmergy

Stigmergic Collaboration

A Virtual Forbidden City

Not forbidden (you are allowed to explore it), is the interactive virtual replica of the ancient Chinese Forbidden City that has been released by IBM after a few years of development.

Great environment for the History buffs, teachers and students.

You can download it here.

Check out TechCrunch’s post on the subject here.

Microsoft Doesn’t Believe in Open Source Virtual Worlds

As seen in this article from PC Magazine reported by ITExaminer, Microsoft (via Craig Mundie) doesn’t seem to believe in Open Source virtual worlds such as Second Life.

While I agree that (open) virtual worlds are still very limited, I believe in the potential of such environments on a long term basis and I don’t think that users should be discouraged to go in and experiment with them. If the first attempts at playing with DOS had been discouraged, Microsoft wouldn’t be making billions with Windows and their other products  ;)

When we discuss Education it gets even more serious since, in general, the education sector can’t afford expensive closed technologies and have to experiment with open source and free (of charge) ones. Open virtual worlds also offer the opportunity of easy creation of custom worlds and enforce the sense of community and collaboration which most avant-guarde educators believe in now.

So, Microsoft, let’s not discard Virtual Worlds just yet, no one said they were perfect. ;)

Google Lively – 3D Chat/Virtual World

As if Google wasn’t already trying to be the know-it-all and the have-it-all of the Web, now they also try to compete with 3D chat rooms and virtual worlds in this new release in beta phase:

Lively – “Chat and interact with your friends in rooms you design.”

“Customize your avatar and stream personal photos and video.”

“Invite your friends to chat and help decorate.”

The look an feel resembles virtual worlds such as CyWorld, for instance. Many others are compared on this chart by TechCrunch. The Blue Book published by the Association of Virtual Worlds contains and enormous list of Virtual Worlds…

It might be worth giving it a try. I am just not sure whether we need yet another virtual world combined with a chat room capability… mmmm… All in all, It might be just another move for Google to place their ads all over the Web , this time on the 3D Web…

By the way, no Mac version as of now…

Also, take a look at Karl Kapp’s list of Alternative to Second Life.

Sun Microsystem’s Project Wonderland and The Immersive Education Grid

The Media Grid Immersive Education Initiative led by Aaron Walsh from the Boston University has been on the cutting edge of virtual environments experiments for a learning purpose. They hold constant meetings in Second Life, have been experimenting with different virtual worlds and not was Wonderland’ turn for a more “official” educational event run by the Immersive Education participants. 

I’m pasting some of the thoughts fellow bloggers have had on their posts about the event:



First Educational Gathering in Wonderland

By timwang

(…) over 60 avatars gathered on the Sun’s island in Secondlife, cuing up to get a “ticket” for the first experimentation of the Wonderland Project by Sun’s Microsystems. The event was organized by the MediaGrid which is a computational grid platform that promotes 3D virtual learning environment. (…)”

On Tim Wang’s eLearning Blog 


Wonderland Works!

By Katherine W. Prawl:

“Friday was a red-letter day. I attended an event in Second Life for an education group, hosted by Sun Microsystems, which was intended to introduce the group members toProject Wonderland. Especially exciting was the fact that Sun and its partners (which include NMC) are exploring the possibility of allowing avatars to navigate from theEducation Grid running on Wonderland servers.”

On the NewMedia On the Go blog


Sun’s Wonderland & Education Grid Demo

by Chris Collins

“Today the Media Grid Immersive Education Initiative launched the Education Grid onSun’s Wonderland platform.

Aaron Walsh from Media Grid launched the initiative from within Second Life and the island quickly filled up with many more avatars waiting to get in to join the demonstration.”

Fleep’s Deep Thoughts blog


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