Exploring Mobility, Chatbots, Blockchain and Augmented Reality solutions in the Cloud to re-imagine Education & Research

Chronicle Preview

Kevin Roebuck
Director, Digital Experience

Project to Build Virtual Learning Platform Within Popular Online Worlds Wins Financial Support
Chronicle of Higher Education (12/10/07) Foster, Andrea L.


College instructor Aaron E. Walsh is leading a multimillion-dollar
project backed by the Federation of American Scientists and the
Kauffman Foundation to develop virtual-reality software that can be
used for educational purposes. Researchers are working with an
international consortium of colleges, research institutes, and
companies to develop standards and best practices for the
virtual-reality platform. The project, called Immersive Education, will
build on Walsh's experience teaching Boston College students online in
virtual spaces. Immersive Education includes plans to create mini-games
and interactive lessons within virtual spaces, including Second Life,
Croquet, and Project Wonderland. At a conference announcing Immersive
Education, Walsh demonstrated how virtual worlds can be used to teach
students about real-world places, events, and ideas. During the
demonstration, the virtual avatar of a student, standing in front of a
digital jackal, explained that to the ancient Egyptians the jackal
helped transport the dead to the underworld. Three-dimensional models
of archaeological sites and tombs in Egypt, developed by the Theban
Mapping Project, provided a virtual tour of an otherwise inaccessible
site. Meanwhile, Gene Koo, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet
and Society at Harvard Law School, described how students at Emerson
College and Boston residents are using Second Life to foster civic
engagement, and how virtual worlds are being used to design real-world

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