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Immersive Education

Kevin Roebuck
Director, Digital Experience
The announcement yesterday on Mediagrid's Immersive Education Initiative. Sun is a part of it all and participating with Project Darkstar, Wonderland and Grid technologies. Here's the details:

BOSTON, MA - June 04, 2007 - MediaGrid.org launches the Immersive Education initiative with an open call to educators, students, and professionals who have experience using virtual learning environments or video game technologies (such as Second Life, Croquet, Extensible 3D [X3D], Panda3D, Quake, Unreal, Torque Game Engine, and so forth). Individuals and organizations can visit ImmersiveEducation.org
to select the next-generation Immersive Education platform, contribute
to best practices, and establish standards for virtual learning
environments and game-based learning platforms.

Immersive Education is an award-winning learning
platform that combines interactive 3D graphics, commercial game and
simulation technology, virtual reality, voice chat (Voice over
IP/VoIP), Web cameras (webcams) and rich digital media with
collaborative online course environments and classrooms. Immersive
Education gives participants a sense of "being there" even when
attending a class or training session in person isn't possible,
practical, or desirable, which in turn provides educators and students
with the ability to connect and communicate in a way that greatly
enhances the learning experience. Originally available only to
university students, the next generation of Immersive Education is
focused on a broad spectrum of academic and non-academic users (higher
education, K-12 [kindergarten through high school], and corporate
training). Unlike traditional computer-based learning systems,
Immersive Education is designed to immerse and engage students
in the same way that today's best video games grab and keep the
attention of players. Immersive Education supports self-directed
learning as well as collaborative group-based learning environments
that can be delivered over the Internet or using fixed-media such as
CD-ROM and DVD. Shorter mini-games and interactive lessons can be
injected into larger bodies of course material to further heighten and
enrich the Immersive Education experience.

Since 2004 students at Boston College have had the
opportunity to participate in Immersive Education, which has the
potential to fundamentally reshape education and corporate training by
providing on-demand learning and simulation technology that can engage
and instruct at a level far beyond that of the typical in-person or
online course. Following an award-winning 2 year pilot at Boston
College, Immersive Education is now being made available as a community
resource for the benefit of educators, students, and researchers. Visit
ImmersiveEducation.org for additional information and details on how to participate.

About the Media Grid

The Media Grid is a public utility for digital media. Based on new and
emerging distributed computational grid technologies, the Media Grid
builds upon existing Internet and Web standards to create a unique
network optimized for digital media delivery, storage, and processing.
As an on-demand public computing utility, a range of software programs
and Web sites can use the Media Grid for delivery and storage of rich
media content, media processing, and computing power. The Media Grid is
an open and extensible platform that enables a wide range of
applications not possible with the traditional Internet alone,
including: Massive Media on Demand (MMoD); Interactive digital cinema
on demand; Immersive Education and distance learning; Truly immersive
multiplayer games and Virtual Reality (VR); Hollywood movie and film
rendering, special effects, and composition; Real-time rendering of
high resolution graphics; Real-time visualization of complex weather
patterns; Real-time protein
modeling and drug design; Telepresence, telemedicine, and telesurgery;
Vehicle and aircraft design and simulation; Visualization of scientific
and medical data.

The Grid Institute leads the design and development of
the global Media Grid through the MediaGrid.org open standards
organization in collaboration with industry, academia, and governments
from around the world.

To learn more about the Media Grid and Immersive Education visit http://MediaGrid.org and http://ImmersiveEducation.org

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