This week I’ve spend a couple of hours on updating my knowledge on the latest developments in virtual worlds and their possibilities for learning. In this post I’ll outline some of my finding. When I’ve reviewed this weeks material of CCK08 on networks I hope to publish soon about the possibilities for learning networks in virtual worlds.
I’ve tagged interesting sites at del.icio.us under virtualworlds.
I was specifically asked to look into Croquet and Active Worlds but being used to resident in Second Life I found the interface of AW difficult and graphics boring. Then i reminded myself that i still didn’t look into Google’s new service called Lively so started with that.
Basically the concept of Google Lively is that everyone can easily create his own little virtual world, which they call rooms. The idea is that you can easily integrate a room to existing websites so you can add your Lively Room to your weblog for example. In that sense Lively is different then eg Second Life because its not one big world but many separate rooms. I’ve tried it as well and added a room to my weblog. You can enter my sunny Island and if you are very, very lucky someone will be there to chat with you , all you need is a Google account. Graphics are great and its very easy to use. I really think it could add value to the conversation on weblogs. It makes real time communication added with the context (= blog items) possible. Lively rooms make a connection with what already exists, namely a website, blog, wiki or moodle environment instead of creating an external world thats not connected with our reality. Unfortunately the software at this time is relatively closed and its not easy for the community to contribute. If that’s going to change I would love to see more Lively rooms in learning environments!
Another thing i looked into was Multiverse.
“Multiverse enables development teams to create high-quality, unique, and engaging virtual worlds and MMOGs faster and for less cost than ever before.”
This is more like a platform (OS) for development, but they recently have started with a new virtual world which is called “Multiverse Places”.
I really like the concept of this virtual world in which every member has his or her own appartment. I see this as your 3d Facebook profile. There are also ways to connect with your Facebook profile. It is a way to profile yourself and who you are in your real life. Its important to have connections with real life. Besides your appartment you can visit other people appartment or you can visit publice places like the Times Square, this is a place where you can network and meet other people. Multiverse says that within time, game elements will be added as well.
Many posibilities but i hope learn more myself about how learning networks in these types of virtual worlds can be established in order to provide our learners a great virtual learning experience.