VR (esp. SL)

Virtual Reality

In realistic VR (as opposed I guess to non-realistic VR), learners make choices and take actions–and then the world changes as a direct consequence of those choices (user control). Perhaps VR can be evaluated on the basis of the degree of user control. However, it seems that the various “ized” are not equal; e.g., customized <> personalized <> individualized.

Attributes of SL

  • Persistent (but so are blogs)
  • WAN (but so is the Web)
  • Avatars (but so do games)
  • Multiuser (but so are SN’s)

Educational Purposes of SL

  • a sense of presence and a sense of place which are harder to achieve in a 2D environment
  • doesn’t actually enhance learning but by creating a sense of community and common purpose, can build motivation (same as SNs)
  • the role of “play” in learning might be important
  • the avatar becomes an extension of the self, allowing experimentation
  • people’s identity is more real in Second Life than their Facebook presence (not certain this is true)
  • enhances social contacts which quickly become as real to their participants as face-to-face communication

Questions on (the SN aspect of) SL

  • Do people want social networks to integrate or segregate their personal and professional lives?
  • Do games create bonds through shared stress that are absent in SL?
  • Does the absence of rules make SL unlike an MMOG?
  • Avatar issues: deception and griefing
  • Could embedded constructivist NPC”s be used in VR?
    • PBL constructivism requires students to restate problem.
    • In order to do that without a teacher, can we use the computer to ask, “What is your problem?”

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