Feds Expand Virtual Worlds Interest

You’ve never seen a first-day welcome speech like the one that attendees witnessed at the 4th Annual Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds (FCVW) Conference two weeks ago at Fort McNair, just outside Washington, D.C.

Using a large avatar of himself projected onto five giant video screens in the National Defense University’s main auditorium, Dr. Robert Childs welcomed about 300 attendees. Childs is senior director of NDU’s iCollege.

“Companies must innovate or disappear,” said Childs’ avatar. “In the learning profession, we tend to duplicate what we grew up with. Let’s capture the imagination of youth.”

But, the avatar continued, “immersive technology is far better than passive learning. Virtual worlds are a way to collaborate among age groups.”

Included in the three-day conference were workshops, various panel discussions, government project poster sessions, book signings, vendors and a reception.

“Virtual worlds are persistent, gigantic and real,” said author Dr. Edward Castronova of Indiana University, who analyzed virtual worlds policy. “The technology of world creation is a fundamental and critical skill in the 21st century. It’s a gradual, slow progression through replication.”

The U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force — which are all exploring virtual world training — were represented. Not coincidentally, the Air Force is also using flight simulators to educate pilots, and even “serious games” were discussed at various points in the proceedings.

“Virtual worlds, games and educational simulations are different, but there are overlaps,” said speaker Clark Aldrich, author of a popular book on the subject. “Virtual worlds tap the emotions and access the communities of the real world. Games increase student engagement. Educational simulations increase conviction through depth of knowledge, and they reinforce long-lasting ‘to-do’ skills.”

Founder and coordinator of the FCVW is Dr. Paulette Robinson who is assistant dean for teaching, learning and technology for NDU’s iCollege. The iCollege is also sponsoring a conference on “Web-Enabled Government” Aug.16-20. For more information, e-mail robinsonp@ndu.edu.

—Like to add your comments? Tweet us at #2elearning or post to Facebook: Elearning Magazine or LinkedIn: Elearning Magazine Network.

You’ve never seen a first-day welcome speech like the one that attendees witnessed at the 4th Annual Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds (FCVW) Conference two weeks ago at Fort McNair, just outside Washington, D.C.

Using a large avatar of himself projected onto five giant video screens in the National Defense University’s main auditorium, Dr. Robert Childs welcomed about 300 attendees. Childs is senior director of NDU’s iCollege.

“Companies must innovate or disappear,” said Childs’ avatar. “In the learning profession, we tend to duplicate what we grew up with. Let’s capture the imagination of youth.”

But, the avatar continued, “immersive technology is far better than passive learning. Virtual worlds are a way to collaborate among age groups.”

Included in the three-day conference were workshops, various panel discussions, government project poster sessions, book signings, vendors and a reception.

“Virtual worlds are persistent, gigantic and real,” said author Dr. Edward Castronova of Indiana University, who analyzed virtual worlds policy. “The technology of world creation is a fundamental and critical skill in the 21st century. It’s a gradual, slow progression through replication.”

The U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force — which are all exploring virtual world training — were represented. Not coincidentally, the Air Force is also using flight simulators to educate pilots, and even “serious games” were discussed at various points in the proceedings.

“Virtual worlds, games and educational simulations are different, but there are overlaps,” said speaker Clark Aldrich, author of a popular book on the subject. “Virtual worlds tap the emotions and access the communities of the real world. Games increase student engagement. Educational simulations increase conviction through depth of knowledge, and they reinforce long-lasting ‘to-do’ skills.”

Founder and coordinator of the FCVW is Dr. Paulette Robinson who is assistant dean for teaching, learning and technology for NDU’s iCollege. The iCollege is also sponsoring a conference on “Web-Enabled Government” Aug.16-20. For more information, e-mail robinsonp@ndu.edu.

—Like to add your comments? Tweet us at #2elearning or post to Facebook: Elearning Magazine or LinkedIn: Elearning Magazine Network.

Leave a reply