Weebit Offcourse

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Archive for June 2013

news from augmented world expo

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Quick post to drop breadcrumbs…

And the 2013 tech field nominated as most likely to achieve light speed: Augmented Reality (AR).

Curious about the state of the ARt? You might watch Bruce Sterling’s short (~9min) keynote at the Augmented World Expo (earlier this month), here:

…or the 23-minute keynote address (YouTube) by Tomi Ahonen (“Nokia executive and author…known for his TEDx talk [describing] augmented reality as the 8th mass medium”).

If you are not familiar with what is happening in AR, just have a scroll down the event’s awards page, where you are likely to find something of interest…

Why awards? The goal of the competition is to promote excellence in Augmented Reality in various platforms and categories.”

Then, if still unsure where this is headed, imagine doing things like this:

  
…while wearing Google Glass-es.

Google Glass Prototype
Google Glass Prototype (Image by Ars Electronica, on Flickr)

  
Maybe then I’ll finally get to juggling fives…

Written by azwaldo

June 24, 2013 at 10:59 pm

first collaborative design project begins

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The first collaborative design has officially begun with its first meeting to discuss the project. (Please see previous two posts for more about project, group.)

image of four virtual world avatars in quiet setting

First meeting of the SV1-BSG design team in world.

Four group members have been active in early discussions about the first collaborative design; all were able to make time to attend…very encouraging. Two members have similar professional roles in common, two have been long acquainted, in world. All share a sincere interest in effective instructional design in the virtual world.

It seemed to be a productive session. I was pleased to find discussions moving rapidly; but, hoping to finish within one hour meant cutting in once or twice, to move along in the proposed agenda. I hope that the polite avatar showed up…the one who decided to interrupt the others.

I have been passing out a notecard with the following:

Group Mission:

  1. To design a series of projects that deliver 
      effective educational content while providing
      the best user experience we can muster.      

  2. "Learn from the pros." To observe the design 
      principles and techniques of professional 
      content creators in SecondLife™ and share 
      that knowledge.

In this post I begin to try to live up to that last bit: sharing the knowledge. I hope to make regular—if not frequent—entries in this blog to record observations, describe the circumstances encountered by the group, and generally report on the process.

One aspect of this will involve fielding surveys to solicit input. Many educators are familiar with this; attend a curriculum development seminar and expect to fill out a survey or three.

Hopefully, those group surveys will stir up collaborative juices, and open a dialog among educators and expert content creators, as well as provide helpful feedback to inform the process. I return to writing the pre-workshop surveys right after posting this.

What would you want to know about your colleagues prior to the beginning of a collaborative project, if you were an educator on the team? … if you are an expert designer?

One priority for me in the meeting, as acting “team leader”, was to emphasize the need for each of us to find effective ways to communicate; with each other, as well as within the group. Studio Wikitecture taught this lesson clearly; effective design collaboration follows efficient communication.

Wiki-Tree, 3D Wiki, Wikitecture 4.0
Studio Wikitecture’s Wiki-Tree, a 3-D wiki

Studio Wikitecture has served as my model for creating a dynamic mix of creative folks. However, without using the Wiki-Tree (image above, YouTube video), sharing of content (objects, scripts, textures) becomes an issue that must be resolved; the topic already emerged at the meeting. A Google Group forum has been created, but will need to prove itself as a useful tool among the team members as the custom forum did with Wikitecture.

We might find the combination of commenting and change-notifications with Google Drive spreadsheets provides enough of a “forum”. And lastly, without use of a wiki and Reddit-style voting for ideas, we have not even begun to approach the layers of communication used in the Wikitecture projects.

But, the project is only officially one day old.

Written by azwaldo

June 21, 2013 at 5:44 pm

The Basic Skills Gauntlet

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 SpicVanill announces its first collaborative design project with SV1.0 – Basic Skills Gauntlet.

Educators often ask new users to surf the grid soon after registration. With no practice in world, how can we expect them to fully experience a virtual space? Without assessing their mastery of ways to interact and navigate, how confident are we that new users actually focus on lesson content?

orientation island
“orientation island” image by Flickr user glycerine517

What if they could play a game right after orientation…a game that requires the use of various controls and client-viewer features? Such an activity—a kind of newbie obstacle course—could reinforce basic skills such as ctrl-alt-camming and object inspection. Such a game could be a preliminary task for entering an immersive space, or serve as an exit exam following standard orientation.

If designed well, this activity could:

  • engage and entertain, prompting users to return again and again
  • reinforce the use of various elements of the viewer in an interesting way
  • record user achievement and report progress to the instructor
  • be bundled for easy installation, or export and upload to OpenSimulator
  • provide a template to be customized in any theme, fit in any sim
First sketch of Basic Skills Gauntlet
First sketch of Basic Skills Gauntlet with first station
or “module” in the middle…a sit-target experience.

What elements of the client viewer are used most by new users? What skills are most difficult to master? What do new users struggle with in their first sessions? How do you create a challenge or obstacle to make a user exercise those skills?

IF YOU have worked with groups of new users, PLEASE help by completing this short survey.

All SecondLife™ builders and educators are invited to join this new collaborative team. Meet some dedicated educators, participate in a new experiment in collaboration, see what instructional designers need from an activity.

The group’s mission is two-fold;

  1. Facilitate the collaborative design of high quality, interactive educational content.

  2. Share the design principles and techniques that are learned in the process.

Contact Weebit Offcourse or Azwaldo Villota in SecondLife™

…or join the  SpicVanill group in world to receive notifications about this design and announcements for upcoming projects.

Written by azwaldo

June 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm