Links for the day

One of those days… if I had another 6 hours, I still wouldn’t be done. So in brief, some links and very little comment:

INTUITION, SRI Virtual Worlds survey, The Myth of the Media Myth, and VLE vs PLE again again. More below.

INTUITION

INTUITION is a Network Of Excellence focused on virtual reality and virtual environments applications for future workspaces. It is funded by the European Union, and operates under the 6th Framework of the European Commission (IST). The Network includes 58 partners and it is being coordinated by the Institute Of Communication And Computer Systems of the National Technical University of Athens in Greece.

 SRI Business Intelligence Virtual Worlds Consortium

The SRI-BI VWC (enough acronym for you?) has published the data from a recent online survey. Their reports are collected on this page. The one of interest is “Virtual Worlds and Collaborative Work: Survey Results“, March 2008.

Other types of collaborative activities that respondents expect to see gaining most popularity in the next few years in industry and government include the following:

  • Blending of audio, 2-D, and 3-D conferencing technologies; data visualization; presenting and experiencing local culture and facilities through VW; and augmented reality applications
  • Single-point solutions (that is, sales training, onboarding, compliance, management training, and so on)
  • Training in procedures that are established and require supervised practice
  • Open innovation
  • Participatory space exploration and world-peace efforts
  • Professional networking.

The Myth of the Media Myth

At The Escapist, Brenda Brathwaite wonders where the strongly negative, and very common, beliefs about video games come from:

Inevitably, after I finish speaking, the strong opinions come. It happens the same way every time: People listen and then they say what they’ve been feeling. Videogames are not good for you. Videogames are a waste of time. They isolate children. Kids never go outside to play. They just sit there and stare at the TV all day.

The conversation this evening is particularly ironic, given that I’ve just finished my design for GDC’s Game Design Challenge, OneHundredDogs.com. It’s a Facebook ARG designed to be played in 50 cities across the country. It’s all outdoors and designed to build a nationwide community of happy people and their happy dogs working together toward a common goal. I sit and listen, and they continue.

Videogames are addictive, violent and blood-soaked. People just shouldn’t let their kids play games.

VLE vs PLE again again

From Campus Technology,

As director of Washington State University‘s Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, Gary Brown has stewarded the acceptance and growth of online learning, forged faculty development programs for early adopters and laggards alike, and struggled with the issues of assessment and accountability. But Brown sees more comprehensive changes ahead, especially as Web 2.0 technologies become widespread.

I can see some of Gary’s points, but I still think the VLE vs PLE debate is fundamentally misguided. I think institutional web-based environments provide a ‘home’ and a base of technology. I can develop a course which encourages students to use a wide wide range of Web 2.0 technology, but still has a single port of call for students looking for core information or needing to contact students outside their regular friends lists. I think of the VLE as the safe harbour – students can use it for planning, preparation or even carry out work there. Those that want to head out exploring the less predictable seas of Web 2.0 are very welcome to do so – and in some cases I’m doing my best to push them out there.

Forcing all staff and all students to abandon the safe harbour never to return seems a bit unnecessary to me, and one that doesn’t appear supportive of the full range of digital literacy found amongst faculty and students.

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