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Transcript of the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable: January 7, 2016
Topic: New Year, New Reality
Photos by Beth Ghostraven
Kali Pizzaro: Hi everyone, and welcome to the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable. We meet Thursday 11:30am SLT for an hour. 7:30pm In UK, 2:30pm est VWER is a forum to educate and inform the community about issues that are important and relevant to education. This is our 8th year BTW! This is a public meeting, so we will be keeping and publishing a transcript. The transcripts can be found at http://www.vwer.org. Please join the VWER group here in SL. If you are on Facebook, or Google+ please join our group there. Also find and post pictures to our Flickr group, facebook or Google+ and follow us on Twitter @VWER.
Kali Pizzaro: This week’s theme is New Year, New Reality: what will VWs/VR and new tech bring edu this year?. – let’s start as we usually do and introduce ourselves, I am Dr Evelyn McElhinney, RN, Lecturer, Glasgow Caledonian University, VWER Director
AgileBill Firehawk: AgileBill Krebs, NC, BSU and UWE grad student, Rockcliffe fanatic, and one who ordered the retail Oculus yesterday to update my DevKit 1
Sheila Yoshikawa: I teach and research at Sheffield University, UK, in the Information School
Beth Ghostraven: Beth Ghostraven, middle school teacher-librarian in RL and owner of the Book and Tankard Pub in Victoria City, Caledon in SL; unofficial liaison between education groups in SL. For information on events for the educational groups that I work with, see the ISTE VEN Massive Open Online Calendar at http://venetwork.weebly.com/calendar.html; Twitter: @booklady9
I’ll be taking photos to publish with the transcript; if you have any objection, please IM me.
Marly (marly.milena): Niela Miller, M.S. Ed. is a multi-artist, humanistic psychotherapist,
educator, trainer, coach, & group facilitator in and out of SL. She has two groups offering programs in SL—Octagon:Creative Exploration and Adventures in Lifelong Learning (with Wisdomseeker Lissena aka Liss). Her special invention in SL is something she calls Symbolic Modeling. www.peoplesystemspotential.com
Wisdomseeker (lissena): Lynne Berrett, Director of Whole Brain Health on Inspiration Island in SL
JB Hancroft: JB Hancroft – indie developer in SL, OpenSim, and Unity3D. Based in VA/DC
Wisdomseeker (lissena): Rockcliffe fanatic, Agile??
Denise Infinity: Denise Kirkland, evangelist for using 3D immersive environments for education 🙂
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Selby Evans, Blogger, Educational games in virtual worlds http://virtualoutworlding.blogspot.com/2016/01/2016-edu-game-educational-games-in.html
Kali Pizzaro: anyone else
Kali Pizzaro: going
Kali Pizzaro: going
Kali Pizzaro: gone to the rocket man 🙂 watching my eyebrows don’t get singed
Denise Infinity: We are not using voice? Is that because of the transcript?
Kali Pizzaro: ok so…. this week theme is New Year, New Reality
Kali Pizzaro: yes
Kali Pizzaro: we only use voice for special meetings, unless someone needs voice for accessibility
Kali Pizzaro: So this may be quite a year for edu and VWs/VR with many VR headsets being released and possibly LL Project Sansar so…is it all hype? or do you think they will impact on edu this year?
Sheila Yoshikawa: you said you’d just got the retail oculus, Bill?
AgileBill Firehawk: yes! ships in May
Sheila Yoshikawa: a while to wait then!
AgileBill Firehawk: I hope it will be easier to avoid the motion sickness than the old one I have
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): $600
AgileBill Firehawk: yep
Sheila Yoshikawa: ouch
AgileBill Firehawk: may need to update the computer also; and does not support mac (grumbles) (nor mobile graphics cards)
Birdie Newcomb: uh oh
Sheila Yoshikawa: presumably no way to tell whether it gives you motion sickness without test driving it
AgileBill Firehawk: https://www.oculus.com/en-us/
Kali Pizzaro: yes that could be an issue– here is Wired’s take on that http://www.wired.com/2015/05/heres-pc-needs-run-oculus-rift/
AgileBill Firehawk: yes Sheila, I had no idea until 10 mins after I tried. But has improved, and does depend on the build you’re in
Kali Pizzaro: I have a new Asus gaming laptop so hope it would be ok if i bought but…
JB Hancroft: Lack of platform support and mobile graphics are going to be an issue for another 18/24 months, for VR in general (IMHO).
Beth Ghostraven: too bad you can’t just turn off head-bobbing like you can in Minecraft, to avoid nausea
Birdie Newcomb: virtual sickness, hmm, no thanks
AgileBill Firehawk: (nods to JB)
Kali Pizzaro: So what about other headsets– could they take over or embed themselves in the market in the meantime?
Marly (marly.milena): When are Macs going to stop being treated like 2nd class citizens here and everywhere!
Kali Pizzaro: and are we increasing inequities with such high specs which often pushes people with low income out of the market or getting access….
Marly (marly.milena): Personally, I do not like to use extra equipment if I don’t have to
Beth Ghostraven: Is the Mac issue caused in part by Apple’s proprietary grip on everything?
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Meanwhile, Google Cardboard grows.
Denise Infinity: What you may be seeing is proprietary technology kicking itself in its own a**
Kali Pizzaro: indeed Selby
AgileBill Firehawk: Not sure what the issue w/ Mac was, but I love my Macs!
Beth Ghostraven: @Denise, yes, that’s what I’m wondering too
Kali Pizzaro: How will this affect students?
JB Hancroft: Beth – it’s because the Mac has a smaller market share overall, and so developers are reluctant to spend the extra $/time to create for a platform that is “only” 15% of the market.
Marly (marly.milena): There are still websites on which you can’t process downloads etc if you are on a Mac!
Kali Pizzaro: thank JB
AgileBill Firehawk: but may come at some point – http://fortune.com/2015/08/31/apple-virtual-reality/
JB Hancroft is on a Mac now… so… there… you have my vote 🙂
Fidget (fidgetswidgets) nods a hello to Sheila.
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Will you spend $600 for something you may not be able to use?
Marly (marly.milena): And at certain conferences here, I couldn’t read display boards
Beth Ghostraven: wow, only 15%? I’m surprised it’s that low
Denise Infinity: Are we talking about education and ed tech? The higher cost without the higher specs prices Apple out for most of my educational clients.
Polaris Grayson: the peripheral market will spike, but companies are leery with vr for fear the market will bubble and burst like the wearable market….price will become an issue
Kali Pizzaro: Denise it depends on possibly where you live. Our whole uni has iPad almost for even admin procedures
AgileBill Firehawk: (and $600 is one thing, but a class of 20….)
Kali Pizzaro: but Polaris I think you are right there is still caution – Bill try 500
Sheila Yoshikawa: the (latest) VR bubble has been bubbling so long now that one feels it’s going to have to produce something tangible soon, or everyone will ooze away
JB Hancroft: In general, there are two kinds of technology… being used to render/display for VR and VWs: fat-client desktop/laptop software that needs memory, cpu, and graphics. That’s the SL/OpenSim/HiFi way. The other way harnesses streaming technology. Think of your “AV session” as being hosted on a server somewhere, and you’re interacting with something that is not unlike a YouTube or UStream session.
Marly (marly.milena): So, what are the arguments for going after every new gadget that comes down the pike?
JB Hancroft: … the latter can much more easily be supported on lower-cost, and mobile devices.
AgileBill Firehawk: nods – or spend 30 and use your iPhone – http://www.apple.com/shop/product/HJKB2LL/A/view-master-virtual-reality-starter-pack
Beth Ghostraven: JB, is there an example of the latter that we can try out, at present?
JB Hancroft: thx for the link, AgileBill 🙂
Polaris Grayson: sensory peripherals will follow, like the motion glove
JB Hancroft: Beth – I don’t know of any available for public use… I will poke around and see if I can get you an example.
Kali Pizzaro: There will always be early adopters Marly …. However as with much tech maybe it is in conjunction with other tech and might end up more aimed at research
Denise Infinity: My clients cannot afford the luxury of extra technology, so need to focus on core technology that meets most needs (and on a budget). Ipads are really not practical as core technology in a high school 🙂
Kali Pizzaro: yes Denise
Beth Ghostraven: Thanks, JB, that would be great! or even a video of something would help
Kali Pizzaro: I am Higher edu uni
Kali Pizzaro: I think Sheila has a point–there needs to be impact soon…..and affordability
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Beth and JB re *SL* being streamed, my memory was that the people that were aiming to take over from SL.Go gave up because their pilot couldn’t cope with the load
Beth Ghostraven: I don’t see any of that coming to my school district any time soon. We’re only just now moving toward using Minecraft, and that’s pretty much just me
AgileBill Firehawk: (+1 Minecraft)
Sheila Yoshikawa: 😉 pioneer @Beth
Kali Pizzaro: if no consumer impact VR esp will remain the domain of research – with a wider application and use I suspect but mainly in research… thoughts?
Polaris Grayson: the software capabilities are outreaching hardware , so a realignment will hit before a consensus will be reached i think
JB Hancroft: Sheila – agreed. The architecture is not economically scalable, currently.
Wisdomseeker (lissena): Is Bright Canopy still available? Has anyone used it?
JB Hancroft: One company that has had recent investment in streaming-type VR is http://www.nextvr.com/technology
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Liss I think that’s the service that couldn’t cope
Kali Pizzaro: thanks for the link JB
Denise Infinity: I agree with Beth…it is sometimes difficult to get secondary education to look at technology clearly.
Wisdomseeker (lissena): @JB–would this be for private grids only?
JB Hancroft: Although the overall mood of venture/investment companies is a little “sour” for 2016 overall, there were some sizeable investments in online gaming/Virtual Worlds.
JB Hancroft: Wisdom – it needs to be licensed, so yes – it would be private venues/grids only, unless someone can come up with a licensing model that allows public exploration.
Denise Infinity: Some will cut budgets elsewhere to get ipads (so they can get one in the process), rather than really examine the learning outcomes and tools that would more likely assist with that, like Open Sim.
Kali Pizzaro: exactly Denise,… What about other tech do you see that making an impact on edu or VWs?
Denise Infinity: Bright Canopy seem to underestimate the true cost, I think.
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Stereoscope was invented mid 1900’s — it has not taken off in stills or in movies.
Kali Pizzaro: 🙂
Kali Pizzaro: in my area – health I see lots of applications for VR and VWs
Marly (marly.milena): Have we really exhausted the potential of the available technology here already?
Polaris Grayson: Samsung is using the stereoscopic idea for a cheap version of vr gear for their phones
Marly (marly.milena): Seems to me we can keep inventing ways to use it
JB Hancroft: I believe that Bright Canopy’s business model will be validated in time, as cloud computing costs continue to drop.
Kali Pizzaro: @Marly no i don’t think so……..however like many of you it is sometimes convincing others although i think we are breaking into the digital health arena and there is more bravery for want of a better word in trying new tech for health
Denise Infinity: I think On-Live tried to stream SL, but that did not pan out and On-Live does not exist now. That would have been a brilliant way to use SL.
Marly (marly.milena): Those of you who work with kids or young adults, what are their ideas for things they would like to have to further their learning?
JB Hancroft: (AFK for a bit… client mtg. I will keep my viewer logged in, so as to now miss juicy comments n ideas 🙂
Kali Pizzaro: thanks Jb
Sheila Yoshikawa: I don’t work with children or young young adults…..
Kali Pizzaro: I don’t work with kids but I can see lots of potential and sometimes the less fancy the better I often hear from kids
Wisdomseeker (lissena): @ Marly–most I know prefer to use their phones for everything
Denise Infinity: For elementary and secondary education, I would think that Open Sim would be most popular and affordable.
Marly (marly.milena): The young ones….and the old ones… should be the inventors of the next generation of tech for education!
Denise Infinity: I would have liked our schools to embrace Kindles more 🙂
Marly (marly.milena): Too often, it is driven by business motives and people who are not educators themselves
Sheila Yoshikawa: I think re devices it depends what learners are doing – our computing labs and study areas with PCs still get used hugely, when people are working – for reading larger documents or working on assignments or presentations they like the larger screens
Denise Infinity: I totally agree, Marly!
Marly (marly.milena): I can attest to that. I got a beautiful large screen for my Mac and it makes this world so much more vivid!
Polaris Grayson: the edupreneur market has taken its course, but i think the pendulum is swinging back to core values
Kali Pizzaro: Exactly Sheila, different kit for different tasks. sometimes folks get carried away with new tech but we also esp in university want curiosity to drive the use of new tech and new ways to use existing tech
Denise Infinity: And that is what I am referring to as “core technology.”
Wisdomseeker (lissena): so what is working best right now?
Kali Pizzaro: however sometimes uni are risk averse and don’t want to upset the students if it does not work exactly as they wish *sigh*
Kali Pizzaro: Good Q Liss
Kali Pizzaro: most of ours teaching is still face to face and students often demand that, but blended is also certainly working, so, a hybrid approach
Polaris Grayson: physical and visual studies is taking the lead i think…the hands on approach
Wisdomseeker (lissena): I am trying to design an online course based in SL and want to find the best ways to use technology for it
Kali Pizzaro: which is exactly how it should be IMHO if students are not only able to attend at a distance
Sheila Yoshikawa: my perception is that learners a) want things that work and b) want a range of different applications to suit their needs e.g. synchronous and asynchronous, video recordings, google docs, google+ c) teachers who interact with them quickly and flexibly
Denise Infinity: I think the discussion always has to include a hybrid approach. I hear so many discussion that end up with people arguing as an “either-or” solution.
Kali Pizzaro: Liss I think sometimes you can get to fancy and keeping it simple can work just fine – social learning – creativity – discussion – collaboration – presence
Kali Pizzaro: Yes Denise
Kali Pizzaro: I always say this is one tech in my toolkit
Wisdomseeker (lissena): 🙂 Kali
Denise Infinity: Agreed, Sheila!
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Teach them how to learn and educate them for the rest of their lives
Kali Pizzaro: and sometimes familiarity initially
AgileBill Firehawk: +1 Thinkerer!
Sheila Yoshikawa: Google+ seems to be the favourite for our distance learners so far for chatting and getting news and quick questions answered about assignments
Kali Pizzaro: so people sometimes want to sit – want to walk etc
Kali Pizzaro: nice Sheila
Wisdomseeker (lissena): yes, good point, Sheila–that is a help
Polaris Grayson: for vr to work, there will need to have a hands on approach with a low tech learning curve….a lot of old school teachers are intimidated by emerging tech
Kali Pizzaro: exactly THinkerer don’t throw out the learning theories we know work adapt them to the platform and build on them
Marly (marly.milena): Do people use Skype or Facetime group sessions?
Kali Pizzaro: yes polaris or they want to leave it to others which is fine I don’t think folks should be forced
Denise Infinity: I also think that integration of technology is very important. I see so much of adoption of new tech and then putting that by the wayside to adopt other new tech, when they should be integrating what they have and leveraging those resources.
Sheila Yoshikawa: didn’t I see a post on your blog Thinkerer, about the SL learning curve – something about the myth of the learning curve?
Kali Pizzaro: I use skype on occasion but have had many issues
Beth Ghostraven: “myth of the learning curve”??!?
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Skype works well for small group sessions
Beth Ghostraven: you mean that it’s a learning CLIFF instead? lol
Polaris Grayson: i used skype to collaborate with fellow students during my mba
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Yes Sheila — just a min
Kali Pizzaro: exactly Denise – embed and then have maybe a small core team to try – evaluate – etc
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Marly we’ve got Adobe Connect for the distance learners so we’ve mostly used that, as they can go in and use a “room” by themselves too, but also skype
Marly (marly.milena): I have had good experiences on Skype
AgileBill Firehawk: I like Skype, Sococo, and Google Hangouts for flat stuff
Wisdomseeker (lissena): what is flat stuff?
Polaris Grayson: i have skyped with my partner in sl for over 11 yrs
Sheila Yoshikawa: yes I use skype a lot for phd supervisions with part timers, and talking to colleagues elsewhere
Kali Pizzaro: I agree @selby i don’t actually think this is any harder than any other tech – my students who often were frightened got it after about 2-4 hours of learning
Beth Ghostraven: I was about to ask that–does “flat stuff” = 2D?
AgileBill Firehawk: yep!
AgileBill Firehawk: even 1d
Kali Pizzaro: yes that was what i use it for Sheila – my supervision but actually teleconf worked just as well often (floorplan)
Denise Infinity: I truly think we need to stop putting that “steep learning curve” excuse out there in front.
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): http://virtualoutworlding.blogspot.com/2014/10/2014-help-new-virtual-worlds-myth-of.html
AgileBill Firehawk: (nods to Denise – 13 years is long enough to learn it! LOL)
Beth Ghostraven: Thank you, Thinkerer!
Kali Pizzaro: I agree and it depends on what you want your students to do
Marly (marly.milena): Skype is great for bringing together people from widely far-flung places. I did some work with someone stationed in Afghanistan, had meetings with people in Australia, etc (I am on east coast US)
Sheila Yoshikawa: when I’m thinking about distance students, it’s more about whether they’ve got the hardware and excellent connection than the curve, I think (so I haven’t used SL so far …)
Polaris Grayson: i agree denise…the learning curve is temporary and old school is using it as a blockade instead of a hurdle
Kali Pizzaro: if they are coming and chatting and sitting or doing simulation there is not that much to teach if you are starting from scratch and wanted them to do scripting and build then maybe
Denise Infinity: And the primary issues I have seen is not the “steep learning curve” but introducers trying to show too much of the complexity of SL which overwhelms new people.
Wisdomseeker (lissena): oh Polaris, that’s a good line!
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): If you learn how to learn, you know not to try to learn too much too fast
Kali Pizzaro: @Marly so is this we can say the same now also i often combine the tech – skype with shared google doc etc etc
Marly (marly.milena): Right you are, Selby. But, also, it depends on the learner
Polaris Grayson: i always taught when i trained accuracy first…speed will come later
Kali Pizzaro: can’t eat a whole elephant…..
Denise Infinity: Exactly, Kali! Students only need to log-in, do simple movements, use voice to attend classes.
Beth Ghostraven: I see your point–scaffold the learning so people are *here* before adding more complex stuff
Kali Pizzaro: if they need it @Beth
Beth Ghostraven: yes
Kali Pizzaro: if you use social media much of the communication etc are similar
Denise Infinity: Most video games are probably more complex to begin with and you don’t hear gamers being deterred because of a “steep learning curve.”
Kali Pizzaro: it is the 3d that sets it apart in my opinion
Sheila Yoshikawa: sometimes difficult to judge when enjoyable variety becomes “not another app please” but that’s part of the fun (finding out)
Kali Pizzaro: I hear this about our online area
Beth Ghostraven: it’s possible that people are put off by the lack of anything obvious to do in VWs, to provide an incentive to stay
Denise Infinity: We always discuss tiers of training needed to come into SL for education.
Kali Pizzaro: oh i don’t know how to do that I always say who taught you facebook – youtube – twitter 🙂
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Right, Marly, but if learners know their best pace, they can set it for themselves
Kali Pizzaro: etc etc
Polaris Grayson: 3d in itself has a stigma that people find intimidating
Kali Pizzaro: exactly @Beth so make sure that is in place first 🙂
Kali Pizzaro: or bring in a group
Beth Ghostraven nods
Kali Pizzaro: just as in the physical world if you sent someone to an empty building they would soon get bored
Marly (marly.milena): I sometimes think that a good intro to SL would be getting learners to an entertainment (such as KLARK’S terrific Broadway show) and having them enjoy and be hooked by the possibilities, thus, motivating them to want to be here
Nina Lancaster: Hello all
Beth Ghostraven: Hi Nina!
Nina Lancaster: Does anyone have a copy of the chat?
Nina Lancaster: sorry was late
Sheila Yoshikawa: there was a recent Pew Research Center report about gamers in the USA (attitudes to, who was gaming etc.), which I blogged about http://information-literacy.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/pew-internet-us-gamers-broadband.html
Kali Pizzaro: Hi Nina
Nina Lancaster: Hi Kali
Kali Pizzaro: Thanks Sheila
Beth Ghostraven: Nina, it’ll be published soon, hopefully tonight
Nina Lancaster: ok thanks
AgileBill Firehawk: (ty Sheila!)
Denise Infinity: In one of our high schools, we introduced open sim as a group survival and culture building exercise. As such, groups were just thrown into it without ANY training. Because they were motivated, they helped each other and it has been a HUGE success (and great class discussions).
AgileBill Firehawk: +1 Marly re fun learning
Kali Pizzaro: excellent Denise and that is something I saw students helped each other and created their own etiquette–don’t walk away when we are talking etc 🙂
Polaris Grayson: sometimes supervised abandonment is a great teaching tool….only assist when the learning becomes stagnant
Kali Pizzaro: There is also the point that educators also have to be brave and try new things etc -@polaris yes the teacher should be the facilitator often or part of the group
Marly (marly.milena): Also, exposing learners to many different kinds of learning here and have them choose what they want to pursue (the old Summerhill model :-))
Kali Pizzaro: sometimes an equal part I often have experienced nurses so I learn as much from them as they me
Polaris Grayson: it reminds me of corporate trust exercises…you find out the potential of the students
Marly (marly.milena): I brought in a friend who flies planes and gliders in RL and brought him to a place here where they make flying machines!
Sheila Yoshikawa: 😉
Marly (marly.milena): Matching enthusiasms with what is available!
Kali Pizzaro: so he was able to continue his passion
Polaris Grayson: vr has the potential to unlock hidden skillsets that are often overlooked
Kali Pizzaro: exactly what i found helped people to cope and live with their health condition – relationships – a sense of place – belonging- purpose in their life 🙂
Kali Pizzaro: so we have two mins
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): +Marly I favor that intake model. Find out what you want to is a virtual world before you go in
Kali Pizzaro: has anyone got any burning points
Marly (marly.milena): Yes…I particularly love it when people say, Oh, I am not creative, and then discover they can do things here that they never gave themselves permission to try out there (thinking of one friend who became a jewelry maker)
Nina Lancaster: Hello Marley
Kali Pizzaro: yes
Nina Lancaster: didn’t see you there
Marly (marly.milena): Hi Nina
Nina Lancaster: Hows’ things?
Denise Infinity: “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.” 🙂
Beth Ghostraven: oh, Denise, I like that!
AgileBill Firehawk: so true @Denise
Kali Pizzaro: so I think we are saying there is a bit to go before any VR will go mainstream and make a major impact on edu and VWs again may be the people who are here being brave or bringing in others
Kali Pizzaro: Denise yes and often things that are worthwhile can be hard at first
Beth Ghostraven: it’s like inspiring collaboration–work on one person at a time
Denise Infinity: And hearing over and over again why you CAN’T do this 🙂
Wisdomseeker (lissena): this is why other people who are welcoming are so important
Denise Infinity: But still pursuing the vision.
Sheila Yoshikawa: perhaps 2016 will be the year I make an effort to interest local colleagues in SL again – I gave up for a few years
Kali Pizzaro: again I continue to use the expression – proceed until apprehended – or replace fear of the unknown with curiosity
Sheila Yoshikawa: a new colleague said he was interested and I got overexcited
Beth Ghostraven: recently, VSTE has had more success bringing teachers into Minecraft than into SL
Polaris Grayson: hehe can’t isn’t a word…it’s a contraction…tell my niece that all the time hehe
Sheila Yoshikawa: good point Beth
AgileBill Firehawk: yep, I had that same Minecraft vs SL dynamic in my class for adult learners @Beth
Kali Pizzaro: ok folks we are out of time thank you – transcript stopped