‏הצגת רשומות עם תוויות MEITAL. הצג את כל הרשומות
‏הצגת רשומות עם תוויות MEITAL. הצג את כל הרשומות

Dr. Hanan "VRider" Gazit to present Immersive Education Initiative @ MEITAL's Using Web3D for Higher Education Workshop

I had the pleasure to meet in person Aaron E. Walsh, Grid Institute Founding Director, at the Second Life Education Community Convention (SLEDcc08). Aaron Walsh (aka MediaGridAaron Oh), Nicholas Nagel and Dr Darren Palmer (aka Sisprod Narnia) delivered an interesting Immersive Education Initiative workshop entitled: "Second Life in the Age of Immersive Education". They presented The Immersive Education Initiative (http://ImmersiveEducation.org/) and an in-depth overview of Second Life’s role as an Immersive Education platform. Following the workshop they invited us to take a tour at the Greenbush project on the Open Sim.

Tomorrow at the ViMenotors Academic workshop: Using Web3D for Higher Education at MEITAL , I'll present Immersive Education Initiative and mission among other cool stuff which is going on the Web3D for Education. I’m delighted to join and contribute to the Immersive Education Initiative and to the MediaGrid.org standards group.

About Immersive Education
Immersive Education (ImmersiveEducation.org) combines interactive 3D graphics, commercial game and simulation technology, virtual reality, voice chat (Voice over IP/VoIP), Web cameras (webcams) and rich digital media with collaborative online course environments and classrooms. Immersive Education gives participants a sense of "being there" even when attending a class or training session in person isn't possible, practical, or desirable, which in turn provides educators and students with the ability to connect and communicate in a way that greatly enhances the learning experience. Unlike traditional computer-based learning systems, Immersive Education is designed to immerse and engage students in the same way that today's best video games grab and keep the attention of players. Immersive Education supports self-directed learning as well as collaborative group-based learning environments that can be delivered over the Internet or using fixed-media such as CD-ROM and DVD. Shorter mini-games and interactive lessons can be injected into larger bodies of course material to further heighten and enrich the Immersive Education experience.

About the Media Grid

The Media Grid is a public utility for digital media. Based on new and emerging distributed omputational grid technologies, the Media Grid builds upon existing Internet and Web standards to create a unique network optimized for digital media delivery, storage, and processing. As an on-demand public computing utility, a range of software programs and Web sites can use the Media Grid for delivery and storage of rich media content, media processing, and computing power. The Media Grid is an open and extensible platform that enables a wide range of applications not possible with the traditional Internet alone, including: Massive Media on Demand (MMoD); Interactive digital cinema on demand; Immersive Education and distance learning; Truly immersive multiplayer games and Virtual Reality (VR); Hollywood movie and film rendering, special effects, and composition; Real-time rendering of high resolution graphics; Real-time visualization of complex weather patterns; Real-time protein modeling and drug design; Telepresence, telemedicine, and telesurgery; Vehicle and aircraft design and simulation; Visualization of scientific and medical data.

On top: Aaron Walsh visited Greenbush Island to discuss Immersive Education and the Education Grid, on 15 of April 2008. Courtesy of GreenbushTV

Web3D for Higher Education: Real potential or just an illusion? | Dr. Hanan Gazit Lecture at The 6th Annual MEITAL National Conference 6th August 2008

I will present Web3D for Higher Education: Real potential or just an illusion?
at the coming Inter-University Center for e-Learning (IUCEL), 6th Annual MEITAL National Conference, on 6th of August 2008, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel.

By: Dr. Hanan Gazit

Persentation Introduction
Massively Multiplayer On-line Games (MMOGs), social networked, and three-dimensional virtual worlds (3D), are merging to form the Web3D. The Association of Virtual Worlds recently published a guide which contains over 250 3D virtual worlds operating or currently under development (AVW, 2008), and Forrester Research recent forecast stated that "Web3D will evolve during the next five to seven years from an immature emerging market to a standards-based, interoperable global environment", urging its clients to start experimenting with Web3D despite the infancy of the medium (Driver et al., 2008). My presentation will focus on the Web3D potential for higher education.

The Academia is catching up with the current trend of the industry, as major high tech companies such as IBM, Intel and Sun Micro Systems, to name a few, are developing programs in SL (Gronstedt, 2007). Over 200 colleges and universities around the world are exploring the educational potential of SL (Kelton, 2007). For example, Harvard Law School's CyberOne uses SL for collaborative public law learning (Nesson & Nesson, to appear), while Dubai's Women College uses SL for teaching healthcare and virtual commerce, as well as for cultural exchanges with other academic institutes. Moreover, digital games and virtual worlds can serve as a cognitive bridge between concrete experiences and scientific concepts, enabling students to cope with complex problem solving and high level thinking skills (Dede et al., 2005; Gazit, 2008). Likewise, de Freitas (2006) argued that game-based learning may provide new opportunities for reassessing how people learn and for supporting the development of new immersive spaces, where learners may produce their own materials, share learning experiences and practice skills of the real-world. However, at the same time de Freitas (2006) pointed out the need for conducting empirical studies on game based learning and their potential use in education.

Is it just an illusion?

A careful examination of the Web3D's is needed when considering its use for higher education. First, only a small number of administrators and instructors are experienced in virtual worlds and many others might doubt their academic relevance (Graetz, 2006). Second, setting up a Web3D entity, such as a SL Island, is very time-consuming. Hence, the possibility should be examined to see if the learning outcome can be achieved by using 2D regular websites or alternative 2.O platforms. Third, manipulating 3D objects and orienting in a 3D world can be difficult and frustrating (Gazit et al., 2006; BurigatCorresponding Author Contact Information, a, E-mail The Corresponding Authorand & Chittaro, 2007). Moreover, current technical problems and rendering issues, system sluggishness, and crashes that should be taken into account. Berge (2008) argues that "until educators figure out what to do in 3D virtual environments that cannot be more easily done in real life…educators in these virtual metaverses are relying on novelty and social presence to carry the day" (ibid, p. 30-31).

The question of whether the Web3D has a real educational value or is it just an illusion is waiting to unfold, but there is no doubt about the need for a coherent conceptual framework for studying its advantages and limitations.


Association of Virtual Worlds. (2008). The Blue Book A Consumer Guide to Virtual Worlds. 2d Edition. Available On line:http://www.associationofvirtualworlds.com/publishing_blue_book.htm
(Retrieved May 14, 2008)

Berge, Z. L. (2008). Multi-User Virtual Environments for Education and Training? A Critical Review of Second Life, Educational Technology, 27-31. Available On line: http://it.coe.uga.edu/itforum/ETSecLife.pdf
(Retrieved May 14, 2008)

Burigat, S., & Chittaro, L. (2007). Navigation in 3D virtual environments: Effects of user experience and location-pointing navigation aids, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 65 (11), 945-958.

De Freitas , S. (2006). Learning in Immersive Worlds: a review of game based Learning. JISC Review report. Available On line: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/eli_outcomes.html (Retrieved May 10, 2008)

Dede, C., Clarke, J., Ketelhut, D. J., Nelson, B., & Bowman, C. (2005). Students’ motivation and learning of Science in a Multi-User Virtual Environment. Presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting (AERA), (April 2005), (pp.11-15), Montreal, Canada.

Driver, E., Moore, C., Jackson, P., Keitt, T.J., & Schooley, C. (2008). Web3D: The Next Major Internet Wave. Available On line: http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/Excerpt/0,7211,45257,00.html (Retrieved April 15, 2008)

Gazit, E. (2008). A window on digital games interactions in home settings. In: Ferdig, R. E (Ed.) Handbook of Research on Effective Electronic Gaming in Education, (Vol 1, pp.127-145). IGI Global Press.

Gazit, E., Yair, Y., & Chen, D. (2006). The gain and pain in taking the pilot seat: Learning dynamics in a non immersive virtual solar system, Virtual Reality, 10 (3-4), 271-282.

Graetz, K. A. (2006).The psychology of learning environments. EDUCAUSE Review, 41 (6), 60–75. Available On line: http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0663.pdf
(Retrieved May 12, 2008)

Gronstedt, A. (2007). Second Life produces real training results. T & D Magazine, 44–49. Available On line: http://www.learningcircuits.org/2007/0807gronstedt.html
(Retrieved May 10, 2008)

Kelton, A. J.(2007).Second Life: Reaching into the virtual world for real-world learning. ECAR Research Bulletin, 17. Available On line:http://www.educause.edu/ir/librar y/pdf/ecarso/erb/ERB0717.pdf
(Retrieved April 12, 2008)

Nesson, R., & Nesson, C. (to appear). In the Virtual Classroom: An Ethnographic Argument for Education in Virtual Worlds. Space and Culture. Sage Publications. 2008. Available On line: http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/~shieber/Biblio/Papers/Nesson-2006-IPS.pdf (Retrieved May 10, 2008)

About The 6th Annual MEITAL National Conference

The MEITAL 2008 conference, in memory of the late Prof. Nechemia Levzion, will take place this year at the University of Haifa on Wednesday, August 6th, 2008. The conference will focus on the achievements and challenges in e-learning in higher education and on future development avenues.
The conference is a multi-participant, national gathering that is held once a year at one of the academic institutions that are members of MEITAL. The conference comprises a unique experience for a formal and informal professional meeting of all those involved in e-learning and e-teaching in higher education. It will include lectures dealing with the integration of e-learning in academic teaching in Israel, an exhibition of posters and presentations, round tables covering various areas of interest and specialization, workshops and more. The conference will provide diverse opportunities for social and professional encounters in a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere. Members of the academic staff and others interested in e-learning in higher education institutions in Israel are invited to participate!

The conference's Program Committee is headed by Dr. Dani Ben-Zvi,
Head of the e-learning Center at the University of Haifa.

ViMentors Academic: Web3D for Higher Education Workshop

Dr. Hanan "Vrider" Gazit, ViMentors.com CEO to mentor and deliver a workshop: Using Web3D for Higher Education at MEITAL the Inter-University Center for e-Learning (IUCEL), which is part of the Israeli Inter-University Computation Center (IUCC), located at Tel-Aviv University.
MEITAL assists Israeli institutions of higher education, universities and academic colleges in advancing the use of e-learning technologies and creates opportunities for institutional connections and collaboration among academic institutes in Israel.

Main Goal:
The workshop will focus on using virtual worlds such as Second Life for meaningful instruction and learning.

Israeli Universities and academic colleges' instructional designers' staff.

When: 10th of September 2008.
Were: Open University, Ramat-Aviv, Israel.

Personal note:
I regard the workshop as an important step for creating Israeli Academic institutes presence in Second Life and other relevant virtual worlds for meaningful instruction and learning.
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Dr. Hanan "VRider" Gazit serves as the Israeli Games Research Association (DiGRA) Chapter. A researcher & lecturer at the Instructional Systems Department at H.I.T-Holon Institute of Technology. Entrepreneur, owner of a start-up company specializing in delivering services for Israeli investors, companies and organizations interested in using virtual worlds and video games for business, marketing & instruction. His research interests include: Analyzing virtual worlds and video games interactions; Designing effective serious games; Skills acquisition and virtual-real world transfer and New Media. He holds a Ph.D. degree in the Learning Sciences and a Magna Cum Laude M.A. degree in Science Education, both from Tel-Aviv University. A former post doctorate fellow researcher at the Virtual Reality Lab, Institute for Interdisciplinary Applications of Computer Science, University of Haifa. Dr. Gazit serves on the Association of Virtual Worlds` Advisory Board and on the Editorial Review Board of the International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations.

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