Monday, 28 July 2008



At last weeks second virtual worlds forum at Keele University we watched a presentation by Joel Cockrill of Movix Media. Based in Bangor, this media company has spent the past two years researching and developing a new Multi User Virtual Environment (MUVE ), a bit like Second Life , only much better ( they claim). Joel spoke at length about their involvment in Second Life projects, which has lead to the development of a new MUVE called MUVLE. They seem to have learned alot and have taken the best bits of SL and developed a completly hosted MUVE "solution". They are currently on the look out for beta testers in education. So if you are a College or University and want to host and develop your own MUVE within the safe confines of your institutional firewall, then MUVLE could be the answer? As an alternative you could also consider Twinity, or you could try Googles new app called Lively which may do the job?

At the same forum Mark Childs discussed the Theatron (Eduserv) project at King's College London, and his MUVE reseach at the University of Warwick. The theatron project allows educators to book time to used virtual theatres (eg, the globe) to run virtual performances in Second life. The ancient stages have been built to a very high degree of detail. You will need a good T1 connection and alot of (rendering) patience then?

Also of note, was a short presentation by Jerry Foss, who had managed to build the Birmingham Millenium Point in stunning detail, as part of a film makers course pilot study. Unfortunately no one can view it or even see it ( due to IP issues)! This was constructed by Daden ltd ,who was also showing off a mash up between SL and Google. David Burden of Daden was demonstrating a kind of sphere that rezzed up maps of local areas using 2D & 3D Google maps. Very neat stuff. You have to watch the video to really see what it can do, it's fab. An engaging way to teach geography, mapping, geotagging, data mashups, spatial awareness, 3D modelling, etc. Geography never looked so interesting.

Before I forget. Stuart Thomason of Keele University used SL in his teaching last year. An IT student used SL to create a virtual rubic's cube. This is one of the very few examples I've come across of SL being used in teaching (to attain credits). Although it was mentioned that Solent are using SLOODLE? Can anyone confirm this?

Continuing the Sim tip , I started..... I received a call this morning from sim venture Ltd. They won a BETT award this year for their business educational "games" based software. It's used right across the UK (in HE & FE), and is soon to be licenced by the excellent Bized website, that also hosts some sim type educational games.


Kate said...

As for alternatives: have you also tried ?

Jane E said...

Thanks to Roger Emery at Solent for the following:
I can confirm - Yes we will be in September.
The main Sloodle tools we'll use will be the blogging toolbar and the
registration booth, so students can write their reflective journals
anywhere in Second Life and post directly back to moodle (the slurl is
added automatically). The reg booth will link the SL avatar to their
moodle/university username - helpful for assessment.
However some of the tutors may investigate the other tools on offer a such
as prim drop assignment box, choice, quiz and glossary tools.

Have a look at the video tour which will give you an idea of what we are
going to be doing.
or search SL for "Solent Life" for a nose around.

kev brace said...