Web3.0 Watch Part 1: Google Lively

Yes, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 are both hype buzzwords to some extent. They do get over-used by some. But so do “brand new”, “limited time”, and other terms like that. We don’t discount the validity of the meanings of those terms just because they might be hype or buzz. The same should be true of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0. They are legitimate concepts with validity (and actual definitions, despite what some say).

So, as new Web 3.0 stuff comes out, I want to take a minute and take a look at them and how they might effect education. Google has created a new virtual world service called Lively. The good: it embeds in websites. Yes – in websites. You do have to download and install a program for it to work, but after that – it’s all web based. It’s simpler than Second Life. Fewer options and easier to learn controls. You can embed YouTube videos and Picassa photos in to 3-D objects. You get a free room (which can be private). There is already a FaceBook app. In fact, there is a lot of free stuff.

The bad: not much. If you are a control freak, there is not near as much customization possible as Second Life… but more is coming. It is still a little clunky when compared to Second Life. It only works on Windows XP and IE or Firefox (for now). Chatting is only text based. Most of these are good trades for education, where simplicity can actually be a plus in emerging technologies.

The immediate use for education is obvious – embed a private room in your LMS or blog for class chat. You can even embed photos or YouTube videos for discussion. You can also let other users of your room edit objects in your room – which could greatly help you share projects.

Here is a room I created (hint: download Lively first, then create an account, THEN enter the room):

Matt Crosslin
Matt is currently the Learning Innovation Coordinator with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His research focuses on Learning Theory, Innovation, and learner empowerment. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.

6 thoughts on “Web3.0 Watch Part 1: Google Lively

  1. Katrina Adams

    And it looks like the (Second Life) Lindens and people associated with SL are paying attention.

  2. Matt Crosslin

    Here is a photo of the EduGeeks exploring Lively yesterday (at Darreb’s rooftop condo he calls ‘Dallas’):

    EduGeeks in Lively

    Hopefully, we’ll see some comments with their experiences soon. (hint, hint)

  3. Katrina Adams

    Yeesh! I can take a hint!

    … But before I comment, I’d just like to add names/labels to your photo: From left to right: me (u2katrina), Matt (edugeek Mat), Darren (Dr.Crone), and Qin (sophief)

    Anyway, here are my comments:

    • Still pretty basic, but I liked it.
    • Moving around is weird at first, but pretty easy. Just drag your avatar where you want it to go.
    • Nice that it’s pretty much G and PG rated
    • Can *very* quickly set up a room and email people a direct link to join.
    • Like that you can easily add objects with youtube videos embedded. (However, I wish you could set how far you want the audio to go. Right now, if you set up a video, you can hear it throughout the entire room … even in the larger rooms available.)
    • I can’t wait until they add more interactive objects (i.e. ability to add Flickr slideshow, rss feeds, etc.)
    • Nice that you can set a room so that anyone can add/move/remove items. Can become kind of a virtual wiki.
    • Currently set to text-only chat, which is nice b/c of it’s simplicity, but I know a few profs who would much rather be able to speak rather than type
    • As Matt commented yesterday while partying on Darren’s rooftop, it’d be nice to be able to fly.
    • There *has* to be some way to turn off the auto-animations. Just b/c I type a happy-face emoticon does not mean I want my avatar to start laughing. :P
    • It might just be me, but it seemed a little bit of a memory hog. My computer, which has a very decent graphics card and 1.5gb RAM, had a few problems.
    • It’ll be nice once we’re able to generate our own content … although once you do that, the whole G/PG rating is out the window. :)

    Just my initial thoughts. The announcement on Google’s blog describe’s Lively as a ‘20% project’, so it’s exciting to speculate what the 100% finished product will be like. (Related Ars Technica article.)

  4. Matt Crosslin

    I agree with you. Hope they improve and expand it. Also, to note – you can stream Picassa slide shows to objects :) (trying to convert Katrina from Flickr to Picassa). Also, just a random thought, you could always use Skype or GTalk for audio – which I hope gets integrated with this.

  5. I tried it and i think its a little bit too much of a cartoon for me. Ticket4one has a similar thing but atlaest i can see real people from the 3d Virtual Chat

    (Edited by Matt Crosslin – original submission Wednesday, 30 July 2008, 12:31 AM)

  6. Matt Crosslin

    This may have been a spam message – not sure. But Ticket4One is a dating site that does have a virtual chat – but really doesn’t compare to a virtual world application like Lively. Also, only singles are allowed in to Ticket4One, so it’s not that god of an educational solution.

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