Virtual Worlds on a Smart Board

Like the other Edugeek members, I recently joined the Classroom 2.0 social networking site. I’ve only been a member for about a week, and I’ve already connected with others interested in classroom 2.0 technology and applications. I’m learning very cool things from other members and their projects.

One of those projects is called Edusim, an educational simulation developed in the open-source 3-D platform, Croquet. The developers went beyond just creating an educational space within the virtual environment; they hooked it up to an interactive Smart Board. The following video from the Edusim website shows young students engaged in learning activities while interacting with the simulation.

According to the Edusim creators, the Smart Board could be used with any virtual world, including Second Life. It wouldn’t have to be for children, either: chemistry students could conduct experiments in a virtual lab, for example. Such a simulation could be done in Second Life without the Smart Board, of course — but I imagine that reaching out with your hand to manipulate the environment is a different experience than simply pointing and clicking with a mouse. The children in the video certainly seem engaged.

6 thoughts on “Virtual Worlds on a Smart Board

  1. Wow – that is cool. Of course, I am waiting for my laser-activated, interactive glove that controls my avatar as a I sit back from the screen and point at it. Or a multi-motion floor pad that allows me to walk in the direction I want to (like an exercise treadmill on steroids that moves in all directions).

    Of course, if Bionic Woman comes true, we may be controlling everything with a chip implanted in our minds one day. Creepy….

  2. That would be amazing! Unfortunately, we’re not there yet — but I do know where I can find a SmartBoard sitting around unused. *grins*

  3. They’re at UTD. I think the engineering building has a few just sitting around. I used one in a technical writing course, but I got the impression that it was just the one instructor using them. I could probably get a hold of him and find out if we could have access to one for an afternoon.

  4. Very interesting. I used to train K-12 teachers on how to use SmartBoards, back in the day. Never thought about how interactive whiteboards could be used with virtual worlds. Hmm…

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