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.