I was able to attend (and present) at the National Workshop in Learning in Immersive Virtual Worlds at Coventry University on 23rd October. It was really good to be amongst people who understood what virtual worlds were about and were beginning to explore their potential in a whole range of different ways. Met a number of people I knew online (or by their SL names) and a number of people I had only heard of before. Useful to share ideas and to discover some of the things we were thinking about were very similar – not going mad after all!
One of the mst interesting notions to me was the reference to the work Steve Warburton has begun to explore on Barriers to innovation in learning and teaching in MUVES – I want to look at this a bit further and relate it to the boundaries we found in ILE 08. Must check if Steve is down to attend ReLIVE – would be good to meet him.
It was also useful hearing others are finding that students can familiarise themselves very quickly with SL once they are thrown in at the deep end – though there is a learning curve it clearly varies for different individuals.
Looking at some of the very sophisticated simulations, I am still concerned about the overhead of SL, but if the gift economy can work between educators, that may be less of a problem. Definitely seemed to be some thinking that if development has been publically funded it should be shared as long as the products can be protected from others selling them.
Another impression was the growing maturity of work in virtual worlds – a move from ‘suck it and see’ to understanding and planning.