By Nicole Yankelovich
Today a number of Open Wonderland community members gathered to do a (mostly) remote presentation at the European Immersive Education Summit in Madrid. Presenters, connecting remotely from 6 countries, described 9 different Wonderland projects. Four community members donated portions of their virtual worlds for the presentation. They have all generously agreed to leave these spaces on the Open Wonderland Community Meeting Server for others to visit. You can find them using the placemarks “Gran Via,” “iSocial Garden World,” “Entrepreneur Space,” and “Cockpit 3D.”
Michael Gardner from the University of Essex moderated the session from Madrid, projecting Open Wonderland from his computer for the live audience to view. Carlos Delgado Kloos, one of the local hosts, did the first presentation, also live from Madrid. He talked about the Gran Via world created at University Carlos III de Madrid designed for Spanish language learning.
Next the group moved to the iSocial Garden World space where Krista Galyen from the University of Missouri provided an overview of the iSocial project. She explained how this sample space, as well as many others they have developed, are used to teach social competence skills to children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Following Krista, iSocial’s lead developer, Ryan Babiuch, described a key module used in the iSocial project called the Sheet Suite. He played a Sheet Suite demo video in-world to illustrate how the system works. The Sheet Suite allows instructors to create multiple choice questions, open-ended questions, and other types of sheets that display in-world on the heads-up display. There is also a web tool for creating and managing sheets, as well as a reporting tool that aggregates sheet results and provides the ability to export the data to a spreadsheet. The University of Missouri has made the decision to open source this valuable tool for educators. When available, we will ask the team to write a detailed blog post on how to create and use sheets.
Next on the tour was Johanna Pirker’s Environment for Startup Entrepreneurs. Johanna, a graduate student at the University of Graz in Austria, took us to visit the informal café space where entrepreneurs can get to know one another informally. She also showed us a space for creativity and brainstorming, and another for more formal presentations.
The final space we visited was the Cockpit 3D, introduced by Michel Denis from Internet 3 Solutions in France. In this room without doors, decision makers are immersed in data that can help them in the decision-making process. The attractive room design includes many different applications on the walls as well as a table that accommodates 10 seated avatars.
We used this space to demonstrate a number of other projects. Bernard Horan from the University of Essex talked about two tools he has developed for the EU-funded +Spaces project. To show off the Office Converter, he asked Michael Gardner to drop a PowerPoint presentation into the world. This was converted, on the fly, to a PDF document that appeared in front of us.
Bernard also described the Twitter Viewer, a tool that allows users to display a live twitter stream in-world.
Next, Bob Potter, an agile programming enthusiast from Canada, demonstrated the Cardwall tool he developed initially to support the agile programming methodology. Based on people’s interest in using the tool for general brainstorming, he modified the Cardwall to make it more general. Now users can configure the wall with their own column headings and even pop sticky notes off the wall into the world. He has made his Cardwall presentation slides available for those wanting more information about the project.
José Dominguez from Trinity College Dublin demonstrated two Wonderland Wednesday community projects. He had Michael Gardner demonstrate the Subsnapshot importer/exporter by dropping a basket of toys into the world that had been previously exported from a different Wonderland world. Opening the Object Editor window, Michael showed how the objects in the basket were children of the basket. By exporting the parent object, it is possible to make a backup copy of the items and save them on your own computer.
Each of the four spaces demonstrated in this session were created using Subsnapshots. The world builders each exported their space and emailed me the resulting .wlexport file. I then dragged and dropped each .wlexport file onto the Community Server. This produced the four spaces, complete with applications and object properties.
José also demonstrated EZMove, a tool for easily moving objects around in-world by holding down the ALT key and dragging. This project is still a work in progress, but should be available in the Module Warehouse as soon as the Wonderland Wednesday developers have a chance to polish up the code. The current version is installed on the Community Meeting Server for anyone who would like to try out the new functionality.
We ended the session seated around the conference table for a Q&A session.