Wonderland Showcase – iED Boston 2012

July 13, 2012

By Nicole Yankelovich

At that Immersive Education conference in Boston last month, eight Open Wonderland community members from 6 different countries joined me remotely to show off their work. Here’s a brief summary of the worlds and features presented during the showcase. In all cases, the presenters have agreed to leave their spaces running on the community server. If you missed the conference, you can explore the spaces on your own. Simply log on to the community server and use the Placemarks menu to navigate to the different spaces.

WonderBuilders Outpatient Clinic

I began the session by showing one of the simulated medical spaces created by my company WonderBuilders.

WonderBuilders Outpatient Clinic

WonderBuilders Outpatient Clinic

This virtual outpatient clinic is designed for communications skills training. Each of our virtual clinical spaces comes with a soundproof observation room with one-way windows so that instructors and others can observe students during role-playing scenarios. This space also features a non-player character that speaks, a poster with links to different portions of the space, an App Frame for organizing documents, and pop-up questions using a modified version of the Sheet Suite developed jointly by WonderBuilders and the University of Missouri.

+Spaces

Michael Gardner from the University of Essex talked about the +Spaces (pronounced “positive spaces”) EU-funded project aimed at engaging citizens in policy-making. Michael showed excerpts from this role-play video:

To learn more about the use of role playing in the +Spaces project, as well as the Wonderland modules developed as part of this project, see these previous WonderBlog articles or search the blog for articles by “Bernard Horan.”

Entrepreneur Space

Johanna Pirker from Graz University in Austria took us on a tour of the space she created for teaching entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneur Space

Entrepreneur Space from Graz University

This space includes an informal area for students to get to know one another, an area for presentations, and a work area where students, mentors, and instructors can collaborate.

WonderSchool

Roland Sassen demonstrated WonderSchool, an on-line school that takes advantage of Wonderland’s ability to run shared applications within the virtual world.

WonderSchool

WonderSchool with the Alice programming environment.

Roland demonstrated how he can teach students to use complex software such as the Alice programming environment from within the virtual world. He also demonstrated other dynamic applications running remotely inside a VNC Viewer window.

Seekers School Maze

Chris Derr, head of the Seekers School, talked about using Wonderland in his innovative curriculum to motivate kids who have had difficulty in other school situations.

Seeker School student activities

Seeker School student activities

The students spent the past semester learning how to build Open Wonderland worlds, including making their own 3D models in SketchUp and creating simple animations using Wonderland’s EZScript capability. Among other things, the students created a fun maze, mountain climbing challenges, and a colorful spinning roof.

iSocial

Ryan Babiuch from the University of Missouri iSocial project showed one of the many learning spaces used as part of their curriculum for remotely teaching social competency skills to students with autism spectrum disorders.

iSocial

iSocial space used in teaching students with autism.

This curriculum was pilot tested this past semester in two schools. While the data has not yet been fully analyzed, the initial results were extremely positive.

ImmerHire

Michel Denis and Gery Winkler from ImmerHire showed the Survival on the Moon space they use to help assess logical thinking skills.

ImmerHire - Assessing Logical Thinking

ImmerHire – Assessing logical thinking in the Survival on the Moon scenario.

The ImmerHire environment is intended to help employers evaluate communication, personal, and social skills of job applicants using a range of virtual role-play activities.

STCC Virtual Campus

Kristy Perry, an English-as-a-second-language (ESL) professor at Springfield Technical Community College, showed one of the spaces she designed on the STCC Virtual Campus.

STCC Virtual Campus - patio

STCC Virtual Campus – patio

This patio space is intended as a venue for small group projects and conversation practice. The STCC Virtual Campus will be deployed for Level 2 ESL students starting in September.

Wonderland Wednesday Projects

Jonathan Kaplan, our Wonderland architect, demonstrated the three Wonderland Wednesday community projects that he has lead. These projects – Telepointers, EZMove, and Subsnapshot Import/Export – were all developed collaboratively on the Open Wonderland community server. In the weekly Wonderland Wednesday meetings, developers worked together using NetBeans and other shared applications.

Telepointer demonstration

Telepointer demonstration

The new Telepointers are considerably more aesthetically appealing than the old telepointers. More importantly, they now work when you have control of a 2D application. For multi-user applications such as the Whiteboard, this is particularly helpful as it allows users to see where everyone else is working.

Be sure to visit the community server to see these spaces and try out the set of Wonderland Wednesday features.

Advertisements

Wonderland Session at E-iED Conference

November 28, 2011

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.

Gran Via world for Spanish language learning

Gran Via world 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.

iSocial project overview in the Garden World space

iSocial project overview in the Garden World space

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.

Environment for Startup Entrepreneurs

Environment for Startup Entrepreneurs

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.

Cockpit 3D space designed for decion-making

Cockpit 3D space designed for decision-making

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.

Example of a PowerPoint presentation appearing in world as a PDF

Example of a PowerPoint presentation appearing in world as a PDF

Bernard also described the Twitter Viewer, a tool that allows users to display a live twitter stream in-world.

Slide showing Twitter Viewer in use

Slide showing Twitter Viewer in use

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.

Cardwall presentation next to an example cardwall

Cardwall presentation next to an example cardwall

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.

Basket of toys shown in-world and in the Object Editor

Basket of toys shown in-world and in the Object Editor

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.

Question and answer session around the Cockpit 3D conference table

Question and answer session around the Cockpit 3D conference table


Styled Sticky Notes

September 8, 2011

Matthew Schmidt By Matthew Schmidt
University of Missouri

The iSocial project is pleased to announce our first open source release: Styled Sticky Notes.

Background

Styled Sticky Notes is an idea that was proposed in May of 2010 as a mashup of the poster module and the sticky notes module. The idea was to come up with a way to present styled text and graphics and to allow for text input on a sticky note. Lots of good feedback was generated on the forum from the proposal, and the design was changed significantly. The result of the design changes was a set of sticky note variations that would support display and editing of styled text.

Description

The Wonderland iSocial Styled Sticky Note module expands on the existing sticky note module by adding two new types of sticky notes. The existing sticky note module has sticky notes (simple text boxes where you can write plain text notes) and task sticky notes (which track the status of a to-do item). The new sticky note module provides Styled Sticky Notes (simple text boxes where you can write styled text notes) and Sectioned Sticky Notes (sectioned text boxes where you can write styled text notes in the top portion and plain text notes in the bottom portion).

The Styled Sticky Note has controls for changing the style of text in the note. To change the style of text in the note, click and drag to select the text you wish to style, then select one of the style buttons. See figure below.

Styled Sticky Note Annotated

The Sectioned Sticky Note has controls for changing the style of text in the note only in the top panel. Text in the bottom panel is not able to be styled. To change the style of text in the note, click and drag to select the text you wish to style, then select one of the style buttons.

The intended purpose of Sectioned Sticky Notes is for providing a way for users to respond to queries in-world. A query is entered and styled in the upper panel, and the user provides a response in the lower panel. An example is provided in the figure below.

Sectioned Sticky Note

The iSocial Styled Sticky Note module can be downloaded from the module warehouse. Its source can be downloaded from the unstable module repository.

We hope that the community finds these extensions to the sticky note module useful. Please feel free to provide feature requests and bug reports on the Wonderland forums.


%d bloggers like this: