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.


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.


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


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.


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 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.


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.


Talk Slides Available from VWBPE Conference

March 19, 2011

The Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference wrapped up today. As mentioned last week, there were four Open Wonderland talks. The talks took place in Second Life, which meant we had an international audience of educators and others interested in applying virtual worlds to education. I have made two of the slide sets available on SlideShare for those who would like a copy:

Thanks to all the presenters for contributing to a good showing for Open Wonderland! To learn more about Open Wonderland, sign up for one of our upcoming workshops.

Screenshots from the Event

Roland Sassen's talk on WonderSchool

"WonderSchool" by Roland Sassen

Open Wonderland Preview 5

"Using Open Wonderland Preview 5 in Education" by Nicole Yankelovich and Jonathan Kaplan

P2PU Open Wonderland course

"P2PU + Open Wonderland = Learning virtual worlds development with and from each other" by José Domínguez

SubSnapshots Project

"Learning to Program Collaboratively in Open Wonderland" by Jonathan Kaplan, Nicole Yankelovich, Kathryn Aten, Nina Nussbaum-Jones, and Maggie Leber

Open Wonderland T-Shirt

You  may have noticed that many of us are sporting nice Open Wonderland t-shirts. Maggie Leber, known as “Maggie Darwin” in Second Life, kindly created these for us as well as provided technical support and a place for us to stage our slides and rehearse together. If you frequent Second Life, and would like an Open Wonderland t-shirt, please contact Maggie.

Maggie Darwin wearing Open Wonderland t-shirt

Maggie Darwin wearing an Open Wonderland t-shirt

Upcoming Open Wonderland talks

March 10, 2011

I’m pleased to report that there will be four Open Wonderland talks at the upcoming

Virtual Worlds – Best Practices in Education Conference
March 17 – 19, 2011

This conference takes place in Second Life and all times are listed in US Pacific time. Here is the line-up of Wonderland talks. The title links will take you to an abstract of each talk and the “world time chart” links will show the talk time in your local time.

Roland Sassen
10am PT, world time chart
Friday, March 18th
Building: EAST; Room: East 1/2 Machinima

Using Open Wonderland Preview 5 in Education
Nicole Yankelovich and Jonathan Kaplan
1pm PT, world time chart
Friday, March 18th
Building: NORTH; Room: North1

P2PU + Open Wonderland = Learning virtual worlds development with and from each other
Jose Dominguez
7am PT, world time chart
Saturday, March 19th
Building: WEST; Room: West Auxiliary

Learning to Program Collaboratively in Open Wonderland
Jonathan Kaplan, Nicole Yankelovich, and Kathryn Aten
1pm PT, world time chart
Saturday, March 19th
Building: SOUTH; Room: South Auxiliary

The SLURLs (Second Life URLs) will be published on March 13th on the conference web site.

Please help us publicize these talks by re-posting this blog, tweeting about the talks, or posting them on your Facebook page.

There are lots of other talks that sound interesting. The VWBPE Conference Schedule lists the entire schedule along with the in-world locations.

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