EdTech 531 – Wandering Through Virtual Worlds

After spending some time exploring the virtual spaces for this weeks quest assignment, I am inspired to find ways to integrate these spaces into my instruction.  The Pathfinders Office in the Jibe micro worlds is a collection of spaces that have wonderful interactive features.  Personally, I liked the memory game in the landing space.  I can see using a similar feature with word definition cards in a virtual world as a study resource.  Being able to explore prior to our class meeting was helpful in learning how to navigate in the virtual world.  It also gave me the opportunity to really take my time and look at the virtual spaces.  The serenity of the lake and waterfall area to the more fantastical elements in the landing area were like something out of Alice in Wonderland.  In the warehouse location, I could see additional applications for creating a space where students could be inside a computer and the parts would spin enabling students to view it from all sides much like the elements in this space.  Once we met as a group in the virtual space, it was fun to explore with others and experience the world with a populous actively in play.  Using the virtual space for virtual PE of a game of sardines was amazing.  I still would like to know where my classmates hide during our game.  Using the space to take a look at the parts of a space shuttle was pretty amazing as well.  From an identity point of view, I love the ability to customize the avatar, in this program you don’t have as many options as in Second Life, it still allows for customization in creating a virtual identity.

The Kongregate World world was particularly impressive from a graphics point of view.  This particular virtual space was creating using Unity.  Unity is a program that has been used to create one of my favorite game apps, The Room.  This program allows for the creation of a detailed 3-D immersive virtual space.  In the case of Kongregate World, I love the way the grass sways in the breeze and appears so realistic.  Personally, I liked the navigation features better in the Jibe micro world.  I found the speed at which the avatar move to be rather slow.  I didn’t sign up for the full version; rather I choose to explore the free space.  There may be more customization in the full version when you sign up for an account.

I’m looking forward to continuing the adventure into exploring more virtual spaces as I venture into Minecraft this week as a collaborative space.