WP3/WP11 Pre-study final event in Second Life, November 4th

Starting from the end of September NTNU students had been working on 3D educational modules within “Cooperation technology” course. Working in small groups, they visualized topics or concepts from the course. In October, we organized 2 virtual seminars together with projects CoCreat and TARGET as well as other organizations.

In the 4th of November, we had the final joint event of the WP3/WP11 in Second Life organized by NTNU. We started very early in the morning – at 6:30. A group of students from College of Education, University of Hawaii had been reviewing our constructions for 1 and a half hours.
 The main part started at 10 o’clock. All 10 groups successfully presented their constructions, with average duration – 10 minutes. We concluded with a short discussion and reflecting on our experience in Second Life.
All the constructions are available here: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/NTNU/
WP3/WP11 Pre-study final event in Second Life
Picture 1. Role-play group 5 – “Coordination””
WP3/WP11 Pre-study final event in Second Life
Picture 2. Role-play group 4 – “Web and social interaction”
WP3/WP11 Pre-study final event in Second Life
Picture 3. Role-play group 6 – “Interaction and Awareness”
// Mikhail Fominykh, NTNU, Norway

Presentation at E-Learn Conference Honolulu

Presentation at E-Learn Conference Honolulu – 16th World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare & Higher Education, 16 – 20 October 2011:

Mikhail Fominykh, Ekaterina Prasolova-Førland, Monica Divitini – “Constructing a 3D Collaborative Virtual Environment for Creativity Support”. The paper was published in AACE Digital Library

(http://www.editlib.org/p/39009) – Download PDF – 194.6 KB

WP3/WP11 Meeting in Second Life

In the 16th of June, a group of project partners from Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences (KUAS), University of Oulu (UO), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Tallinn University (TU) took a tour to the virtual world Second Life.

Second Life is one of the most popular and most populated 3D multiuser virtual worlds, where users control avatars to interact with each other and with various virtual objects. To get started in Second Life, you need only to register at http://secondlife.com/ and download a client, which is free. However, you need to pay if you want to own a piece of land (often called an island) for any project. One of the most interesting facts about Second Life is that almost all the content in the world is built by the users.

The tour started on the “KyAMK MAMK” island (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/KyAMK%20MAMK/) of Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences (KUAS). Matti Strengell (Magel Larkham in Second Life) guided the group through the different locations on the island, including few discussion- and meeting places, a sandbox, underground theater and an underwater auditorium. In addition, some SLOODLE tools were demonstrated.

a screenshot from KUAS island in Second Life

The tour continued on the “NTNU1” and “NTNU2” islands of the virtual campus of Norwegian University of Science and Technology (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/NTNU/). Ekaterina Prasolova-Førland (Amaritis Miranda in Second Life) and Mikhail Fominykh (Mihail Palace in Second Life) led the group through the authentically reconstructed buildings of the campus and demonstrated the virtual campus infrastructure that includes an auditorium and a workshop with a library of resources and tutorials. In addition, some examples of 3D visualization projects were explored by the group. Examples included student projects on different topics that were made in Second Life in the past years and Virtual Research Arena pavilions presenting research projects.

a screenshot from NTNU island in Second Life

// Mikhail Fominykh, NTNU, Norway

Sinaia Story

As planned, it came the moment to organize the CoCreat meeting in April. Beside several options for organizing around Targoviste, Sinaia was chosen for its brilliant mountain scenery and sunny atmosphere. The city is located just at 60 km distance from Targoviste and took its name from the 17th-century monastery built by a Romanian nobleman after undertaking a pilgrimage to Mount Sinai, Egypt. Known as “the Carpathian Pearl”, Sinaia is in fact, one of the most famous and oldest mountain tourist resorts in Romania and hosted the Romanian Royal family during the last part of the XIX and the first part of the XX centuries past summers. However this residence – the Peles Castle – is one of the best-preserved royal palaces in Europe. It was the King Carol I attempt to imitate the styles of his former homeland, creating a Bavarian setting in the mountains of Romania. The Palace is ornately decorated, both the interior and the exterior, with intricate wood carvings and paintings of scenes from Wagner operas…

The CoCreat Team – consisted of 9 participants – had the chance to see both the monastery and the castle, even the last one was the target of an outdoor trip. Anyway, that short excursion was planned during the limited free time we had in Sinaia due to the fact that the discussions and interventions – having as central objective to start and plan the designing and implementing of the Collaborative Space for University Students (CS2), as a result of the third Project WorkPackage – were too dense in report with the time allocated by the project work plan. Practically, the Agenda was condensed in one day and a half, all the sessions being held at Rowa Dany Hotel.

After the warm welcome, the hosts started the presentation sessions with aspects, trends and developments of Valahia University Targoviste. Then it came the general presentation and overview of WorkPackage 3, clear interventions being made by Finnish experts (pedagogical model and solutions), Norwegian colleague (technological solutions – proposed applications: SecondLife, Moodle and Sloodle), Romanian team (learning materials and proposals for scheduling the work with students) and Estonian experts (methods for feedback collection).  Finally, the partners agreed to design the course during spring 2012 (135 hours, weeks 6-18), having a strong pedagogical background (the project-based learning, collaborative learning and playful learning), an important level of technology to be considered (Flash-Meeting, Adobe ConnectPro / Skype, Moodle, SecondLife, Sloodle, WordPress) and a clear calendar, with tasks and responsibilities included. Finally some aspects of the Dissemination process were discussed, having in view that this is an important matter for maximizing the impact of activities undertaken under CoCreat project.

What about the mountain beauty or the great panoramas that can be got from the peaks of the Bucegi plateau, at an altitude of about 2000m? Well, this will be put in practice with the following occasion, by sure! Anyway, the CoCreat team agreed that Sinaia is one of the best places to mix the work and the entertainment, mostly when you have the sun, the mountains and good colleagues and friends together!

// Gabriel Gorghiu, Valahia University of Targoviste, Romania