Students Experiment with Virtual Avatar Classes


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Students Experiment with Virtual Avatar Classes


The latest avatar craze has moved towards education. The Macquarie University has been experimenting with remote classes similar to the likes of virtual worlds IMVU and Secondlife. Students were able to take part in classes in a blended reality atmosphere.

Students would create an avatar which represented themselves and then take part in lessons through a virtual world. The main differences meant that the students would interact through chat and voice technology. The concept was similar to Secondlife or IMVU which are large virtual worlds where people chat, meet and even date.

Once a student had generated their own cartoon like avatar, it was then streamed streamed to the teachers classroom and then projected on a high definition 3D platform into the real life classroom. The blended reality class meant that the students could still see the real life classes but had many new options. Most of the students found it a 'cool' idea and could learn just like in a real class. There was many extra benefits though, students could switch to people in other rooms and engage with multiple people at once without having to move physically, also classes could be played back, saved etc for future reference.

Another benefit which was mentioned was that this type of learning program seemed less boring than studying conventional videos or attending usual classes in person. People could enjoy lessons in the comfort of their own home.

Whether or not this technology will take off in the future is another question, it seems likely that the future will include virtual worlds and avatars in many new applications. It definitely adds a new and interesting concept to how avatars can be used in many different ways including education.

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