Tony Bates weighs in with some thoughts on virtual reality (VR) after a Vancouver VR Community event at Mobify‘s headquarters in downtown Vancouver. "VR is not just a fad that will disappear," he says. "There are already a large number of commercial applications, mainly in entertainment and public relations, but also increasingly for specific areas of training." True, but VR doesn't apply everywhere. "Most suitable educational applications are likely to be where the cost of alternative or traditional ways of learning are too expensive or too dangerous," he writes. He also argues thagt educational intent must be built-in. "VR may often need to be combined with simulation design and quality media production to be educationally effective." This pushes up the cost, again limiting the applications of VR.
I think the main takeaway here is that multi-user social virtual reality (Social VR) is hard, and it can be expensive. I don't think this is the end for the genre, as the possibilities are too tantalizing. "AltSpaceVR was a sandbox that showed the potential of social VR. We learned a lot about how others behave in VR, and yes, more than a little about ourselves. We saw the promise of their Frontrow feature – how it could transform the virtual into an experience that was incredibly personal. The potential for education and entertainment was crystal clear."
More on the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative report on the Next Generation Digital Learning Environment (NGDLE). The argument is that, rather than serving simply as a content repository like the LMS, the NGDLE "focuses on personalization, tool integration, and content exchange, thereby serving as a launch pad for new learning experiences." What's key to NGDLE is interoperability. In the traditional LMS, "Although some existing integrations are standards-based and easier to maintain — examples here include LTI and Common Cartridge, both from the IMS Global Learning Consortium — many are proprietary, single-use integrations." Tio me, all this sounds a lot like the discussions of the personal learning environment (PLE) over the last ten years, but without the personal.
The questions, with answers:
Ghost is a new open source content editing and blogging application. After four years of development, version 1.0 is a major release, "a tremendous upgrade to that experience, with a cleaner design, a new toolbar, support for Markdown tables, CommonMark, Github-flavoured Markdown and multiple view options depending on whether you prefer a focused single column or a side-by-side preview." More, Ghost allows authors to embed various content types in their posts, a feature I expect will only be expanded over time.
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