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Monday, March 19, 2007

Gadgets, Games and Gizmos: Build Dangerous 3D Environments

One effective method of using 3D worlds like Second Life, Active Worlds, ProtoSphere and others for education is to build environments and 3D models for the students to learn about places they could not otherwise visit or inhabit. Build a dangerous or deadly environment and let them freely explore to learn in a realistic manner just how dangerous the particular environment can be.

Build naturally inhospitable locations like the Antarctica or Death Valley or many made structures like the topic of high tension wires or oil refineries or a metal forge or chemicals plant. These virtual tours can provide some type of insight into the environments in which students may consider working.

Create 3D buildings that are not build safely or correctly and then ask student pre-architects to identify unsafe or poorly created 3D spaces.

Create a mock airport terminal and let the employees identify suspicious people and items.

On a less dangerous note, create a room with a horrible d├ęcor, then let interior decorators conduct a “walk through” and make suggestions for improving the space.

Or have them design a create space using just the elements in the room. Or have would-be designers create unique buildings, cars or even products virtually. Have a clothing designer create a line of fashion and have him or her conduct a fashion show with avatars serving as models.

Here is an article titled 3D Online Learning Environments for Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security Training that explains more on the topic.

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