E-learning 3D cyber-communities
For the purpose of creation of a 3D cyber-community of learning and social interaction, a simulated 3D learning environment was created within the Time Maps project, using the Open Simulator (OS) platform, an non-commercial and open variant of the Second Life – the 3D internet-based social platform.
With this new e-learning instrument we had the purpose to enhance the educational message by means of a 3D immersive environment, to facilitate the access to our educational resources and also to support a social relationship among 3 communities from remote and economically disadvantaged areas of Romania: Vădastra (Olt), Luica (Călăraşi), C. A. Rosetti (Tulcea), Valenii de Munte (Prahova), Albesti and Mangalia (Constanta), and an academic institution, the National University of Arts (NUA) Bucharest.Furthermore, partners from Portugal and Italy can also participate in the learning sessions.
Updating the demo version from 2014 the current 3D online simulator represents an interactive version of the virtual museum of Vadastra. OpenSimulator platform, the open-source and free alternative to the Second Life metaverse, is employed. The simulator utilizes a grid architecture over an internet connection to allow simultaneous access of the users, i.e. the implementation of a Multi-Player Online (MMO) scenario.
The experiment was in its early stage: the design of the 3D educational space as a Roman amphitheater where the in-world lessons and meetings will take place; the training of the children to use the environment and the in-world social affordances (chat, IM, vocal calls) and also the tools to customize their avatar’s appearance; the in-world integration of the video lessons.