September 26, 2012
We gathered as a group to discuss the business case for Open Wonderland. We considered questions such as:
- How can we best reach out to potential customers and users?
- How do we find people with both an interest in the technology and money to fund projects?
- What problems do people have that OWL can solve?
- Why use OWL instead of other collaboration tools like video conferencing?
Benefits of OWL
- Helps cut down on travel
- Addresses problem of travel budgets being cut so people can't travel
- People wanting to teach remotely
- Allows people to teach remotely
- Enables teaching techniques typically only available in face-to-face
- Allows small groups to work together at the same time
- Instructor can move from group to group
- Instructor can see what different groups are working on
- Particularly useful if students are learning a 2D tool - each student can have their own session that the instructor can observe by walking around the virtual space
- Supports various types of collaboration
- Multiple conversations
- Multiple applications and tools can be used at the same time
- Multiple people can contribute at the same time
- Watching / discussing videos together
- Clear advantage when subject matter involves 3D
- Scientific visualization
- Building, construction, design of physical objects, etc.
- Strong sense of presence with other participants
We also discussed some of the obstacles:
- Many still think virtual worlds are a game, not for serious business or learning
- Some have had bad experience with Second Life
- Learning curve and technology setup are still barriers
The potential benefits of using OWL must outweigh the risks.
Roland shared several items with the group. First, he showed an image from a talk a colleague had given in the Netherlands in which people could participate either live or in Open Wonderland. He also used VNC to show a game that he wants students to play together in-world to help learn mathematical thinking skills.
Johanna, who is working on her thesis, shared this list of potential uses of Open Wonderland:
- language learning
- communication scenarios
- role-playing scenarios
- collaborative activities,
- social groups, communities
- cultural immersion,
- development of models and tools,
- virtual campus,
- virtual exhibition,
- virtual (archaeological) history,
- virtual classroom,
- virtual facilities,
- virtual museum,
- technical training,
- virtual field trip,
- simulated experiences,
- safety-focused lessons,
- virtual laboratories