"Energy Matters" - A 3D Learning Tool by Oligo Academy
"Energy Matters" - A 3D Learning Tool by Oligo Academy
This immersive 3D learning tool engages students in solving climate and sustainability issues, while having fun learning.
This immersive 3D learning tool engages students in solving climate and sustainability issues, while having fun learning. Read more
Innovate for quality with a 3D learning tool
CREATE NEW ENERGY IN THE CLASSROOM
ICT in education is a buzzword and a clear objective in many schools around the world today. In Denmark most schools already use a variety of digital learning tools; video projections, smart-boards, tablets and online programs, but few are really reflecting upon, and utilizing, the possibilities of ICT to ensure motivation and quality learning.
Many people, youngsters as well as adults, are attracted to and engaged in digital 3D worlds like Minecraft or World of Warcraft. In these platforms people have free space to fantasize about another reality, communicate safely behind the screen in digital networks and make friends across geographical borders that they exchange ideas and interests with.
In a collaboration between a specialist in participatory learning, Carina Brit Christensen, IT developer Nikolaj Hansen and 3D designers Vivian Haugaard and Dennie Smit, we have created Oligo Academy - a digital learning universe, which extends the possibilities for students to engage and interact with each other in a 3D world, while finding their own way of learning.
On the basis of our knowledge of the massive interest that people have in 3D worlds, we have found that digital learning tools have a grand potential to create efficient and inclusive learning and better the quality of learning as a supplement for group learning, distance learning or learning in the classroom. Furthermore, the 3D world is a space where students can let themselves free to dream about a better and more sustainable world.
Our aim, is to make a 3D learning tool that can inspire the student and make learning a fun process. The key here is to invite the students into engaging as a 3D avatar and once they are motivated, learning becomes a game!
We have spent the last 18 months developing a prototype about CO2 and different forms of energy, where students learn about climate and sustainability issues. An integral component of the learning tool, is that students are invited to take part in future societal planning using 3D objects, imagination and creative building tools.
We have tested the digital learning universe on 6.th graders in a primary school in Denmark, and we got great feedback. It strengthened our belief that the concept works and can make students more motivated for learning; Boys and girls and students with social barriers for learning. The students gave us valid feedback on functions and parts of the 3D world we could improve, as well as their teachers. They highlighted that one of their barriers for using the 3D world is that it needs to be more user-friendly.
Now we want to raise funds to finish tools for teachers, in order to make it more accessible and be able to reach a wider audience. We also want to create more teacher trainings for them to make it more easy for them to use virtual worlds in class.
We are raising funds for the development of:
- Teacher control panel - easy to use – and so that schools can share the costs of hosting and just book a virtual world region, when they want to add a more motivating learning experience to their learning material.
- An e-learning teachers - course on how to facilitate the 3D learning tool - in order to help teachers getting started using this learning concept.
- The development of Energy Matters virtual world topics; crop production, smart-grid, cars and biofuel process.
At the moment, we are focusing on: Implementing proper hosting services that can be booked on a day-to-day basis. We are also working on having more schools to test the concept and confirm the learnings from the first school.
All the basic tools used in this concept is free software, both the Singularity virtual world viewer, the Blender 3D design tool and the virtual world server OpenSimulator, therefore the only costs for schools is related to hosting, when they book a virtual world region, e-learning material and perhaps teacher courses. With the funding we apply for, we will make the concept freely available for schools to try out for 1 year.
If we raise more money than what we have asked for, we will be able to finish a mobile app.
Besides the learning concept schools can work with the virtual world platform, to teach students about 3D design and script programming, by using the videos and the 3D model render server, we make available.
Read more about us: http://oligo.academy/
Risks and challenges
We have identified the following risks:
- Scaling of hosting might cost more.
- The teachers might need more guidance than an e-learning course and a facilitation guide, and it will be more costly.
In regards to the scaling of hosting, we are looking at a newly released more scalable version of the virtual world server.
The teacher panel is ready to use, but for the less technical qualified teacher, we recommend that they get help from a student.
The teachers might need more guidance and supervision than an e-learning course offers. Therefore we hire a student worker to communicate with the teachers and we will offer courses, as well.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)