Immersive Learning: on or off the boil?

By | October 9, 2010

Immersive Learning was very much on the agenda in Australia in 2008, as this video made by Educationau enthusiastically demonstrates.

A group from Gippsland TAFE, in Victoria, drafted a set of protocols for immersive learning here but, like Educationau, the site has not been modified for two years.

So what has happened in the interim; has the momentum gone? Is innovation  on the wane,  failing to gravitate past the ‘worthy experiment’ stage ? Are educators waiting as platforms gear up for a much better user experience?  Or has the focus shifted to other new tools, such as the integration of social media and geo-location?

With Australian government agencies looking to fund new projects for our proposed superfast broadband infrastructure, (one such program is Multimedia Victoria’s cIIF, Round 2, which has $5 million to develop innovative uses), the time is right to advance the next phase of immersive education. But one government agency representative privately questions whether virtual environments can deliver on their promise.  My feeling is that a SecondLife-centric view prevails amongst the doubters, and as any follower of the platform knows, the service has suffered lately through a range of technical and administrative obstacles, such as with the shutting down of its Teen Grid service, the decision to withdraw SLEnterpriseBeta, its behind-the-firewall solution, and management instability.

Over the next few weeks I will be setting out a clearer picture of Immersive Internet the education sector. In the meantime,  if you have a current project or plans to uses immersive tools and platforms in the education setting,  I invite you to add comments or pass on a link in the the comments box. Cheers.

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