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Education in Virtual Worlds


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 Part 1

This article series is about the VHS in Open Sim, another school whose existence was endangered by the costs in SL. VHS stands for Volkshochschule  and translates as  folk high school. The VHS has schools all over Germany in RL, but the city Goslar is the only one with a virtual sim. They have a good reason to be proud of it. Not only because they won an award some years ago (E-Learning-Award eureleA in 2008, and a media prize in 2010) but because of the continuous development of their innovative ideas and their amazing IT skills.


I eventually managed to get an overview of the sim in SL after my 10th visit during 2015, but that sim does not compare to the one in Open Sim. The new sim has three different regions in three different grids and although it is a replica of the old sim, it has much more to see and to learn.

In a tour with Lexa Merlin in SL last year I learned how to use the teleport windows to the classrooms, which were on different sky decks, just click on the picture and you teleport. Now in the new sim, you have star gates to travel to the other regions and you have to dial the region's /world's addresses. That is called hypergriding, which makes teleporting within the same sim look like normal business. That is one of the new things you learn when you come in. Just in case the gates are not working, you can always open your maps, teleport to the main stations and catch the correct train to the world you want to visit. That needs more skills and time, but you'll eventually get there.

I started in OS Grid, where almost everything looks like in the old sim, this time instead of going to the classrooms called Wolke 7 (cloud 7, meaning paradise alike) and so on, I opted for a tour to Walpurgisnacht exhibition, which is celebrated on the 30. of April ,the day when Walburga- an abess from England (year 710-779)- was not considered a witch anymore. The day used to be celebrated in Europe in the past.  Walpurgis is a mountain in the region of Harz where in olden days witches used to come together once a year. So the legend tells.

The legend came to life when I entered a cave, there were magic books and objects in a circle, witches moving towards the woods at the back of the cave plus many posters to read the story of Walpurgis, it was a colourful welcome to visitors.

Further on my way I saw a cabin with a huge magic, interactive book in the front garden. A wonderful learning game for students.

There is a teleport to the exhibition inside a magic tree in another sim. The site is full of interactive things, like balls and a tree that animate the avatar to dance, flying books and a magic swing. The sim exhibition would certainly enhance history lessons.

   The school in RL

  The school in SL/ 3D Open Sim

There is more to come in parts 2 and 3


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