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Education in Virtual Worlds

Virtual VHS Gosler

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Part 3

The VHS is a huge school spread throughout Germany, each city has got one and they are linked regionally to each other, although they are independent. Only the city of Gosler offers courses in the sim. The language is German and people must use voice. Some of the courses they offer are specific like a 3D pass for teachers, during the course teachers learn everything necessary to be able to teach in a 3D world, starting from moving their avatars, getting things out of their inventories and using sound, passing through changing form of the avatars, flying, basic building, up to pedagogy for virtual worlds.


Other interesting courses are boat driving and building. Those courses cost money and last a couple of weeks.

There are also courses that cost almost nothing and last only one or two hours, like cooking, riding or golf courses. The simulations the avatars go through are incredibly real and somehow funny too. That is a great pastime for people who live alone or who do not have the time and money to go to real courses.

The wide range of social activities people can join from their sofa, no matter where they live, is amazing and to me it has great potential in education. Would this not be a quick and effective method to teach German to so many refugees?

Being able to access the worlds via mobile phone, it should be no problem to have lessons and activities round the clock using fewer teachers and resources more effectively in less time than doing it all in real life. Besides, 3D worlds are global simulations where people can learn a lot about culture. Simulations make people feel more self conscious and safer, they can make mistakes without repercussions.

Unfortunately, big cities have not woken up to that idea, maybe because they have never heard of using 3D worlds for teaching.

Fact is that 3D worlds help you put your imagination into practice. They help you solve new problems with new solutions. That is what our new, fast changing world with uncertain future needs. Using creativity and imagination will be the only way out of problems to come. We need to rethink what we teach, we need to use the devices technology offers. The future has arrived!


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