Saturday, January 31, 2009

Workshop 2.0: Session on Virtual World!

Our workshop participants are crazy about games. Considering their profiles during registrations, we are pleasantly surprised that they are avid gamers. Lots of games, Age of Empires, Cricket 2008, racing games, shooter games, snooker, chess, Quake... so it wasn't surprising that most of them were familiar with the Virtual World.

Well, we are now on the session on how we can use Virtual Games for Training or learning. The session's resumed after a sumptuous lunch of Subs, sandwiches, chips and coke. We have all settled in well for an engaging workshop ahead. We could not have asked for a more engaging session what with having a glimpse into the fascinating virtual world of CISCO, Princeton University, Stanford, Harvard Law school etc. Participants seem quite enthused by the "endless possibilities" that these virtual world "simulations" have for the learners today.

Vaishnavi has just demonstrated a "heart murmur simulator" and asks participants how they can use this for learning at their workplace? Our participant from Taj Deccan says that he could create a simulation to show how to check-in and use it for training. There is another interesting video that shows creation through collaboration by architects on Second Life. We have moved on to details about Virtual World such as avatars, currency, trading, etc.

So, the next obvious questions are "why do people own land on Virtual World?" "how can they make money on virtual world?' After all these are answered, participants move on to explore the learning possibilities that virtual world hold for trainers. "We can bring in all training modes under one roof, let's say podcasts, videos, lectures, everything that we do in real time." "Virtual world can help us overcome the constraints of time, space, and geography."

"So how much land does Second Life have?" Well, this question from one of the participants got everybody thinking.. So, Second life session is on in full swing with participants glued to this fascinating virtual world that can possibly fulfill all your dreams!

The participants then moved to exploring the virtual world themselves. Although most of them were new to Second Life, they were completely engrossed with their Avatars. They got down to exploring the spaces in this world, chatting up with other SL avatars, changing appearances, trying to shop, checking out music, fashion, having coffee... well they were having fun on SL.

"It's fun! It's creative... you have complete control over your actions... there is no hindrance to exploring things... space to create your own thing... interact with others in your chosen space ..." These are some of the reactions that our participants had after exploring Second Life!

Obviously, they were abuzz with ideas about how they can use this for training and learning. One of them suggested using this space to discuss case studies, another had an idea that he could create an empty room and ask his learners to do-up the room as per their hotel norms. So lots of ideas coming by...and we hope they have lot more by the time they reach their workplace!

More of our workshop pictures here.

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