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Welcome to V-Learn3D, the Education Initiative of the Contact Consortium

We invite you to join our listserv, send us links and descriptions of your projects and writings, whether they are in the experimental prototyping stage or deployment to student populations. We encourage you to attend our conferences and events or co-author papers with other members of this growing community. You may also be interested in related Special Interest Groups of the Contact Consortium.

V-Learn Listserv

A Mailing list has been established for the Vlearn3D community. You can join this list by following the instructions at the list signup page. Once you you have joined this new list, please introduce yourself by answering the following (very general) questions:

Are you an educator using or considering using virtual spaces for your courses or programs?
What is your background and particular focus?
Why are virtual environments important to you and or to your institution?
What resources are you using to support your activities with virtual spaces?
What resources do you think are most lacking with regard to virtual spaces in education?
Thanks for your interest and for joining this list!

Statement from the Chair of the VLearn3D Initiative

As an educator and a Board Member of the Contact Consortium, I have stepped forward to help initiate this non-profit endeavor to encourage more support for educators and students who use virtual spaces. I strongly believe that virtual 3D environments - interactive and immersive shared online spaces -- offer a new model for online education. This model addresses the need for collaborative, constructivist education, and a student-centered, instructor-mediated curriculum. Online learning has shifted the role of the teacher from expert/controller to the role of facilitator/coach. Students need to have a higher level of motivation for successful computer-mediated learning. Thus, an important challenge of distance learning is the need to develop higher order thinking, problem solving, communication, presentation, and collaboration skills. Online learners need project-based learning opportunities that bring together many skill sets and help students teach other students by example. The "Virtual World" environment is already demonstrating its strength as an effective medium for this richer online learning experience. Many educators worldwide are now exploring the potential of this environment in educational settings. The question is, who are they? What are they learning about this medium? and ... How do they know what others are doing?

From my point of view, the most urgent challenge of the V-Learn initiative is to generate a community of educators who can provide a public forum of interest and experience in the application of these new technologies. Our shared experience will help ensure that others will not have to "re-invent the wheel" and will have easier access to the resources we hoped were available when we began our own pioneering efforts. In this young field, the need for evaluation and assessment is also critical. I hope that this list will become an important step in this direction, providing a forum for discussion and reflexivity that will encourage a faster rate of collective growth as we explore the strengths and limitations of the educational use of virtual spaces.

Bonnie DeVarco

Innovators: Institutions and Organizations:

ACTLab's Utopia, University of Texas, Austin
CyberForum, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena
The Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), University College London
Cornell Theory Center, Cornell University
HITLab, Human Interface Technology Laboratory, University of Washington
PBL Lab, Stanford University
OASAS, University of California, Santa Cruz
Virtual Reality and Education Laboratory, East Carolina University

Innovators: People

Margaret Corbit, Cornell Theory Center, Cornell University
Chris Dede, Harvard University,
George Mason University
Bruce Damer, Contact Consortium, Digital Space Corporation
Bonnie DeVarco, University of California, Santa Cruz
Michael Heim, Art Center College of Design
Michael Jones, Cornell University
Derrik de Kerckhove, The McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, University of Toronto
Steve DiPaola, Stanford University Carol Kerney, San Diego County Office of Education
Patrick McKercher, University of California, Santa Cruz
Dave Monarchi, University of Colorado, Boulder
Andrew Phelps, Rochester Institute of Technology
Martin Reddy, SRI International's Artificial Intelligence Center
Vernon Reed, University of Arizona
Margaret Riel, Center for Collaborative Research in Education, UC Irvine
Kevin Ruess, George Mason University
Mark Schlager, Center for Technology in Learning , SRI International
Andy Smith, The Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), University College London
Sandy Stone, ACTLab, University of Texas, Austin
Judi Fusco, Center for Technology in Learning , SRI International
Murray Turoff, New Jersey Institute of Technology
William Winn, Human Interface Labs, University of Washington
Derrick Woodham, DAAP, University of Cincinnati
Randolf L. Jackson, HITLab, University of Washington
Martin Dodge, The Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), University College London
Veronica S. Pantelidis, East Carolina University

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