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Plenary session: Staying Ahead of the Curve: The Open Croquet Consortium, (Marilyn Lombardi)

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – Alan Kay

  • What is the future of online education we want?
  • Where is your teenager now?
    • Harbinger of social change
    • Pass around ideas like social items
    • Multitasking
  • Online socialization
  • Participatory culture
    • Media creators, remixing, passing media along
    • Multimodal interaction (visual, textual, audio)
    • Affinity-based self-organization
      • Fan fiction, online games, carving out own informal learning environments, joining apprenticeships/learning/on their own
    • Distributed cognition
      • Collective intelligence, virtual communities (including research communities), blur line of instructor & student, controlling is shifting from power holders, bottom-up contribution
  • Learning
    • Online Learning 1.0: Course-centered: package, deliver, CMS
    • Online Learning 2.0: Student-centered: connect, converse, Sakai/Moodle/eFramework
    • Online Learning 3.0: Context-centered: coalesce, co-create, open source, 3D meta-medium, Croquet
  • Context is everything
    • Proximity is important, but can you achieve this online?
    • Learning Commons
  • Learning in Authentic Contexts
    • Real world relevance, ill-defined challenges, sustained investigations, multiple sources and perspectives, collaborations, reflection, interdisciplinary, integrated assessment, polished products, multiple interpretations
  • Discussed using virtual environments (Second Life)
    • FERPA (may interact with anyone)
    • Use screen names (not real name)
    • Storing lessons, mission critical work on someone else’s servers (not yours or institutions)
    • Reliability? depend on SL servers, what if it’s down at a critical time?
  • Recommends going in & playing, getting used to it & piloting programs
    • Then, when institutions are ready to be in there, there will be open-source solutions ready for you
    • Croquet!
      • Open source, scalable architecture, will run on PCs/laptops/PDAs/mobile phones, will run on different OSs
  • Croquet
    • Share and co-edit resources in real time
    • Synchronous (how does this scale with DISTANCE learning?)
    • Allows browser in the game, but can be changed collaboratively
    • Allows hyperlinking to a new world
    • Privacy, authentications, etc (personalized workplace worlds, where they can interlock)
    • Visualizing abstract concepts
    • Collaborative white-board, CAD, etc
    • This is a developers’ environment, not an application
      • Very easy to create new objects!
    • Incorporates tagging & metadata for objects
    • Can make it so that some users see more of the world (in same location) as a reward for passing one level
    • Integrated VOIP power (Jabber), showed video of professor talking in corner of virtual world
    • Don’t need an avatar, can be yourself
  • Croquet Consortium
    • Will be releasing software developers’ kit 1.0
    • Institutions can consider joining
    • Want: long term viability for platform that we need, not the entertainment industry