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Time Travel and Virtual Reality in Education

July 6, 2009

Ok, this is what I want to see.

1.  Virtual Teachers: I want the people over at Microsoft to use their new Project Natal system for the education industry.  If you haven’t seen their introduction of the new “invisible” gaming system check out the video:

Now, if Milo can “read” my body language or pick up a “paper” from me, why can we create a virtual teacher who can teach a lesson, answer my questions and look at my work?  Is this too much to ask?    It could start as a great tutoring tool for straightforward elementary subjects and grow from there.   Could Milo teach basic math or reading skills?  Can he check my handwriting or teach me how to draw Chinese characters?    Can we link Milo or the equivalent character to an actual teacher and have them “team teach” in a classroom?  Come on, Microsoft, you can do it.

Now I know the teacher’s unions will hate it. According to Moe and Chubb in Liberating Learning, the unions are likely to try to block ANY type of online or virtual learning system. ( More on this book later…) With cool products like Project Natal, however,  parents and kids would pull through the product and the school establishment will be hard pressed to block it.

2. Time Travel – I want SIMS to create a game that is historically correct which would allow students to put themselves or their avatar in another time period.  They could be say, a confederate officer or a member of parliment or Galileo’s assistant.  Couldn’t we do this?  Wouldn’t that be a cool way of learning about a time period in history.  For that matter, it might be a cool way of learning about the lives of people in different parts of the world or in different professions.  Yeah, I realize that you could get into some tricky “politically correct” issues regarding current topics, but it ought to be feasible for  historical subjects.  If I were a history teacher, I’d use it in my class.  Talk about making history come alive —  this would be fun!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ivan Zorn permalink
    July 27, 2009 5:11 am

    WOW! Thats awesome! I was actually just looking into a video tracking system that works off the same principle for tracking the back of our armor during blast testing. This tracking here is way more advanced. Just making it automatically initialize each tracking point takes some incredible programming!

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