Jason, a Year 10 Visual Arts student from Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design wrote recently in Edmodo, how he sees 3D Virtual Worlds could be used in other subjects.
There are so many ways in which the virtual world could be used! Apart from Visual Arts, it could be used for Science, History, Geography or even Maths…maybe English. I think the virtual world is great for bringing out our visions in 3D and gives us a closer connection to the object than a drawing on a piece of paper. For Science, I always find it hard to remember all the information on (DNA), (Atoms) or (Human Body Organs). If I had the chance, I would have to create a museum in my building with these things in large scale and our avatars are able to go into them and study them and with the use of scripts we could make them levitate and function just like the way they function in the real world. Maybe like a human body tunnel, I could swim within it, as if my avatar was a food, I could enter each section one by one. Maybe even encounter some germs and diseases along the way – that would be a lot more fun to learn about the digestive system than looking onto a piece of paper!
For History/Geography, imagine if we could all study history and geography by going to these places. We learn about the Pyramids and the Renaissance period but we never get to go there…Maybe if we had them in the virtual world and the teachers could take us on a virtual excursion into the Pyramids it could make learning more fun and help kids to visualize better. We could also build an ancient city to show people how life used to be and our modern avatars could go into these cities and explore through them, like a time machine thing. I would really, really, really like to see Maths getting involved because teachers will never tell us why some areas of Maths will ever be used in real life. They always teach us formulas but we never get to use them to construct. Maybe in the virtual world, while the teacher are writing the formulas there could be an object next to her avatar auto-constructing, so we actually know what it can be used for. Then maybe this will help us remember how we can apply these formulas and why we should use them. For the junior years, when they just begin to learn about perimeter or area, objects could be very useful in the virtual world.
English is sort of a weird one because when I think about how it could be used in the virtual world, it might be difficult to get my point across. One area I find it difficult in English is collective nouns, I was think if maybe we can build letters e.g. “school” in big white writing and than have them swimming in the water…Or maybe have the word “Pride” on top of a virtual pride rock from the “Lion King”, in the shape of a lion. Maybe this will help me to remember them. These are just some of my brief ideas that I’ve been thinking about. I’m sure there are many more fun ways to use this program. I personally find using virtual worlds to learn a very inspiring experience. Simply because it is the closest we could get to what my vision of education should be like. Instead of reading about stars we actually go and see them. Instead of learning about volcanoes we go and climb them. I wish we could learn PDHPE by going on an excursion with Bear Grylls from “Man vs Wild” TV show. But we can’t do these things, so the best and safe way is to do it virtually. I hope that in the future it could be a way to learn and an opportunity for students to associate this way of learning with the word “education”.