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3D virtual worlds as collaborative communities enriching human endeavours: Innovative applications in e-Learning

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4 Author(s)
Dreher, C. ; Curtin Univ. of Technol., Bentley, WA, Australia ; Reiners, T. ; Dreher, N. ; Dreher, H.

3D virtual worlds are potent digital ecosystems because the 3D interface simulates real-world environments and the community of users creates a dynamic, real-to-life economy and in-world culture. Some virtual worlds such as Second Life empower users to generate in-world content through object building tools and programming languages; indeed the content in Second Life is entirely user-generated. This promotes a rich culture of innovation surrounding this emerging technology that continually develops the capabilities of the 3D digital ecosystem. The collaborative culture spans both the 3D in-world environment and 2D ecosystems: for example, Web 2.0 applications such as wikis and blogs facilitate support, discussion, and documentation for user-generated innovations. Innovation in 3D digital ecosystems such as Second Life are applied to all domains of human endeavour that exist in the real-world, including recreation, socialisation, commerce, and education. This paper shares the authorspsila professional experience using Second Life in tertiary information systems/science education. Case studies describe the specific applications. They are followed by discussion of the benefits of 3D digital ecosystems for education and suggestions for future research, development, and practice.

Published in:

Digital Ecosystems and Technologies, 2009. DEST '09. 3rd IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

1-3 June 2009