A site maintained by teachers for teachers
This writting is based upon the article “vAcademia a virtual world for education”
written by Nayda Lysova and from the YouTube video linked below:
vAcademia is one of the several Web 2.0 on-line applications where instead of having a teacher and a student in a physical class, the learning can actually take place on-line, in a virtual world, having people from different locations from all around the world. It is very similar to what actually happens in class in fact you have everything in it from whiteboards to power points slides, video clips, the ability to giving classwork, ask questions and students are able to answer. It is very interactive.
One of its great advantages as it is mentioned in this article by Nayda Lysova is that the person giving the lecture, have the possibility to record the class and in a 3D format. Then the students can view the lecture later at his/her convenience and can even pause and replay it. One can go to different classes, sometimes even carried out by persons you do not even know but maybe you have found the topic interesting and decided to stay in class. Students can ask questions, even write on the whiteboard if need be. Sometimes whole courses have been done using this tool and they are still very well planned and managed.
In this virtual world you can send messages through a chat, to several other members making use of it. You also have maps in order to be able to go to different places and also different locations. You can decide whether you want to talk or not. If you want to talk you need to turn on the microphone, else you can just attend the classes and do not participate or participate only through chatting. Furthermore, it provides camera settings facilities, settings for you graphics, sound and avatar changes. Each and every one in vAcademia need to be represented by creating his\her avatar. You can then make gestures, make him walk or sit down mainly what a normal human being would do. You can also build new things in a class, upload new files and other very interesting thing!
Using it made realize how effective and interesting it is! Having the ability to attend to lectures at your convenience is very comfortable especially to busy people who may not be available at all times. I surely recommend it to those who have not yet tried it!
The below is an introductory video to this world:
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