среда, 19 сентября 2012 г.

vAcademia a virtual world for education

vAcademia is a virtual world for education. Here you can learn, here you can teach. vAcademia has everything you need for effective classes and lectures: convenient classrooms, interactive whiteboards with presentation tools, text and audio communication, and web camera support.

The key advantage of vAcademia over other worlds is its option to record classes.

This advantage is based on an original technological feature - 3D recording, which allows creating a new type of content that comprise both space and time. This type of content can be called ‘virtcast’ - a 3D recording of activities in virtual reality or a series of such recordings.

Some of the 3D recordings (for example, the most interesting ones) can be made periodical and replayed constantly in the locations of the virtual world. This feature allows to create a better atmosphere, since a visitor of vAcademia does not observe empty constructions, which often happens in other virtual worlds. Instead, the visitors can explore some of the classes going on with teachers and students involved. This might attract their attention and trigger curiosity.

Other vAcademia features include a set of teaching tools for collaborative learning. Interactive whiteboards can be used for drawing, displaying slides, video clips, desktop and application sharing, web camera sharing, and back-channeling. It is possible to use multiple whiteboards of different sizes in any class, and the users can focus their view on a certain board, using special controls. In addition, every participant is able to set up an additional whiteboard during the class and present some content on it. A coloured pointer can be used for focusing attention on a certain element of the board.

The virtual world vAcademia has a strong web support. While the main function of the 3D environment of vAcademia is providing tools for online classes, the web-site provides support for planning and managing classes and courses, searching and organizing 3D recordings. In addition, the web-site supports social groups and has social networking functionalities.

The web-site www.vacademia.com provides all types of support and information about the virtual world. In addition, a course management system is developed and available through the site. The web-site has several sections, which provide a particular set of tools.

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