Using 3D Immersive Technology in the Classroom -
CONNECT, CREATE, COLLABORATE!
James Corbett of Daynuv.com and Margaret Keane of Giftedkids.ie presented a five minute video at the CESI meeting in Dingle on September 17th on their Virtual World Primary Schools Project. The project has recently been awarded First Runner Up in the global Edulbog awards for Best Educational Use of a Virtual World.
The project has also recently been the focus of an indepth article and video by Tom Murphy of Socialmedia.net. We would like to thank Tom and Ina O'Murchu for their support. Learn more.
An Innovative ICT Collaboration between Gaelscoil Eoghain Uí Thuairisc Carlow, Giftedkids.ie & Daynuv
Giftedkids.ie, has partnered with Daynuv, a company specialising in the creation of virtual worlds for immersive education, to pilot a new ICT initiative aimed at supporting a group of exceptionally able students in Gaelscoil Eoghain Uí Thuairisc Carlow. The pilot, overseen and developed in conjuction with Bríd Uí Mhaoluala, Learning Support Teacher with Carlow Gaelscoil is the first of its kind in Ireland to use 3D modelling software and programming tools to teach part of the primary school curriculum in a learning support setting.
In February this year James Corbett of Daynuv created a dedicated Giftedkids.ie island on their 3D grid. This deserted island was quickly peopled with avatars and architectural structures created by a group of five Gaelscoil students under the guidance of their teacher Brid Uí Mhaoluala.After some initial training the students quickly got to grips with the software and soon built a 3D world based a number of local structures including high crosses such as the Castledermot crosses. Prior to starting their 3D virtual world building project, the students made a site visit, mapped out the terrain and took digital photos which they then uploaded to their computers, so that these “textures” could be imported into the programme and used to create the right effects for stonework, etc. The students can access the island both at home and at school and can interact via their avatars with the virtual environment and with each other.
According to James Corbett of Daynuv, “From our experience we’vediscovered that 3D learning software allows exceptionally able children to unlock the abilities which can go unnoticed in a traditional learning environment.”
Brid Uí Mhaoluala has been teaching small groups of exceptionally able children for the past number of years at the school and was interested in using this type of technology to provide enrichment material for her current group of students. "I am fortunate that we have a very supportive principal and staff and that my Learning Support colleagues have worked with me to create some time for the exceptionally able children. Of course, time is always the enemy and we worked the Daynuv project for two periods a week in school, but the children continued to work on the project at home. A special word of thanks must go to the parents of our five participants who were more than willing to let their children get involved and to support them at home.”
“In the past few years, our exceptionally able students have done things as diverse as building a Morse code machine, creating powerpoint presentations on the Famine, written their own novels and researched and demonstrated scientific experiments to their classmates. Sometimes, I felt the children were doing projects or tasks almost to please me, rather than for themselves. I was delighted to be included in this pilot where the children could work on what they wanted and on something truly challenging. I am not a techno-wizard, I don't even have an ECDL, so by taking this on, I felt I would be able to say to any teacher that if I could do it, anyone could. James was always on hand to help and advise.”
Giftedkids.ie Island on Daynuv Grid
In the meantime the students have relished the opportunity to build their own virtual world:
Margaret Keane of Giftedkids.ie commented: “With expertise in 3D modelling software and programming tools for children, Daynuv has created an engaging and empowering learning environment, particularly for children with exceptional ability and high visual spatial awareness. We have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with such an innovative organisation for this pilot and we would like to thank Brid Uí Mhaoluala and the staff of Gaelscoil Eoghain Uí Thuairisc in particular for embracing this new technology so readily and recognising its potential use for these often overlooked group of students. They and their pupils should be applauded.”
Simon Lewis, Principal, Carlow Educate Together also mentioned the project in his keynote speech at the ICT in Education Conference 2010. According to Simon ""If this was expanded out to each school the possibilities are phenomenal."
Founded by Keith Kennedy and James Corbett, Daynuv has its roots in the IT department of Gaelscoil Ó Doghair in Co. Limerick. A multiple award winning primary school, Gaelscoil Ó Doghair is widely recognised as the most technologically advanced primary school in Ireland. Under the guidance of principle Daithi Ó Murchú the school is immersed in the traditions of constructivism and blended learning. Daynuv specialises in virtual worlds for immersive education.
Virtual Europe is a 4 region opensim-based educational virtual world hosted on ReactionGrid. Built by Daynuv.com
Collaborating closely with Gaelscoil Ó Doghair, Daynuv has first hand experience in working with children of exceptional abilities. Connor was considered an under achiever before he was introduced to the Daynuv software. But he quickly excelled in using the 3D environment to build highly accurate and detailed models, revealing otherwise hidden talents. Conor also demonstrated his capacity for self-directed learning by figuring out how to source suitable textures on the internet and apply those to his 3D models with the necessary modifications.
Another student, Autumn, had socially excluded herself from her class mates and teachers. But shortly after she started using the software she found herself, unwittingly, collaborating with her peers on a range of design projects. Which coincidentally exposed a proven characteristic of online networking and collaboration - that a sense of community and camaraderie can only be crystallized around a common interest or purpose, referred to as the 'social object'.
The children of Gaelscoil Ó Doghair are now often to be heard debating the finer points of design around such social objects, from the dovetail joints on a hotel balustrade to the appropriate flora for their undersea Atlantis.
In a virtual world imagination is the only limit.
In the next few weeks Daynuv will launch Ireland's first education dedicated virtual world in association with six partners, including learning institutions and social projects, drawn from across the country. The aim is to provide an online 'laboratory' and social network where teachers and students alike can build a collaborative learning environment with the same scope and possibility as their unfettered ability to imagine.
James Corbett, Keith Kennedy, Daynuv, August 2099
Disclaimer: This is not an expert site, it is run on a voluntary basis and as such is based on opinion and experience but we hope that it acts as a signpost for educational resources and other support services for Irish families with exceptionally able children. By using this website you accept that any dependence by you on such information, opinion or advice is at your own risk.