“Interfaces for the New Decade” – Join the ReactionGrid team Online at The Tech Test Zone 2011 Conference (Nov 15th)

The Tech Museum and The Tech Virtual are hosting a conference on “Interfaces for the New Decade,” Tuesday, November 15, 2011 from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM (PT).  This event will bring together interactive technology researchers, developers, and users for a conference and opening of The Tech Museum’s newest gallery.

The conference has a great lineup of speakers presenting about the future of interactive exhibits.  And best of all, if you can’t make it out to San Jose, you can virtually attend the event for free.

All of us at ReactionGrid have signed up to attend the conference online, and during the event we will also be in our Jibe virtual world Expo Demo where we’ll be discussing the presentations.

So sign up to attend the conference for free and visit with us in Jibe during the conference if you’d like to chat with us about virtual world platforms.  Hope to see you there!

ReactionGrid's Expo Demo world in Jibe. Visit it on the web!

-John “Pathfinder” Lester

I’m presenting at the “Midnight to Noon Conference for Second Life Educators and Researchers” on Oct 27

The folks at EduFinland are hosting a conference on October 27 called the “Midnight to Noon Conference for Second Life Educators and Researchers.”

Although the conference is being held in Second Life, the presentations will discuss a wide range of research across many different virtual world platforms.

I’ll be speaking on a panel at 8am EDT on “The Future of Learning in Virtual Worlds.”

At 10am EDT I’ll be giving a keynote presentation titled “The Significance of Contextual Flow – Exploring Jibe and Critical Affordances of Web-Based Virtual Worlds.”  And you can participate in my keynote by visiting my Jibe world on the web during the presentation.

For more details, check out the conference website.  Here’s a summary of the agenda:

A 12 hour conference in Second Life for educators and researchers on education and virtual worlds with invited speakers from Europe and the US. The conference features presentations, panels, workshops, excursion and many other types of activitities.

Mark the date Thursday October 27, 2011 in your calendar now and join us in EduFinland archipelago on the lecture theatre on EduFinland III from midnight to noon (PDT).

The researchers and educators at EduFinland have been doing outstanding work over the years, and I had the privilege of meeting many of them in my last trip to Finland.  So I’m really looking forward to this conference.

Hope to see you there!

My favorite coffee mug, courtesy of Finland.

Take care,
-John “Pathfinder” Lester

ReactionGrid invited to present at the U.S. Coast Guard’s “Innovation Expo 2011″ in Tampa, FL

The U.S. Coast Guard holds an Innovation Expo each year, and ReactionGrid has been invited to attend and present at this year’s Innovation Expo 2011 in Tampa, Florida on October 25th.

If you’re attending the Expo, or if you’ll be in the area and would like to meet with us, please drop us a line at create@reactiongrid.com.

The USCG Innovation Expo creates an environment for Coast Guard Innovators to resolve organizational challenges by showcasing their initiatives in a rich collaborative learning environment alongside other innovators throughout DHS and across Government, industry and academia.

One area of interest is 3d simulations and virtual worlds as platforms for immersive learning.   I’ll be giving two presentations on Tuesday, October 25th:

Keynote Speaker #2
11:30am – 12:00pm (Oct 25)
“Learning Through Three Dimensional Simulation and Virtual Worlds”

In this presentation, John will share his experiences using virtual world technology to enhance education and his current work at ReactionGrid to create web and mobile-based virtual word platforms for learning. He will describe best practices for creating effective alternative reality learning scenarios, common pitfalls when exploring immersive learning technologies, and ways to effect cultural change within an organization by using online collaborative environments.

Breakout Session #1
2:00pm – 3:00pm (Oct 25)
“Alternative Reality Learning: The Potential of Virtual World Platforms”

In this breakout session, John will lead a group discussion and hands-on demonstration of the potential of virtual world platforms for immersive learning. Specific examples of virtual learning environments using ReactionGrid’s Jibe platform will be presented, running on both the web and mobile devices, and attendees will be walked through a typical virtual world development workflow using the Unity3d editor and 3d mesh models. Attendees will also learn about the unique affordances of virtual worlds when they are integrated with existing social media (e.g., Facebook) and web-based educational content.

You can learn more about the Expo here and here.

Take care,
-John “Pathfinder” Lester

 

5-minute Video Tutorials on Jibe and Unity3d

I’ve written a bunch of tutorials and general articles on how to use Jibe and Unity3d.  Many people have told me they have found these articles helpful.  Thank you again for the feedback.

Now I’d like to start an additional project.  I’m going to build a library of short and very focused tutorial videos for Jibe users.

The catch: each video will be 5-minutes long.  No more, no less.

I’m limiting myself to 5 minutes because I think that’s a critical threshold for most people.  And I want these videos to be very easy to digest.

Here’s my new YouTube channel.  Please subscribe if you’re interested.  I’ll do my best to post a new video every few days.

And if you have any suggestions on specific topics you’d like me to cover, please let me know.  I want to create videos that are useful!

Creating these videos will be both fun and a challenge for me.  It’s always much more difficult to create something concise than it is to create something with no limits.

Which reminds me of a memorable quote by Blaise Pascal.

“I would not have made this letter so long except that I do not have the time to make it shorter.”

Here’s my first video: “What is Jibe?”

Take care,
-John “Pathfinder” Lester