Late in July, I published my lists of wants for in-world features and technical features for a educational virtual world that I would build, had I time and money enough. Then I put the issue before 23 members of the Roundtable. Here is their list of wants:
- Cross-platform & mobile friendly
- Non-mesh build options
- Cross-world travel and inventory control
- Accessibility for users with visual and hearing impairments, such as easily visible icons, as well as text-to-speech and speech-to-text support
- Media on a Prim (MOAP), including Flash support
- Integration with Kinect & similar interfaces
- Ability for students under 18 to access content (with my caveat of "freedom of, and from, adult content)
- Better system for notecards
- Working economy where content creators can be paid for their work but as JeanClaude Volmar warned us, "Just don’t make the economy so tightly coupled to the creator to render objects useless like it is in SL."
- Avatar puppeteering and webcam support
- Better permissions systems to allow more flexibility with collaborative builds
As readers know, I tend to agree with VWER participant Alan Sandalwood, who noted "I worry that we would try to do everything in VW; It’s a tool to be used judiciously."
My own students say a version of this: "what's the point? Our parents pay high tuition to be taught by a PhD in a classroom." For them, VWs are worthwhile for limited simulations or a field trip to see content otherwise unavailable. Other educators will use the technology differently and, in many cases, in transformative ways.
To read the Aug. 2 transcript, click here.