Technology.ie recently did an article on what the students of St.Kierans primary school, Broughall recently showed what they’ve been doing with OpenSimulator which is basically an open source version of second life for the purpose of learning coding, 3D modelling and how to create virtual spaces of field trips. Their most impressive project to date was the recreation of the monastery of Clonmacnoise and exploring it using the Oculus Rift.
“Whoa,” one student exclaimed, looking at the classroom’s recreation of Clonmacnoise’s McCarthy Tower. “That is humongous.”
The children spent two weeks developing the model and the results are quite impressive, there’s a real sense of immersion that’s very important to show children at this age, so they can see the full scale of what they built. See the video below.
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Shorty after the article appeared, it got picked up by a Silicon Valley blog on engadget.com. It was brilliant that it got picked up by this blog in particular, as it is quite a big one. It’s about getting the word out there that these immersive environments that kids are building go hand in hand with educating the kids in different areas.
Having a virtual presence in the model actually changed how the children learned about it — and the promise of being able to play in the world they built was bound to be a heck of a motivator, too.