OpenEd17: The 14th Annual Open Education Conference
October 11 – 13, 2017  ::  Anaheim, CA

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Thursday, October 12 • 11:00am - 11:25am
Table 25 - Where the Wild Things Are: Virtually Open Education

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The potential uses of virtual reality (VR) technology in education are boundless. Yet, there is almost no substantial research on best practices for developing VR for education nor on virtual reality open educational resources (VROERs). In this presentation, we overview cutting-edge open education practices using VR. We introduce our openly-licensed 3D spatial environment of British Columbia's Stanley Park. This 3D spatial environment is a first of its kind, experimental VROER developed at the University of British Columbia (UBC) by a collaborative group of geography faculty, UBC Studios filmmakers, digital media writers, professional VR developers (MetanautVR), and over a dozen undergraduate student researchers and developers. In 2016, a seed grant from BCCampus allowed our team to start experimenting with photogrammetry, drones, and open source software (scuh as Unity) to make and use VROERs. The aims of our team included creating VROER to overcome the the financial and logistic barriers to accessing field trip locations, leverage the imaginative potential of VR experiences to enhance learning gains, establishing best practices for VROER development, and developing VROER as part of an open pedagogy process. We will walk you through our challenges, successes, and lessons learned. We believe that VR is not simply another edtech fetish, but rather the basis of a revolutionary medium that learners and educators must begin to explore. The potential experiences we can create allow learners to transcend physical principles and traverse geography, scale, and temporal periods. Moreover, this exploration and playing where the wild things are, allows us to establish openly licensed content as a fundamental part of VR for education - a VROER ecosystem that encourages collaboration and focus on learning outcomes.

avatar for Gill Green

Gill Green

Professor, Okanagan College
Property rights, war crimes, GIScience, & open pedagogy.

Thursday October 12, 2017 11:00am - 11:25am PDT
Royal Ballroom